Melbourne is a haven of hipster vibes, coffee culture, and delicious eats. it is also a hot spot of some of the best vintage clothing in Australia. The best places for second-hand clothing are CBD, Fitzroy, and Brunswick neighborhoods. In Fitzroy’s in particular, the appreciation for vintage goods is central to the area’s identity and popularity. Hop between these boutiques by tram is the easiest and least inexpensive option. It can even be free, depending on which zone you are in.
When I’m on the hunt for new clothes I look for items that are a bit different and have a simple style. I also look for well-made and reasonably priced. It might sound like a lot to ask but being selective about my purchases means that I buy clothes that I really love. Make purchases with intention. Buy items you don’t totally love and they will surely wind up forgotten in the back of your closet!
**Thrifting Pro Tip 1 **
The difference between “thrift” and “vintage” is that vintage pieces have a historic style significance and tend to be more expensive. This could be an old pair of Levi’s jeans or an 80s leather jacket.
Thrift stores tend to be cheaper. They are filled with a variety of products and second-hand clothes from different time periods. “Thrifting” requires a bit more patience, guesswork, and luck but with a little perseverance you will definitely land some great finds.
**Thrifting Pro Tip 2**
Australians call “thrift stores” “op(portunity) shops”. They also say “preloved goods” instead of “used clothing”. It’s a great marketing technique – It sounds much more appealing to buy “preloved” clothes rather than used ones!
Let’s get down to it.
Here are some of my favorite vintage clothing stores in Melbourne.
Bargain-hunters will have a field day in this massive op shop. Savers has everything you’re looking to find: tons of rows of mens and women’s clothing as well as furniture, art, and costumes.
This store is chock-full of everything you’re looking for and items you don’t know you need yet! Sacred Heart has mens and women’s clothing (casual and formal) as well as a wide variety of accessories: shoes, belts, ties, hats and trinkets, pre-loved CDs and DVDs, furniture, homewares, kitchen equipment, and other assorted knick knacks.
American Vintage Clothing Co (Fitzroy) $
This store is a visual masterpiece that transports you back to the 1960s. They import USA streetwear brands from the 80’s and 90’s such as Lee Wrangler Denim, Levi’s, Ralph Lauren, and Tommy Hilfiger, and Carhartt. They also specialize in Cowboy and motorcycle boots, Doc Martins, and painted artwork jeans.
RetroStar Vintage Clothing (Fitzroy) $
RetroStar is the largest thrift store company in Australia with a range of specialized vintage clothing, shoes, bags and accessories. Items date from the 1940s – 1990s – flare jeans, leather jackets, and classic band tees. Twice yearly they host a warehouse sale with thousands of items priced under $10.
Out of the Closet Vintage Clothing (CBD, Fitzroy) $
At OTC, vintage clothes are hand-picked from overseas. There is an extensive selection of colorful tees, 90s dresses (under $40) and American sports shirts. In addition to thrifted clothing, the CBD location carries a large collection of vinyl records.
Vintage Sole (Fitzroy, CBD, Windsor) $
Vintage Sole has been in Melbourne for over 10 years and prides themselves on being both affordable and sustainable. They carry high-quality goods from around the world including cowboy boots, leather jackets, 50s and 60s dresses, Levi’s and flared jeans.
Hunter Gatherer (Fitzroy, CBD) $
This Fitzroy community store is jam packed with clothes, furniture, music, and every nick-nack you can think of. They also have eclectic mix of local artisan pieces, books, records, and pre-loved fashion. I kindly asked a staff member if I could take a photo here – she said yes, and then ran away from me to make sure she wasn’t in the shot!
Recycle Boutique (Fitzroy) $
This sunny Fitzroy boutique offers hand-selected recycled women’s apparel, footwear and accessories. They offer an alternative to fast fashion and have very reasonable prices for designer brand clothing.
These spots are my go-tos for vintage clothing in Melbourne. What are your favorites?
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