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Style in spades: local fashion boutiques we love around Sydney

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In the day and age of online shopping, there’s a simple pleasure in a bricks-and-mortar boutique. It’s the perfect way to while away an afternoon, strolling the strip, stopping for coffee, and best of all, supporting local businesses.

Sydney is a shopper’s dream, home to trendy, one-of-a-kind boutiques that stock labels from Australia and all over the world. Next time you’re in the mood for retail therapy, go local and shop at these stylish spots. And say hi to the owners!

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NORTHERN BEACHES

Splice Boutique

For carefully curated racks of Aussie and international designers, go to Splice Boutique. Led by sisters Marisa Young and Gabby Manderson, the three stores are bright and beautiful, and a go-to destination for names like Mania Mania, Camilla and Marc, Viktoria & Woods, and Splice’s own creation, ess The Label.

Freshwater Beach, Newport Beach and Avalon Beach

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Aqwa Boutique

The women of the Northern Beaches are known for their laidback yet effortlessly chic style, and Aqwa Boutique in Narrabeen serves its shoppers well. The store is filled with the likes of Ellery, Dion Lee, Zimmermann, Camilla, Bec & Bridge and Celine, with shiny new arrivals posted on Instagram.

Shop 4, 49 Waterloo Street, Narrabeen

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Mclean and Page

In the heart of Manly, Mclean and Page offers a collection of labels from around the globe. In keeping with the Northern Beaches’ style, the most popular brands include Bassike, Lover, Christopher Esber, Beau Coops, ATP and Michael Lo Sordo, plus accessories labels like Natalie Marie Jewellery.

Shop 3C, 11-27 Wentworth Street, Manly

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NORTH SHORE & LOWER NORTH SHORE

Designer Forum

The Designer Forum stocks a mix of big names and up-and-coming labels with plenty of homegrown heroes thrown in for good measure. It’s an accessories haven thanks to Sarah & Sebastian, Elizabeth & James, Dylan Kain and By Charlotte, while Matin Studio, Jac + Jack, Nobody Denim, Zulu & Zephyr and 66 The Label are among the clothing brands in store. Not a North Shore local? No worries, you will find their boutiques in Castle Hill and Terrigal as well!

St Ives Shopping Village, Shop 8, 166 Mona Vale Road, St Ives

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Fox and Dove

With a carefully curated selection of labels, Fox and Dove is one of the most unique shopping experiences on the north side. Alice McCall, Estilo Emporio, Lover and Hansel and Gretel sit alongside labels that have recently exploded onto the style scene, such as Reliquia, Avenue the Label, and Faithful the Brand.

Shop 1A, 647 Military Road, Mosman

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INNER WEST

Jim & Jane

A fashion, homewares and gift emporium, this two-storey store is as creative as the suburb it resides in (Annandale), and a pleasure to browse. The colour-coordinated racks are filled with labels from Europe and Australia, with a good mix of basics and on-trend pieces. Helmed by buyer Amber Barnes, who’s been in the business since the 90s, the vibe of the store is warm and welcoming.

45 Booth Street, Annandale

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Maple

Sitting pretty on Darling Street, Maple is a celebration of all things denim, stocking affordable labels such as Levi’s, Nudie, Neuw, and Dr Denim as well as its own label. It rounds out its casual-cool collection with pieces from Vanishing Elephant, Bassike, Karen Walker and Saltwater Sandals. In short, it’s a hipster’s idea of heaven.

267 Darling Street, Balmain

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SOUTH COAST

Frolic Girls

The style set of the South Coast shop at Floric Girls, a local boutique that promotes leading Australian labels along with a few international ones. It has a broad range of casual and ‘special occasion’ pieces courtesy of Alice McCall, Bec & Bridge, Manning Cartell, Camilla and Marc, We are Kindred, C/MEO Collective, Celine, Watson x Watson, By Johnny and Zimmermann.

155 Crown Street, Wollongong

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Babes

Over in Thirroul, Babes Boutique has made its mark on the shopping scene in the Illawara region, having been around for over 30 years. It stocks a selection of Australian and global labels, including beachy brands like Free People and Lilya, activewear masters First Base, and MLM and Viktoria & Woods for chic, classic pieces.

Shop 4C, 345 Lawrence Hargrave Drive, Thirroul

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Plume Thirroul

Wander down the street of this seaside suburb, and you’ll find Plume, a boutique that focuses on relaxed, easy-to-wear, quality pieces, many of which are cotton or silk. The buyers are very selective, and the result is a gorgeous collection of pieces from Camilla & Marc, Paige Denim, Bassike, Elka Collective, Life with Bird, Valley Eyewear and Steele.

Shop 3, 271 Lawrence Hargrave Drive, Thirroul

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EASTERN SUBURBS & INNER-CITY

Parlour X

For a line-up of luxe labels, head to Parlour X, set in a heritage-listed church. Owner Eva Galambos is famous in the fashion world for pulling together a curated collection of high-end international fashion labels, season after season. You’ll find the likes of Azzedine Alaia, Comme des Garcons, Isabel Marant, Chloe and Balenciaga, as well as capsule pieces designed exclusively for Parlour X.

261 Oxford Street, Paddington

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Girls with Gems

Double Bay is synonymous with sophistication, and Girls with Gems fits in well. The family-run boutique hones in on established and emerging Australian labels, including Camilla, By Johnny, Carly Paiker, and Michael Lo Sordo for dreamy silk pieces. This month they will be moving up the road to Transvaal Avenue, Double Bay’s most sought after retail precinct. The GWG team are amazing at pulling together looks, providing friendly service and doling out honest advice, so don’t be shy to ask for help.

Shop 15, 28-34 Cross Street, Double Bay

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Desordre

Initially a pop-up store, Desordre was so popular that the owners decided to open a boutique in 2010. It’s now a staple on Sydney’s fashion scene, known for its mix of growing Australian designers and international labels that aren’t readily available here (like AESA). Aje, Karla Spetic, Josh Goot, Dion Lee, Stolen Girlfriends Club round out the colourful collection.

323 South Dowling Street, Darlinghurst

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Belinda

When you’re looking for timeless investment pieces (and willing to splash some cash), Belinda’s worth a visit. In Double Bay’s leafy backstreets, this boutique displays high-end, big-name designers, including Isabel Marant, Lanvin, Marni, The Row, Stella McCartney, Aquazurra and Dries Van Noten.

8 Transvaal Avenue, Double Bay

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Tuchuzy

Just steps from Bondi Beach, Tuchuzy epitomises coastal cool. The bright and airy boutique is so hip it hurts, with everything from elegant dresses to cut-off denim shorts. Aussie labels like Bassike, Dion Lee and Sir The Label sit proudly next to imports such as Alexander Wang, Rag & Bone and Helmut Lang. New arrivals drop every fortnight, so there’s always something new to try on.

Shop 11, The Beach House, 178 Campbell Parade, Bondi Beach

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Incu

Smack-bang in the middle of the Oxford Street strip, Incu has a store each for women and men. The women’s one is brimming with both big and boutique brands, such as Acne, Deadly Ponies, Benah, Nike and Karen Walker. As for the vibe, it’s low-key yet achingly cool.

256 & 258 Oxford Street, Paddington

For Artists Only

The drum set suspended from the ceiling and DJ decks in the window set the scene for this boutique, which celebrates fashion and art in equal measure. There are trusty labels like Mania Mania, Lover, Ksubi and Sass & Bide on board, plus statement jewellery, shoes and jackets to complete your outfit.

2/656 New South Head Road, Rose Bay

Originally published in Sitchu.