The best op shops in Sydney
Stay stylish and save money by shopping second-hand. By
SECOND HAND DOESN’T have to mean second best. That’s certainly the idea behind op shops, which have in recent years experienced something of a fashionable revival. But with more than 100 op shops in Sydney alone, how do you know where to bag the best bargains? Here’s our pick of the best Sydney has to offer. Vinnies, Glebe With more than 50 St Vincent de Paul Society retail stores in Sydney alone, it takes something special to make any one store stand out, but you can always find something special at Vinnies Glebe Centre. The small store is packed with clothing, yet it’s organised in a way that it doesn’t feel stuffy. On our visit we’re greeted by a mannequin wearing an actual fox-fur stole, which makes the store feel in-sync with its fashion-forward neighbourhood. Shoppers can find bargains like a $12 Princess Highway dress or a dainty $15 Alannah Hill cardigan. Vinnies Glebe has a good range of men’s business and casual wear, too, priced between $1 and $30. If you’re looking for a statement piece we came across a hot pink flower-print shirt for $16. à 223 Glebe Point Rd, Glebe 2037. 02 9660 6685. Mon-Wed & Fri, Sat 9.30am-6pm; Thu 9.30am-7.30pm; Sun 10am-5pm. The Restore Sandwiched between two construction sites, this unassuming op shop is easy to miss. However, shoppers who make the effort to visit the Restore are unlikely to leave disappointed. The exposed brick walls, wooden pallet shelving and vintage suitcases give the store an industrial-chic vibe more common to Newtown than Seven Hills and its stock is as stylish as its décor. We’re talking high street brands like Witchery, Tokito, Bardot, Trenery and Cue. You can find treasures like a Third Millennium crimson slip dress (RRP$399) for a very reasonable $90. The shop has an excellent range of women’s jeans, helpfully arranged by size. It’s noticeably tailored towards women’s fashions, though there’s a smaller selection of men’s clothes and shoes. You’ll find that most (non-designer) stock ranges from $5-$15. à 154 Best Rd, Seven Hills 2147. 02 9621 7334. www.restorechurch.com.au/therestore. Mon 9.30am-3pm; Tue-Fri 9.30am-5pm; Sat 10am-1pm. Wayside Op Shop, Kings Cross The Wayside Chapel is a Sydney institution, providing vital services and support to Sydney’s homeless population for more than 50 years. They run the Wayside Op Shop located in a period building adjacent to the Chapel. If you’re in the market for a winter coat, Wayside has options starting from as low as $12, with a fur-trimmed leather jacket (for example) setting you back only $25. You can also purchase Wayside Chapel merchandise from the store, or drop next door for a post-shopping pick-me-up from the Wayside Café. Our favourite pieces include a $10 Bardot blue sequinned vest and $12 Tony Bianco heels. à 29 Hughes St, Potts Point 2011. 02 9581 9100. Mon-Fri 9am-4pm; Sat 10am-2pm. Salvos, Minchinbury Off the Great Western Freeway, this blinkand-you’ll-miss-it Salvos is the place to go if you’re moving house. The huge, warehousestyle store has at least two thirds of its floorspace dedicated to furniture. You name it: couches, dining settings, bed frames, mattresses, dressers, desks and even a family-size refrigerator ($350) are up for sale. Designs range from classic to wacky, and all for far cheaper than brand new. The furniture selection is rivalled for size by the massive range of clothing available. Bargain hunters will find beanies, stationery and school uniform basics in abundance. Fashionistas are also likely to nab an unusual find, with out-there factory seconds like navy corsets and tie-dyed hotpants available on our visit. The massive store has a small Street Boutique section, too (the Salvos’ curated fashion stores). à 4 Archbold Rd, Minchinbury 2770. 02 9625 7634. salvosstores.salvos.org.au. Mon-Fri 8.30am-4.30pm; Sat 9am-3pm. Lifeline, Balgowlah If you’re into classic cuts and styles that never go out of fashion, Lifeline Balgowlah is well worth crossing the bridge for. The old, whitewashed brick store is predominantly filled with ‘smart-casual’ selections, ideal for office workwear. A DKNY black dress will set you back $28; a Diana Ferrari wrap
dress is only $18. If you’re after something a bit edgier, a gold lamé shirt with ’80s-era shoulder pads can be yours for just $10. The shop has an extra selling point: costume hire. Rather than buying an outfit for your next fancy dress party and never wearing it again, you can rent one. There’s options for men and women in a range of sizes, from Roman emperors to hippies and flamenco dancers. Clothing at Lifeline Balgowlah is around $20 on average. While it’s a little more expensive than a Salvos, the selection and quality of stock make it worthwhile. à120 Condamine St, Balgowlah 2093. 02 9949 1177. www.lifelinenb.org.au. Mon-Fri 9.30am-5.30pm; Sat 9.30am-4pm.
Wayside Op Shop