In a world of fast fashion, vintage clothing still stands the test of time. Not only is shopping second-hand a huge money saver, the threads you’re buying are unique one-offs that tell a story of another time and place.
Sydney is one of the best vintage slinging cities in the world, with a bounty of boutiques, op shops and warehouses selling awesome clothes and accessories that’ll make you stand out in the crowd. Here’s a couple of our faves.
Jah Bless St Vincent De Paul Society. Without exaggeration I would say that I owe 70% of my wardrobe to them. Vinnies op-shops are sprinkled all over the country, but they can vary pretty drastically when it comes to quality and organisation.
While it’s true that there are treasures to be found no matter what the location, there’s a couple in particular that always deliver the goods. I feel like I’m giving you the key to my secret diary by revealing these secrets, but you’ve caught me in a generous mood. Here goes: Sutherland, Paddington, Waverly, Randwick and Rockdale are the best ones. Trust me, I’ve tried ‘em all.
CREAM ON CROWN
32/277-285 Crown St, Surry Hills NSW 2010
This vintage emporium on Surry Hill’s Crown St is an institution, surviving many a trend along this prime shopping strip where many other retailers have come and gone. There’s a healthy balance of men’s and women’s clothes here, which can be rare in the vintage market, which tends favour the ladies.
Think paisley button ups, 90’s cotton dresses, band tees and tan leather boots as far as the eye can see. Also, if Newtown is more your vibe, you can check out their sister store, Cream on King.
WAYSIDE CHAPEL OP SHOP
29 Hughes St, Potts Point NSW 2011
The Wayside Chapel op shop sits next door to the community services centre of the same name, which provides services and care for the homeless and those struggling with drug problems and other health issues. The money you spend here will be put to a good cause, and the clothes you spend it on will be put to good use, you can bet your bottom dollar on it.
Speaking of dollars, you won’t have to spend many of them here, as everything here is cheap as chips. Wayside is carefully curated, with a great range of clothes from all eras as well contemporary pieces in good condition, with an awesome home wares section to boot.
Mitchell Road Antique & Design Centre
17 Bourke Rd, Alexandria NSW 2015
Mitchell Road used to be a weekly furniture auction house before it blossomed into a 7 day a week retail shop.
While it’s predominantly period furniture and home decor that they sell, there’s a couple of vendors peddling vintage clothes, costume jewellery, accessories, shoes, and heaps of other little trinkets. This is another one of my hidden gems I can’t believe I’m revealing, but whatever. I just hope none of you reading this are my size.
Retro A Go Go
59/61 Crystal St, Petersham NSW 2049
Just off the hustle and bustle of Parramatta Road sits this Inner West gem, Retro A Go Go. The name pretty much says it all: this little boutique is bursting at the seams with loud vintage fashion and patterns, with a good dose of 50’s rockabilly, 60’s swing, and 70’s Florida vibes.
Really, there’s something for everyone here at prices way lower than shops pushing brand new swag. Just decide who you want to be for the night, and then head to Petersham to become them.