OUR ULTIMATE COVID BOOKING GUARANTEE. FIND OUT MORE
Melbourne is known for many things, including being the hippest and most fashionable city in Australia, so you don’t want to be making fashion faux pas. Fortunately, there are plenty of vintage clothing stores worth checking out that’ll outfit you in unique pieces. From large warehouses with items as cheap as $10 to small boutiques stocking rare Gucci designs, these are the best vintage clothing shops in Melbourne, Australia.
Secondo Boutique is known for its luxury vintage items. Here, you’ll find sought-after clothing from international labels like Gucci, Diane Von Furstenberg and Prada, along with pre-loved designer accessories at a cheaper price points. This includes bags from Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Chloe. The store also welcomes new clients who are interested in consigning their own luxury vintage garments.
The two Hunter Gatherer stores in Melbourne — located in Fitzroy and the Royal Arcade in the CBD — are run by the Brotherhood of St Laurence, a non-profit organisation that works to alleviate and prevent poverty across Australia. Your purchase goes directly towards helping the community. All of the vintage and retro-inspired fashion pieces found at Hunter Gatherer are hand-picked by volunteers from the thousands of items donated to the Brotherhood annually.
American Rag has been operating in Melbourne for 28 years, with stores in both the QV Shopping Centre and Southgate. Eileen Carney is the American-born but Australian-based owner of American Rag; her team regularly travels to the States to hand-pick the best vintage clothing, footwear and accessories for the entire family. Pay particular attention to their impressive vintage dress collection, which has pieces from as early as the 1930s. Both stores are restocked with new pieces weekly, so you never know what you’ll discover.
Out of the Closet has been operating from Brunswick Street in hipster Fitzroy since the late 80s. The team at Out of the Closet pride themselves on providing fashionable, affordable and high quality vintage clothing, hand-picked from overseas. They have a large selection of 90s dresses for under $40, as well as vintage men’s pop culture and American sports shirts from the 90s. There’s also another Out of the Closet store in Melbourne’s city centre, which has a large collection of vinyl records.
Martin Fella, the owner of Martin Fella Vintage, hand-picks all clothing for his store from auctions in Australia, Asia and the United Kingdom. His North Melbourne store stocks a variety of pre-loved luxury brands, including Givenchy, Chanel, Christian Dior and YSL, which are mixed in with other high-quality, unbranded items. Fella also stocks an extensive range of classic men’s vintage pieces, and, in winter, colourful hand-made beanies.
Bruce is a designer consignment store, owned by New Yorker Emily Oberlin and her partner Daniel Nielsenbeck. They have two Bruce locations: one in Clifton Hill and one on Gertrude Street in Fitzroy. Bruce is known for its selective range of designer vintage and second-hand pieces, from brands like Diane Von Furstenberg, Paul Harnden Shoemakers, Isabel Marant and Prada.
The vintage marketplace of dreams, Retropolis handpicks the best collector’s items and gathers them all in one place for hours of browsing. Over 40 eagle-eyed sellers stock everything from fashion and furniture to records and musical instruments, so it’s almost impossible to leave empty-handed. The space is open seven days a week too so you never have to wait too long for your next vintage fix.
Monkey Jar was opened by two Melbourne friends in 2009 and is now a thriving vintage bazaar in the heart of Fitzroy. The owners pride themselves on sourcing the most unique, extraordinary and downright weird items from around the world and shoppers can expect everything from sequin hotpants to vintage shell suits and rainbow mesh skirts that will turn heads wherever you go. If you don’t like to look like everyone else, this is the place for you.
Like an irresistible dressing up box for grown-ups, this glorious boutique on Brunswick Street makes every day feel like a special occasion. The shop stocks women’s fashion from the 1920s to the 80s, but specialises in high-quality 1950s wear that looks straight out of Hollywood. There is new stock every week and a sprinkling of covetable homeware amongst the velvet, satin and lace.
Vintage is a family affair at this store in Brunswick. The family-owned business started as a hobby 20 years ago and opened the current shop in 2015. Every item is carefully selected and includes vintage fashion, home décor, memorabilia and furniture that will stand the test of time. If you really want to sniff out a bargain, ask about their regular and extremely popular warehouse sales with a $10 room to die for.
If you’re dreaming of the good ol’ US of A, dress the part with the extensive range of vintage American clothes in this store in Richmond. Hand selected by native Californian Ashley Tell, the racks include casual streetwear, historical items, vintage sweatshirts and a suitably impressive selection of cowboy boots and Stetsons of course.
Siobhan Grogan contributed additional reporting to this article.