Sure, shopping online is the ultimate convenience. Even so, clicking and scrolling will never be quite the same as the real-world thrill of unearthing treasures from specialised boutiques and concept stores.
As well as being able to test the more tactile side of potential fashion buys (the stretch of jersey, smooth of leather and softness of a cotton tee), you can also test the cut, try things on and, basically, be in the moment.
Lined with latest collections and hard-to-find labels pieced together by stylists, buyers and fashion pros—these are Sydney’s best boutiques to indulge in some real-life fashion mayhem, hands down.
Harrold's is what all department stores should aim to be. Even if you're not ready to drop some serious cash on the latest from Off-White, Tom Ford, Balenciaga, Saint Laurent, Dior, Heron Preston, Stone Island, Fear of God, Lardini and lots, lots more—a visit to Harrold's just to browse is still absolutely worth it. It's a maze of rooms dedicated to the most hyped high-end labels in the world right now; you can also shop extra special fragrances from Creed and Tom Ford, and the style concierge service has you covered for made-to-measure suits, personal styling and weddings.
NOLM stands for "No One Like Me"—and it's here that you will uncover the sort of items and investment pieces that will immediately refresh your wardrobe and seriously up the style ante. Everything here is a little street, a bit Tokyo and a lot unconventional (in the best way possible).
Guys and girls who have been long-term fans of the sartorial wonderland that is Opening Ceremony will appreciate Toga Pulla shoes detailed with cowboy spurs and buckles, Justine Clenquet chain sunglasses, Kara backpacks and Martine Rose raincoats.
The Standard Store
This shop’s name is a bit deceptive, given you won’t find anything especially standard or dull here. The Standard Store is a charming and cool Surry Hills spot, featuring both and men’s and women’s collections. You’ll find a curated edit of cult labels like Stine Goya, Kitsune, Rachel Comey, Lucky 7 and Maison Kitsune. Visiting Sydney? You can actually stay above the store in Surry Hills in a beautifully stylised apartment. Head here to book.
If you’re the type that likes quality without being flashy, Maple is your style mecca. Packed with casual get-up for guys and girls, Maple is a go-to for denim staples and stylish outdoorsy pieces from the likes of Patagonia, Levi’s, RM Williams, Assembly Label and Saturdays NYC. You’ll also find a selection of Lonely Label’s iconic lingerie, and the latest from one of our favourite Melbourne labels: Permanent Vacation.
Above The Clouds
Lining the walls of this special streetwear boutique are kicks from Nike, adidas Originals, Vans, New Balance, Asics, Saucony and Converse. At Above The Clouds, you’ll also find rarer labels like Golf Le Fleur and vegan staples like Vega.
The clothes at Above The Clouds are equally as excellent as the kicks—expect a big collection of tees from skater label Butter Goods, Dutch artist Pieter Janseen’s label By Parra, Guess Green Label, Patagonia, Lazy Oaf, PE Nation and more.
Natalie Marie Showroom
We highly recommend making the trip up the peninsula to drop into the Natalie Marie showroom—mostly because the label's highly covetable jewels sparkle a whole lot more in real life, but also because it's a dreamy, serene space that's also home to the Natalie Marie jewellery studio, so you can witness her stunning rings and necklaces being handcrafted.
Somedays' tagline is "nice clothes for nice people". The Surry Hills store is on the top floor of a warehouse—make your way upstairs to find labels with a laidback vibe, fit for weekends, barbeques, park picnics and short trips. You'll find a selection of things from Double Rainbouu, Champion, Dr Denim, Kowtow and Spring Court.
If you've found yourself around the sparkly surf of the Northern Beaches, Splice is a must-visit for a wardrobe refresh. Head here for jewellery from Australian designers like Holly Ryan and Natalie Marie, as well as Instagram favourites like Mayol and Elvis et Moi. You'll also find breezy dresses from Matin Studio, the latest from P.E Nation and denim from Rollas.
Parlour X is a literal church of style. Housed within an old sandstone church in Paddington, get ready to worship (and try on) collections from the likes of Celine, Balenciaga, Delpozo, Fendi, Loewe, Margiela, Sacai, Saint Laurent, Valentine and Comme Des Garcons. Keep an eye out for sales and special events in store.
Surry Hills, Newtown, CBD
Born out of Melbourne, Nique creates a distinct range of urban streetwear, which leans towards a simplified, raw aesthetic. You'll want to shop their staple eco-friendly cotton tees for men and women, and check in regularly to see new season silhouettes, cuts and colours.
This beachside fashion emporium features laid back luxury labels like Rag & Bone, Bsssike, Simon Miller, T By Alexander Wang, Yeezy and Vega sneakers. Tuchuzy is also a great spot to get up close and personal with a selection of new and trending cult labels—our picks for right now have to be Ganni, Adam Selman Sport and Faithful.
In the market for some fresh kicks? Here are the best sneaker stores in Sydney.
Image credit: NOLM.