- 26 Sep 18
An in-depth guide to Dublin’s best vintage stores
Irish fashion lovers have upped the ante. Gone are the days when everyone morphed into a homogenous mess of identical logo-encrusted tracksuits and Ugg boots. Vintage shops are great for giving a touch of eccentric individualism to an outfit, or a DIY project if you’re feeling creative. The good news is that Ireland, and Dublin in particular, is teeming with fantastic vintage shops. For special occasions, you can’t beat the iconic Jenny Vander’s on Drury Street. The beautiful store is now a Dublin institution when it comes to stunning vintage pieces. You can tell there’s a history – and an appreciation for that history – behind every piece, and the staff are always more than happy to share their wealth of knowledge. The focus is on occasion-wear like sparkling flapper dressers, gowns and intricate jewellery. Consider your purchases an investment in fashion history and your wardrobe future.
While you’re walking down Drury Street, it’s impossible to miss Om Diva, an amazing candy pink shop in Dublin’s Creative Quarter filled with sparkling, magical pieces that will make you feel like you’re in the fashion equivalent of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. Run by Ruth Ní Loinsigh, the bottom floor is a world of reworked classic dresses, lace tops, silk lounge pants and costume jewellery, while the lower-ground floor is covered with fashion from 1950s to the 1970s. Ní Loinsigh has also created a designer studio where customers can have more access to the designers.
Just over a couple of streets at 34 Clarendon Street is the pop-up vintage shop A Store Is Born. Open on Saturdays. Their collections perfectly blend the sophisticated with the sartorially fun. Keep your eyes peeled for gorgeous coats, beautiful cashmere cardigans and men’s cashmere jumpers. They also stock lovely delicate pieces like kimono throws and 1920s silk slips, to make even your slobby PJ-clad Sundays feel deliciously decadent.
The shop formally known as Wendy’s Wardrobe has now reinvented itself as Scout on Essex Street West, and is a must for all lovers of everything eccentric. Curator Wendy Crawford is a stylist, and sources a lot of pieces from Paris, ensuring that they’re a little bit special. Scout’s strengths are its stunning, hand-picked accessories, and hats and shirts with that perfect Breton stripe. It’s very Parisian and inspired by Wendy’s style, so if you love it once, you’ll keep coming back. Nothing adds as much impact to an outfit as perfectly chosen jewellery. Whether it’s adding a statement piece to an evening outfit, or playing with high-low fashion by adding striking pieces to a casual outfit, you can’t go wrong.
Rhinestones, on Andrew Street, is one of Ireland’s finest outlets, stocking a huge and wonderful range of antique, vintage and modern pieces, including early Victorian brooches, Edwardian keepsake lockets, Venetian glass beads, and one-off‚ ’60s studio creations. If you’re looking for something funky or grunge-flavoured, head to Harlequin on Castle Market Street. The lovely store is focused on more modern vintage pieces, like classic Adidas tops and great vintage Levi’s that are perfect for the current ’90s hipster revival. Get adventurous and team bomber jackets with sequined skirts, and silk dresses with faded and oversized denim jackets. Another must for any vintage-loving fashionista is Soho Market. With stores in Rathmines, St. Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre, Dun Laoghaire and the Pavilion Shopping Centre in Swords, they offer an eclectic mix of statement items including dresses, blazers, bags and bling earrings. Stocking sizes ranging from 8-16, the majority of clothes are priced around €50.
For an even more curated approach to vintage pieces, sisters Caroline Quinn and Kathy Sherry have created Dirty Fabulous Vintage Styling and Fashion Emporium on Wicklow Street – a dreamland original vintage boutique that specialises in bridal and occasion wear from the Swinging 1920s to the free-loving 1960s. The dresses can be up to 100-years-old. It’s perfect for brides-to-be who want a traditional wedding dress, or for those who want to stand out on their Debs evening. Dirty Fabulous stocks labels from legendary designers such as Christian Dior, Saks Fifth Avenue and Malcolm Starr.
Nine Crows, originally called 9 Crow Street on the eponymous street in Temple Bar, is a quirky powerhouse. Opening in late 2010, the store eventually moved to Ormond Quay Lower. Supporting young Irish designers with pieces that scream of hipster chic, the clothes are reasonably priced, ranging from crop tops and midi skirts to raincoats and leather jackets. Named after the proprietor’s son, Tola on Upper Fownes Street is a gem for those obsessed with style from the ’80’s and ’90s. Colourful bomber jackets, denim jackets and oversized jumpers reminiscent of Rachel’s wardrobe in Friends are just some of the finds. For men, Tola stocks a range of flannel shirts and shells shorts.
If you love designer duds but not the designer price-tag, then Siopella is the shop for you. Now with four stores in Dublin, this vintage and consignment store is going from strength to strength, and we’re loving it! Siopella aims to recycle clothing and make designer resale hassle free. They offer a stunning collection of designer clothes, shows and handbags – all in fantastic condition! Check the website before bringing in items to sell – it has handy guidelines about what they’re looking for each season, with designer bags always in high demand.
If you like your vintage clothes served with a side of serious personality, look no further than Fresh in Temple Bar. Fresh is packed with reworked vintage pieces and alternative clothes for men and women, making it a must for anyone who embraces some punk edge in their style. Think vintage band tees, leather jackets and tie-dye threads, and also has a great selection of graphic tees and stud-laden accessories. Finally, complete your vintage tour of Dublin with a rummage in the Dublin Vintage Factory. Down an iron stairs on South William Street it offers individual pieces from coats and jackets to shoes and accessories. The business started as hand-picked collectables and soon developed into a shop front. There are iconic pieces from every era such as tweed jackets, ’50s-style dresses and ’80s tracksuit jackets, and the collection is constantly updated and restocked. With sales by the kilo you can gather up all the tie-dye shirts, ’80s blouses, leather jackets, classic Levi jeans or beaded 1920s flapper tops you like! Shopping by weight is a huge movement in Berlin and Paris, and along with Folkster’s Kilo shop in Kilkenny, Dublin Vintage Factory is one of the first to embrace it in Ireland.