Sartorial Matters

Edinburgh, Scotland
5,948 Sales | 5 out of 5 stars

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5948 Sales

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About SartorialMatters

Sales 5,948
On Etsy since 2013

On wearing history, stories from the attic and other sartorial matters...

On my birthday when I was six my great great grandmother passed away. She left behind her an attic full of clothes, stored in dusty moth proof bags, that my mother brought back to our flat and hung in her bedroom wardrobe. To a child these dresses, mostly evening wear - heavy beaded satin and glistening gold brocades - seemed archaic if not otherworldly. Opening the doors to the wardrobe was like entering another time, I would stand there, softly stroking the old fabrics or brushing my chin against the cold and smooth satin. I felt like I was grasping for something I could not yet fully comprehend - something long lost - something that so inherently belonged to my great grandmother and yet at the same time had nothing at all to do with the old lady that we used to go visit. As a child, to me she was mostly just old. She moved so slowly through the stillness of her house, the doily covered mahogany furniture, the yellowed lace curtains and porcelain decorations. It was almost like a frozen landscape, like a dolls house. Nothing moved. We would go there for tea, and in typical Swedish tradition, she would always serve up seven types of biscuits, all of which she still baked herself, at the age of 96. In the small chamber adjacent to the kitchen, lay her husband, almost always screened from us children by a closed door. It was one of the many secrets that house held. We would hear him cough through the wall and occasionally catch a glimpse of the crumpled cotton bedding and his pale white arm and face as she entered and exited. Then one day the door was left wide open and the bed was made with fresh sheets.

Not only did the elaborate gold gowns and beaded satin dresses with boned corseted bodices seem to have come from a place of fairytales or royals, they also seemed so far removed from the world of my great grandmother. A world of stillness and simplicity. It was not until we found her wedding dress and along with it the photos from her wedding that some little piece of history dislodged itself and unravelled. It was a simple long sleeved dress in antique cream with a very very fine floral brocade and covered buttons up the back and it was tiny. It was so small in fact, that as a child it fit me almost perfectly, if not for the length. It was the first time history took shape before me and became something almost palpable, something physical: My great grandmother had once been young, I would once be old. That made to measure wedding dress carried the ghost of her body. She was there, in each seam and thread, as was her youth, her joy, her sorrows, her hope and future.

And this is why I love my job. For each garment carries this presence, this weight of all things lived through, even when its stories elude us, or it's previous owners are long lost. It's an absolute honour, in so many ways, to carry on this history, to see these garments live on with new owners.

Read more about the story behind the shop in the Etsy Seller Handbook feature here:

And please visit the website at

Shop members

  • Johanna


    Avid collector, with a history in both antiquarian books and vintage clothes. I started up Sartorial Matters in 2011 and run it as a one-woman endeavour - picking, photographing, modeling, listing and posting.

Shop policies

Last updated on 30 May, 2018
Hello and thank you for visiting my shop! Sartorial Matters is a one woman business and pretty much a life style and a life long passion. Having myself bought a lot of vintage online (my wardrobe is absolutely overflowing) I do my best to provide the best service I can and strive for each customer to have the best experience possible. I'm always happy to help and if there are any problems or questions (or just general banter), do get in touch!

Accepted payment methods

Paypal Mastercard Visa American Express Apple Pay Klarna Gift card
Accepts Etsy Gift Cards and Etsy Credits
Returns and exchanges
I gladly accept returns and exchanges
Contact me within: 3 days of delivery
Dispatch items back within: 14 days of delivery
I don't accept cancellations
But please contact me if you have any problems with your order.
The following items can't be returned or exchanged
Because of the nature of these items, unless they arrive damaged or defective, I can't accept returns for:
  • Intimate items (for health/hygiene reasons)
  • Items on sale
Returns and exchange details
-As I only deal in vintage clothing, all items are sold "as is". The nature of vintage means each item have been worn and loved and may show wear, age, and usage. Some items may have tiny holes, spots, loose threads, discoloration, fading, missing buttons, etc. I will to the best of my ability describe all items as accurately as possible, and photograph and list any major flaws if any. Please make sure to read through the whole listing to avoid disappointment, and don't hesitate to get in touch if you need more photos or further details.

-Please note that vintage items can be fragile and handle your garments with care, specially vintage zippers which can slightly more delicate than modern ones, remember these are garments that are often over 50-60 years old. I will not accept returns or refunds for zippers, fasteners or seams that have been broken by the buyer if it was fully working when I send it out. I can also not accept returns/refunds for garments damaged by a buyer in the wash.

