Having started to settle into Sydney life away from the tourist hubs of the Circular Quay and the CBD, it was time to find gems that only the locals know of, and strolling into the inner-west of Sydney, away from Newtown tends to be that bit calmer. Summer Hill is a leafy spot for any number of yummy mummys to enjoy sleepy café pit stops – and little else, apart from the somewhat undiscovered Anglicare op shop.

Adrian at the shop

This op shop was given its flush of success amongst the shoppers by several blog posts asking about decent and affordable second hand shops. I knew I simply had to travel there. Close to the train station, it isn’t hugely promoted. In fact it is a number along a residential road. Passing through a side gate I am indeed in the depot. A litter of huge steel scale plastic tubs hang outside the shop fall to the brim of clothes from the retro years from around about 1983-2002. I was ready and raring. I mentally had prepared myself to find a plethora of tropical themed shirts all akin to a Magnum PI party, some American Apparel dungarees high at the waist and stonewashed to sheer eighties perfection. Maybe even trucker caps, silk cravats or original ‘90s high tops which a well-heeled sneakers expert would more than happily stamp their approval to.

Trying to find the gold

Sadly as I walked in on that familiar dusty smell of musk & mothballs, I knew I was about to be nasally assaulted. Towards the back wall on the left there were three large skip sized boxes of denim, which to go though almost completely K.O-ed. One step away from having a nosebleed akin to a ill-at-ease gamer on the first day at big school, I pushed on with the different ranges of denim – nearly all female and ranging fairly subjectively between stylish and K-Mart-tastic Thereafter all the clothes weren’t quite along of the lines of op shop glory – the shoes containing a large range of fissures which weren’t really . The biggest joy of the experience came from visiting the actual shop, the benefit here being that the clothes were slightly fresher and presented on hangers (although I still failed to cope). Again though, as this is a depot for sorting, it disappointed again. Maybe people in the local area don’t want to recycle a decent garment? Maybe they don’t actually own decent garments?

Maybe then Melbourne is the Australian city to fully provide these goods. It’s time to check out the next worthy op shop to pursue my dreams of owning a second yellow jacket, double denim disasters (that are secretly cool) or controversial fashion choices to bust out when you desperately need attention from friends/family… but don’t want it to be too obvious. I’ll keep you posted.


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