Armstrongs Vintage is a second hand clothes shop in the Grassmarket.
For vintage lovers and those curious to immerse themselves into a whole different world, crossing the steps of Armstrongs is like time travel into the world of fashion. A great variety of clothes like dresses and skirts, ball gowns and wedding dresses, blouses, shirts, T-shirts, cashmere, knitted jumpers and cardigans, aprons, swimwear, nightwear, kimonos, trousers, denim jeans and jackets, kilt outfits, leather jackets and coats. These can be paired with all sort of accessories starting with hats, belts, a selection of handbags, necklaces, silk scarves, shoes and boots, to tartan, and woollen blankets.
Especially eye catching upon entering is a section with kilts and all necessary accessories to complete an authentic outfit, like kilt jackets and shirts, sporrans, brogues, and pins, which come at a fraction of the price of new ones. And here lies one of the great benefits of Armstrongs. Items that come at a high price in their brand new state are made affordable as second hand purchases.
The Men’s section at the back has many printed shirts, jumpers, jackets, and denim to choose from. A denim jacket can be purchased for around £27, but the price depends on condition, brand, and varies for each individual item.
Moving to the right hand side at the back of the shop, the women’s fashion section awaits discovery.
Blinding sequin dresses, ball gowns, dreams in polyester and cotton with wonderful patterns, perhaps forgotten in someone’s wardrobe for decades, that deserve to be worn again. Divided into sections by era or type of clothing, find a long rail of popular cashmere jumpers, blouses, jackets and coats, skirts, belts and more, beautiful, and sometimes wonderfully ugly dresses, just waiting for the right person to fall in love and bring them to life again. Some children’s clothing can also be found, but there is usually less choice available.
Changing rooms allow to try, as sizes in the labels often don’t reflect today’s sizes anymore. However, a small description on the tag usually gives a short description of era, style, size in today’s terms, and price.
Items are not only unique, but compared to high street prices, quite a bit of money can be saved and often bargains can be made. It is to be noted that all vintage goods are bought as seen, and cannot be returned.
Due to the nature of the business, stock is changing all the time, and thus depends on luck and demand, but each visit inspires to try something on, and there are always treasures to be found.
Tourists often stumble into Armstrongs, sometimes just to browse, but often to take a vintage fashion souvenir home. It is a world of its own, decorated with suspended figures and feathery gowns hanging from the ceiling, a jukebox, and vintage magazine cuttings on the walls.
It is not called Armstrongs Vintage Emporium for nothing. The shop in the Grassmarket is one of a few of the group, but this is the most spectacular looking one. Armstrongs really is a must-see institution for anyone with a love for fashion, visiting Edinburgh.
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