Shop Till You Drop
Edinburgh – Boutique Shopping
One of the main reasons Edinburgh is such a popular city to visit is how good of a city it is to go shopping. Princes Street offers all the big-name stores one would expect, and the sheer size and number of these outlets is enough to keep any shopping spree going all day. While the colossal Primark or enormous Debenhams have something for everyone, many shoppers prefer something a little more unique, a little more bespoke, a little more… Edinburgh.
Tucked away in some of the less busy streets, Edinburgh has a number of weird and wonderful boutique shops for the more discerning shopper. In these little goldmines you can find items that range from Scottish offerings such as Harris Tweed (if you don’t buy at least one Harris Tweed item while you’re here, did you really even visit Edinburgh?) to vintage clothing and everything in between. Some of the most popular boutiques unique to Edinburgh are:
Launched in 2011, Those Were The Days brought a stunning line of vintage bridal wear, jewellery and accessories to the market through their store on St. Stephen Street and their company website. In 2017 they expanded to the building next door giving them a designated bridal wear store and another for everyday wearing. A high-end outlet, this hidden gem offers expertly curated fashion pieces from the 1920s all the way to the 1990s, and many of their pieces have appeared in television shows and even the movie Trainspotting 2. With new pieces added weekly and seasonal collections, a trip to this little boutique is bound to excite even the most seasoned bargain-hunter.
A family owned and run set of two shops in Edinburgh’s Old Town, Swish blends cool, contemporary styles with some Scottish humour (“Keep The Heid” replacing the classic “keep calm and carry on” on t-shirts, and others that demand “Justice for Gingers”). Geared more towards the young and trendy, these shops sell mid-price clothes and footwear with particular emphasis on Nordic brands that are more sustainable and environmentally conscious than most high street fare. They also have a specialist printing service should you require such a thing.
Opened in 2003 by designer Fleur MacIntosh, Godiva blends hand-picked vintage clothing with bespoke pieces created by local designers. The Godiva ethos is to showcase up-and-coming designers and create a fashion community that supports and celebrates independent design. The shelves boast pieces from local Edinburgh designers to others from creative types as far afield as Madrid and Stuttgart. Somewhere on their shelves you are bound to find a one-of-a-kind item you can bring out the next time you want to dress to impress.
If you’re more of a jeans and t-shirt kinda guy like yours truly, don’t forget that Edinburgh’s boutiques are not limited to clothes! At the Whiski Shop they have an enormous selection of firewater bound to satisfy any palate, no matter if you like your whisky peaty, sherried or really, really old. If the world of whisky is new to you, then have no fear – the guys working here take it all very seriously indeed, so whether you are dipping your toe into the fiery brown water for the first time or simply bringing some back as a souvenir for a friend, they’ll steer you right. The Whiski Shop even bottle their own if you want something truly unique.
This barely scratches the surface of Edinburgh’s boutiquey charm, and you really never know what you’ll find when you go exploring all of our fair city’s nooks and crannies!