Birmingham has a long tradition of vintage clothes shops, from the Oasis Indoor Markets to the Rag Market and many independent stores dotted around the city.
These clothes shops have been known as second hand, retro, old school, kitsch and vintage over the years. However the current and most popular term seems to be vintage with larger chain stores offering reworked/upcycled popular originals.
Shops can vary in niche, specialising in 1940s/50s vintage, fashion labels from the 60s, 70s, 80s to the more general charity shop threads. It offers shoppers the opportunity to purchase something almost unique, cool and stylish, with a worn-in feel from an independent local trader.
The sad fact is, quality independent clothes shops in the city are few and far between these days, with large chain stores being given priority over smaller locally owned boutiques. However, Vintage clothing seems to buck that trend by being able to exist in cheaper areas of the city, and the unique quality fashion they source ensures shoppers will go that little bit further to avoid ending up being the 10th customer that day to buy the exact same dress or pair of jeans.
If you’re coming to Brum to do some clothes shopping, then check out our fab guide to vintage clothes shops in the city. You may want to set aside a day to indulge in a world of fantastic style-drenched bargains from yesteryear! Alternatively check out Birmingham’s vintage clothes shops category on our website.
Flamingo Vintage is a boutique based in Birmingham’s creative quarter, The Custard Factory, selling men’s and women’s vintage clothing and accessories.
There’s not much Jo doesn’t know about vintage clothes, and the Custard Factory is an ideal spot to express this passion for vintage style. Set out over a small ground floor and upper level, there is no better place for Flamingo to sell its fine vintage threads.
Flamingo Vintage specialise in items from the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, and there are always a few surprises to be found. From leather coats to denim wear, old-skool sports jackets and mod-style polo shirts, to vintage 60s dresses and hats.
Flamingo Vintage, Custard Factory, Digbeth, B9 4AA
It started with love. A love for vintage fashions, vintage jewellery, vintage accessories, art deco and those creations and styles that helped visually define the early 1900’s through to the 1960’s.
Gingermegs began selling online and was soon popping up in vintage fares across Birmingham and the Midlands.
Now Gingermegs have their own shop in the flavoursome Custard Factory and they continue to sell online through the website and share the vintage styles via facebook and twitter.
Gingermegs also still pop-up in local vintage fares from time to time across the region.
Cow is an affordable vintage clothing and accessories retailer, selling handpicked items that are sourced from around the world.
Cow are situated in Birmingham and various other UK cities, with each store offering an individual take on vintage accessories and apparel.
The Digbeth store has a warehouse feel to it with dozens of rails from denim jeans to jumpers, vintage shirts, sports tops and retro dresses.
It’s conveniently located on Digbeth High street near to the Custard Factory and has a particularly cool vibe to it, you could spend hours mooching such is the choice of clothing on display.
Cow Vintage, Birmingham, 82-85 Digbeth High Street, B5 6DY
Vintage Hideaway is a small independent shop specialising in vintage, retro, clothes, collectables, antiques, and handmade items.
The owner has been collecting for many years and is now able to share the many great finds with like minded people.
There is a small but carefully selected array of cool clothing so worth a dig, from old clocks to ornaments, vintage bags to men’s blazers.
Not just a vintage shop, they also offer other services e.g. French-polishing, hand stripping of furnisher & shabby-chic panted furnisher.
This acrefully ticked away shop stocks more than you would imagine from the outside and well worth investigating.
Vintage Hideaway, Custard Factory, Digbeth, B9 4AA
Second hand clothes stores like Credit Crunchers are few and far between these days.
More reminiscent of the charity/junk shop era or family thrift store, this Aladins cave of vintage and retro gear is really worth sifting through and you may be surprised at some of the finds.
There are many rails of second hand denim jeans, Barbour vintage coats, 70s leather coats, camo gear, the occasional tweed jacket, quilted jackets, footwear, hats galore and even a few old wireless radios.
Credit Crunchers also hold kilo sales and offer various deals on buying more than one item. Easy to drop by when navigating between Rag Market and The Custard Factory.
Credit Crunchers, 23 Moat Lane, Digbeth, B5 5BD
The Bull Ring Rag Market, which replaced the old city’s Rag Market, opened in December 2000 and is famous nation-wide for the extensive range of fabrics and materials available in addition to a bewildering array of other merchandise.
The tradition of vintage clothes shops in the Rag Market dates back a long way.
Today vintage shoppers will be pleased to know that there are at least three permanent vintage and retro clothes stalls ranging in size and style, selling everything from hats to Barbour jackets, denim jeans and retro sports tops.
One stall is set out over several units with dozens of rails jam packed with vintage denim jeans, fleece jackets, mod style polo shirts and other fine quality vintage gems. The stall has been trading here for nearly 30 years.
Perhaps one of the better known vintage shops here, and another store running for three decades is Paul’s Retro Clothing selling leather, jeans, suede, dresses, fleeces, tweed, vintage hats, caps, tank tops and vintage shirts.
Paul is a friendly character with a laid back appoach to sales. Many of his items are tucked away in large bags and it almost has a jumble sale feel.
The garments on sale are carefully selected to offer something special, you might find a 1930s dress in fine condition or a bag full of 70s check fleeces.
If you get chatting you will almost definitely walk away with something of interest. A must for the vintage seeker!
The Bull Ring Rag Market is open from 9am-5:30pm every Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
Bullring Rag Market, Edgbaston Street Birmingham B5 4RB
Harper & Lewis
Harper & Lewis was founded in 2012 by the same people behind The Oasis Indoor Markets incarnation. There are now several Harper & Lewis stores around the country with the Head Office in Sutton Coldfield.
