Posts Tagged ‘vintage’

Nanu Streets: Candlemaker Row

Candlemaker Row

Nanu Streets is a brand new feature on, taking a closer look at interesting stretches of Edinburgh that you might have missed. This week we’re featuring the wee stretch of shops on Candlemaker Row, between Greyfriar’s Bobby and Grassmarket. Candlemaker Row is home to a few independent shops perfect for completely unique, slightly unusual purchases.


At the top of the street we find Deadhead Comics. Don’t let the faded yellow paint and dusty windows put you off going in, despite a few of its aesthetic problems is the best comic book shop in Edinburgh for people who actually want to buy comics. Edinburgh’s other comic book retailer has given away huge amounts of floor space to action figures and manga seemingly at the cost of back issues. Deadhead is purely dedicated to comic books and alongside the wide range of current releases and collected editions sits a wide range of back issue comic books. If you are looking to buy books on a regular basis, Deadhead offers a pull list facility so you can guarantee you will never miss an issue. Plus if you miss a book or are looking for a particular graphic novel, it can more often than not be ordered to come in with the next week’s shipment. Opposite Deadhead Comics is another specialist bookshop which could make Candlemaker Row a one stop shop for genre fans. Transreal Fiction dedicates its considerable book shelf space to Science Fiction and Fantasy books alongside some merchandise and cuddly toys; a pleasant addition, if only a fleeting distraction, from the huge numbers of novels on display. Hours could easily be lost for any sci-fi or fantasy fans in this Edinburgh institution. Tucked slightly below ground and further along the street is Analogue Books; a tiny art bookshop crammed with design, art and lifestyle books, magazines and prints. Zines are displayed hanging from the shop’s ceiling and books are laid out in such a way that’s ideal for browsing. You’re guaranteed to find a good handful of interesting reads and not just a forgotten coffee table book. Prints from local artists are available to buy and once in a while a local artist exhibits their work in the shop too. Just next door is the lovely independent boutique Hannah Zakari. The wee shop only opened a couple of years ago, after six years of trading online and specialises in handmade, quirky pieces from independent designers. Delicate, subtle pieces of jewellery are found upon entrance to the boutique, further back a variety of prints and modern illustrations are on display and a Boiler Suited Lego Man necklace is waiting to be picked up by the perfect owner. Ideal for gifts and with a really relaxed

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shopping environment, it’s great to have an Edinburgh branch of Hannah Zakari open for business. Right at the bottom of Candlemaker Row is a very unique shop, a shop that sells dinosaurs. If you reckon owning a Spinosaurus tooth is the coolest thing in the world, and honestly who doesn’t, then Mr Wood’s Fossils is the place for you. Stocking a wide range of fossils, meteorites and minerals Mr Wood’s Fossils offers the chance to own prehistoric relics for surprisingly reasonable prices.   Just beyond Candlemaker Row is Armstrong’s Vintage Emporium. Take a look at our Vintage edition of Nanu:Maps to find out more about Armstrong’s, one of the best loved vintage shops in Edinburgh.

Nanu Maps: Vintage

vintage image

No matter how much purse strings tighten, vintage boutiques in Edinburgh are bustling. Vintage shopping allows the buyer to invest in classic, one-off items that will be worn over and over again; completely in opposition to the vacuous world of fast fashion.

Spread all over the Capital, vintage shops are a bit difficult to find if you don’t already know where they are; this only makes the discovery of a fantastic vintage piece even more satisfying. Vintage is the alternative way to shop and with bargains around every corner, it’s hard not to see the appeal.

The best places in Edinburgh to search for something unique, wearable and affordable (not to mention distinctly stylish) are mapped by Ellie and Elyse in the first edition of Nanu Maps.

