Whether you’re looking for some costume jewellery from the 1920s, a ’50s-style leather jacket, the sort of fluorescent pieces your mum would’ve worn back in the ’70s and ’80s, or some old-school ’90s sportswear, these 10 vintage clothing stores around Sydney have got you covered.
Welcome to Australia’s premier luxury consignment store, which is a fancy way of saying the owners of the pre-loved garments continue to own their items until they sell. Blue Spinach has provided this service to willing sellers and savvy bargain-hunters since 1996, building a serious reputation for finding second-hand men’s and women’s designer fashion a loving new home at the right price. You can’t miss the bright blue building on Liverpool St in Darlinghurst, not far from the high-end boutiques of Oxford St.
Owner/operator Arnold Kieldgaard moved his personality-packed second-hand store from Katoomba in the Blue Mountains to Potts Point on the doorstep of the inner-city in 2014, bringing a quality collection of second-hand garments with him. Stocking an array of clothes for both men and women, Arnold specialises in vintage wedding dresses, formal gents suits, luxury furs and leather accessories, as well as a selection of fine china.
Every item over the two levels of this much-loved Crown St institution has been hand-picked, custom-made or carefully up-cycled, bringing together an impressive range of reconstructed denim, classic sunglasses, leather boots and plenty more. Cream has opened sister stores in the bohemian hotspot of King St in Newtown as well as Hunter St in Newcastle, but you can’t beat the jam-packed Surry Hills original.
This Eastern Suburbs favourite is one of Sydney’s most sophisticated vintage clothes stores, stocking a stylish selection of unique pre-loved pieces. The Sleeveless Society fills its contemporary Waverley shopfront with a carefully selected range of recycled fashion, accessories, homewares and jewellery from across Australia and around the world, giving new life to these special items.
Uturn has built an empire of six vintage stores around Sydney since 2005, including one in Surry Hills, one in Bondi, and four in the hipster haven that is the Inner-West (Newtown, Marrickville and Rozelle). The Surry Hills location is one of many super second-hand stores at the Oxford St end of Crown St, boasting a loud collection of ’90s threads for both men and women. Check out the website for an even wider selection of pre-loved items.
Named after founder, director and envelope-pushing vintage clothes trader Justine Miller, Queen Justine Vintage sells a wide range of old-school threads online as well as by appointment in Redfern and at a variety of festivals, markets, fashion events and pop-up stores. QJV hand-picks garments from the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s, curating an eclectic array of items mainly for women as well as men.
Located just off Oxford St, this is one of Sydney’s most eccentric second-hand stores. Storeroom buys, sells and trades clothes to cultivate a colourful collection of old-school kit that looks like it’s been lifted straight out of the 1990s. The huge range of oversized graphic tees channel every corner of ‘90s pop culture from hip hop and rock ’n’ roll to sportswear and surf style.
This Newtown institution boasts one of Sydney’s strongest catalogues of retro threads, with a cosy store at the south end of King St brimming with a carefully curated selection of vintage pieces. Men and women are both extremely well-served by the diverse range of garments hanging on the racks and off the walls of this uber-stylish shop in the city’s bohemian Inner West.
Billing itself as the Robin Hood of second-hand clothes, C’s Flashback are pros at tracking down vintage gems from every corner of the globe and bringing them back to the bargain-hunters of Sydney. C’s has three great locations around the Harbour City (one in Surry Hills, one in Paddington, and the original at Glebe Markets), making them one of Sydney’s most popular and dependable purveyors of pre-loved pieces.
Located in St James Arcade, smack bang in the middle of the city, the Vintage Clothing Shop has been kitting out Sydneysiders in old-school clothing and costume jewellery since way back in 1974. Owners Lorraine Foster and Grayson Cole combine skills in both fashion and antique trading to deliver quality vintage clothing dating anywhere from the 1880s until the 1980s.