12 tips for where to shop in Melbourne

It’s no secret that when I hit a new city, country – or small town for that matter – I like to suss out the shops.

It’s in my genetic makeup, I’m sure ;)

There’s something way more relaxing about the browsing that takes place away from home. You’re not really shopping with a specific occasion or wardrobe addition in mind. You’re shopping for the fun of it.

That doesn’t mean we should not be mindful about what we ultimately purchase (you know I’m all for only buying things that you love!) but it means we can go with the flow a bit more and open our eyes to the possibility of trying on something we normally wouldn’t.

Last week, Styling You reader Leish Slade posted on Facebook that she was heading from New Zealand to Melbourne for a conference and would have time for some shopping. She wanted to know where to shop in Melbourne.

Rather than fake my scant knowledge of Melbourne shops, I put it out there to the Styling You Facebook community and the information that flowed back was so good, that I thought everyone might benefit from having it included in a post here on the blog … you know for that next girl’s weekend away.

Vital information indeed, Stylers.

12 Melbourne Shopping Tips

1. Buy Fashionista’s Guide to Shopping in Melbourne ($18.95). Written by Melbourne fashionistas Emily Power and Antonia Acott, this gem will guarantee you’re in the know when it comes to shopping in Melbourne.

2. Norlin from Baubles, Bubbles and Bags says that Zara is her favourite fashion store in Melbourne … but says it “can be a bit hit or miss”.

3. Fitzroy: Brunswick Street and Smith Street. Carly from Smaggle is a big fan. So is Catherine Yarham, who loves vintage shopping in this area. Johanne Taylor says if you’re visiting over a weekend then visit the Rose Street Artist Markets for handmade jewellery.

4. South Yarra: Toorak Road and Chapel Street.

5. South Melbourne: Clarendon Street.

6. Chadstone Shopping Centre: Jane from My Encore Store says “it’s a pretty good one-stop shop, particularly if you want to browse through the likes of Tiffany, Chanel, Gucci etc. Perfect for a bad weather day too”. Holly Rodgers says you can “spend days in there”!

7. Doncaster Westfield Shoppingtown.

8. The City.

  • Head to Dizingof for “incredible clothes made in Australia from beautiful fabrics, that suit all body shapes”, says Angela Maguire.
  • Smaggle says head to Little Collins Street for shoes (Zomp is the best). Jessica Dekmetzian agrees re Zomp and says the boutiques on Flinders Lane are also worth a look.
  • Jane from My Encore Store loves the arcades and little side alleyways in Melbourne City – lots of little boutiques and coffee shops to discover. “Hidden alleyways always have nice surprises so its worth exploring off of the main streets,” says Michelle Geyer.
  • Sydneysider Rayanne Kheir says, “I think Bourke Street Mall is the best place to shop as stores are aligned on each row of the street in the heart of Melbourne’s City, perfect for an early breakfast at Laurent and indulgent shopping spree.”
  • Collins Street … the Paris end, of course, if your budget extends to that.
  • GPO shopping centre

9. DFO South Wharf at Docklands. Natalie Stewart recommends it for bargains and “the Hilton there is lovely too”. Kim-Marie from Kimba Likes suggests brunch at the Hilton before you shop.

10. Southbank: Catherine Yarham says head to Cabochon for “fantastic and reasonably priced costume jewellery”.

11. Richmond: Bridge Road for outlet shopping and cafe hopping.

12. Malvern: High Street for designer boutiques and op shopping. “Wonderful labels can be found at a poofteenth of the price of the boutiques. I highly recommend op shops in Malvern (there are several), particularly the mecwacare op shop at 136 Wattletree Road,” says Debbie Brent.

Oh, and one last gem came from Lee Robson … a reminder about what to pack: “don’t forget to wear black!”

More information: Shopping in Melbourne

Do you live and shop in Melbourne? Or been on trips where you’ve found some great places we need to hear about? Share in the comments below for the greater good!

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  • Lovely Laura

    Great blog – sorry that I just discovered it now!!
    Picking up on past comments below the best thing about Melbourne is discovering those hidden gems only those in the local neighbourhood know about. Though my local neighbourhood may not appreciate me telling you about it – I couldn’t hold onto this secret any longer.
    There is an absolutely unbelievably lovely store located in Moonee Ponds called New York Groove (121 Puckle St).
    They stock designer brands all at discounted prices.
    The frustration I had was that I loved so many pieces – which is rare as most stores might only only have a few things that I might like. You can see that they give a lot of thought to what they stock. Quantities are limited as they only have one or two of each item, which can be heartbreaking to be honest when you fall in love with that skirt, dress or coat. I guess when you fall in love you always open yourself to the odd heartbreak :-)
    This is for me the BEST STORE IN MELBOURNE! …luv it, luv it, luv it!!

