WATCH: Nostalgia and identity amidst the latest fashions at Dee's of Trongate since 1961

“If anybody’s looking for Dee’s, all they have to say is I’m looking for ‘that wee shop’. Dee’s is known as ‘that wee shop’ and as soon as you say it they know what you’re talking about.”
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In a city hooked on the convenience of fast fashion it is rare to find such humble retailers that cater to the niches in local style. Well, in Glasgow take a stroll down the Trongate and you may come across a yellow glowing sign pointing you to Dee’s, a men’s clothing shop that has existed for over 60 years. It is locally famous among those who dabbled with subcultures, its interior and exterior remaining largely untouched since it first opened, a hub of nostalgia for many. 

Fashion is identity, how we dress reflects how we wish to be seen by the world around us which is why it is the most significant art form of daily life. Today, our high streets are filled with multinational clothing branches stripped of all forms of individuality, and as a result our outwardly appearances are blending more and more with city centres throughout the country. Dee’s offers a form of solace from this, they recognise the importance of standing out from the crowd. 

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We spoke to Trez, the Director of Dee’s. Her son was passed down the business from his late father, who inherited it from his father before him:

“Dee’s was started by Mr David. He started the business in 1951 and we had five shops at that time. It caters for a mixture of people that come in here. From mods to skinheads, rockers. You name it we get it all. 

“If anybody’s looking for Dee’s, all they have to say is I’m looking for ‘that wee shop’. Dee’s is known as ‘that wee shop’ and as soon as you say it they know what you’re talking about. It’s a bit of an institution in Glasgow, everybody knows it. It’s nice when you get older people bringing in grandchildren and saying to them ‘I used to shop here when I was your age’ and now they’ve started shopping here. We’ve got a vast array of customers that come in of different ages. 

“We’ve had quite a few famous faces in here. Marti Pellow, he came in here when my son was about ten, or eight maybe. He came down and caused quite a stir because a lot of people recognised him and were coming into the shop. The Waterboys were in here. We’ve had quite a few actors as well. It’s great fun when they come in because it’s so natural, so down to earth. It’s just a completely different experience shopping here.

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“We’ve built our reputation over the years. It’s just great teamwork. Great comradery with the customers that come in. We do sell things exclusive to us, you can’t get them anywhere. When the manager is buying, he buys maybe nine pieces of things so the chances of seeing somebody with the same thing on as you, the chances are next to nil. We do offer things that you can’t get anywhere, so if somebody’s looking for something different, something special, then they come here. 

“We are very very competitive with our prices which I think is a great thing as well. We’ve got to encourage people to come down to this end of the town because footfall is not longer what it was. The footfall has gone now because the Barras has changed so much.

“I think fashion to Glasgow is a big thing, a major thing. The Mod scene, they like to dress a particular way and we stock everything for that particular person.”

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