Skip the fast fashion – darling it's literally all happened before. Instead, get out there and hunt down some stylish pre-loved fashions in Melbourne's best vintage shops. We've chosen the following stores because they've done all the hard work for you so you can find fashion treasures from bygone eras and repurpose them as your own.
Melbourne's best vintage stores
Walking up the stairs of the Nicholas Building into RetroStar feels like stepping into another (very colourful) world. This vintage store specialises in 1940s-1990s clothing, shoes, accessories and bags. Seventies fanatics can't go past the range of flares, kitsch tees and leather jackets. If you're looking for a '70s style that's cool rather than pisstake, this one's for you. Music nuts won't leave disappointed either, with a huge range of band T-shirts and streetwear.
With stores in both Brunswick and Collingwood, RB sell your unwanted clothes for you, letting you exchange them for cash or for other second-hand goods in store. They accept a range of men’s and women’s items, and based on the life cycle, condition, quality and style of the piece and you receive 50 per cent of the profits when your item sells. Even if you’re not selling your stuff, you can find second-hand goods here from high-end brands at a fraction of the original cost.
If you’re ever on the lookout for the perfect leather boots, brown leather belt or across the shoulder bag, then get to Shappere. It even sells reworked bomber jackets made from recycled leather. Vintage fabrics are reworked to make dresses and skirts. Come to Shappere to find a loud (yet somehow not obnoxious) shirt or a classically beautiful dress. The minimalist interior design fits right into its Smith Street location, and it's very easy to waste an hour browsing through the store's wares.
Shag isn't dissimilar to a Grace Jones film clip on steroids, where bold colours, animal prints, shoulder pads and asymmetrical dresses reign supreme. By selling a mixture of vintage and new, the Shag team are always on the lookout to stock kaleidoscope of colour, print and fabric in their stores. Not often northside? Shag also runs a shop on a just as trendy piece of real estate on Chapel Street, Windsor.
Yves Saint Laurent once said: “Fashions fade, style is eternal.” It's a mantra that Secondo has taken to heart, selling pre-loved garments, accessories and luxury vintage pieces. Stock includes labels such as Fendi, Prada, Mulberry and Miu Miu, so be warned: this is no op shop. Secondo is a consignment store for all things glam, but you'll still emerge looking great at the fraction of the price your outfit would cost new.
Hats! Handbags! Homewares! Vintage Garage is a Collingwood boutique that knows how to do '50s and '60s vintage right. With some of Melbourne’s best dealers selecting the stock, they’ve got you covered from dresses to dress shirts and everywhere in between. The store has developed a reputation for being a one-stop-shop for festival wear with everything from sequined crop tops to skin-tight gold jumpsuits.
Thrifty fashionistas, rejoice! Bruce offers a carefully curated collection of recycled high-end designer clothing – Prada, Diane Von Furstenberg and some top Aussie designers were on the racks the day we visited – displayed for easy browsing and homing in on the perfect piece. The environment is nice and unintimidating and the prices just right.
This North Melbourne store is for the daring fashionistas. Martin Fella himself says that he sources the best from American designers from the ’50s to ’80s – many of whom were responsible for Hollywood glam and glitter – and also French labels such as Lea Stein, St. Tropez and Pierre Cardin. "I closely follow current looks coming off the European catwalks and create that look using vintage pieces from a mix of eras.”