First it was Macklemore, now Netflix’s Girl Boss who have inspired us to channel our inner thrift shopping queen or king.
When it comes to op or ‘thrift’ shopping—whatever you want to call it—Brisbane is a tried and tested stomping ground for those out to find a good ol’ bargain. However, if you weren’t born with a truffle pig-like ability to sniff out second hand wardrobe gold, the hard part can be knowing exactly where the prime locations are.
Raid your money jar; it’s time to pop some tags. Here are our top spots to scour for anything from a pair of acid wash jeans or overalls, to jewellery, a fancy-dress costume or even a wedding dress.
P.S. Sorry not sorry in advance for uncovering anyone’s secret op shopping spot…
If you've got a weekday morning spare, get thee to Morningside Uniting Church on Thynne Road. Open 9am to midday Monday to Friday, Preloved's range of vintage clothing and accessories, including vintage bags (hello glomesh), is always worth the trawl through.
St Vincent de Paul’s
Paddington and CBD
With regular donations, Vinnies stores around town have a well-organised (thanks to some epic volunteers) and wide range of stock. If you’re a city slicker, try Mary Street during your lunch break for awesome party frocks; Boundary Street, West End for office workwear, and Paddington who, on top of regular men’s and women’s clothing, have a choice formal wear section.
St Veronica Thrift Shop
A classic thrift shop, St Veronica’s in West End is an eclectic and hodgepodge mix of all sorts from clothes to books and everything in between. Open Monday to Saturday, it’s not as busy as other shops and you can ferret for hours amongst their treasures. They also have EFTPOS which is a bonus.
RSPCA Op Shop
New Farm and Sherwood
As treasure-troves of all things secondhand, you should totally make RSPCA Op Shops in New Farm and Sherwood your regulars. But strike while the iron is hot; they both have a consistent turnover of stock, which can be both a blessing and a curse.
Located under the Windsor Road Baptist Church, Eternity Boutique is an Aladdin's cave of all your fashionista desires, new and old. It is especially tempting if you love shoes. And if you’ve got some cash left over, check out the thrift store right beside. Win win!
McWhirter’s Red Cross
If you’re looking for retro or costume gear in Brisbane then your search should begin and end at the Australian Red Cross’ Fortitude Valley shop. They’ve got most clothing covered, but their ‘retro’ section is always a winner. Big thumbs up for their great prices, too!
Yesterdays Thrift Shop
Just up from the main hub of Rosalie, the little rooms of Yesterdays are always chockers, especially the $2 bargain section. With some great labels, all in top knick, you'll usually pay under $10 for any item of clothing. And every Sunday you can fill a whole bag for a fiver.
Fortitude Valley and Fairfield
Another key player in the op shop world, we prefer the smaller Lifeline stores for the best bargains. Their store in the Fairfield shopping centre is a favourite amongst locals, often stocked with some thrifty office wear bargains for women and men—because nobody wants to spend good money on things you wear to work. For more flashy duds, Lifeline in the Valley has you covered.
Zion Bargain Centre
Keen op shoppers of Brisbane have been sourcing quality preloved clothing at Zion, this cute cottage near Toombul Shopping Centre, for years. We’re talking well-known brands for under 10 buckaroonies. They also have great sewing and haberdashery supplies in case you want to make some alterations or embellishments.
The Salvos have two large sheds in Red Hill that are well worth a look. Probably not the best place for old-school finds, but they’re got everyday stuff covered, as well as some big brand clothes, shoes and jewels in their Street Boutique. Located on Glenrosa Road, Red Hill be sure to also suss out the furniture and homewares while you’re there.
Got more than $20 to spare and looking for something a bit more up-market, niche or vintage?
The Paddington Antique Centre
With dozens of independent dealers under one roof, The Paddington Antique Centre is a Brisbane shopping icon, and housed in Paddington’s old Plaza Theatre. A top spot if you’re after a vintage hat for the races, one-off furniture pieces and second hand art I mint condition.
Can You Keep A Secret?
Woolloongabba’s own vintage boutique and lounge bar on Stanley Street is full to the brim with eclectic vintage pieces. Floor-to-ceiling, this Brisbane vintage store is well worth the rummage—there are bargains everywhere!
Commercial Road Antiques and Decorative Arts
Teneriffe’s home to true vintage clothing and antiques, Commercial Road Antiques is a mecca for all things vintage. Think delicate lace dresses, buttons and gloves, plus rugs, armchairs, vintage tea sets and silverware. This is thrift shopping at its most luxe, ladies and gents.
Woolloongabba Antique Centre
Perfect if you’re looking for items like a vintage Chanel blouse, Johnny Cash-inspired shirt or costume jewellery, the Woolloongabba Antique Centre is the true meaning of a treasure trove. Items in store are in fabulous condition, and are arranged by era or ‘theme’, which is a real treat for anyone not so keen on digging deep for that bargain!
Yes to safari suits, Mad Men-esque ties and party shirts; the menswear in Retro Metro, a discreet spot in a little garage on the corner of Latrobe and Given terraces is something to be rivaled.
A mecca for hip preloved vintage stuffs, SWOP is a must-do for rummagers—without the crazy prices. You can even swap your stuff on Fridays from 10am-5pm. Bargains galore!
Head downstairs in Paddington’s Endeavour Store for brightly coloured psychedelic kaftans and other awesome 60s clothing.
Image credit: Uproxx