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A guide to Melbourne’s best vintage shops

Image by Twylamae
Words by Indah Dwyer

Step into Narnia.

Ahhh vintage shops. I’ve worked in them, I found my first good jeans in them and I’ve spent hours in them only to leave feeling defeated by them.

At times, they can be a challenging environment. With Rolling Stones tracks blasting at a powerful volume and racks drowned in various textiles and colours, the feeling of over stimulation can easily wear you down.

But the dusty smell of abandoned wardrobes doesn’t make me turn away, in-fact, it makes me venture in deeper. Because that is the smell of potential.

So, venture into Melbourne with your reusable bags and headphones for some solo clothes questing, or bring a friend to help style you.

I have made a list of places I’m certain that somewhere, waiting patiently, lies your next favourite piece that when complimented on you can casually reply, “Thanks, it’s vintage”.

Out of the Closet
238B Flinders Street, Melbourne
404 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy

It’s the sort of vintage shop Nancy Sinatra or Lou Reed would visit.

OTC has been supplying vintage to Melbourne shoppers for over 20 years. When inside the basement on Flinders Street you are surrounded by music posters that the boss, Dave, has been collecting since the ’70s. 

The clothes hail from every era from the ’50s to the ’90s. Spark up a conversation with the staff about anything from clothes to music and don’t be afraid to ask when the next stock drop will arrive. 

The cowboy boots, Western-style shirts, velvet jackets and romantic blouses mean there is truly a lot to discover.       

otcvintage.com

Reina Melbourne
Level 1, 37 Swanston Street, The Nicholas Building

Tucked away in the Nicholson building, walking into Reina you can’t help but get the feeling someone finally has made your dream wardrobe tangible.

Specialising in archival designer clothing, with brands such as Dior, Prada and Gucci. This shop proves when vintage is re-contextualised in a space that feels boutique it makes you think clearer,  in a minimalist way.   

Full credit to creator of Reina, Romy Theodore, for selecting only the best pieces. In her taste we trust. 

SHAG
130 Chapel St, Windsor
84 Smith St, Collingwood

If you’re looking for a vintage treasure trove replete with costume jewellery and a decent whack of retro personality, Shag is your place. And the clothes? They sparkle, shimmer and would definitely get you invited to The Party.

The shop is divided into sections to make it easier when you have specific item in mind.

Spread across two stores in Melbourne, Shag source its goods from Hong Kong and Melbourne.

Diamond Dog
105 Charles St, Seddon

One of the more humble of vintage stores, located in the western suburb of Seddon, Diamond Dog has corner store street charm.

With everything from the trinkets to the clothing being hand-picked, the clothes are on display in their natural state, without alterations.

And if the garment isn’t quite right, there is a local seamstress who visits once a week to fix any gaping issues and ensure your at optimum comfort.

Lost and Found market
288 Brunswick St, Fitzroy

When you walk up the staircase to find this huge flea market, your eyes dart wildly around taking it all in.

Often bustling with trendy vintage lovers, the 900 square-metre space is sectioned in to independent markets with everything from furniture to fashion.

The back room is my personal favourite.

Retropolis
1 Newman St, Preston

This spacious vintage store feels more like stepping into an elaborates aunt’s home.

It’s impressive when you realise that you can in fact buy everything you see.

Take your time walking through the space, with over 40 collectors, Retropolis brings classic styles from over the decades under one roof.

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