-Please always go by the measurements when checking the size and please get in touch with any questions regarding fit, I'm happy to help! Larger items may be pinned to fit the model/mannequin. Any sizing given is my estimate, and as vintage sizing can be slightly different from modern sizing, please refer to the measurements for your best fit, and ideally compare the given garments to a similar garment that suits you well. Remember to allow a little room for movement, specially in coats and shirts.

-Accessories are not included in the sale unless otherwise stated. Most full skirted 50s dresses are shown with crinoline/petticoat, which is not included in the sale.

-I try to show the exact color of each item in the photos and describe it in the listing if there is any colour discrepancies, but please note that colors may differ slightly depending on your computer & monitor settings and natural/studio lighting. I can not offer refunds for slight colour differences.


Returns are accepted on UK and EU sales only, for a full refund of the purchase price, under below conditions:

- Please contact me asap after receiving your item (ideally within 3 days) and post back within 14 business days of original receipt. Tracked/signed for postage is recommended, as any return lost in the mail will not be refunded.
- The garment must be returned unworn and unwashed in original condition. If an item is sent back and is damaged in any way, I reserve the right not to refund the return and the item will be sent back to you.
- Return shipping costs will not be refunded unless the return is a result of my error.

I do not offer general return on International sales. ALL SALES ARE FINAL.

I'M ALWAYS HAPPY TO HELP. I do my best to describe each garment as accurately as possible, and include all the measurements, but if you have any problems with your order or you are unhappy with your item, please contact me before leaving feedback. If a mistake has been made or an item has been grossly misrepresented I will do all that I can to rectify it, and I'm always happy to help/resolve if there is a problem. THANK YOU!
I accept paypal and direct check out through etsy, but contact me for other options.

I provide the best most reliable postal service I can, which means it unfortunately costs a bit extra. All UK items will be sent with the Royal Mail recorded service for a guaranteed delivery. Tracking details can always be provided. If you would like any details, or other options, don't hesitate to get in touch.

UK first class mail usually takes 1-2 days to arrive.


All international mail will be sent with the ROYAL MAIL SIGNED FOR or the ROYAL MAIL TRACKED service (depending on destination). Both services are trackable and provides a signature upon arrival. This costs a bit extra but ensures all mail arrives safely.

Approx delivery times for international mail is 6-10 working days but during high demand periods or customs delays this occasionally takes a little bit longer. If you need your item urgently or your order is time sensitive do get in touch, and I will advice.

-If you are living outside of the UK/EU: Charges such as Value Added Tax (VAT), Customs Fees, Duties, Handling Charges, or Other Charges imposed by your country when you import goods are not included in the item price or shipping charges. These charges are between you and your country and are your responsibility.
- Please check with your country's customs office to determine what these additional costs will be prior to buying.
- These charges are normally collected by the delivering freight or shipping company, or when you pick the item up. Don't confuse them for additional shipping charges."

Please note that for any mail that has been returned to sender due to a failure of the buyer to collect it from the post office on time, will incur an additional postage fee to re-ship.

All orders are shipped with tracking and the tracking link is uploaded to the order page once shipped. For further tracking updates, the tracking number can be entered into on Royal Mails website - - which also has a link to for the tracking on their local delivery partners website for international orders. I recommend checking the tracking to avoid missed deliveries or items getting returned to sender due to non-collection.
Additional policies and FAQs
I'm happy to do reserves. An item can be put on reserve for 3 days. If you want a longer hold, a deposit is required. If you have special circumstances or questions or a specific time plan, please get in touch as I'm happy to accommodate.

Please note, the customer reserves are offered as a courtesy to buyers and the reserve will only begin once the shopowner has responded to the reserve request and confirmed it - as the shop can be busy and things sell fast - please beware that items may sell before I get a chance to respond to your reserves request.

Layaway options are available. 25% of the price is expected as a deposit at the start of the layaway to reserve the item with the remaining amount being in up to 4 installments within a month. If you have special requirements, I'm happy to work out a plan that works for you, so just get in touch.

I aim to respond to messages within a day. All messages will be answered asap, but as I'm a one-woman-shop, my working day can be quite busy, and sourcing trips and posting occasionally means I'm out of office, and will cause slight delays in responding times.

Please note - when canceling an order, the shop is charged a small fee by both paypal and Etsy in order to refund and relist. Please, if you can avoid it, don't place an order only to immediately cancel it.

I do have a small Spaniel. He is not allowed in the shop/stock room but if you are extremely sensitive or allergic to pets, it might be good to note that I am a pet owner. If you have any questions or concerns, do get in touch.