Where to shop for vintage clothing

Posted by Michelle Toft | September 11, 2018

The fashion is a huge highlight of the day at the National Motor Museum at Birdwood, which is the finish line for the Bay to Birdwood run. If you are a first time entrant into the Concours d’Elegance or are dressing up for Fashions in the Field, here are some places we recommend to shop for that prize-winning outfit.

The Concours d’Elegance is where the vehicles are assessed on a number of areas and the entrant’s dress is judged according to how closely their appearance associates with the era of their vehicle. All finalists receive a certificate and the overall winner receives the prized Concours Trophy. As you can imagine it’s a tough competition, with contestants sourcing vintage items to be true to the era of their vehicle.

If you just want to dress up for the day with the Fashions in the Field, you don’t necessarily have to wear true vintage, as it is often hard to find items which are bigger than a modern size 10 (ladies wear). There are many companies and stores that stock new ‘vintage’ styled items and often are in modern sizes up to size 26.

Men’s vintage clothing can be harder to come by, they are often in odd sizes. For example, a vintage men’s suit jacket may be a size 44 and the matching pants a size 36, (they may have belonged to an older gentlemen who had a larger middle). If you need more consistent sizing, then you can often make up a suit that looks similar from the same era from a jacket and pants. True vintage children’s clothing is often harder to find, but does depend on the era. There are often more clothing items from the 70’s and 80’s then earlier eras, due to how rough children can be on their clothing.

As a lot of people buy clothing online, but you can’t beat the touch and feel of shopping in a vintage store or vintage styled clothing store.

Adelaide vintage and vintage styled clothing stores:

Little Miss Waste not clothing 68 Main Street, Nairne, SA 5252. PH: 0434432595, info@littlemsserendipity.com: Unique treasures from 1950s day dresses to 1970s pantsuits, and jackets from the 90s.

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Push pin boutique 8 Compton St, Adelaide SA 5000, Vintage items for mainly women ranging from the 40’s to 90’s fashion.

Retro jam 103 Grange Road, Allenby Gardens, SA, 5009, PH (08) 70065874, info@retrojam.net.au, A specialist in Adelaide for retro and vintage costume hire, there are also items of vintage you can purchase. They carry a huge range of vintage styled clothing for men and ladies as well. The costume eras they cater for are the 1920’s to 1980’s. They also have plus size clothing and of course average sizes are well represented too.

Ill-Gotten Gains 56 George Street, Thebarton SA 5031, PH: 0491 003 164, sales@ill-gottengains.com, Retro and vintage style clothing for ladies and men, located just outside the Adelaide CBD and has easy parking too.

Adelaide Vintage Level 2, Myer Centre, Rundle Mall, Adelaide, SA, PH: 0431 103 363; Vintage Clothing sourced from the USA to Japan. They have a coffee lounge featuring home baked goodies; vegan, gluten free and organic coffee also available.

Chaos Bazaar 306 Goodwood Rd, Clarence Pk SA, PH: (08) 8293 3500, Vintage styled clothing from the 1920’s to 1980’s. Perfect if you want to dress up for the fashions on the field, they have a range of clothing for ladies and men.

Casablanca 226 Hampstead Road, Clearview, SA, PH: 0456 937 969, sales@cassablanca.com.au, They cover classic and timeless styles with a 20’s to 70’s vintage styles in most ladies and men’s clothing and accessories. They source items from some of the best specialty fashion houses and designers in the world. If you are looking for a something in small sizes and large sizes, Casablanca is the best place to go, they have a huge range and vary in prices as well for all budgets. Fashion 3

The Lion the Witch Vintage 58 Frome Street, Adelaide, SA, PH: 044 7725 238822; They are an independent creative duo, who source retro treasures, shipped from the UK to provide a wide range of choices from the 40’s – 90’s.

Vintage markets in Adelaide:

Another source of vintage clothing in Adelaide are the weekly or monthly held vintage markets, they often have a range of clothing for ladies, men and children.

Brighton car boot sale/Sunday Market, 305 Brighton Road, North Brighton, SA: Check their website for details times and dates. www.brightonsundaymarket.org

There are some stalls which offer vintage accessories and clothing, but mostly there are your typical car boot sale items like plants, used goods and scones.

Gilles at the Grounds, formally Gilles Street Markets, has a new location at the Old Brick Dairy at the Wayville Showgrounds. Check their Facebook or Website for date and times. There are heaps of vintage stalls, it does get pretty crowded so I would advise starting off early and be prepared with cash and a helper (if you can rope someone in) to carry all your goodies.

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Fashion swap meets and Op Shops, used clothing stores:

If you’re looking for something vintage looking and don’t want to break the bank then the places to go are fashion swap meets and op shops. These are more hit and miss, as most op shoppers can tell you, one day you can find a gem at one store and then another day nothing. But don’t let that put you off.  For fashion swap meets and alike the best place to look for these being held are at your local community centres; often they will have an event (keep an eye out on Facebook and local councils event pages).

There are so many op shops in Adelaide and South Australia, all varying on price, condition of clothing and accessories; what’s on offer changes at any given day. If you have the time, it’s well worth the experience. Some of the bigger stores are often easier to find something good for example: Savers at Kilburn and Noarlunga and the triangle of op shops on Findon Road, where there is a RSPCA op shop, Salvos, Red Cross and Vinnies all within a few steps of each other.

Melbourne: RetroStar, Nicholas Building, lvl 1, 37 Swanston St, 3000; they specialises in ’40s to ’80s vintage wares.

Sydney: The Vintage Clothing Shop, 80 Shop 7, St James Street Arcade, Castlereagh St, 2000; their shop attracts the likes of fashion magazine editors and TV producers looking for authentic clothing for period film and TV productions. It’s the only vintage store in the CBD, found inside the time warp that is St James Street Arcade.