If you're looking to secure the perfect pre-loved piece, there are plenty of places to do just that in Dublin.
There really is nothing like nabbing a vintage find - imagining the story behind it, the made-to-last quality and most importantly, the knowledge that you'll never bump into someone wearing the same thing as you.
There are plenty of other benefits to second hand shopping - it helps to prevent clothes from being sent to landfill, reduces greenhouse gases and is infinitely more ethical than a fast fashion haul.
Over lockdown, so many Irish guys and gals discovered the thrill of online vintage shopping. There are loads of great Irish online vintage stores who do weekly drops that sell out in minutes - a sign that more of us than ever are favouring slow fashion.
While online shopping is great, when it comes to vintage, there really is nothing like having a rummage through the shelves in person. Luckily, Dublin's vintage scene has blossomed and grown significantly in recent years so if you're looking for the perfect one-off, preloved fit there are plenty of places to secure the goods. Here are 12 of our favourites, all with unique and wonderful offerings.
This royal blue concept store is Brooklyn-esque in layout, with a few carefully curated racks of vintage denim and colourful silks. Loot's is a purposeful, considered collection and in store you'll also find concessions from Reverie (think oversized, 80s blazers from Valentino and silk scarves from Celine) and Inné, an amazing Irish business that sources preloved, real gold jewellery at genuinely affordable prices.
Also on Drury Street you'll find 35 Vintage. This store had a hugely successful online presence over lockdown, with an impressive selection of pre-loved fleeces, sweatshirts and track jackets, and their expansion onto Dublin soil has been warmly welcomed. 35 also have a store in Kiltimagh, Mayo, which opened almost exactly two years to the day before their Dublin shop. They've also got a bargain basement in-store if you're looking to save a few punts.
Stephen's Green Shopping Centre
Another lockdown baby, Babydoll sits proudly in the heart of the southside's busiest shopping district at a spot where you won't find too many other vintage stores. This well laid out shop is perfect if you're looking for something dressy for a wedding or similar glam event, and also stocks beautiful headbands, jewellery and other great accessories from Irish designers.
A stalwart of the Dublin vintage scene, Betty Bojangles is a treasure trove with gowns and glamorous accessories sitting alongside bomber jackets and Hawaiian shirts. It's the kind of store you could easily spend an hour looking through - there are also regular sales and bargains to be had.
Dublin Vintage Factory
For a shop located in Dublin's busiest tourist trap, Dublin Vintage Factory certainly manages to keep it real in terms of pricing. Clothes are sold by weight at €30 per kilo, so if you're a skilful rummager you could nearly secure your whole winter wardrobe for a very reasonable price. There are two floors to explore with a great selection of faux fur, shirts, knits and vintage dresses.
The Big Smoke Vintage
Neighbouring Dublin Vintage Factory you'll find The Big Smoke - a hidden gem tucked away under Merchant's Arch. These guys have you covered by way of incredible one-off pieces from the 50s right up to the noughties, with friendly, knowledgable staff on hand to help you obtain the perfect vintage find.
Temple Bar, Aungier Street, College Green
The Tola Empire has expanded significantly over the past few years and there are now four Dublin stores for all your browsing needs, including a kilo store in Temple Bar and their newest spot in the former Pen Corner on College Green, where more high end, designer vintage pieces can be found.
While The Pen Corner enjoyed custom from the likes of Grace Kelly, Elvis Costello, Kurt Cobain and Pierce Brosnan in its time, Tola is also no stranger to a celeb visit and has previously welcomed stars including Ariana Grande to its Temple Bar store (every Dubliner remembers the "Yup Ariana" video fondly, right?)
One of city's OG haunts for a vintage rummage, Nine Crows have been on the scene for well over a decade and in that time have amassed a huge fandom through their multiple Dublin outlets, kilo stores and extensive online selection. Nine Crows has enjoyed visits from the likes of Lana Del Rey and is also dog friendly if you want to bring your pup along for a browse.
Another mainstay of Dublin's vintage scene, Lucy's basement space will have you feeling like you've stepped into another world with racks packed to the brim with vintage denim, velvet and bric-a-brac. It's an old school pre-loved haven, the kind you're unlikely to walk out of empty-handed.
George's Street Arcade
Moving onto accessories, Lou's Lot in George's Street Arcade is a must if you're looking to pick up a vintage saddle bag or a sought after Louis Vuitton pochette. Alongside a frequently restocked handbag selection Lous Lot also has a great range of designer trench coats, jackets and skirts with Lou being particularly skilled when it comes to sourcing vintage Burberry pieces.
Siopaella has been sourcing and reselling designer pieces since 2011 but reached a whole new audience over lockdown with owner Ella's Instagram lives, showcasing highly coveted designer bags usually in perfect condition, prime to be snatched up by an eager audience of "ninjas". Now, Ella's Wicklow Street store is open to browse in person once more with a wide range of expertly authenticated designer bags as well as preloved high street pieces at great prices.
Another great designer bag reseller, stocking many good-as-new pieces that'll save you money and allow you to feel significantly smug for taking a more sustainable approach to high-end shopping. From on-trend Prada and Louis Vuitton pieces to vintage, Jackie Kennedy-esque Gucci, this store is definitely worth stopping into if you're looking to invest in a designer handbag.
Did we miss out your favourite Dublin vintage store? Let us know and we'll add it to the list!
Header images via Instagram/35_dublin & thebigsmokevintage