Moving to Glasgow just under two years ago has changed many a thing in my behaviour. First of all, I now say didnae instead of didn’t and wee instead of little. I also re-defined my perception of rain to anything not soaking me within 5 minutes to ‘not being real rain’. And then I think 25 degrees Celsius is really hot. Moving to Glasgow, or more generally to the UK, though, has also changed another thing significantly: my wardrobe. The UK is a vintage and second-hand shopping paradise – from the top of my head I can think of at least five different charity shop chains; and with the city’s only central high streets being so far from where I live (Glasgow also made me consider a 20 minutes walk as far), the usual suspects of affordable clothing stores are falling through my radar entirely.
Instead, I started stocking up on fancy dresses from the 70s and dirt-cheap items from the Salvation Army, that are way better quality than anything you get at the cheap-labour shops anyway. Soon I was a pro in finding out about pop-up boutiques, vintage fairs and new openings around town. Abroad as well, I focused even more on on discovering cool shops, digging up second-hand bargains that would last me a life time.
Recently, I heard about a great resource to find all the amazing vintage shops out there with a few easy clicks: The Vintage Map. The founder of this web-collection of shops around the world, Swede Roger Leo Sandgren, made it his mission to create a website completely dedicated to vintage fashion, a resource for vintage-fans, treasure hunters, hippies and hipsters. Currently there are listings for over 60 European cities, and also the American selection is growing. Any shop selling vintage clothing can apply to be added – the list is ever growing.
Back to vintage in Glasgow, though – here are five of my favourite vintage clothing shops in the city.
Retro was among the first vintage shops I discovered on one of my initiating strolls through the city’s West End after class. Located on my favourite road in the Woodlands area, Otago Street, this vintage shops stretches across two floors. An unspectacular looking ground floor with standard vintage dresses and blouses, and a basement that will blow your head off. Extravagant ball gowns, berets in all colours of the rainbow (and more), an apothecary cabinet filled with leather and satin gloves, glitter and sparkles everywhere – I wish I could live in that basement.
Starry Starry Night
Tucked away in the hidden, but oh-so-cool Dowanside Lane, almost opposite of my favourite Vietnamese restaurant in Glasgow (Hanoi Bike Shop), lies a tiny vintage boutique called Starry Starry Night. It is quite literally not bigger than an over-sized shoe box, but the items you find in there are simply amazing. Not just vintage, some even antique! The clothes range from the Victorian times to the 1980s – something for every occasion!
Circa Vintage is a two minute walk down the lane from Starry Starry Night. The focus lies more on accessories than clothes, so prepare to dig through piles of necklaces, bags, shoes, belts and hats. Once I saw the most amazing leather backpack there – so much in love. However, my collection of backpacks just can’t grow any bigger – maybe it’s still there waiting for you?
Check out their Facebook page, where they share beautiful photos of their most precious pieces, all shot in the surrounding West End areas!
Just around the corner on busy Byres Road, you can find Vintage Guru. Also small, but with a big and bright glass-front, so it doesn’t feel to crammed. My favourite sections are the plethora of leather handbags just by the entrance, and the selection of colourful hats above the clothing racks – just in case I ever get invited to a tea party, right? The shop also has a Facebook page, on which they regularly feature some of their most special additions.
Mr Ben Retro Clothing
Smack bang in the middle of my favourite area of the city centre, around Trongate, you can shop tip you drop at Mr Ben Retro Clothing. It’s known as one of Scotland’s best vintage boutiques! Among the treasures on the inside are of course vintage clothes, but also fancy dress/costumes, accessories and jewellery. One advice: bring plenty of time to dig!
So if you come to Glasgow, leave some space in your backpack, as you might end up buying one or two treasures in some of these Glaswegian vintage shops – or maybe bring a second backpack… Is there a lot of vintage shopping in your home town? Let us know about your favourite shops (and online shops) in the comments below! Or is your city featured on The Vintage Map too?
More inspiration for Scotland:
PS: An honorary mention of the amazing, but unfortunately closed £10 Kilo Shop on Great Western Road, where a kilo of clothes was ironically sold for £15… It was closed not so long ago. R.I.P.!
PPS: The Vintage Map likes Travelettes so much – they wrote a little article about us!Tweet