Like many a modern Melbourne woman with a discerning eye, I love a bargain and I love to browse and graze at the shelves of the multitude of vintage stores in Melbourne.
I think shopping and especially vintage shopping, satisfies a deep and primal urge in women. It is foraging combined with hunting and the “Ah Ha!” feeling when you track down, capture and bag that object of desire is pretty darn good. Plus we all know by now that recycling is good for the environment.
Most of these shops are small businesses run by one operator, usually a woman with a fine eye for good fabric and period detail, who does all the selecting and buying and are well worth supporting.
The following is a small sample of what is out there…
Flashback at 79 High St Westgarth, specialises in vintage fabric for furnishings as well as clothing, wallpaper and lampshades. There are also imported designer fabrics with a vintage look. Some favourites of mine were the cowgirl prints and the Frida Kahlo fabric. These were around $35 per meter but they were pretty damn cute.
Further along the street is Things Second Hand, probably the messiest most disorganised of vintage shops anywhere. There is furniture on the footpath and it’s quite hard to actually get into the store there is so much stuff in the way all piled on top of other stuff. This is for that valiant type of vintage junkie or serious collector who doesn’t mind sorting through the plastic beads and toys and old shoes to get to the good stuff. Also you sometimes have to wonder “Is this something?” I found some lovely silk scarves there including one from the 1950s with ballerinas on it.
Set slightly behind High st on the corner looking a bit like an ex corner milk bar is Know Your Product. They specialise in home wares and furniture from the mid 1950s to 1970s Lots of stuff from one’s childhood with clean lines and blonde wood and orange plastic. I saw some cute and affordable plastic brooches which I liked.
Top Hat at 873 High st. Thornbury has antiques, vintage clothing and collectables. Michelle from Top Hat has been collecting for many years but says she’s going to finish up at the end of the year. She says she’s getting on, all her babies have grown up, and she has to get up at 6 30 to cook breakfast for the old man. She has a good selection of all sorts of authentic and older vintage including two gorgeous black silk velvet long coats one lined in gold, jewellery, ladies compacts, evening purses, shoes, glassware and more. Her stock looks well chosen and well cared for and there is a selection of men’s wear as well.
Old Hat is worth a look as well and she has a shop on e Bay as well. I found some clip on 1950s sparkly earrings for only $6.
Sally’s Hats is one of the longest standing stores and has great jewellery and lots of affordable clothing, plus they give student discounts.
Lost and Found Market This store recently relocated from the old Club in Collingwood to the fast becoming groovy end of Smith st just around the corner from Gertrude st. It is more like a vintage super store really as there are dozens of stalls all under the same roof. It has too many things to list but includes furniture, jewellery, toys, crockery, pictures, top hats, 50s style petticoats, ball gowns and more. Allow plenty of time for this one.
Smart Alec is a new shop and though not strictly vintage it looks as though it is and has the nice olde worlde 50’s feel of a gentleman’s hatter. You can also buy switch sticks which are adjustable walking sticks, bow ties and bags, plus many other gift items for the stylish man.
Things Second Hand – Vintage Stores Melbourne
115 High st Northcote
Old Hat – Vintage eBay Store
226 High st Northcote
Top Hat – Vintage Clothing Store
873 High st Thornbury
Wed – Fri 10 30am to 5pm Sat 10am to 1pm
Know Your Product – Vintage Furniture Stores
1 Timmins st Northcote
Lost and Found Market – Vintage Stores (under 1 roof)
12 Smith st Collingwood
7 days 10am to 6pm
Sallys Hats – Vintage Clothing Store
291 Smith st Fitzroy
Smart Alec – Vintage Menswear
71 Smith st Fitzroy
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