The 7 Best Spots To Shop For Vintage In Sydney
Where to find your pre-loved threads, records and antiques.
With fashion writers constantly telling us things like “the ’90s are back” or warning of “an ’80s style revival”, keeping up with the trends of yesteryear can be difficult. Don’t mess around with chain store knock-offs of era-appropriate wear, instead go back in time accurately via an awesome vintage shopping spree – there are plenty of spots to get your fix in Sydney.
The thrill of vintage thrift shopping lies in sifting through junk for hours, and then finding something truly glorious in your size at a low, low price. Or spotting a gorgeous item of antique furniture, which will somehow balance out all the IKEA items in your apartment. It’s a kind of modern day treasure hunting, so here’s your map for Sydney. Go have fun.
#1 King Street, Newtown
If Surry Hills is Sydney’s best spot for vintage threads, the south end of King Street is where you should head for a huge array of furniture and antiques. Conveniently located in a 100-metre stretch of Newtown’s main drag are a number of seriously big stores, such as Newtown Furniture Haven.
The Haven is a huge warehouses, packed to the rooftop with furniture and with marked prices that can almost always be haggled down. The south end of King Street also has some great record stores and a button shop that is well worth checking out.
Where: Newtown Furniture Haven – 435 King Street, Newtown
#2 Rozelle Markets
They say that one man’s trash is another’s treasure and there’s nowhere that proves that maxim like the Rozelle Collector’s Markets. Of course there are the usual stallholders selling things like jewellery, fancy candles and chopping boards, but what sets Rozelle apart is the bric-a-brac, antiques and vintage homewares.
Want a milk jug shaped like a cow? Or some vintage crystal candelabras? Rozelle will probably have those things, as well as another seven random items you didn’t know you wanted but now lust after.
Where: Saturday and Sundays at Rozelle Public School, 663 Darling Street, Rozelle
#3 Glebe Record Fair
For music nerds and record collectors in Sydney, Christmas comes twice a year – or at least their equivalent of Christmas. Yes, twice every year fans of the LP pack into the Peter Forsyth Auditorium at Glebe (the next one is October 6, 2018) to skim through literally hundreds of dusty crates of records.
There’s everything from obscure country and western best-of albums to local and international dance releases. Some sellers specialise in 12-inch singles, while others may only have the yacht rock albums of your dreams.
It’s a vast, reasonably priced sale organised by the legends at Egg Records so check their website for the date of the next one. To get you through the day, feast on the excellent snacks sold across the road at the outdoor Glebe Markets, which also have rad stalls full of vintage clothes and accessories.
Where: Twice anually at the Peter Forsyth Auditorium, Corner of Franklin and Francis Streets, Glebe
#4 That Vintage Shop, Marrickville
Good quality antiques are hard to come by – except at this gem of a store in Sydney’s inner west where they are just about everywhere. If you’re looking for something specific, or just for a few unique pieces for your home, chances are you’ll be sorted at That Vintage Shop. They have everything from gorgeous old toys and dollhouses to a vast display of chandeliers and vintage door knobs.
The team is knowledgeable about their range of items, and can help you work out how to install your new piece into your home. If you’re feeling lazy or live interstate, a huge portion of their range is also available for sale online on eBay. Earn Qantas Points for every dollar spent shopping with eBay through Qantas Shopping.
Where: 395-397 Enmore Road, Marrickville
#5 Three of a Kind, Leichhardt
The concept of a custom-made antique might seem a little weird, but at Three of a Kind you’ll soon discover that almost anything is possible. The team here use reclaimed timber and vintage items to make original pieces of furniture – but that doesn’t just mean they use old wood. Think old Harley Davidson signs being turned into the doors of a motorcycle-themed sideboard, or an exquisite cabinet using old horseshoes as handles.
The shopfront is the fully functioning workshop – so head in with your measurements and ideas and see what the team can do for you. With the motto ‘butt ugly blokes building handsome furniture for beautiful people’ you’ll feel like you’re in good hands.
Where: 629 Parramatta Road, Leichhardt
#6 Crown Street, Surry Hills
If it’s fashion you’re after, this small cluster of vintage shops around the intersection of Crown and Campbell Streets in Surry Hills will surely have what you’re looking for. Zoo Emporium, C’s Flashback, U-Turn Recycled Fashion and Cream on Crown are literally metres from one another, making it super easy to wander from shop to shop browsing decades of excellent clothes and putting together a complete outfit from another era.
Zoo and C’s Flashback both have huge ranges of everything, from sequined party dresses to velour suits and everything in between. Pro-tip: for real bargains check out the discount bin on the bottom level of Zoo.
Cream on Crown and U-Turn have a more Americana/rockabilly vibe, with both stocking plenty of cowboy boots, high-waisted jeans and flannel shirts as well as vast ranges of dresses, accessories and denim cut-offs. Some of the area’s best cafes like Kawa are also close by – perfect for refuelling in the middle of an epic day of shopping.
Where: Zoo Emporium – 180 Campbell Street, C’s Flashback – 316-318 Crown Street, U-Turn Recycled Fashion – 33/277 Crown Street, Cream on Crown 32/277-285 Crown Street, Surry Hills
#7 Bondi Markets
Every Sunday on the grounds of Bondi Public School, the Bondi Markets open with an array of food, fashion, jewellery and homewares. While many local designers have used the markets as a springboard to fame (Australian label Sass and Bide famously was originally sold from a stall in the market) there are often quality vintage fashion finds to be snapped up. The trick is to get to the markets early. You want to be there around 9am.
Over the years I’ve found a Chanel handbag, vintage Balenciaga skirt and a pair of barely worn Louboutins at bargain basement prices. There are also plenty of stalls selling great breakfast foods and snacks so after you’ve been the early bird, there’s time to wander around and celebrate your vintage finds with bacon. Or kale if that’s what you’re into.
Where: Sundays at Bondi Beach Public School – Campbell Parade, Bondi
Next check out all the spots you should be shopping at in Melbourne.