Edinburgh is a great place for a spot of shopping, but why not take yourself off the beaten track and away from the crowds of Princes street to unearth some exceptional independent shops. If you take the time to explore the cobbled lanes and old narrow streets of the city, you will be rewarded with the discovery of some amazing boutiques, all with truly unique wares.
Launched in 2007 by a pair of best friends, Covet is your one-stop shop for all your luxury accessory needs. Covet source high quality brands from across Europe – from well-established leather bag makers such as Coccinelle and Carol J, to up and coming accessory brands such as scarf-designer Laura Orchant. Not only is the stock beautiful, but the store itself is gorgeously contemporary. With tables laden high with bags and accessories, creative window displays, and super friendly staff who know their hobos from their satchels, this shop is the stuff of dreams. Not forgetting that this little boutique is literally award winning having scooped the Drapers’ ‘Best Accessories Offer in an Independent’ in 2014, Covet is a must visit for any shopping enthusiast.
20 Thistle Street, Edinburgh, EH2 1EN,
This chic boutique in the West End has been open for over 20 years, and for the past 5 of those, has been run by mother and daughter duo Jane and Kim. Stepping into this store you are met with rails and tables of beautifully high quality clothes and accessories, most of which you want to touch and feel. Jane’s background in knitwear design is apparent in the abundance of lovely textures and materials including rich cashmere and soft cottons. Stocking contemporary and capsule labels that can work into anyone’s wardrobe, Frontiers is a great place to pick up some new season good quality basics. Grab some luxurious wardrobe essentials from Brit label Chinti and Parker or stock up on some classic pieces with a twist from Danish brand Baum and Peferdgarten. And for any stylish men, Frontiers have opened their new menswear store just around the corner!
16 Stafford Street, Edinburgh, EH3 7AU
Miss Katie Cupcake
Miss Katie Cupcake is a real treasure trove. This vintage emporium is packed full of quirky jewelry and trinkets, cute gifts, and retro home wares. The miniature shop is tucked away on the corner of Cockburn street – you might not even notice it if it were not for the vintage bicycle parked outside (sometimes with it’s basket filled with fresh flowers). Once you venture inside, you can spend hours exploring this interesting shop, marveling at the hand-made treats and the creative product displays made from old furniture pieces, vintage suitcases and old wooden crates. This boutique is kitsch and cute but with such a mix of things, you are sure to find something regardless of your personal style. From hand-made beaded bracelets and metal trinkets to miniature wild heather planted into vintage tins, this shop is the perfect antidote to the loud gift shops on the Royal Mile. Also watch out for their new opening Elk and Wolf – coming soon!
52, Cockburn Street, Edinburgh
This carefully curated store on the busy Queen Street, shows no signs of it’s history. Brotique is actually a refurbished space located within a 200 year old building although you can’t tell it’s age from it’s current form. The business actually started out in Stockbridge but had to move to bigger premises due to popular demand. Stocking a whole host of gifts, gadgets and accessories for the stylish man, Brotique proved popular with the more refined of the Edinburgh gents. Perfect for that difficult to buy for bearded cousin of yours, Brotique is filled to the brim of unique and trendy products. The Team behind the store have a background in design and retail and so the store is set out beautifully, with fixtures easily movable so the space can be changed with relative simplicity. The interior has an industrial feel with lots of dark wood and metal fixtures, punctuated by textured club chairs. It’s no wonder then that the shop leads a double life and is often transformed into an evening event space for very cool parties.
39 Queen Street, Edinburgh, EH2 3NH
When she opened ALC in 2012, owner Adele was determined to ensure that every woman could find her perfect pair of jeans. As a result, ALC stock some of the best denim brands in the world, from Hudson to Paige, you will be sure to find the perfect pair. The boutique also stocks some cool and exclusive fashion brands from the continent (Twist & Tango, Paul & Joe Sister, Twisted Muse to name a few) to help make that capsule wardrobe you always wanted. Adele has lots of retail experience working for some of the UK’s best known retailers so you are sure to be in good hands when shopping. She personally hand picks the pieces ALC stock and her background in retail and fashion has meant she understands what women want when they go shopping. The shop itself has a cool urban feel, despite being situated on the quaint Thistle Street in the New Town. This boutique is a stylish and refreshing alternative to the rush of the high street and the over the top-ness of other luxury retailers.
61 Thistle Street, Edinburgh, EH2 1DY