I first moved to Brisbane as a student, which meant budget limitations on my spending. I loved (and still) discovering the city’s op-shops, rummaging through shelves or on racks to find an unusual outfit, a new book, a statement jewellery piece, or even something new for my apartment. Most of my favourite clothes have been sourced from secondhand stores or dug out of a pile (including all the outfits in the photo below, all of which cost less than $20 if I remember rightly). Also great for gift shopping on a budget!
I’ve compiled my five favourite spots for op-shops – if I’ve missed your favourite, please drop it in the comments!
The Salvation Army store at Kelvin Grove/Red Hill (80 Glenrosa Rd) is a real hidden gem (I only discovered it last month, despite living in the area for five years). Warehouse full of furniture, both beautiful and practical, as well as rack upon rack of clothes and shoes, and shelves of homewares.
Under the Windsor Road Baptist Church (16 Windsor Road) is the Eternity Boutique, quite a cave of treasures. Last time I was there they had some incredible vintage gowns (I’m a sucker for satin and sparkle), as well as a range of beautiful shoes and bags alongside books, board games, homewares…a bit of everything!
Walk in a straight line down the hill from Sherwood train station and you’ll hit a Vinnies, a Red Cross, and (my personal favourite) the RSPCA Op Shop at 637 Sherwood Rd. This was a dangerous temptation for me when I was working in Sherwood a few days a week. Modern and vintage clothing – often some great brands and unusual finds to be had – as well as stacks of books and an impressive collection of glassware and crockery. There’s also a big shed of furniture and appliances out the back, if my memory serves me correctly.
Another suburb with a little stretch of op-shops – RSPCA, Salvation Army, Save The Children, and Vinnies all stand along Logan Rd which makes for a thrifty afternoon of wandering (another easy straight line to walk from the bus station, with plenty of cafes and restaurants in between). I’ve found these to generally be op shops in the original sense of the word – a lot of clothes, some books and items for the home, all with reasonable price tags and no airs or graces. Definitely some great finds to be had, though!
As well as fab secondhand and upcycle stores like Retro Metro and RaRa Superstar, the Vinnies at Given Tce end of Paddington usually has some interesting vintage threads, as well as more general casual and corporate clothes. Not a huge collection of books, but they usually some lovely home wares like old jewellery boxes, crystal platters, and/or decorative teaspoons.
I’ve found the Vinnies at 73 Mary Street to be quite good for corporate wear, and with a few name brands dropped into the mix without a huge change in price. They also occasionally have some really unusual vintage bits come through, and some pretty formal dresses.
The Lifeline at 144 Adelaide St (just down the arcade) is definitely on the expensive side (charging for the convenience of being in the city?) but I’ve found it good for vintage china if you’re a collector like my mum. They’ve also got a good collection of books and some interesting jewellery pieces.