  • Latte Kate

    I discovered Leona Edmiston Vintage in High Street, Armadale and Greville Street, Prahran – end of line frocks plus great vintage pre-loved frocks (some of which are very sought after – waiting lists etc) at great prices)!!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Excellent, thanks Kate!

  • Mimi

    Great site. I’m looking for dresses for my twin daughters, aged 13, for their year 7 formal in a months time. Do you have any ideas on where to shop?

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      It’s a tricky age – I’d look at the Witchery teen collection.

  • Some Like It HOt

    Visit us under Flinders St station for affordable vintage, designer and interesting – for men and women!

  • Sarah Wayne

    There it is! you’ve already mentioned every places/streets names in Melbourne where any fashion lover can spend years for designer clothing! Great job done! BTW I was in High street Armadale couple of months earlier but now I’ve moved to South Yarra, where I found a great store named Bue Boutique, they stock most unique pieces of designer dresses & accessories from local designers such as Lui Hon, Alexandra, Bue, Roupa Pemmaraju. I’m sure someone who loves to wear unique dresses made by Australian local designers, will agree with me :)

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Oh thanks Sarah for adding in that boutique!

  • Sandramk

    Five Star Factory Direct – Footscray (very close to Highpoint Shopping Centre)

    This is a factory outlet store and not listed anywhere and not widely known unless you’re on their mailing list, so it pays to join. It’s usually open to the public 3 days a week and most prices are 50% or better than what you’d pay retail.

    They have a few sales through the year but their biggest happens twice a year and they take an additional 50% off their already low prices. That means you’d pay a 1/4 of what you’d pay retail.

    Expect to see HOMEWARES like Baccarat, Arcosteel, Marie Claire, Pete Evan, Luke Nguyen and the list goes on….lots of product that you’d expect to see in ‘House’ stores.

    AFL clothing, Everlast, Photo Albums and much more.

    They also sell Under Armour which is almost never on sale but it’s heavily discounted anyway.

    Their 50% off sale is starting this Saturday (2/7/13) and will run for 2 weeks. Open M-F 9-6 Sat 9-4. 7-9 Mephan Street, Footscray.

    YOU WON’T BE DISAPPOINTED.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Thanks Sandra!

  • jackie.celima

    Going to melbourne tomorrow and was going to do bridge rd as I shopped there yrs ago and loved it :( bummer am taking my 18yr old daughter as ive always brgged how cheep it was, now not sure what to do, shes in uni with limited $$$$ might try bourke st now by the looks of these revues :(

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      And also the DFO outlet at Docklands.

  • Melbourne shopping centres

    I’m most impressed by this blog because it’s very beautiful and gorgeous. Thanks for shares.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Thanks so much!

  • Ilona

    Don’t forget your outer city suburbs also. Those little boutiques that sometimes don’t get a mention because the bigger ones take over. Suburbs such as Kew, Balwyn, Templestowe, Ivanhoe, East Ivanhoe are just a few. These areas all have owner operated boutiques that need to be supported as well.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Thanks for sharing Ilona!

  • Julia @ Boredom Abounds

    Clarendon St. South melb probably isn’t the first place I would suggest for shopping. The swish store is good, and there are a few nice boutiques in the surrounding streets, but there are much better places to visit. Agree about the city lane ways – always worth exploring them first!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      The beauty of this is that the information came from lots of Melbourne lovers, so each brings their opinion to the post.

  • Emma

    The Mornington Peninsula is a must-shop!! Main St, Mornington in particular has some fantastic fashion and homewares stores, but anywhere you go down this way is dotted with fab stores begging for you to browse!!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Thanks Emma!

  • Carly Findlay

    I like Highpoint and Melbourne Central for department stores. I also like Yarraville for cute boutiques, Cathedral Arcade (I think it’s called that) on corner Flinders Lane and Swanston St, and Sydney Road Brunswick for pretty boutiques, Kinking Gerlinki and Friends of Couture.
    When I thought about the shopping in Melbourne I realised that I am growing out of my shopping phase and much prefer cafes and restaurants. I recommend The Auction Rooms, Rice Queen, Mamasita, Fonda, Chin Chin and Vietnam Noodle House.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Thanks Carly … and food is my second Melbourne love!

  • http://www.facebook.com/helen.hayden.94 Helen Hayden

    GPO in the city is my favourite with Alpha 60, Karen Millen, Rhodes & Beckett, Camper shoes, Mimco. Many an outfit bought there.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Thanks Helen!

  • Paula

    Lived in Melbourne for a while – agree re High St Armadale, for a bit of fashion and home wares, and some of the antique shops for window shopping.
    We have Zomp in WA and their shoes are great!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Now I want a Zomp store!

