I asked friend and fellow blogger Annie Streater over at Streatstyle if she’d go on a vintage hunt around town, i.e. Dublin, Ireland (YAY!) and report back what she found. She graciously agreed and you are in for a treat!
I’ve lived in Dublin for two years, but somehow I haven’t yet managed to explore the vintage scene here. Apart from the odd flea market here and there, I never thought the city had much to offer, but a quick search on Yelp revealed a multitude of vintage and second hand stores dotted around the city. In fact, it seemed that many of the best ones were located in and around Dublin’s Temple Bar district, better known for its touristy pubs and restaurants than for its one-of-a-kind shopping. So with an open mind and a fistful of cash, I made my way down the cobbled streets to discover what wonders awaited.
1. Eager Beaver
This isn’t so much of a vintage shop as a streetwear store selling emo hoodies and peusdo-alternative polka dot prom dresses, but they did have a thrifters’ corner with a small selection of vintage dresses and a rack of second hand overcoats, where I found a couple of gems. Monochrome printed dresses are my Achilles’ heel! This dalmation dress (€29) has a very flattering shape and could be worn to the office, on a first date, or for a night out with the girls.
I also picked up a long, gray wool coat (€30), something I’ve been seeking for a couple of years now. It’s a little on the loose side but I’m sure with a wide belt and a couple of layers underneath, it’ll become a staple of mine next winter!
2. Lucy’s Lounge
Located just a couple of minutes’ walk away, Lucy’s is a veritable Aladdin’s cave of real vintage gems, second hand high street items, and upcycled pieces, personalised in-store by the staff.
I spent close to an hour in here, and probably could have spent longer. The selection was mostly 70s and 80s, an era that doesn’t fit in with my personal style, but there were a lot of really cool things that I tried on anyway.
I loved the classic seventies style collar on this plaid dress, and the belt was a nice detail. It’s not really my style, though, and as much as I thought about how I could modify it (shorten the sleeves to cap, bring up the hem), at €25 it was a bit on the pricey side for something I didn’t love.
In the end, I left with two pieces: a zebra-motif cardigan (€12), and this gold mini dress (€10). This’ll be a great day-to-night piece, worn with a chunky black knit and lace up boots at the office, then transformed into a disco diva look with a pair of black pumps and a cocktail ring. Very Rachel Zoe, don’t you think?
I forgot to get any photos of this place, probably because I was completely preoccupied once the owner, Paul, announced that everything was 50% off. The selection was almost exclusively 80s – a lot of colour blocking, shine, and power dressing. Most of it was too frumpy for me; I tried on a few long dresses, but ended up ditching all but one of them. This black dress is very simple, but I love the eye-catching neckline. I’m looking forward to wearing it with a skinny leopard belt and a bright red lip.
As I left the changing room, I noticed a very colourful bundle of cosy-looking fabric peeking out from underneath a pile of garments that had been set aside. I fished it out and to my utter surprise and delight, discovered a beautiful long wool coat with a fabulous green and purple print. It was so soft and warm that I was already set on buying it, but when Paul told me it was Diane Von Furstenburg and that it was €20, I couldn’t believe it – what a find! This will look great belted with boots, or worn under my other long coat, or heck, even just around the house as a cosy robe! It even has a cool DVF hologram sewn into the label.
With the 50% off, these two pieces came to a total of €32.50 – a great bargain! Paul also recommended a couple of other places in the area, including one which he described as having more of a “grungy” vibe – exactly what I was looking for!
4. Siopaella at 9 Crowe Street
Definitely more my style. A great selection of 90s, 00s and current day vintage, set in a beautiful, well-laid out store. I could tell right away that I was going to find some good stuff here. Black sheer maxi skirts, velvet cropped tops, plaid shirts… even though I was too young to really live through the grunge era of the 90s, it didn’t matter. I was here now.
The staff were super friendly, and it didn’t take long before a young lad offered to start a room for me. This is something that you don’t get in other stores here – it’s very common in the US, but it was the first time I’d experienced it in Dublin. With more items in hand, I settled in behind the curtain and was immediately charmed by the fish eye mirror on the wall; a novel way to maximize a small fiiting space. Here I’m trying on a grey cropped tshirt and black maxi skirt. I love this look – a great mix of the youthful carefree nature of yesteryear, and a nod to the modern revamped midriff trend. I’m hanging on to this one!
This store has great business sense, as they offer exchange within 7 days – something I’ve never seen before in a vintage place. They also buy, offering you 20% of the final selling price. Of your unwanted designer and high-end pieces. Alternatively you can consign and get 50% of the final price. With so many ways to change up your wardrobe, they definitely live up to their slogan: “recycling and restyling”. Along with that adorable cropped grey tshirt, I picked up a few more great pieces:
I’m not usually into florals at all, but the muted tones of this tshirt (€12) really appealed to me. Worn with denim cut offs or the all-purpose black maxi skirt, this piece can work all year round.
I’ve been keeping an eye out for a nice faux fur jacket for some time now, but most vintage store ones are unflattering or too haggard to really be worth it. This Pixie Lott piece (€58) jumped out at me, and is lightweight enough to wear during the day or on a night out.
One of my favourite finds of the day was this stunning metallic polka dot demi pleated skirt by J. Crew. It was only €26, which for something that probably originally cost at least €50 is a great deal. I’m really looking forward to wearing this with a black tank top and flat leather booties.
5. Om Diva
The last shop of the day was located about 10 minutes’ walk away, in the George’s Street Arcade. Amazingly, I’ve never stepped foot in this indoor market, despite it being right in the middle of one of my favourite areas of town. Om Diva is a small vintage basement with a sort of 50s Tiki holiday vibe to it. Pastels, sleeveless dresses and floral prints galore.
The shop was beautifully decorated with retro lamps, vintage photos and even some plastic flamingos! I tried on a couple of printed dresses but as with Lucy’s Lounge, the aesthetic was not really my style, and so the prices were too high to buy what I didn’t adore.
I may have left this last place with nothing, but by no means did I go home empty handed. In total, 3 coats (o hai Irish summer!), 3 dresses, 2 tops, a cardigan and a skirt, all for less than €300. As it turns out, Dublin does have a great vintage scene, and a very eclectic one at that. This was just a handful of the city’s treasure troves, and after the success I had today, I’m sure I’ll be back soon enough to explore the rest!