We embarked on a journey into the vintage world starting from Dublin, the capital of the Emerald Isle and a crucial point for the culture of vintage, recycled and charity. Let’s pack our ( eco ) bags and set out to discover the deep South of Ireland in search of the best, or simply the existing, representatives of vintage and thrift shops. Welcome all to the second chapter of the Vintage Chronicles: the South.
A preface, however, is a must: do not be bewitched by the beliefs that only in large cities you can find some very interesting boutiques. Therefore here for you, a couple of cute names of places, narrowed down by us, with the several shops that emanate vintage vibes from all pores, some of them in the middle of the lovely Irish countryside.
When you enter Breda Casey’s shop, it will be just like experience a radical time-warp. Spanning the 1930s–1980s, the expertly curated stock carries unique, everyday separates to sparkly occasion-wear. This lovely boutique earned its name of “pilgrimage spot” among Levi’s fans desperately searching for some classics 501s and original faux-fur ones. And speaking of jackets, whether you love opera coats, satin coats, 1940’s style, this place won’t fail you.
Moving towards Waterford, it’s possible to find an unexpected store with a bombastic name: the Vintage Factory. With a tireless and fearless legacy, this awesome vintage maze has managed to establish its brand, stocking yesteryear pieces both for women and men. From authentic ’90s tees to cosy and warm woollen jumpers George Micheal vibes in Last Christmas. Just get in there!
If you are the number one fan of luxury brands at a reasonable price, this place with its colourful name is unmissable. The Goose Boutique is a unique experience where you’ll be likely to find authentic and well-preserved Haut-Couture items. From Prada to some more sophisticated brands like L.K. Bennett, the apparels in this boutique can be a little expensive (compared to any other vintage store) but still, luxury has a price. Even second hand. But what about the feeling of wearing an authentic Gucci dressed as Lady D in one of her days? Priceless.
Wandering in Killarney and desperate need of a flannel lumberjack shirt? Here ‘s a place for you. They’re nuts for Vintage. Or at least that’s their motto. Hazels Nuts is a small vintage-inspired place recently opened as they were used to sell their vintage items firstly in markets and then on Facebook. If you’re looking for a certain particular item, don’t worry, they will love helping you find the right apparel for the right person. This must be the place.
This shop is a hidden gem for any vintage/bargain lover. Filled with treasures galore, it sells genuine vintage dresses from all decades and many other items from vintage coats, capes, wraps and a selection of vintage gloves. With a passion for the ‘20s and ’80s apparels, the owner, Maureen, will help you find the right piece to spice up your wardrobe with some of her quirky and luxurious garments. Good news: they’re also very affordable. If you happen to desperately looking for a wedding dress, I’d highly suggest this place.
This young, colourful and bazaar-ish boutique reflects a great deal the vibes of the vibrant city of Limerick. The dedicated young owner defines SPICE as a state of mind “kind more than your average” and we couldn’t agree more. Every single piece in this shop tells a story, ready to spice up your wardrobe and to be worn in a cool festival or, honestly, any other day. I mean, it’s always the right time to buy a fancy feathery dressing-gown. Just go for it.
Where: Unit 1 Riverside House, Harvey’s Quay, Limerick
The culture of charity in English-speaking countries is much more heartfelt. So it’s no wonder that most Anglophone counties and cities have a large number of similar charity associations creating awareness to help some communities carrying a normal life. Here some scattered around the southern part of this lovable country:
Focus Ireland is aiming at reducing the homelessness all over Ireland as “it is a failure of society that creates victims out of ordinary people and robs them of their potential”.Collecting every sort of clothing items, at their Beloved shops in the county of Cork and Kerry especially, they are pretty well-stocked. You’ll be able to widen up your wardrobe with some fine second-hand clothing or jewellery piece, at affordable prices while making a valuable contribution to fight homelessness.
Enable Ireland is a non-profit state-funded organisation that provides free services to children and adults with disabilities and their families in Ireland. Their shops are an exquisite showcase of some very peculiar items, all sorted and steamed before be hanging in shops. If you love vintage stores, you’ll love these not only for their great prices and values but also, and especially, for the great variety of seasonal apparel you’ll manage to embrace. They turn your unwanted items into the most wanted gems.
With its 20 charity shops scattered around the island, the Irish Cancer Society strives to eliminate cancer as a major health problem and improving the lives of those who have cancer. Some of its shops, located in the southern part of Ireland happen to be very well-stocked if you’re a big fan of Jimmy Choos shoes, you will find some small gems in this cavern of wonders. You can dress like a celeb without the price tag and doing something worthy for helping this community. You’ll be just like Angelina Jolie and potentially with some of her clothes.
For how quirky and a bit unconventional it might seem this shop, especially Tralee’s, is a surprisingly well-stocked boutique in the middle of the lovely co. Kerry. It’s somehow a disappointment when thinking about charity and thrift shops and seeing there are just very few about the Animal and Wildlife Rescue. This association provides many stores all over the country, especially in the southern part. If you happen to have any unwanted item, maybe a too-big pair of shoes or a lousy jumper, bring it in. From kids’ clothing to a more elegant selection of pieces, you’ll find what you need at a great price and for a great cause. Who’s a good boy?
The Irish Wheelchair Association is about spreading an inclusive mindset concerning people with disabilities ensuring them equal rights, choices and opportunities in how they live their lives. IWA has a total of 12 charity shops based in several locations nationwide. They can be a popular hunting grounds for frugal fashion-hunters: how does the saying go “one man’s trash another man’s treasure”? This can’t be truer. Use your unwanted possessions to support others in the local community.
As usual the final stop of this vintage adventure: the flea markets. Truth be told: if compared to the other part of the Emerald Isle, the south seems to be well equipped with some flea markets. Too bad they take place mostly on the weekend. What a great way to enjoy a sunny Saturday afternoon, after all, right? Here some of the most well-stocked flea markets in the south:
Based in unique Thompson House on York Street, the market will supply vintage clothing from many decades including the current one. Looking for a motorbike leader jacket or maybe a funky pair of jersey trousers, this is the place you’re looking for. Reasonable price, a bit touristy, but well provided with great items, entertainment and love.
Modelled and derived from the funky underground markets of the Dublin scene, the monthly flea market takes place at The Red Hen Bar in Limerick. It can boast a variety of clothing-vintage, pre-loved & second hand. The general idea around this monthly market at the first floor of a well-know bar of Limerick is to make it as varied possible so it’s an interesting space to browse, hang out and of course shop! Every month a Facebook event is created to announce the next upcoming flea market so be sure to keep your eyes wide open for the next one!
The Village Hall
This family business in the heart of Cork city is not just a magnificent Aladdin’s cave, with all the possible imaginable wanders, from Chinas to 33 rpm records and of course great fashion masterpieces. While trying to dig out the next best outfit of your entire life, get into the groove of a slow rhythm song playing on a vintage record player.