If you want to break free from your fast fashion habits, we strongly encourage you to explore the independent boutique route. Plus, you have no excuse—Melbourne’s bursting at the seams with amazing independent boutiques that can sustainably fulfil all your fashion needs until the end of time. It’s always better to spend a little more knowing that you’re supporting a local, independent chain rather than a problematic fast-fashion giant.
So whether you’re looking for streetwear, designer brands, or something special, you’re sure to find it at Melbourne’s best boutique stores.
This list includes stores that house both women’s and menswear, so if you’re looking for something gender-specific, dive into Melbourne’s best secret fashion finds.
If you feel brave enough to tackle level 3 and 4 of Curtin House, then you’ll come upon dot COMME. dot Comme is part clothing store, part museum, part work of art. Owner Octavius La Rosa has an amazing knack for finding the coolest brands and pieces he’s sourced from all over the globe, like Archival COMME des GARÇONS, Junya Watanabe, Issey Miyake, Yohji Yamamoto and Walter Van Beirendonck. You won’t be disappointed.
Plane is all about high-quality basics for men and women, including clothing, bags, and accessories. And while we'll abstain from drawing attention to the plain pun (whoops, too late), you'll be pleased to know Plane stocks both local and international fashion brands that are definitely worth a look.
Dakota501 is one of the oldest independent stores in Australia. Boutique retailer of denim, clothes and shoes on Chapel Street, they stock everything from Levi’s, Kappa, Champion to Patagonia apparel. Get to it.
The Standard Store
Sydney shopping favourite The Standard Store landed on Gertrude Street with high acclaim. The antithesis of churn and burn fashion, The Standard Store stocks a meticulous edit of quirky international womenswear and menswear labels, plus high-quality accessories and unique jewellery.
Inspired by a love of international designers and emerging Australian brands twin brothers, Brian and Vincent Wu, established Incu in 2002. Since then it’s become one of Melbourne’s best destination spots for a mix of streetwear and luxury pieces. Expect to see the likes of Acne, A.P.C, Patagonia, Opening Ceremony and Carhartt.
With more than a slight inclination to all things Nordic by nature, Somedays brings together the cream of local talent with emerging and established designers from around the world. We’re talking Assembly Label, Double Rainbouu, Celine, and more.
HoMie is a social enterprise creating pathways out of homelessness, with 100% of their profits going towards people experiencing homelessness or hardship. On top of being excellent humans, the streetwear they produce is amazing, think printed tees and matching tracksuits. Swing by their Fitzroy store and check it out.
You may confuse P.A.M.’s store with a gallery, with its whitewashed floor and flickering projections on the wall. Its minimalist men’s and women’s streetwear is so-Melbourne-it-hurts. Even their online store has a bit of a vintage American Apparel thing going on, but we’re not complaining—P.A.M is truly one of Melbourne’s best streetwear boutiques.
CBD, Prahran, Fitzroy
Conceived in 2005 by siblings Alex and Georgie Cleary, Alpha60 is a label synonymous with Melbourne and design. The collection itself is mostly built around high-quality basics and a few statement pieces. A muted norm-core palette featuring long, flowing jackets, classy knits and off-beat men’s tees. There’s also a footwear and accessories range if you want to pair your new skirt with leather sandals or a classy tote. Winter lookbook sorted.
St Kilda, Fitzroy
Since first opening doors in 1997, Prime has remained a premium destination for streetwear, sneakers and accessories. Most notably, Prime offers the latest seasonal collections from Fred Perry, NN07, Carhartt WIP, Levi’s Vintage Clothing, Wood Wood and many more.
CBD, Fitzroy, South Yarra, Prahran
Locally designed in Melbourne, Nique the label offers high quality, ethically made men’s and women’s clothing. Nique is all about being authentic, acidic, articulate and accessible. This is captured in each of Niques collections and the brand’s overall classic, minimalist aesthetic.
Looking to perfect your streetwear aesthetic? Here are Melbourne’s best streetwear stores.
Image credit: Jenna Fahey-White