Surry Hills is one of Sydney’s coolest suburbs, and all the resident hipsters need to buy their clothes somewhere. Step back in time at these seven second-hand stores that lovingly curate huge collections of up-cycled, recycled and vintage fashion.
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.
Miss Brown began a quarter of a century ago in Perth before spreading its wings all over Australia, with retail stores in Byron Bay, Brunswick Heads, Burleigh Heads, Melbourne, Bondi and Surry Hills. Stocking designer, re-modified and vintage fashion for men and women from anytime between the 1950s and the 1990s, Miss Brown’s collection also has a distinctly beachy flavour.
This Bourke St menswear store is a treasure chest for blokes who appreciate the quality craftsmanship of yesteryear. Inspired by denim workwear and sturdy leatherwork of the 1950s and 60s, Blue Works sources garments from around the globe—in particular the United States, Britain and Japan—and carefully lays out the old-school shirts, jackets, boots and bags over the store’s elegant timber shelves and leather sofas.
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.
Since 2005, Uturn has built an empire of six vintage stores around Sydney, with locations in Bondi, Newtown (one old school, one contemporary), Rozelle, Marrickville and last but not least Surry Hills. Yet another vintage store at the Oxford St end of Crown St, Uturn Surry Hills is home to a particularly impressive collection of loud 90s fashion for both men and women. Peruse Uturn’s website for even more pre-loved items for sale.
Enter a time machine back to the 1970s and 80s at this quirky Campbell St favourite, brimming with two floors of affordable fashion that your mum would’ve worn back in the day. Scour the shelves of retro handbags, second-hand heels, kitschy-chic accessories, and dresses that glitter with sequins. Lots and lots of sequins. Shopping for a disco dress-up party? You’ll be sorted.
With three locations around Sydney—one on Crown St in Surry Hills, one in Paddington, and one at the Glebe Markets—C’s Flashback is one of the most dependable purveyors of second-hand clothes in Sydney. In fact, C’s began at Glebe Markets two decades ago before branching out into these other retail spaces, describing itself as “kind of like Robin Hood” for hunting down vintage bargains from around the world and bringing them to the fine people of the Harbour City.