Fashion / Fashion Feature

A guide to the best vintage stores Sydney has to offer

vintage stores sydney

How many hobbies can you say are genuinely good for the planet? Such is the beauty of vintage shopping. Many of us know the thrill of hunting down a specific item for months, only to find it hidden at the back of some dank vintage store. "Who wore you?", we wonder. Only to find that the garment fits like a glove. No exercise can conjure up a greater feeling and we all quietly love responding to outfit compliments with the infuriating "it's thrifted".

But while op-shops are aplenty, a good vintage store takes dedication to scope out. That's why below, we're cutting out the middleman and bringing you a selection of our favourite vintage stores in Sydney. From Zoo Emporium, Route 66, Potts Point Vintage and so many more...

 

1. Zoo Emporium

 

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An essential pit stop for anyone doing the Sydney vintage circuit. Shoes, frocks, swimsuits, pantsuits, fascinators and everything in between hark back mostly to the 60s, 70s and 80s. There's loud prints, texture and a killer assortment of earrings. It's an eyeful in the best way possible.

Where: Surry Hills

 

2. Storeroom Vintage

 

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Storeroom Vintage has had Sydney cool kids in a chokehold since its inception in 2014. They've got the obligatory assortment of Harley Davidson and Tommy Hilfiger tees, yes, but the reason you come here is for its carefully curated range of true vintage band tees, denim and designer apparel. That and the good folks behind Storeroom Vintage know their way around reworking the perfect baby tee.

Where: Newtown

 

3. Potts Point Vintage

Arnold is something of a local legend in Potts Point. His flavour of vintage is the heavy kind, the stuff with fur trims, durable leather and random badges. Pieces lifted from the military and someone's grandmothers wardrobe, mothballs and all. If you gravitate towards masculine cuts and tailoring, a genre that's scarce in this city of Harley tees, then Potts Point Vintage is a treasure trove.

Where: Potts Point

 

4. So Familia

 

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Many of you would know Kara Otter from her label Karameleon and its vintage offshoot. So Familia became a space for the designer and vintage curator to give her love of Y2K vintage a brick-and-mortar home, while championing local designers at the same time. As a result you'll find a mix of skimpy, low-waisted pieces mixed in with designers like Ramp Tramp Tramp Stamp and all is a gentle spring.

Where: Newtown

 

5. SWOP Clothing Exchange

 

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This hangout on Enmore Road is the beating heart of Sydney's circular economy. A consignment store, bring your pre-loved clothes to any of SWOP's three locations and opt for either store credit or cash in hand if your pieces are selected. There's a list of guidelines of what they can accept, so no stains or holes, and no fast fashion. This makes the shopping experience all the more exciting, as you sift through good quality vintage and modern pieces, extending their life and your smile.

Where: Newtown, West End and Collingwood.

 

6. Fabrique

 

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Want to sink your teeth into racks of vintage workwear? Fabrique has laid out a spread. There's selvedge denim in droves, moleskin and French chore jackets are found aplenty, as are bandanas and cotton ringers. Breton stripes coexist with duffle bags and other union made pieces. Fabrique knows what it's thing is and does it with zest.

Where: Newtown and Darlinghurst

 

7. Axl Bazaar

 

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As per its website, Axl Bazaar is "not into time warp dressing". And so, the store finds its niche in fashion-forward vintage pieces that could be at home in the 90s or in contemporary society. Focusing on typically feminine pieces, Axl Bazaar touts mostly vintage, sometimes designer clothing that is well made and made for having fun.

Where: Elizabeth Bay and Paddington

 

8. Dolly Up

Helmed by Erin Paige Stevenson, Dolly Up Vintage wants to bring glamour back into your wardrobe. The pieces aren't for the beige. Think tulle ball gowns, 70s prints and 60s silhouettes.

Where: Surry Hills

 

9. UTurn

 

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Want vintage you can wade through? Uturn will do just the trick. With outposts across Sydney and a vast outlet megastore in Punchbowl, you'll be sifting through its collection for hours. There's always 80s jumpsuits and lamé as far as the eye can see. Godspeed.

Where: Bondi, Surry Hills, Rozelle, Punchbowl.

 

10. Grand Days

 

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Grand Days is a hybrid bookstore and clothing shop that specialises in all things vintage. Wander into this Kings Cross favourite and pick up a rare copy of Samuel Beckett along with a vintage Missoni knit dress.

Where: Kings Cross

 

11. Route 66

 

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A Sydney institution. Route 66 may have taken on new digs in Newtown but its cowboy spirit remains in tact. It's a haven for vintage cowboy boots, Stetsons, Schott NYC, Wrangler, 80s ringer tees and western paraphernalia that will set your soul alight.

Where: Newtown

 

12. Blue Spinach

 

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All the merch kings and queens love Blue Spinach. Tucked away in Redfern, the consignment store pulls through with covetable designer pieces, both secondhand and vintage. On any given day you can find a Hermes Kelly stacked on its shelves, alongside mary janes from Saint Laurent and a Chanel tweed mini.

 

13. The Sleeveless Society

If you think all the best vintage is sitting in the inner west, make your way over to The Sleeveless Society for evidence otherwise. Specialising in designer goods, go with funds and you'll leave with a forever wardrobe piece, go without and exit with a phone gallery stocked with items on your "to buy" list.

 

14. Di Nuovo

 

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Sitting around the corner from the RUSSH office, catch me drooling at the shop window of Di Nuovo as I lineup for my salami sandwich at Paddington Alimentari. Stocked with old Céline, vintage Prada, preloved Jil Sander and Proenza Schouler, a sophisticated wardrobe awaits you at the local treasure.

Where: Paddington.

 

15. Irreplaceable Store

A home for all the hip-hop loving hype beasts. Irreplaceable Store boast stacks of deadstock and pristine sneakers, from rare Nike Dunks, Tailwinds and TNs to Yeezy's and Vans. Then there's the fact that it's a haven for denim Dickies and Carhartt workwear.


Take this list of the best op-shops in Sydney, now that you've found the best vintage spots.

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Images: @_swop @sofamiliastore