Shopper's guide to Gertrude Street

The little strip that links shabby haven Smith Street with its ever-so-slightly more uppercrust cousin Brunswick Street should not be overlooked
Photograph: Saint Cloud

There's no two ways about it: Gertrude Street is home to some of the best dining in Melbourne as well as some of the most unique shopping the city has to offer.

Become an expert on Melbourne's best strips with our shopper's guides to Chapel Street, Gertrude Street and Bridge Road.

The best shops on Gertrude Street

Cottage Industry
Shopping, Accessories

#67: Cottage Industry

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It’s winter, and Cottage Industry makes us feel all warm inside. Channel your inner nanna with all things knitted, quilted, crafted and cottage, a place where the supremely talented Penelope Durston has found a home to sell her other-era wares.
Saint Cloud

#73: Saint Cloud

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St Cloud delightfully brings together fashion and bicycle culture in a one stop shop to channel your inner hipster. But be warned: there are no posers here, just people who are seriously into their cycling. Probably not the place for you to grab one of those cute lady bikes with a basket...
Leonard St
Shopping, Fashion

#132: Leonard St

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Cross over Brunswick Street and you’ll hit Leonard St boutique – for those playing at home, you might recognise the name from their Flinders Street or Northcote stores. This is the place for that pair of green apple-print jeans you never knew you wanted but now desperately have to have. A breath of fresh air on the fashion front.
The Standard Store

#159 The Standard Store

At the Standard Store, Nicola and Orlando Reindorf hang only the finest fabrics and gentrified cuts from European labels like Kate Sheridan, Mr Natty and Sessun. They like their naval stripes to be French and their shiny lace-ups handmade, and you can expect to be treated like royalty.

Photograph: Supplied
Shopping, Boutiques

#163 Handsom

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With a tagline on their website simply stating ‘We make nice clothes’, you can be sure that this Melbourne-based brand is all about well-made, understated garments with none of the fiddly impractical trappings that you might find elsewhere. Their design studio is based above the Gertrude Street boutique, which opened in 2012 as the brainchild of British couple Sam Rush and Henry Allum. 

About Space

#179: About Space

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This is our kind of design store, pairing a retro aesthetic with modern warehouse chic. Their lighting fixtures are to die for, and if you’ve walked along Gertrude Street at night before, you would have been one of the many punters staring in wonder at their glorious illuminated front windows.
Rose Chong
Shopping, Costumes

#218 Rose Chong

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A striking and always vibrantly window-dressed Victorian corner terrace has been home to this Fitzroy institution for over 25 years. With 10 colourful rooms of wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling costumes, wigs, hats and accessories you’re pretty much guaranteed to find what you’re looking for, and have a ball searching for it. As befits the location, the stock is imaginative and unusual, and the savvy staff members, all poached from an art and design background, are passionate about helping customers build their outfit from the ground up and then tweak it to get it spot on. Being able to bookend your costume hunting with visits to a couple of the many excellent nearby cafés is a nice bonus too.

Obus Brunswick East
Photograph: Graham Denholm
Shopping, Boutiques

#226 Obus

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Beauty meets practicality at Obus: a Melbourne-based label that focuses on pared-back tailoring, natural fibres and quirky prints. Founder Kylie Zerbst draws inspiration from her travels for every new collection, and her Melbourne-made garments are all designed with comfort in mind, whether you’re after a pair of sleek slim-leg pants for work, or a breezy cotton smock for the weekend.

More of Melbourne's best shopping

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