Finding vintage dresses in Scotland might be easier than you think. Don’t rule out charity shops and your local vintage shops. Here to get you started is a curated list of quality vintage shops where you can rummage for vintage dresses. Dresses with real age to them and in good wearable condition are getting harder to find all the time. You might have to cast a wide net to find your heart’s desire but why not start local? The other factor behind possibly casting a wide net is vintage sizing, which is often on the small side.
Vintage Quine is based in the conservation village of Falkland in Fife which most recently has been a filming location for the TV series Outlander . You can dedicate an afternoon to visiting Vintage Quine and some local sites of interest such as Falkland Estate and Falkland Palace, a favourite of Mary Queen of Scots. Note that Vintage Quine sells both originals and vintage inspired dresses. Based on what’s available on its website, its collection spans the ages, and the pricing is good. If you are after something, specific it might be worth phoning ahead to check stock.
Carnivale based on Bread Street, is a treasure trove of vintage dresses from the Victorian era onwards. There is a comprehensive website, but I imagine time spent browsing in the shop reaps its own rewards. Carnivale stocks everything from ball and evening dresses to daywear. A must visit destination for anyone looking for vintage dresses in Scotland. Prices reflect the quality of the stock. I was very taken with a 1950’s John Selby ballgown.
Armstrongs Vintage is an Edinburgh institution beloved by students, hipsters and anyone looking for something unique. Sadly, they don’t seem to have got there internet presence up and running but with 3 stores in central Edinburgh you can easily spend half a day browsing. The stores are based at Clerk Street, Cockburn Street and Teviot Place – close enough for a morning’s browse followed by lunch somewhere like Ting Thai on Tevoit Place. They have a no reservations policy but you do not have to queue for too long and the food is good quality.
Those Were the Days
Those Were The Days Vintage is a purveyor of both vintage day and evening dresses and bridal dresses. The shops are located on St.Stephen’s Street in Stockbridge with one dedicated to bridal wear. Quality is good, prices reflect this. I found a lovely 1950’s black tulle cocktail dress but it sold while I was researching this article! Go in for a browse. It’s not the only vintage clothing shop in Stockbridge so you can easily dedicate a Saturday morning to browsing!
Godiva Boutique. A familiar face on the Edinburgh fashion scene, Godiva Boutique sells both boutique and vintage fashion. It’s probably best for vintage fashion from the 1970’s onwards. There is a smart looking website where you can browse current stock. Based just up from the Grassmarket on West Port, you can visit here then have lunch in the Grassmarket or on Lothian Road. While browsing current stock I found a very pretty black lace 1980’s mini dress.
Slap bang in my old stomping ground of the West End of Glasgow is one of my all-time favourite vintage shops Starry Starry Night. This place makes my heart sing. It’s been around since the 80’s and you can be assured of good quality stock. My finds include a 1950’s evening dress. A great place to spend time. I love it. Like their website says it’s rammed with ‘original treasures’. It also buys vintage clothing and accessories. If you are not based in Glasgow it’s worth basing a trip to the city for a visit here followed by lunch in the West End where you are spoiled for choice.
Frida and Coco was started when the shop’s owner released 300 items of vintage from her personal collection. I have not visited but it seems to be a dab hand at stocking all manner of sparkly vintage. If you are looking for vintage evening wear I recommend having a rummage here. The shop is central, based on the High Street not far from Strathclyde University. I might visit here then head to one of my favourite places in the Merchant city – Cafe Gandolfi.
Tilted Duck stocks dresses a plenty, mainly from the 1960’s onwards. Prices are good and there are quite a lot of dresses to browse (80 + on my last visit to its site). You can browse online or visit in person. If not local, why not build half a day around visiting here and the new V&A Dundee? When I searched in my size I found quite a few dresses. Might be best for daywear.
So there you have it. My guide to finding vintage dresses in Scotland.