Thrift shopping is therapeutic and thrilling. Divine fulfilment can be reached when one finds a Miu Miu amongst all the Millers. It isn’t always easy, it’s often laborious, time-consuming and sometimes disappointing, but that is all part of the fun.

I’ve taken it upon myself to begin to compile a list of all the best op shops and thrift stores in Sydney. This list is incomplete and I’ll be regularly updating it as I brave unfamiliar op-shops in uncharted areas (North Sydney).

Australian Red Cross
390 Oxford St, Paddington NSW 2021

If you find the concept of op-shopping a bit daunting this boutique store is probably the best place to start. It’s clean, tiny and filled to the brim with gorgeous goods. A fair amount of the wares are donated brand new by labels directly.

Best finds: A Comme des Garçons clutch ($10) and a Miu Miu skirt ($60)

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Vinnies Paddington
292 Oxford St, Paddington NSW 2021

If you’re feeling a little braver and possess the energy to dig through hoards of clothing then wander a few blocks down from Red Cross into Vinnies Paddington. This store is mammoth but it is absolutely worth spending an hour or so here because I guarantee that your hard work will prevail.

Best finds: a brand new pair of Rick Owens x Adidas sneakers that were like, four sizes too big but you know… the thrill was still there.

Vinnies Waverley
255 Bronte Rd, Waverley NSW 2024

I’ve only been to this store a couple of times but it’s a bit of an anomaly to me; in the way that literally everything there is gorgeous and you hardly have to sort through shite. Maybe it’s the whole Eastern Suburbs thing? Anyway this place is pretty much drowning in designer clothing. They also sell furniture which is just… stunning.

Best finds: Stella McCartney shoes ($50), Marni dress ($60)

The Restore

154 Best Rd, Seven Hills NSW 2147

If you’re ever out west make it your mission to visit The Restore. A cafe/op-shop combo, The Restore aims to create “a welcoming space and work hard so as to not alienate the very people we are here to help”.

Red Cross Newtown
359 King St, Shop 2, Newtown NSW 2042

Generally speaking, thrifting in Newtown is pretty dire – probably because everyone that lives in that vicinity is well versed in the art of pre-loved clothing. But this Red Cross almost always has really unique retro and vintage pieces.

the wayside op shop
29 Hughes St, Potts Point NSW 2011
& 40-42 Warners Ave, Bondi Beach NSW 2026

Located right next to The Wayside Chapel. This boutique store often has some hidden gems. It also has some of the nicest employees in the world. This Potts Point institution now has a sister store located in Bondi.

Best find: A pair of vintage Gucci sunglasses that wouldn’t look out of place in any of The Matrix films.

Honourable Mention: SWOP
Shop 2/112-116 Enmore Rd, Newtown NSW 2042

Although technically a vintage store, it’s worth including in this article. SWOP is a clothing exchange store in Newtown that is “built around ideas of sustainability, affordability and anti-waste”. Unlike other hack-job “vintage” stores that attempt to flog stained, Jay Jays Ren & Stimpy tees for $70; SWOP is always home to lovely, one-off vintage pieces.