  • Suzie

    If you are heading out of Melbourne en route to Phillip Island, in the small town of KooWeeRup is a shop called Hurly Burly Girly stop in and have a look!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Thanks Suzie!

  • http://twitter.com/norlinm Norlin Mustapha

    Hahaha…yes we wear black a lot in Melbourne! Although I’ve started to steer away from that last year. Lots of great suggestions there, and if she sticks to the city and inner city area, she’ll have a ball. It’s more like where should you not miss out on really. Melbourne – shoppers paradise. :)

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      I love that you’ve steered away from black, Norlin!

  • http://claireyhewitt.blogspot.com/ ClaireyHewitt

    Bridge Road used to be amazing shopping, it was the best place to get great bargains, now, not so much worth a trip, if you are in the area take a look but don’t make it a trip. The main tip for Melbourne shopping is to not miss the laneways, if you see a coffee shop in a laneway, take a peak, there might also be a clothes shop hidden down there.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Thanks Clairey – love the laneways! Especially the one with the chocolate shop in it!

  • http://www.facebook.com/alexandria.emporio Alexandria Emporrium

    As a Melbournite I agree with all these places plus more. I have been in Melbourne many years now and I still find new places to shop and new start-up designers all the time. It’s such an amazing city for clothes and inspiration! And it’s always changing! There’s always something new and nothing ever stays the same. :-)

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      I think that’s why we keep coming back to visit – nothing stays the same!

  • Alice

    Bridge road aint what it used to be. As a precinct it is struggling – have seen a high turn over of shops. The Country Road outlet is pretty good, but many shops have closed along there, stores like Portmans and Sportsgirl are pretty much the normal stores but maybe with a slightly bigger sale section.
    Go to DFO Southwharf – although its a little weird to get to by public transport. Don’t bother with the Southern Cross one – it is no longer a DFO.
    As someone who works there – Bourke St Mall is good :-)

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Thanks for your tips, Alice!

  • Cheekie

    GPO in city for gorgeous experience and shops, then head to Flinders Lane for more shopping and lunch
    High St Armadale not Malvern, then hop on the tram and check out High St Hawksburn and then hop on same tram for High St Prahran and walk to market or Chapel St from there.
    Chadstone only if it rains.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Thanks Cheekie!

  • Marianne

    I have only shopped a couple of times in Melbourne, but as a shoe girl, I loved Puckle Street…I made a bit of a dint in the credit cards there! I also found some great bargains at the DFO at Docklands – bags and scarves as well as some really lovely necklaces. Looking forward to my next trip in June armed with this new information – thanks Nikki!!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Oh fabulous Marianne … love Melbourne in winter – get to wear my coat collection!

      • Marianne

        I know – we have a new granddaughter due at the end of May so are already making plans to meet her (and catch up with the other 3 granddaughters) over the long weekend in June. Coats,
        scarves and boots will be the order of the day, and I am already excited about it (and the baby of course!).

        • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

          So exciting!!

  • Kelly

    Living in Brisbane … shopping in Melbourne is such a treat. Online has made the divide a bit smaller but it so lovely wandering around all the shops and lane ways. I can’t really offer any advice on the best places … I just start walking and stumble across fabulous places which I think is all part of the fun. Very hard to do a repeat visit though! Different kettle of fish if you are on a deadline or looking for something specific.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      I love the stumbling, Kelly … and possibly finding something you wouldn’t otherwise find.

  • Lisa Mckenzie

    I only had a stopover in Melbourne for a trip I did to Mildura to visit when my daughter lived there and I didn’t go shopping:( even though I had a delay of 5 hours I was too scared to get on a bus and do it and be back in time for my flight,I did shop in Witchery and Loccitane at the airport though,But I don’t think that counts.
    My Husband is heading there at the end of the month for work so I might send him to buy me a present and My son and his girlfriend are off to Melbourne as well this month for her cousins Deb ball so I will let them know about the great shopping in Melbourne.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      You should go on the work trip too Lisa!

      • Lisa Mckenzie

        His work won’t let me :(or I would!

  • http://twitter.com/emmamakesthings Emma Clark

    It is definitely worth having a plan of attack, especially in the CBD. There are loads of excellent little boutiques in the laneways (Little Collins, Degraves, Flinders Lane) that you wouldn’t find without some hunting. It is easy to just end up in the samey old chain stores in Bourke and Swanston Streets if you don’t know where to look!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Great advice Emma!

  • Stylesnooperdan

    Melbourne Gpo in the cbd is a must, (brands like Acne, Willow, Fat,
    Sass & Bide) as is Little Collins st xx

    http://www.stylesnooperdan.com

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Thanks for your tips!

  • Marilyn Schroeder

    Also try The Ark in Canterbury, Carlton or Malvern. Great Australian Design

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Thanks Marilyn!