This vintage-style outlet source a fab selection of Men’s and Ladies affordable vintage reworked clothing, new retro style clothing and authentic vintage items such as fleeces and denims.
The collection includes branded denim jackets, shirts, blouses, Levi shorts, graphic t-shirts and many more vintage-style items.
It’s a rare occurance for a local brand to be open inside the mainly national chain driven Bullring.
Harper & Lewis, Bullring Shopping Centre, Birmingham, B5 4BU (There is also a store inside Oasis Indoor Markets).
The Oasis market has a long tradition with various incarnations of vintage clothes stores, Revival continues this legacy and specialises in mod-style fashions.
Many people who visit the city to shop probably do not know Oasis exists or even those who do may wonder if it is still open, well it certainly is and offers a cool selection of clothes stalls.
There are three vintage stalls within the Oasis Markets, perhaps the best known is Revival.
Revival is one of the first clothes stores of its kind in Birmingham and as many of these traders will tell you, the term vintage is more a marketing tag and can actually be specific to a particular style of clothing or era.
Regardless, You can mooch through the many rails of second hand denim, leather jackets, shirts and other groovy vintage gear.
Revival Vintage Clothing, Level 3 The Oasis 110 – 114 Corporation Street Birmingham B4 6SX
Urban Outiftters is part of a larger chain brand of clothes stores across the world, the brand focuses on street style with a vintage feel.
While not truly vintage, there are vintage inspired clothes and many retro type clothing lines which have a very worn-in feel. No doubt this will appeal to the charity shop and vintage fashion enthusiasts.
There is a small vintage section for reworked garments, some of which will actually originate as second hand but others will be tailored to bring up to a new appearance.
The Birmingham store is located within a beautiful old Victorian building set out over two floors.
Urban Outiftters, 5-7 Corporation Street Birmingham B2 4LP
Disorder Ltd is Birmingham’s own little designer gem hidden away in Needless Alley off New Street.
Garments here are not vintage but there are various clothing lines which are reworked from original military style coats, shirts, intricate dresses and soft fabric trousers to create a futuristic vintage infused feel.
Many second hand clothes sleuths will be looking for something original and unique with the hand made quality of days gone by, Disorder fits this niche perfectly hence why it’s on this list.
The stunningly stylish local handmade threads will definitely appeal to anyone looking to find something soulful and exclusive but without huge price tags, for the quality you get it’s extremely good value.
Defined as, ‘super cool’ by Sixty Nine Magazine, recommended as one of 5 reasons to visit Birmingham by The Guardian, and endorsed as, ‘one of the cleverest retailers I have seen in the UK in years,’ by international Brand Consultant Mary Portas. A jewel in Birmingham’s crown despite the immense pressure from high rents/rates in such a central location.
Disorder Boutique, Unit 1 Imperial House, 14 Needless Alley, B2 5AE
Off the Scale is a profit free enterprise on York road Kings Heath selling recycled clothing by the kilo and helping raise awareness of the stigmas that surround depression.
The owners have always loved recycling and up-cycling clothes and have opened kilo shops in San Francisco and Liverpool.
They are translating their lifelong passion into real social benefit. The pilot shop is in the vibrant Kings Heath area of Birmingham with a mobile popup version heading to festivals and campus events all over the UK.
Clothing has a distinct vitage feel, from boots to jeans, hats to shirts and dresses, all the items are carefully selected and the boutique stocks a beautiful range of clothes to suit nearly every taste.
Off the Scale, York Road, Kings Heath
Top Banana specialises in both men’s and women’s vintage clothing, shoes and accessories in the Kings Heath area of Birmingham.
There is a huge selection of Converse and Vans ranging from a baby size 2 right up to an adult 13.
You’ll also find in both of the stores a collection of other labels such as Levis, Ralph Lauren, Aquascutum, Members only, Fred Perry and other vintage classics.
The store is very well established and caters for students and south Birmingham vintage fashion hunters.
Top Banana Vintage, 14 York Road Kings Heath, B14 7RZ
Braderie Vintage is tucked away in the heart of the Jewellery Quarter, a ten minute walk from Colmore Row.
There are stores in Leamington, Nottingham and Birmingham which is also the head office.
The Birmingham store is packed full of high quality apparel, rails of vintage Barbour jackets, vintage sunglasses such as aviator, wayfarer and cat eye style.
There are a variety of wax jackets, quilted coats with many imported from Scandinavia. You can also find vintage Burberry, denim and plenty of other vintage clothes to keep you browsing.
It’s definitely worth the walk up from town to spend some browsing time and the staff are friendly.
Braderie Vintage, 15 Caroline Street, Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham, B3 1TR
There are plenty of second hand clothes markets which pop up regularly across Birmingham.
Check out the Kings Heath Vintage Flea Market. The market is a quarterly event with lots of local and independent traders selling all things vintage and retro. Free entry and all sorts of treasures can be found including vintage clothing and accessories.
If you fancy more of a jumble sale approach to buying your vintage then you may want to check out the many vintage Kilo sales that take place at the Custard Factory from Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair which tours nationally and the local Urban Village events (keep a watch out on the Custard Factory website for details).
Other vintage fairs visit the city too such as Lou Lou’s Vintage Fair which is another national touring event and usually takes place within the gorgeous architectural splendour of Birmingham Town Hall.
Get digging and bring out your individual self!