A shopping guide to Edinburgh

Local fashion designers & where to find them

Catherine Aitken hand-makes stunning limited edition handbags from Scottish fabrics, such as Harris Tweed and Dundee cotton. Her brand, Catherine Aitken Edinburgh, is stocked in the boutique Concrete Wardrobe in Edinburgh’s majestic New Town district. It's a store that specialises in selling Scottish design-led crafts, from clothing and accessories to ceramics. Also look out for Edinburgh-based textile designer Fiona McIntosh's colourful screen-printed silk scarves from her Tessuti brand.

Designer (and previous Scottish Style Award Designer of the Year Winner) Judy R Clark has made quite a name for herself in women's fashion. From her Edinburgh studio, she designs and creates unique tailored designs with an eccentric edge. Another Edinburgh fashion brand, Ness, has spread its popularity across Scotland. They create bold and colourful coats, skirts and handbags from bright tweeds and colourful tartans. You can buy their cute pieces from Bruntsfield's Halibut & Herring store. This charming place is filled with all things pretty; including an abundance of jewellery and accessories.

Concrete Wardrobe, 50A Broughton Street, Edinburgh, EH1 3SA
Judy R Clark, Studio 31, Beaverhall Art Studios, 27 Beaverhall Road, Edinburgh, EH4 7JE
Halibut & Herring, 108 Bruntsfield Place, Edinburgh, EH10 4ES 

Vintage stores & flea markets for purchases with a past

Godiva Boutique in Edinburgh's old town is an Aladdin's cave of vintage, including knits, '70s dresses and decorative belts. Another store for finding vintage fashion treasures sits in Edinburgh's Stockbridge area – Barnardo's Vintage. It selects the best of vintage finds from across the Barnardo's network to sell in their dedicated vintage charity shop. You get the gems; but help a good cause at the same time.

The most-highly regarded vintage boutique in Edinburgh, however, is Armstrong's. It was established in1840, and can be found in the Grassmarket in the old town. It stocks the crème de la crème of men's and women's stylish vintage clothing and accessories that date right back as far as the Victorian era.

Many antique and flea markets run regularly in Edinburgh too. The Edinburgh Flea Market runs at the Out of the Blue Drill Hall on the last Saturday of every month. There are over 50 stalls and it's a great place to find cheap books or unique historic items. There's a great café too, so you can fill your shopping hunger with homemade cakes and fresh sandwiches. Another perfect place for a rummage is the weekly Greenside Car Boot Sale on Sundays. It takes place on level 4 of the city's NCP Omni car park, and is packed full of second-hand jumble to root through.

Godiva Boutique, 9 West Port, Edinburgh, EH1 2JA
Barnardos Vintage, 29/31 Deanhaugh Street, Edinburgh, EH4 1LR
Armstongs’,83 Grassmarket, Edinburgh, EH1 2HJ
Out of the Blue Drill Hall, 36 Dalmeny Street, Edinburgh, EH6 8RG
NCP Omni, Level 4, Greenside Row, Edinburgh, EH1 3AN


Unique gifts for those back home

Curiouser & Curiouser is a quirky gift shop on Broughton Street that sells everything from pretty Washi tapes for giftwrapping, to handmade Scottish skincare products and Ryan Gosling-printed tea towels. No matter who you are buying a gift for, there will be something for them in this treasure trove. Dragonfly

Gifts, also on Broughton Street,sells a delightful range of gifts including baby items, kids's crayons, heart-shaped candles and pocket handbag mirrors. There's something for all tastes – from classic and shabby chic, to retro and kitsch.

If you're a stationary obsessive, you cannot leave Edinburgh without a visit to Paper Tiger in the city centre. It sells cards for every occasion imaginable, along with an extensive range of patterned notebooks and journals; plus fun gifts such as President Obama mints.

For something traditionally 'Edinburgh', head to the Royal Mile (the main thoroughfare through the old town) where tourist shops are a-plenty. Whether you want a souvenir kilt, a thistle mug, a bottle of whisky or an ornament of the castle, you'll have more than your fair share of options, from the likes of The Scotch Whisky Experience and Heritage of Scotland shop.

Curiouser & Curiouser, 93 Broughton Street, Edinburgh, EH1 3RZ
Dragonfly Gifts, 111a Broughton Street, Edinburgh, EH1 3RZ
Paper Tiger, 53 Lothian Road, Edinburgh, EH1 2DJ
The Scotch Whisky Experience, 354 Castle Hill, Royal Mile, EH1 2NE
Heritage of Scotland, 459-461 Lawnmarket, Royal Mile, Edinburgh, EH1 2NT

To find out more top fashion and lifestyle tips, follow Laura's blog, A Life With Frills.