These days, vintage shopping is an absolute breeze thanks to online shops and online trading platforms like Depop and Vinted - but nothing is quite as exciting to a vintage clothes fiend as walking into a real life shop and perusing incredible vintage pieces in person.
Cornwall isn't exactly known as a shopping destination - unless perhaps you're thinking of the OG Seasalt shops and beach stores selling buckets, spades and baskets of sea shells. But over the last decade, Cornwall's indie-biz trade has boomed, with local creatives and entrepreneurs creating a bustling community of small shops and vintage stores - and a county full of people excited for somewhere to shop for some gorgeous and unique pieces.
Not only can you usually try on the goods, but visiting IRL Vintage Shops also give you a great chance to feel the fabrics, check out the tags, rummage in bargain bins and scour the sale rails. I have found some of my best vintage finds in these shops or with these sellers at events, and some of these shopkeepers are the absolute cream of the crop - they know their stuff.
As a lover of pretty things and vintage, and a Cornish maid through and through, I get a lot of joy out of visiting these amazing spots and checking them out whilst getting to tour some of the most inspiring towns in this beautiful county - so I've compiled this list so that you can head straight to the best shopping spots!
Wild Pony - Falmouth - Perfect for On-Trend, Branded Vintage
I'm pretty sure Wild Pony was one of the first vintage shops I ever fell in love with - second maybe only to Enjoy, who you'll get to read about later on this list. With a super cool aesthetic and a great collection of on-trend pieces that are constantly updated and collections of handmade pieces too, this shop is an absolute vintage feast.
The shop itself is pretty magnificent too, with super high ceilings and an incredible balcony feature, it's rails of vintage brands and handmade pinafores simply never fail to lure you in. This shop is a real highlight of shopping in Falmouth and I've found some incredible pieces here!
Black Jacket Vintage - Penzance - Americana and Denim Heaven
The first time I walked into Black Jacket Vintage in 2021, it literally took my breath away. With wall to wall vintage and some of the most beautiful and diversely curated collections I've seen, it really is an amazing destination for vintage lovers.
Whilst they stock a huge selection of both menswear and womenswear from the 1960's to the 1990s, what I love is the incredible collection of vintage Americana, including beautiful and unique letterman jackets, and a great collection of denim. However - the last time I visited I mostly found beautiful 1980s shirts and cosy faux fur delights in this vintage treasure trove!
Vic, the lovely owner, is one of the most clued up vintage experts I've met, and is incredible at sourcing unique pieces as well as being able to accurately age some timeless denim brands. She's a wealth of information and the friendliest person - I dare you not to end up chatting all things retro and vintage for hours!
Be Your Sass - St Columb Major - Decadent Vintage Heaven with Feel Good Vibes!
So, I'm going to be honest here: I haven't actually visited this gorgeous shop yet, and it's not technically West Cornwall - but when I was lucky enough to trade at the BitchesWhoBuyTooMuch Vintage Market next to gorgeous Josie and her rail of Sass, I instantly fell in love!
With her motto of #WearWhatMakesYouHappy and her bold and glamorous sense of style, it's hard not to be around Josie and be instantly inspired to do just that and find a whole new sense of joy in your outfits! From bright, 80s style pieces to decadent and shimmering partywear, Josie's inclusive values and bold aesthetic is bound to put a mile on your face - and probably take a few £££ off that bank balance too...
Lady Eve Vintage - Helston - Curated, Ladylike Vintage to Tempt and Inspire
When this shop popped up in my hometown, I was super excited - not only has Helston not been lucky enough to have a vintage store, but this is a completely unique and beautiful concept store. With a carefully curated collection of immaculate vintage from the 1930s, this is an absolute gem for classic vintage fans, and provides quite the opposite of the rails of sportswear often found in modern vintage shops.
And, even from the beautifully put together window displays, you just know this is a place to find gems. With up-market pieces, exceptional tailoring and investment items combined with gorgeous homewears and vintage textile pieces, it's a shop that draws you in and leaves you feeling inspired and refreshed.
Enjoy Clothing - Truro - Fun, Radical, Colour Vintage with a Futuristic Rave Vibe
Even as you walk down the little street that leads to Enjoy Clothing, you get this amazing, psycadelia, 1960s meets the future, rainbow rave vibe. This shop has been providing Cornwall with amazing vintage for almost as long as I can remember, and it's their experimental, radical vibe which keeps them at the top of everyone's favourite shop lists!
They sell an incredible selection of vintage - including oodles of denim, flannel shirts, party pieces and sweaters. But what makes them extra special is that they now span over 3 incredible spaces - from the OG Enjoy, to Rarebits - their sister space providing clothes, homeware, fabrics, and, well, a bit of everything - to the Mega Loft, a colourful and enchanting space that homes a Vegan Cafe and some of the most awesome and eclectic interior design I've ever seen.
Honestly, it's hard to put this amazing space into words - so if you're visiting Cornwall, I hugely suggest you head over to Enjoy and experience it for yourself, it's something you won't regret!
Daisy Rain Vintage - Redruth - Traditional Vintage and Incredible 70s Finds
Nicola, the wonderful lady behind Daisy Rain, is a kind and gorgeous soul, and that radiates into the feel good vibes of this beautiful little vintage shop. Found just off Redruth high street - an up and coming little town steeped in mining history with some of the most beautiful architecture in Cornwall - you'll find it away from the beaten track, down a little path lined with gorgeous greenery and garden plants (all for sale too, of course).
I'm going to start off by saying - this shop is beautiful. From the carefully restored vintage furniture, to the ceiling lined in beautiful paper parasols, it has a unique, timeless vibe that is really something special - and that's before you've even gotten to rummage through the rails of beautifully curated vintage that Nicola has put together. This is the best place to find gorgeous 1970s prairie dresses and blockprint pieces, as well as a huge seasonal selection of other pieces from across the decades.
Of course, these aren't the only amazing Vintage Shops in Cornwall...
We are lucky to have a whole host of other amazing vintage, thrift, secondhand and antique shops - in fact, more than I've managed to visit and certainly more than I have time to list here. So stay tuned for part two, when I'll be talking about EVEN MORE amazing Vintage Shopping here in Cornwall, coming later this year!