When it comes to op shopping, Brisbane is a tried and tested stomping ground for those out to find a 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—the ones where you’ll find more than just dozens of Target tops and old Supre jeans.
Luckily, we’ve done the scouring for you, so all you need to do is raid your money jar, because it’s time to pop some tags. Here's our hit-list of the best op shops in Brisbane to scour for anything from designer jackets to that perfect vintage tee.
If it’s high end designer labels without the designer price tags you’re after, Vinnies in Newstead is where you’ll find them. A rack at the very front is the spot to pick up uber luxury brands like Moschino and Gucci (though you’ll pay a bit more than your usual op shop prices for them), but dive deep into the racks at the back for almost new pieces from the likes of Seed, Camilla, Zimmerman and Sass & Bide. Basically, all those James Street boutiques you usually can’t afford. Also good to know—there’s donation bins right out front.
Also overflowing with labels is the Newstead Salvos store—and since it’s right next door to Vinnies, you can hit both in one trip. The front section of the store is where you’ll find the best racks of designer threads to dig through, and make sure you take a peek at what’s in the locked glass cabinet—we’ve spotted red soled Louboutins in there just begging to be worn.
Thrift Shop And Eternity Boutique
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, with an entire room full of floor-to-ceiling shelves to sort through. Plus, you might even find a few homewares to fill your cupboards with in the thrifty laneway out front.
For seriously retro outfits—and by retro we mean actually made in the 50s and possibly worn by your nanna, not just the Valley Girl re-creations made in the 00s—Lifeline in Stones Corner is a veritable wonderland of floral patterns and old fashioned silhouettes. Not to mention, we want all of their decor—if only it was actually for sale. Once you’ve dug through the retro racks, head to the back where you’ll find more recent stuff, with your next favourite outfit may just waiting to be found. While you’re in the area, the Salvos Store around the corner is worth hitting as well.
If you’re looking for retro or costume gear in Brisbane then your search should begin and end at this specialised Lifeline outlet. Here you’ll find everything you need for your next theme party, from 70s flower power to Russian mob level fur coats. There’s even wigs, cowboy boots and gypsy skirts galore. Big thumbs up for their great prices, too. Plus, this little strip on Ipswich Road is home to a handful of other thrift stores including a Vinnies, Save The Children And Yesterdays op shops as well—so you may as well hit them all.
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 $4. Bargain. Hit up their other stores in Mitchelton, West End, Annerley and Indooroopilly if you want to keep shopping.
The Salvos have two large sheds in Red Hill that are well worth a look—they’re so big you’ll be digging for hours. Always a good spot for homewares, furniture and second hand clothes, they’ve also recently added the Street Boutique, where you’ll find barely worn designer labels and some seriously funky finds.
St Veronica Thrift Shop
A classic thrift shop, St Veronica 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. Check out the retro rack if you’re looking for something to wear to that 80s party this weekend.
Studio Thrifty 4
Tucked away in Bowen Hills is where you'll find Studio Thrifty 4, a small but mighty op shop that supports homeless charity Pay A Sack Forward. The reason it’s one of our faves, however, is because nothing on their racks, no matter the label, is over $5. They take donations directly in store too, so why not drop a bag off when you go for a browse?
Red Cross Store
We've got to warn you, the price tags you'll find on the thrifted fashions at this Brisbane op shop are a tad higher (ok a LOT higher) than the ones you'll find elsewhere, but trust us, they're worth it. This Red Cross Store only stocks high end labels and true vintage goods, all of them in impeccable quality, so you're still only paying a fraction of what they're worth brand new. $40 for a $200 designer dress? Yes please.
The benefit of hitting an op shop in one of Brisbane’s wealthiest suburbs, is that you’ll find what’s on the racks matches what’s in the closets of the million dollar houses nearby. Nowhere is this more true than at New Farm’s RSPCA, where you can bag a bargain for a pittance. Thanks a bunch, real housewives of Teneriffe, we truly appreciate your sacrifice.
If you’re shopping for true vintage goods (and are willing to accept the vintage price tag), find the best vintage stores in Brisbane here.
Image credit: Joao Silas