Vintage shopping can be tricky, online has the disadvantage that you cannot try before you buy and on the High Street vintage shops are often in hard to find locations. This week I have been on a hunt around Birmingham for the best vintage shops we have, so instead of giving up and buying a 1920s-esque dress from TopShop you can have the real thing!
Forgotten Vintage - Unit 9, Great Western Arcade, Colmore Row
Forgotten Vintage is new to the Birmingham vintage scene. It is a vintage shop with a difference, it is a charity shop raising funds to support homeless services across the city run by SIFA Fireside and Reach the People Charity. The shop has clothing and accessories for men and women set in the elegant atmosphere of the Great Western Arcade. The staff of Forgotten Vintage are exceptionally friendly, and they are there for their love of vintage and dedication to charity.
Beadesaurus - 8 Piccadilly Arcade
Founded by a graduate of the School of Jewellery in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter, Beadesaurus is nestled in the Victorian Piccadilly Arcade. As you walk in the door you are instantly put in the mood for retro shopping by the 1950s style music. Although it is not technically vintage, Beadesaurus offers vintage style and superbly kitsch jewellery, retro clothing and bags, as well as quirky homeware with a vintage influence. This is the perfect place to come to buy someone a unique present as many of the statement pieces of jewellery come in gift boxes.
Urban Village has been on the Birmingham vintage scene for a while but has recently been given a sprucing up. Stocking vintage clothes for men and women from the 1940s through to the 1980s, specialising in the 1960s. Urban Village also stocks vintage records, artwork and any other memorabilia they can get their hands on. Urban Village is a must-visit as it definitely has a larger collection of wonderful accessories and records than any other vintage store in Birmingham. http://www.urban-village.co.uk
The Oasis Store - 110-114 Corporation Street, B4 6SX
This is a very different kind of treasure trove and it is especially unique to Birmingham! The Oasis hosts a range of alternative and vintage clothing stores for a broad spectrum of clientele, departments include: Editions, Shop!, ACS Birmingham Ltd, Revival and An Octopus’s Garden. The Oasis has been in Birmingham for almost 40 years and has recently undergone refurbishment. They are always look to acquire new departments to become even more varied. A great starting point for vintage shopping.
Cow - 82-85 Digbeth High Street, B5 6DY
With stores in Birmingham, Manchester, Sheffield and Nottingham, Cow is probably the vintage store in Birmingham you have heard of before. They trade hand selected vintage clothing and accessories from all eras at affordable prices. Set away from the hustling Bullring, the Cow warehouse is a chance to enjoy fashion history, the eclectic and unique merchandising offers an extraordinary shopping experience. A word of warning, the store is fairly large so allocate plenty of time to Cow as you don’t want to miss a single vintage treasure. I can guarantee you won’t walk out empty handed! http://www.wearecow.com
A beautiful vintage boutique based in Lichfield, but it is oh-so-worth the journey. Outfitting both men and women, Decades Vintage wants you to literally feel as if you have stepped back in time when you walk into the grade 2 listed building. There are even vintage newspapers for you to dip into when you need a break from trying on everything from the 1920s to the 1980s. If you still haven’t ingested enough vintage atmosphere, play some popular vintage games or listen to old vinyl on the turntable. Decades Vintage also have a selection of books to give you inspiration in creating your vintage look. And to finish off the experience, your purchases are wrapped lovingly in tissue paper.
All the stores have fantastic blogs on their websites about everything stylish and vintage!
Written by April Shacklock