So, I was advised to pay this lovely place a visit by the lovely Imelda, of Final Curtain fame, as I was looking for a bridesmaid dress to wear for my sister's wedding in June. I wanted something vintage style, as I actually have free reign on what I can wear, so decided to give this place a try since I'd not found anything quite right.
Upstairs in The Story of O there is a hair dressing salon, which I'm told is rather high end and fabulous, and I had previously thought that this was essentially it. Oh how wrong! No, vintage lovers, there is a secret basement room of dreams downstairs. Oh gosh, I can't begin to describe how lovely it is down there. Ok. I can. And I will.
It's like a treasure trove of forgotten dresses. Everything that I skimmed past was gorgeous and, from what I could sense, true in terms of vintage definition. From quirky eighties to gorgeous victorian, there was a little something for everyone! Each garment seems to have been hand picked for quality, as there was barely a single item in there that I didn't covet, and each was in great condition. There was also a hoard of little accessories, hats and jewellery, etc to peruse. I think one of my favourite items was the most exquisite Victorian shirt - the detailing was lovely.
Sadly, there was nothing quite right for my sister's wedding, but I left feeling sure that I would have to come back on pay day and find myself a treat. The owner was lovely and happily let me down to have a goosy gander around so don't be shy - go in and have a browse today! Just don't go buying that blue lace dress on the hanger display or I will have to have a small cry. Seriously. I need that.
Joking aside, this lovely store is certainly worth having a look if you're somewhat of a die-hard vintage fan. Perhaps one day I could afford my bouffant fixing here too!
Named after a 1950's erotic novel, Story of O can be a rather daunting place to go in on ones own.
An intriguing shop opens up as you go down some stairs making it ominously feel like some sort of lair or boudoir. Unlike many other vintage shops one stumbles across in Leeds, Story of O has a very selective approach to its stock. Everything is quite elegant and there are items of jewellery in cabinets. It feels more like some sort of restoration piece, especially as the owner sees himself more as a curator.
It's well worth a gander, but nothing comes as cheaply as you might hope, what with all the other vintage shops in the area.
I think it usually takes frequenters of Hyde Park corner a while to notice, or at least enter this quirky little boutique. Also comprising a hairdresser's under the same name and with only a small window display on the ground floor, it can be easy to miss. The shop is located in the basement below the hairdresser's and has a cosy antique grotto feel.
Mainly selling vintage clothing and accessories, The Story of O also stocks interesting and unusual pieces from independent designers as well as some furniture and home ware. It has a delightful interior with carefully chosen décor and has a spacious and calm atmosphere with no over stuffed racks of clothing or piles to dig through. Everything is easy to browse through and well-presented, and although prices are a little higher than your average vintage shop, this reflects the well above-average quality and selection on offer.
The woman at the till seemed lovely and we had a long chat about fashion and the like. Despite the potentially intimidating shop front and long mirrored corridor approaching the stairs, the shop is actually very welcoming and provides a pleasant atmosphere in which to browse the vintage delights on display.
Another place I've driven past hundreds of times and never been in until now, thanks to the infamous Search for a Green Waistcoat. The shop is in the basement, so you have to follow a mirrored corridor (great for vain people like me) to the end, go down some stairs and then choke on the smell of incense that's clearly burning to hide the foisty stench of old, musty, clothes. I wasn't won over. Pretentious to say the least, this place must only still be surviving because there are enough stupid people in Headingley and Hyde Park who have bought into the idea that by labelling something 'vintage' it's so much better than secondhand. Which it's not.
The Story of O needs some ventilation and proper lighting so that in future, when on a quest for a particular coloured waistcoat, I don't have to spend as long in its dark and dank corners trying to establish whether what I'm looking at is, in actual fact, green.
I think the story of O has a lot to offer, and i personally have picked up some amazing vintage pieces in store. The shop stocks a wide range of vintage pieces, including some excellent vintage jewellery and shoes. The woman who runs the shops is incredibly helpful and always takes time to get to know her customers.
Unlike the previous reviewer i feel the darkness gives it an atmosphere, and means it is a truly fun place to shop.
To see some of my story of O purchases check out my blog:
The Story of O is part hairdressers, part fashion boutique. The gothic exterior and visible quirky interior is at once mysterious and alluring but slightly intimidating. This veneer fell away once I entered and was welcomed by the friendly stylist. He told me that the shop part of this double business was only open on a Friday and Saturday but was happy to open it up for me to see outside of these hours. The clothes are either vintage or hand made and very unique! It's an interesting and welcome addition to this collection of shops/cafes on Hyde Park corner.
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