Thursday, November 21, 2013

Thrifting in Melbourne

The more I think about it, the more I realise how many of my clothes have been accumulated from op-shops and vintage warehouse sales. Either that, or they come from the sale rack. My cheapskate-ness aside, I thoroughly enjoy thrifting. As tedious and confusing as it sometimes can be (some op-shops look like they really have been hit by a bomb), finding that one awesome shirt, or that perfect pair of jeans is a great feeling of success. The little bits and pieces that decorate my little Melbourne apartment are also thrift finds, ranging from an antique spice rack, a Dracula romance movie poster, to an old cookie jar. I also love the sustainable side of the practice of thrifting - giving life to an old object that was otherwise on the way to landfill is an added bonus to the uniqueness of some of these gems.
Today, I thought I would share some of my favourite thrifty haunts around Melbourne:

Savers (various locations)
If you can manage to wade your way through the millions of disorganised clothes, odd bits of homewares and books, it's likely you'll find a gem in this place. It is a bit chaotic, and is often quite busy (I had to line up for 10 minutes to use the change rooms), but worth a look if you have time to spare. 

Retro Star (1st Floor, Nicholas building/37 Swanston St, Melbourne VIC 3000)
Beware of hipsters. Retro Star is fantastic to look at  - so many fantastic vintage dresses, shoes, and bags - but I normally shy away from buying much due to the hefty price tags. However, keep an eye out for a flyer in regards to one of their warehouse sales. It seems that they have a ridiculous amount of clothing and need to get rid of it occasionally. Located in a warehouse hidden away in Brunswick, these are goldmines. Everything is usually $5 - $10, and I have picked up some fantastic finds here. 

Brotherhood of St Laurence (various locations)
I had never heard of these guys before, but Chris and I chanced upon one of their stores up at Moonee Ponds. Our fabulous old wooden desk was a mere $20 from here, and we somehow managed to transport it home in my minuscule car (have you see a two-door Hyundai Getz?) despite the critical looks of the cashier. My favourite pair of jeans and a great vegetarian cookbook in our collection have also hailed from here.

Chapel Street Bazaar (217 Chapel St, Prahran VIC 3181)
I'll admit that I have only ever bought something from here once, but I could honestly spend hours wondering this store. With a ridiculous amount of nooks, cupboards and corners, this store is literally bursting with vintage goodness. While offering less clothes then other shops, the bazaar seems to have every possible item from the last century. I'm talking record players, every conceivable PEZ dispenser, gum ball machines and polaroid cameras. Again, this place has a slightly hefty price tag, but sometimes you can't just leave that one little thing behind. Plus, chances are you will forget where you even found it in this maze.

Apart from these, I also wander into most little op-shops I wander past when I have time at hand. Chris and I have been known to go out for a walk and come back with an ancient Trivial Pursuit. You never know what you will find.
Do you love thrifting? What are your favourite thrifty haunts?


  1. The recent Garage Sale Trail on last month was a favourite for me. Oh my, I got oodles of goodies!

    1. Garage Sale Trail? I haven't heard of this, but it sounds great!

  2. Melbourne has the best op shops. They are pretty well priced too!

    1. It's pretty fantastic, not they I have shopped in many other places haha!

  3. ah, how i miss melbourne thrifting - loved savers of course, and also brotherhood of st laurence on brunswick rd/lygon st.... cheap books there, was a total addict for that place... had to buy another bookcase even.

    one thing about living in the country again is that there is so much stuff that nobody else wants to buy that i think is gold! when i get too nostalgic for savers, i just think of that...

    sometimes it works.

    lovely to catch up with your blog :) xx

    1. I found that in the country too: not as much variety, but some great finds!
      Thanks heaps for stopping by :)