Every suburb has its secret spots that only the locals know. The cafe with Nutella donuts so delectable they sell out by 10am every day, the boutique that carries only one in each size of the most covetable winter boots.
Sorry locals, you've had it good for long enough, and we're here to blow the lid of the whole operation. You better grab those boots in your size while you've still got the chance. Here are Sydney’s best secret boutiques.
Jim and Jane
For 29 years, at the site of 45 Booth Street, there was a potions shop, a purveyor of magical remedies to cure what ailed you. Although it's been gone over a decade, much of the magic remains in Jim & Jane, a diabolically well-curated fashion and homewares boutique in the heart of Annandale. Jim & Jane's wares strike a delicate balance between European and Australian brands, with pretty baubles from Paddington, stacks of fluffy jumpers from Melbourne and staple t-shirts from France.
Palm Beach Shoes
Palm Beach Shoes' dark, cluttered shop on Paddington's Oxford Street is not for the faint of heart, but those brave enough to enter are sure to find a bargain. Except for a narrow path to make your way through the shop, every square inch of Palm Beach Shoes is covered in teetering stacks of shoe boxes, jammed with every manner of footwear imaginable: flats and sneakers and platforms so high, if you stand in them for longer than an hour, you’ll get nerve damage in your toes. Don't bother looking online if you want to find Palm Beach Shoes. You'll have to go there in person to 370 Oxford Street. These people are so busy selling all the shoes, they don't even need the internet.
Mr and Mrs Smith
Although Mr and Mrs Smith has an online shop, Instagram is the best place to spy the newest, best gear that’s in store. Take for example the long camel cashmere coats by Jac and Jack, or expertly torn jeans by Nobody. The shop is a lovely mash-up of fashion, accessories and gifts. You can kit yourself out in the cosiest winter outfit, top it off with some resin bracelets by Dinosaur Designs, and get a suede cross-body bag for your bestie.
The Standard Store
The Standard Store on Crown Street is anything but standard. The fashion offering has a strong Scandinavian street style vibe, although brands come from all over Europe and America. Clothes are well tailored with modern silhouettes—perfect slim button downs from Folk, double breasted trenches from Sessun, high waisted cropped jeans with hems falling down just so from Rachel Comey.
The discovery of women's fashion boutique duckeggBLUE in Balmain comes with a bonus: The Man Next Door, its menswear store that is literally next door. The women's store is a gorgeous edit of essential easy pieces: jumpers, t-shirts, jeans, boots, plus divine dresses for occasions that call for something more fancy. The shop only carries one of each size in each style, the rationale being that Balmain is a small community, and nobody wants to be seen wearing the same outfit as anyone else. The Man Next Door has tailored men's pieces in classic colours and styles. Besides traditional plaids and stripes, you won't find a pattern in sight, unless you peek under the cuff of impeccably tailored chinos. Then you might spy a blinding pair of paisley socks.
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Image credit: The Standard Store