From mohair knits and brogues at trendy vegan hangouts to all-out retro glamour at heyday clubs galore, Glasgow is a city well and truly in love with vintage.
Head for the west end boulevards or venture east of the city centre and you’ll stumble upon lots of vintage and pre-loved stores worth rummaging in – the trick is to get there fast, before someone else scoops up a gem of a find.
Whether it’s retro sportswear, someone else’s (fabulous) shoes or a jewel-encrusted ball gown, we’ve rounded up some of Glasgow’s best vintage emporiums housing pre-loved but ever-stylish items – not to mention a must-visit salon and a regular market laden with shiny treasures.
A trip to Byres Road isn’t complete without a wander along the racks in Vintage Guru. Here, faux furs, psychadelic dresses and the like line the walls while classic shoes and handbags entice you closer to the floor. It may not be the cheapest on the block (never mind the city) but a glimpse at VG’s ever-changing window display will soon show you how to style out vintage items, for those wary of pre-loved waters.
195 Byres Road, G12 8TN, 0141 339 4750, www.vintageguru.co.uk
Glasgow’s answer to Edinburgh’s Armstrongs, this long-established and beloved retro emporium is packed to the rafters with everything from period dresses to ’70s leather bombers. The Kings Court shop is a must-visit for any vintage lover, not to mention stocking tickets to the next big event on the vintage circuit (Club Noir, anyone?) Too trendy for the west end? Then Mr Ben, and its vegan-tastic, art-crowd corner of the Merchant City should do the trick.
Kings Court, 101 King Street, G1 2RB, 0141 553 1936, www.mrbenretroclothing.com
The Glasgow Vintage Company
If you like your vintage shopping with a side of old world charm (and who doesn’t?) then this Great Western Road gem is for you. Whether it’s the stained wood or the traditional tenement store signage, the shopfront screams treasures to be had inside. Head in and you’ll find two floors of ladies and gents clothing ranging from cosy cashmere to vintage Adidas – retro-loving guys are as likely to find a forever buy here.
453 Great Western Rd, G12 8HH, 0141 338 6633, glasgowvintage.co.uk
Starry Starry Night
If Ruthven Lane is a must on any vintage lover’s map then Starry Starry Night is ground zero. Charming from the outside in, this striking green shack offers a door to fashion Narnia dating back to the Victorian era. Inside, you’ll find an extensive supply of vintagewear, from military garb and pillbox hats to hankerchiefs, cravats and gloves all spilling out of antique drawers. Kilts of every clan and colour are a speciality here – so if there’s wedding coming up, go crazy.
19 Dowanside Lane, G12 9BZ, 0141 337 1837, starrystarrynightvintage.co.uk
The City Retro Fashion
Another must for those frequenting the Merchant City, The City puts the fun in retro clothing, offering fringed cowboy jackets and neon dungarees alongside sought-after vintage sportswear and sequined ballgrowns. Can’t make it along for a try on? The City is on Etsy too, taking the cornered Glasgow vintage market and spreading it that bit further. The kicker is, then, is getting the good stuff before someone else snatches it up.
41 King Street, G1 5RA, 0141 237 4649, www.facebook.com/TheCityRetro
Bargain hunting? Then Glorious is a safe bet. The Ruthven Lane favourite isn’t so much authentic vintage as pre-loved, charity shop chic. It is, however, a must for any fashion fan unafraid to step into someone else’s shoes. From last year’s Topshop to the odd designer goodie and – yes – jewellery and the odd item dating way back when – Glorious is often the happy medium for people who don’t want to go full vintage glam.
496 Great Western Road Kelvinbridge, 0141 357 5662, www.facebook.com/GloriousSecondHandClothing
Fan of The Glad Cafe? Feeling the need to don a cosy knit, some brogues and grab a Williams Bros lager stat? Then you need to hit Glad Rags, the not-for-profit thrift store and sister to the southside venue. It’s not strictly vintage – you’re as likely to find pre-loved Topshop as authentic ’70s garb – but this Pollokshaws nook is perfect for those in search of a classic look (or 20 of them), without the ramped up price tags.
1006 Pollokshaws Road, G41 2HG, 0141 649 2596, twitter.com/gladragsglasgow
All dressed up with somewhere to go? Then special mention has to go to PinUps – a west end salon dedicated to old world glamour and sass. Jukebox, pink plastic hairdryers and all, stepping into this hidden corner of Ruthven Lane is like stepping back in time – in the best possible way. Indulge your inner land girl with victory rolls or go rock and roll with a quiff, then top it all off with a professional make up session, retro style.
10 Ruthven Lane, G12, 9BG, 0141 237 3420, www.pinups.uk.com
Granny Would be Proud
Trudging from one shop to another in the Glasgow rain proving too much for you? Then look no further than this well-kent market event. Granny pops up at Hillhead Bookclub and The Shed at regular intervals, gathering together vintage clothing stalls, retro jewellery and arts and crafts types with a new spin on good old-fashioned style. You’re as likely to come away with a tartan sewn stag’s head or hand-designed greeting card as a new dress – but as all vintage hunters know, trawling for goodies is half the fun.
A few more Glasgow tips…
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Main image: Beautiful Cosmos