Despite it's short span, there are several, excellent vintage and op-shops along the Windsor end of Chapel street. I call it my Sunday afternoon mile, a late breakfast, cranberry tea followed by a couple of hours of browsing.
There is this great juxtaposition of interesting clothes and reasonable prices in the op-shops along this stretch. Though the glittery vintage stores like Shag and the Chapel St Bazaar are fantastic sources of "high" vintage artifacts (and the occasional furry hat.)
The sacred heart mission op shop in Windsor is a clear favourite. Firstly, its open on Sundays, they often play sad, Johnny Cash country and rock-a-billy music (good for a reflective Sunday afternoon) and the furry, zebra-print counter-top is magnificent.
It's a big store, with high, arching roofs and wooden staircases and fittings. There are clothes, furniture and other second-hand wares everywhere, in the alcoves behind the windows, in parallel racks in the middle of the shop, and an open area at the very back, populated by ageing, but beautiful furniture.
The best selection of clothes is in the middle of the store, elevated from the entrance and the counter by a small flight of stairs. The collection is parted by a walkway, with men's clothing on the left and women's opposite. The jackets are beautiful and really textural. I loved a beige jacket from Harry Who, that was double-breasted and tied at the waist by a camel belt. There was a soft jumper made from alpaca wool, it was exquisite with zig-zag embroidery and tufts the fluffy wool threaded through-out.
A few average dresses (especially some plain, high-necked black dresses) are counterbalanced by some wonderfully 80s resort wear. There is an abundance of polka dots and shoulder pads amongst the collection, with a white fitted dress with purple polka dots and beautifully constructed collar and shoulder the highlight.
There are some interesting men's clothes, heavy woolen suit jackets, interlaced with skinny jeans and corduroy pants, flannel shirts and leather jackets. The quality of shoes are good, from scuffed, chunky lace-ups to delicate leopard print pumps there was a mixture of styles.
The staff are friendly, if a little perplexed by the workings of the eftpos machine! For a store that embodies that has such a strong "vintagey" vibe, the clothes are well priced. Sacred heart mission seem to present their stores in a way that the Salvos can't, inventive, old school but consistently affordable.
FINAL WORD: a Sunday (or any day) afternoon must.
where is it? 86-88 Chapel St, Windsor
how do i get there? Sandringham train to Windsor or Prahran
will i have to wait for a change room? there are 2
whats on the stereo? Rock-a-billy, sad blues and country and Barbara Streisand.
i'm hungry? The yellow bird a few doors down is a great cafe/ casual dining experience