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Sydney Fashion Boutiques For When You Want to Refresh Your Wardrobe

Hone your individual style with help from these fashionable stores.
By Emma Joyce
August 21, 2020
By Emma Joyce
August 21, 2020


in partnership with

Hone your individual style with help from these fashionable stores.

Tired of what's hanging in your wardrobe? When you're in the market for new threads, there are plenty of independent boutiques in Sydney offering handpicked collections of international brands and locally made labels, so you can elevate your everyday look without having to wait for shipping or bother with crowds at the inner city malls.

We've teamed up with American Express to bring you these nine fashion boutiques that either make clothing for men and women here in Australia, or import premium fashion brands from overseas. You can shop for fresh kicks, timeless cashmere jumpers, quality cotton tees and quirky accessories at these Sydney shops with your Amex Card in hand.

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    This William Street boutique has been serving well-dressed women in Sydney for the best part of two decades. Owners Nicola Lie and Juliet Kember started out with their eyes on Belgium for style inspiration, but over time the store’s range has evolved to a broader collection of local and overseas brands, including Issey Miyake, Dries van Noten and Comme des Garçon.

    The overall look here is loose fitting, laidback and structural, created with premium fabrics and designed to outlast high street trends. It can be a fairly intimidating boutique to approach, so take a look at the collection online for an idea of what’s likely to be in stock — or keep an eye out for Poepke’s biannual archives sale for the best bargains.

    Image: Cassandra Hannagan

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  • 8

    Bondi’s boutique tends to be packed with locals picking out new basics from Bassike, or structured statement dresses by Sydney-based designer Dion Lee. Aussie labels are front and centre, and here you’ll find that vibrant festival shirt you’ve been dreaming of by locals Double Rainbouu, as well as gold necklaces by Sydney jeweller Holly Ryan.

    However, the store is also where Bondi locals pick up their international labels. There’s imports from the likes of Alexander Wang, Rag & Bone and Cecilie Copenhagen.

    Image: Cassandra Hannagan

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  • 7
    The Standard Store

    Husband and wife team Nicola and Orlando Reindorf opened The Standard Store on Crown Street in 2011. The power-dressing couple import clothing from around the world, including coveted brands like New York’s Rachel Comey, Texan brand Apiece Apart and Danish designer Henrik Vibskov.

    The shop itself is a beautiful terrace that once housed a laundrette. It’s now filled with men’s and women’s tees, shirts and pants, plus beaded brooches, upmarket umbrellas and glittery socks — all hand picked by the Reindorfs, and chosen to help you make a statement with your everyday outfits.

    Image: Cassandra Hannagan

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  • 6

    Twin brothers Brian and Vincent Wu are the brains behind Sydney-born fashion store Incu, which launched back in 2002. The original boutique in Paddington has expanded to seven stores across Australia, and it has a cult-like following for its range of international brands, as well as its own label Incu Collection (formerly Vanishing Elephant).

    At The Galeries, you’ll find the men’s and women’s stores facing one another. Head into either for a mix of clothing, sneakers, watches and candles. Common Projects, Etre Cecile, Nike, A.P.C. and Maison Kisune are always in stock, and you’ll find a few local labels stocked here too, like Lucy Folk’s statement jewellery, Holiday’s iconographic tees and Provider Store’s candles.

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  • 5
    Collector Store Paddington

    The Collector Store now has three locations, including its largest space in Paddington. The Oxford Street boutique has just as much of an eclectic mix of clothing, candles and cushion covers as the other locations, but with more room to show off the furniture and dining products than at the Barangaroo or Crown Street stores.

    At the front of the shop, there are rails of menswear by Mr Simple (think linen shorts and Hawaiian-inspired shirts) and women’s printed dresses by Coster Copenhagen. Though most of the clothing sits above $100, there are gifts within the $40–60 bracket like Missoni towels, Leif hand wash and Scotch & Soda leather wallets, as well as a locally made range of Gascoigne & King candles and diffusers.

    Image: Cassandra Hannagan

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  • 4
    Somedays Barangaroo

    When Somedays launched in 2005, it began with boutiques in Melbourne and Surry Hills selling menswear and womenswear, along with fashion-forward sunnies and delicate jewellery. Its third outpost, found on the corner Shipwright Walk and Scotch Row in Barangaroo, is now its only physical store as the fashion retailer is primarily based online.

    What hasn’t changed in the last 15 years is Somedays’ commitment to Nordic style. You’ll find Swedish brands Dr Denim and Nudie Jeans, men’s jackets and merino jumpers from Norse Projects and button-ups by Copenhagen label NN07.

    Though, not every brand is Northern European; there’s also Aussie leather label Bellroy, sustainably made French sneakers from Veja and New Zealand labels Lonely and Kowtow.

    Image: Cassandra Hannagan

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  • 3

    Ethically accredited since 2012, Manning Cartell’s sophisticated clothing is made right here in Sydney. Sisters Cheryl, Vanessa and Gabrielle Cartell set up the fashion brand in 2005, and it now boasts celebrity fans including Amal Clooney and Margot Robbie.

    The socially responsible clothing line is all about kitting you out for the night (or a very fancy daytime do). It has embellished dresses, chic black jumpsuits and structured shirt dresses that range from $400–1000. Even casual polo dresses are made to stand out from the crowd.

    It also makes and sells sustainable and environmentally friendly leather jackets, pants and skirts, plus a range of party-ready mules, metallic heels and jewellery.

    Image: Cassandra Hannagan

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  • 2
    Aje Chatswood Chase

    Friends Adrian Norris and Edwina Forest started Aje in 2008 as a women’s clothing line that’s all about effortless style. Norris brings an artistic background from his time at Liceo Artistico Venezia, and Forest brings her knowledge of fashion publishing from her time at RUSSH magazine. Together, they’ve created everyday looks that range from puffed sleeve dresses to oversized hoodies.

    Each store is minimalist in design, and you’ll find the Chatswood boutique on level one of Chatswood Chase Shopping Centre. Head in store for the best advice on fitting and accessories to complete your desired look.

    Image: Cassandra Hannagan

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  • 1
    Jac+ Jack Outlet

    When you’re looking for basics made with luxury fabrics, Jac+ Jack is where you’ll find the most consistent, neutral designs. Its men’s and women’s cashmere jumpers can be seen on Sydneysiders up and down the coast, and its collection of breathable cotton and linen tees are made for lasting from Australia’s hot summer days through to its cooler nights.

    The brand was launched by Jacqueline ‘Jac’ Hunt and Lisa ‘Jack’ Dempsey in 2004, and since then it’s opened six stores across Australia. This Mary Street shop is different in that it’s not about the latest releases, instead it has a rolling selection of past season styles marked down for clearance. And, as Jac+ Jack is all about timeless style and block colours, it’s an excellent place to pick up basics for less.

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Support the places you love and shop small at the local stores that make Sydney so great. To learn about American Express, its Shop Small initiative and current Shop Small offer, which ends on August 31, visit here. Then, head this way to find more must-visit spots.

Top image: The Standard Store by Cassandra Hannagan

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