Depending on your social circle, it is a Monday/Tuesday night and you have just stumbled gracefully into the Why Not/Cab Vol toilets. You’re sweaty, you’re drunk but thanks to the stylish outfit that you’ve painstakingly put together for this evening’s soiree, you’re looking and feeling top notch. However, tonight is not your night. Tragedy strikes in the form of your outfit twin. Falling out of the cubicle in front of you, they are dressed practically head to toe in the same clothes as you are.
If this harrowing scene sounds all too familiar then you have, no doubt, made the terrible mistake of falling prey to the high street trap and purchasing yet another outfit from the likes of Urban Outfitters or Topshop.
There’s no doubt about it, high street shops produce some beautiful clothes at a (semi) reasonable price, but with over 33,000 students at Edinburgh you are guaranteed to walk in to a lecture hall one day only to be confronted by someone wearing the exact same slogan tee as you (and it’s just not as funny if you both woke up like that).
Don’t worry too much though, because we’ve put together a list of some of the best small and independent fashion brands that are kicking about at the moment, for both guys and gals. Both online and dotted about Edinburgh itself, these brands will mean there are no more excuses to be matching your flatmate.
Sitting on Edinburgh’s own Candlemaker Row, this shop is a vintage heaven. Small and boutiquey in feel, the store has a great collection of clothes and accessories for both men and women. From cat-eye glasses to bright yellow raincoats, this is the place to go for some unique vintage items which are the epitome of Edinburgh cool.
Isolated Heroes (www.isolated-heroes.com
Heralded as Scotland’s best independent online retailer in 2014, this brand truly lives up to the mark. Claiming that their clothes will cause the wearer to enter a “hyper- realistic dystopian world”, this brand would certainly give Miley Cyrus a run for her money. Packed with sparkles and faux fur, this brand is certainly one for the bold fashionista.
One for the ladies, this international brand boasts a beautiful collection of lingerie sets. With lacy pastels and classic cuts these pieces are truly elegant. The brand has also started a #lonelygirls hashtag on instagram, encouraging women from all walks of life to hashtag photos of themselves celebrating their beauty and sexuality in these gorgeous underwear outfits.
Catering for both men and women, You Must Create (YMC) is a rising independent label online. With simplistic styles and bold, block colours, these clothes are minimal and fresh. Find the perfect jumper here to throw on to go to the library, while looking effortlessly stylish in the process.
In keeping with the latest celebrity fashion, this online women’s retailer produces on trend pieces at a high street price. The label is based in Manchester but easily accessible online. Featuring clothes for any occasion, it acts as the perfect Topshop substitute.
An Edinburgh based jewellery store, Hannah Zakari is the place to be in Edinburgh for unusual jewellery pieces. Ranging from affordable statement necklaces to more high-end gold pieces, this shop is the perfect stop for gifts. The shop also sells light-hearted and funny prints and, for when you’re feeling especially adventurous with your accessorising, some intricately designed temporary tattoos.
UNIF Clothing (www.unifclothing.com)
If UNIF were a shape, it would be a triangle. In fact, the brand’s logo actually is a triangle. Featured in Urban Outfitters’ independent labels section, this brand has a whole lot more to offer for both men and women online. From oversized ribbed sweaters for men, to a massive range of chunky black boots for women, this online store is worth the visit.
And there you have it: no more excuses to stick to the High Street. There are tonnes of brilliant independent online retailers out there and some great boutiques in Edinburgh. This small list is only the start, so make sure you get hunting.
Image Credit: Petra Collins