View Nanu Maps: Vintage in a larger map

Those Were the Days Vintage

St Stephen Street

Situated in a surprisingly light and airy Stockbridge basement, TWTDV is a luxury, high-end vintage boutique. Each item is meticulously looked after – covers ensure beautiful beaded dresses remain in their best condition, while their extensive bridalwear collection is available to view up close by appointment only. As well as a fantastic selection of dresses and women’s tops, TWTDV stands out in terms of their accessories. Vintage handbags, which can often look worn, are pristine, and there is a wide range of jewellery – including the star attraction, pairs of Chanel earrings. A gem in Edinburgh’s vintage crown.

Chic and Unique Jewellery

Deanhaugh Street

Another high-end Stockbridge store, Chic and Unique has some stunning piece of vintage sparkle. Time periods from the 1900s to the 1980s are covered – and from regal jewelled brooches to fifties Bakelite plastic designs, you’re sure to find a special piece here. Each cabinet contains notecards, explaining the history of the designer, its consumers, and when the style reached the height of its popularity. This is a lovely touch, and exemplifies how much care has gone into finding jewellery for the shop . For something a bit more fun, Chic and Unique carries a beautiful selection of masquerade eyepieces – setting the tone of the shop perfectly.


Grassmarket; Teviot Place; Clerk Street

Armstrong’s is probably Edinburgh’s most famous vintage shop, having been established in 1840. A word of advice: for a first time vintage shopper, the enormous selection in their Grassmarket store could be a little overwhelming, so it wouldn’t be unreasonable to suggest having a look at one of their smaller shops first! In all three stores, retro inspired pieces sit alongside truly vintage items from every era. Dresses, kilts, coats and shoes are in ready supply, but it’s really their selection of cashmere that stands out, a wonderful pastel rainbow of jumpers and cardigans. Armstrong’s is the original place to go vintage in Edinburgh, and it remains one of the best.

Herman Brown

West Port

Herman Brown has the look and feel of a boutique. Its pieces are kept in excellent condition, from their 1980s t-shirts and sweaters to more luxurious eveningwear, resplendent with sequins. Their menswear collection is also kept in good shape, with cosy lumberjack shirts and denim jackets – often forgotten about in the world of vintage. As well as this, Herman Brown also places a lot of focus in their accessory collections. Clearly this is paying off, as their selection of clutch bags and vintage hats is the perfect accompaniment to their well-chosen clothing range.


Nicholson Street and Stockbridge

Dispelling the image of the traditional charity shop, Barnardo”s dedicates significant shop space to genuine, quality vintage clothing; the recent revamp of the Nicholson Street branch includes a casino online gorgeous window display of some of the best pieces. The vintage section of the shops boasts everything from 60s dresses, sequinned tops, velvet jackets and woolly cardis, the odd vintage dress pattern and curios. Barnardo”s has mastered the art of not looking like a charity shop which makes your good deed of the day feel even better.


Bread Street

This wee shop is an unimposing vintage boutique, close to Edinburgh College of Art. Neatly laid out pieces and welcoming staff create a comfortable and pleasant shopping environment. Garments ranging from the genuinely vintage to retro pieces are well priced and if you”re looking for something special, the shop assistant will be able to help you. A well stocked vintage men”s section towards the back of the shop with pristine shirts and woolly jumpers is one of the biggest draws for stylish boys and androgynous girls.



Striving against “the soul sucking monotony of fast food fashion” Godiva is an independent fashion boutique dedicated to producing, reworking and sharing unique clothing for men and women. Located far away from the high street, Godiva is aimed at the discerning fashionista, searching for one off, quality items. The boutique keeps the inviting feel of a vintage shop with suitcases to rummage through and a section of classic vintage-wear towards the back of the shop. However, it is the creative design aspect of Godiva which really makes it stand out from the crowd.

The Frayed Hem

Cockburn Street

One of the new kids on the block, the Frayed Hem hasn”t been open for too long but fits in well to Edinburgh”s vintage fashion scene. A good mix of vintage, retro and restored items are handpicked and lovingly cared for by knowledgeable staff. The walls are decorated with everything from winter coats and jumpers to kitsch brooches and handbags. A good selection of men”s tweed jackets and waistcoats keep the boys entertained, while stylish ladies peer over the cashier”s desk to examine a lovely selection of jewellery.