Sydney, it’s all fine to make like the fast and furious with pretty much everything you do, but it’s time you skipped the fast-fashion craze and jumped on the pre-loved garment bandwagon—it's better for the environment, and retro styles never really go out of style.
Yep, there’s nothing quite like the feel of an oversized Hilfiger tee that’s soaked up a bit of history already, a staple designer bag from the 70s, or a pair of Cobain sunglasses reminiscent of a vintage summer all year around.
Here’s our pick of the best vintage and thrift stores in Sydney.
The Vintage Clothing Shop
When the owners of this little gem have been collecting and selling vintage goods for more than four decades, you know you’re in for a treat filled with special little finds. You’ll find this bad boy in the St James Street Arcade, packed full with specially curated goods (think embroidered pieces and costume jewellery).
King Of The Jungle
Owners Matthew Priesz and Kamara Thumbadoo have travelled the world to source the vintage pieces and rare designer labels you'll find at King of the Jungle. From 80s era band tees, to hard-to-find kicks sold on consignment from the likes of Supreme, Acne and Off-White—this is the spot if you're looking for something special, unique and otherwise unavailable to shop in Australia. The idea is to present luxury with a much more sustainable, conscious bent, without forgoing the thrill of the hype.
Blue Spinach is a major treasure trove of vintage and recycled luxury fashion for men and women. Expect to unearth pieces from the likes of Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Fendi, Acne Studios and Balmain.
Cream On Crown And Cream On King
Surry Hills, Newtown
If you’ve lived in Sydney long enough, no doubt you’ve heard of Cream on Crown and Cream on King (they’re kind of a big deal). For those band tees, Doc Martens, and forever-in vintage denim, both of these pre-loved clothing hubs are worth a visit.
Oh man, when there are two floors of beautifully curated 70s and 80s gear, we think it’s ok to go a little crazy. There’s no denying you’ll find all of the funk, and all of the retro clothing items, jewellery, sunglasses, shoes and retro tidbits here (and maybe a few homewares too).
Rozelle, Bondi, Surry Hills, Newtown, Marrickville
Hit-up the fab second-hand threads at U-turn locales across Sydney, and when we say fab, we mean along the lines of bright jumpsuits, cowboy boots, a tonne of vibrant pullovers and—maybe the odd Gameboy. Because the 90s will never, ever die.
Queen Justine Vintage
Oh Queen Justine, you are our one-stop shop for all things vintage Hilfiger, bomber jackets, acid wash and patchwork overalls. We should mention that the Queen also makes it possible to shop online, but you’ll need to be quick to snatch up these pre-loved goods.
The Collective Ensemble
If you’re looking for endless racks of groovy threads, you’ve come to the right place. The Collective Ensemble is a favourite among Newtown locals with fit-outs for guys and girls. With everything from your staple Mickey Mouse sweater to those Ralph Lauren bucket hats, all at a price that’ll mean you can probably eat avocado toast twice in one week.
Glebe, Surry Hills, Paddington
C’s Flashback has been a much-loved vintage stocker of denim, leather, military jackets, button-up shirts and football jerseys for the last decade. You’ll also find this crew down at the Glebe markets (plus you can do some sneaky online shopping too).
Sammy and Sid
It’s widely known that shopping at Sammy and Sid will naturally lead to scoring big Aussie brands minus the hefty price tag. Indeed that means Camilla, Sass & Bide and Alex Perry gold all in the one shopping bag.
It’s guaranteed you’ll be on-trend every time you score a piece from Fabrique Vintage because old-school chucks, statement belts and Levis will never, ever go out of style.
After more shops to hit up? Here's our guide to the best boutiques in Sydney.
Image credit: Jesse Morrow.