Looking (and feeling) your best in cute clothes can be expensive sometimes, and affordable fast fashion giants like H&M or Forever 21 don’t always practice ethical production.
Thrift stores! Buying second hand clothing from the brands you love at a cheaper price and not directly supporting unethical sweatshop practices?
Sounds like a win-win to me!
So, I’ll be rating these stores on the basis of 2 criteria: quality of the clothes and the price point- because thrifted clothes are cute but if you’re paying retail price for it, it does defeat the purpose of buying second hand).
I’ll firstly be reviewing stores I’ve been to, or stores my friends have been to and recommended to me in KL, Penang and Melbourne (for any of y’all heading off to Clayton next year). After that, I’ll drop a list of stores I’ve heard of or found online but can’t accurately review.
I’m going to start this off with a disclaimer, I’ve only really been to (and bought from) Jalan Jalan Japan; all the other shops I’m discussing here are from recommendations from friends. Onto the reviews!
1. Jalan Jalan Japan
I hit up this store with some friends the other day and absolutely loved it. It’s selection is absolutely massive and you’ll find all sorts of clothing here, from summer yukatas to Nike Air sneaks to worn graphic t-shirts with obscure logos. It’s a mixed bag and if you plan on coming here, be prepared to sort through a lot of racks.
Address: Level 1A (Block A) Sky Park @ One City, 47650, Jalan USJ 25/1A, One City, 47100 Subang Jaya, Selangor
Opening hours: 10:00 – 22:00
Price: $ (out of $$$)
Clothing (In terms of brands and overall selection): ★☆☆
2. Dime Capsule
Dime capsule is a (mostly) online second-hand clothes shop featuring spray jackets from brands like Converse and Kappa as well as vintage t-shirts and jeans, I’ve never personally bought from this shop but I’ve seen them around campus during bazaars. You can check them out on their Instagram page @dime.capsule for details on current stock.
3. Ok Go
Recommended to me by a friend who’s been and loved it,
Address: RL 23, Level 2, The USJ 19 City Mall, USJ 19
Extra stores I haven’t been to but found on the internet
Address: 2nd floor, Lot 13, Sungei Wang Plaza, Jalan Sultan Ismail, Kuala Lumpur
Opening hours: 10:00 – 22:00
2. Klumby KL
Address: No 26, Bandar Sri Permaisuri, Jalan Dwitasik, Dataran Dwitasik, 56000 Cheras, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur
Opening hours: 12:00 – 24:00 (wild.)
3. Sharin’s Bundle Chow Kit
Features t-shirts, biker jackets and snapbacks brought over from Korea and America.
Address: Jalan Raja Bot, Chow Kit, KL, 50300
Opening hours: …hunted down the details from sources and returned empty handed oops
4. Chia’s Cotton Chic
Great for dresses and items with vintage, floral patterns.
Address: Lot 209, 2nd Floor, Amcorp Mall, 18 Persiaran Barat, PJ
Opening hours: 11:00 – 19:00
As a Penangite, I should probably know more than 1 thrift shop in town, but unfortunately, this is all I have for now.
1. Fujiyama 18
A small two-storey shoplot you could easily miss while driving, and an absolute treasure chest of Japanese vintage items. I absolutely adore this place. Here, you’ll find items from streetwear brands like Thrasher, Comme des Garçons, and Fila as well as luxury brands like Burberry and Tory Burch. Notable items include their huge range of men’s leather and denim jackets, their Nike and Champion windbreakers and their cool selection of oversized tees from brands like Stussy and Calvin Klein. Check out their Instagram (@fuji_tokyo18) for item postings and sales.
Address: 77, Jalan Nagore, George Town,10050, Penang
Opening hours: 13:00 – 22:00
Price: $$$ (price range from RM30 for t-shirts to RM400 for a vintage Gucci handbag; reasonable but pricey)
Clothing: ★★★★ (extra stars for being the best store I’ve ever seen)
Two years at a boarding school in Melbourne just down the road from a row of ‘op shops’ (opportunity shops, AKA thrift stores) was how I started getting into thrift shopping. It started off with a grungy t-shirt from a car boot sale and expanded into Friday afternoons scouring the racks at a Salvos or Red Cross store with some friends. I didn’t necessarily always find what I was looking for but it was fun anyways. So, my reviews of the chain thrift stores will be based upon the shops I went to in the addresses I’ve listed with the review however there are definitely more of those stores around Melbourne. Also, I haven’t listed them below, but there were also some thrift stores near the Windsor and Prahran ends of Chapel Street if you’ve got an afternoon to kill. Here are some shops I went to and my thoughts on ’em.
1. The Posh Opp Shoppe
This place was, in my humble opinion, pretty hit or miss. I did manage to (after a lot of combing through dusty racks) find items from brands like Banana Republic, Nike and Calvin Klein, but most of the time, I returned empty handed. In short, it’s all or nothing folks! On a side note, just as a bit of trivia, you can sometimes spot a heavily pierced man with a face full of tattoos playing classical music on the piano out at the front of the store on the weekends.
Address: 484 Glen Huntly Rd, Elsternwick VIC 3185, Australia
Opening hours: 10:00 -16:30
Price: $ (As a benchmark, the cost of items there ranged from AUD$5 to $15, which is approximately RM15-45)
Salvos is a chain of thrift stores set up by the Salvation Army to raise money for their charity, which is a great cause and the branch that I went to in Elsternwick had a big selection of clothing. From nightgowns to fluffy onesies to Chinese silk jackets to sneakers, they had it all. The best thing about Salvos, in my opinion, would be the sheer variety of clothing items they had and their men’s t-shirt section (because who doesn’t love a comfy oversized tee?)
Address: 366 Glen Huntly Rd, Elsternwick VIC 3185, Australia
Opening hours: 09:30 – 17:00 (Mon to Sat), Closed on Sun
Price: $$ (Prices varied more, from $2 to $30)
Vinnies is another chain of thrift stores set up by St Vincent de Paul Society where all profits go to charity. The store in Hampton I went to was huge, and there I found a couple of band tees for the Beatles and the Temper Trap when I visited for about $5 each in the mens section. The women’s section comprised of jewel toned polyester clothing items which I stayed far away from, though there were some nice denim jackets there too.
Address: 505 Hampton St, Melbourne VIC 3188, Australia
Opening hours: 09:00 – 17:00
4. The Red Cross
Okay, I’m not sure if it was that particular store’s selection or my bad luck but I’ve never really found anything I liked in this shop. It’s good if you’re looking for secondhand dresses or bags but not much else. In terms of the selection of brands, there weren’t any notable ones I recall.
Address: 402 Glen Huntly Rd, Elsternwick VIC 3185, Australia
Opening hours: 09:30 – 16:00 (Mon to Sat) 12:00 – 16:00 (Sun)
Clothing: ☆☆☆ (take it with a grain of salt?)