Monday, November 9, 2009

St Vincent De Paul Op-Shop, Newport

.... And a failed journey to the Anglican Op Shop, Newport.

There are times when I deeply resent not having a car. Walking through the blistering heat in suburban Newport, where there are no other signs of life on a hot afternoon would have to be one of them.

I was on my way to the Anglican Opshop, which is buried deep in the heart of Newport, a fairly flat and shadeless suburb on the fringe of the bay. Little weatherboard houses peeled as I sweated and burned. As I turned into a street with a cluster of small, faded shops, I was relieved that Google maps hadn't let me down. There was the Anglican Opshop (40 Challis St, Newport.) The shop is in a boxy weatherboard house complete with a front garden, mailbox and a fence on the corner. On this corner, however, stood a squat, elderly woman in a bright turquoise top and thick stockings.

I gave her the evil eye when she told me that she'd just closed early because of the heat, and she flashed me a toad-like smile before getting into a battered old Camry that had come to collect her. I stood at the corner for a couple of minutes, until the Camry disappeared around the corner.

So, instead of being about the Anglican Op-Shop in Newport, this post is about the local Vinnies, which is a little closer to Newport Station. The shop is low and cool, with horizontal racks of clothes and rows of furniture that stretch to the very back of the shop. There is a great sense of organisation and separation of the different items and the design makes the most of the long layout of the store, dragging the eye all the way to the far wall.

I was not really inspired by the clothes. There were plenty of target castaway tops, casual denim jeans, and camel and burgundy coloured jackets for the "mature lady." I did like a cropped, cape-like jacket from Brown Sugar that was navy and made from this lovely felt material. I also spotted at peachy, long jacket with pale buttons and a scoop neck. I found the most unique item hanging upside down, on a rack of bland pink and white singlets (also upside down.) It was a shift dress, with a black base and lots of black and silver threads that gave it this woolly texture.

There were some pretty satin and silk nightdresses and gowns, pj's, light floral summer dresses and a Studio 54 skirt that had an Alannah Hill-y appeal.

A low, teak 60s cabinet with sliding glass and patterned doors in the furniture section was perhaps the most impressive op-shop furniture item I had ever come across. It had these curvy, gold handles and short, gold-rimmed legs. Some equally impressive items complimented it, I loved a careworn floral couch, white glass cabinet, dressing table and oak bookshelves. There were plenty of second-hand books and crockery, there was also a cabinet of those "for show" or "only at Christmas, don't let the kids touch" porcelain figures and plate/cutlery sets.

Menswear was strictly casual, there was a decent collection of men's slacks and corduroy pants and colourful range of tops and shirts. I loved these chunky loafers amongst a rather forgettable shoe collection.

FINAL WORD: Vinnie's in Newport has an excellent furniture collection, it's perhaps one of the best I've encountered. The clothes are a little bland, but easy to browse, cheap and you may find one or two unique items. The shop is also beautifully air-conditioned and open daily to five!

where is it?
3 Mason St, Newport
how do I get there? Catch the train to werribee, alight at "Newport Station" and turn left through the tunnel and climb over the rickety overpass until you're opposite the bowls club
what's on the stereo? Gold FM
how many change room? 2
i'm hungry? Try Sam's bakery across the road.


  1. For someone who doesn't have a car, you sure get around. I drive, but only in areas that I am familiar with..unless I have somebody with me who can successfully navigate. I love spending a day cruising around opshops - let me know if you'd like to do the eastern suburbs - that's my stamping ground!

  2. I've had great success at Vinnies Centres in Ringwood and Mitcham - if you haven't discovered those treats out east already!

  3. hey, i haven't been out there yet, but I am definately going to put it on my list of places to go!

    haha - i love vinnies, they really do have any amazing range of clothes and furniture! Thanks for posting!