W.Armstrong & Son – A hidden gem in Edinburgh

Nestled beneath the towering presence of Edinburgh Castle is W. Armstrong & Son – Edinburgh’s notorious retro store. Located in Grassmarket, perhaps the trendiest part of the Scottish capital, this retro hotspot will have you kitted out head to toe in the most uniquely vintage attire. Armstrong’s is renowned for being Britain’s largest vintage clothing emporium, after it was established in 1840.

W.Armstrong & Son

Despite there being three branches across the city, the Grassmarket store is by far the most fascinating. The area exudes a historic feel, with its old buildings and architectural features still in tact, which creates an intriguing contrast against the brightly coloured shops which are dotted along the streets.

Armstrongs Edinburgh

As soon as you step foot inside Armstrong’s, you’ll be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of stock. Imagine vintage gowns elegantly dangling from the ceiling, a plethora of traditional Scottish kilts, and a splurge of brightly coloured items occupying every inch of the interior. Armstrong’s may best be defined as an eclectic treasure trove, with quirky gems just waiting to be uncovered. The pieces on sale are lovingly hand-picked by the super-friendly staff, in the hope that they will find a new home to add to their already extensive history.

Armstrongs Edinburgh

Armstrong’s emanates an almost museum vibe as there is so much to cast your gaze upon, where each item of clothing or accessory offers its own unique history. You’ll feel as though you’ve stepped back in time, with retro soundtracks ringing in your ears and vintage posters covering every inch of the walls. Prepare to spend a decent amount of time in this Tardis of a store, as each rail is bursting with quirky pieces which will undeniably add a sense of individuality to any outfit.

Even if second-hand chic isn’t your scene, Armstrong’s is still well worth the visit – you may even find yourself succumbing to the irresistible bargains!

Numerous mannequins are dotted around the store to provide you with some era-specific style inspiration, just in case your head becomes ever-so slightly cluttered by the choice of pieces at your fingertips.

Whether you look up, down, behind or around in Armstrong’s, there’ll be something exciting going on. Even more so, if you’re having Armstrong-withdrawal symptoms or are unable to visit the store itself, there is an eBay store which is bursting with unique clothing.

A trip to Edinburgh means a trip to Armstrong’s. Have you recently visited Edinburgh? Let us know in the comments!


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Hello! I’m Hollie, a literature student from Berkshire with a love for all things creative. My love for travel and writing combined on my recent two-month trip across the USA and Canada, where I became really inspired to start documenting my experiences. I love sharing travel related stories with others and discovering what the planet has to offer!


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