For everything from vintage clothing to vinyl records and secondhand books, these independent shops have you covered, says Rebecca Monks


It’s vintage, darling. Or at least it could be. With that in mind, your i rst port of call should be Armstrongs. This independent clothing shop sells everything from leather jackets and kilts for men to ball gowns and classic-cut jeans for women, and if you can’t i nd what you’re looking for in the main branch located on the Grassmarket, fear not: there are two more stores in the city, which you can i nd on Teviot Place and South Clerk Street. Other good vintage and vintage-style stores include Godiva on the West Port and Those Were The Days on St Stephen Street (pictured).

For charity shops, you’d do well to head down to Nicolson Street. There, you’ll i nd a group of stores (the likes of Shelter and Oxfam) selling everything from pre-loved clothing to books. Another good bet is to take a bus down to Stockbridge, where you can scope out the selection of charity shops such as Barnardo’s and Cancer Research. Plus, once you’ve snapped up a bargain, there are plenty of cafes to relax in, as you bathe in the unique satisfaction that only a £2 cardigan can bring.

Bibliophiles should become well-acquainted with the used book stores around Edinburgh’s Old Town. Edinburgh Books on West Port is perhaps the best known in the city (well, it is named after it), while other good options include Southside Books on South Bridge and the Old Town Bookshop on Victoria Street. DJs and vinyl enthusiasts can i nd records at VoxBox on St Stephen Street, Vinyl Villains on Elm Row, Elvis Shakespeare on Leith Walk, or from Avalanche Records, which has moved about the city a wee bit, but now has a stall in the Tron Kirk market most weekdays.

GLASGOW If you’re after retro clothing in Glasgow, an obvious i rst stop would be Retro on Otago Street. It is one of Britain’s longest-established vintage clothes shops, and has a reputation for its high-quality merchandise. Other strong choices include Vintage Guru on Byres Road, Mr Ben Retro Clothing on King Street and The Glasgow Vintage Co on Great Western Road.

One of the best-loved bookshops in Glasgow is Voltaire & Rousseau (pictured), and if you think the name is cool, wait until you hear more about the shop itself. It’s been around for over 40 years, and stocks everything from i ction to rare secondhand books. You can i nd it on Otago Lane, should you be bitten by the book bug. Other stores worth visiting include Thistle Books (also on Otago Street) and Kelvin Books Antiquarian and Secondhand on Maclellan Street (funnily enough).

Glasgow is known for its music scene, so it only makes sense that some of the best stores in the city are dedicated to selling vinyl. Mixed Up Records on Otago Lane (that place again) is a good shout for this, as is Love Music on Dundas Street, Insularis Records on Brook Street and Record Fayre on Chisholm Street. For a wholly unique shopping experience in the city, make sure you stop by the Barras. A mixture of street markets, indoor markets, shops and pubs, it’s one of the best places to grab a bargain in the East End of Glasgow, whether you’re after antiques for the house, vintage furniture or even something that’s younger than you are. Once you’ve i nished haggling with the old-fashioned traders, you can also check out what the arty folk are up to at the Barras Art and Design Centre.

104 THE LIST 3 Sep–5 Nov 2015