By Amy Tran

A Vintage Treasure Hunt: Your Guide to Shopping for Vintage Clothing in New Zealand

Are you someone who appreciates the charm and uniqueness of second hand and vintage clothing? Do you love the thrill of discovering one-of-a-kind pieces that tell stories of eras gone by or spot that designer dress first? If so, you're in luck! New Zealand is home to a vibrant vintage scene, with an array of shops, markets, and online sellers waiting to be explored. At Ames Store, we're passionate about helping you navigate the world of vintage fashion, so we've put together this guide to help you shop for vintage clothing in New Zealand like a pro.


Do Your Research

Before embarking on your vintage shopping adventure, take some time to research the best vintage stores and markets in the area you plan to visit. Look for reviews online, check out social media pages, and ask locals for recommendations. This will help you create a list of must-visit spots and ensure you make the most of your time. You may also be time poor or not enjoy going through mountains of clothing most of which is not your style. Online might be your answer.

Explore Local Markets

New Zealand is home to numerous markets where you can find an eclectic mix of vintage/second hand clothing, accessories, and homewares. A great place to check if there’s a market happening in your area is Facebook, most markets will list their event here. Markets like Central Flea Market in Auckland, My Walk In Wardrobe who host events/markets around the lower North Island, and The Nifty Market in Christchurch are popular destinations for second hand and vintage enthusiasts. Be sure to arrive early for the best selection.


Visit Vintage Boutiques

New Zealand is dotted with charming vintage boutiques that offer carefully curated collections of vintage clothing. From dresses to classic denim, you're bound to find something special at stores like Again & Again Consignment Store in Hamilton, Recycle Boutique in Auckland, Recycle The Label in New Plymouth and Whanganui, and Godzilla Clothing in Nelson. Because they have to pay rent for their stores, these items may be at a higher price point. Take your time browsing through racks and don't hesitate to ask staff for assistance or recommendations.

Online Thrift Shopping

In today's digital age, online thrift shopping has become increasingly popular, offering vintage enthusiasts the opportunity to browse and purchase unique pieces from the comfort of their own homes. Platforms like Instagram have become hotspots for vintage sellers, including our very own Ames Vintage! Follow us @amesvintage for a curated selection of second hand and vintage clothing and accessories sourced and styled with love. This is a great option for those who don’t enjoy sifting through racks and racks of clothing. Shopping online allows you to access a wider range of vintage finds and conveniently browse through different styles and eras, shipped straight to your door.

Keep an Open Mind

One of the joys of vintage shopping is the element of surprise. You never know what treasures you might uncover, so keep an open mind and be willing to explore styles and eras you may not have considered before. Trying on different pieces can also be a fun way to experiment with your personal style and discover new looks that speak to you. Second hand and vintage clothing pieces are usually at a lower price point and have been carefully curated, gone over and repaired if needed at good boutiques, markets and online stores.

Check for Quality

When shopping for vintage clothing, it's important to inspect items carefully for signs of wear and tear. Look for any stains, holes, or missing buttons, and check seams and zippers for durability. If shopping online, ask the vendor for measurements, as well as signs of wear and tear and fabric composition.  While some imperfections are to be expected with second hand and vintage pieces, you'll want to ensure that the items you purchase are in good condition and will stand the test of time.

Embrace Sustainability

By choosing to shop for vintage clothing, you're not only adding unique pieces to your wardrobe but also reducing your environmental impact. Vintage shopping is a sustainable alternative to fast fashion, as it extends the life cycle of pre-loved garments and reduces the demand for new clothing production. Plus, there's something deeply satisfying about giving new life to loved second hand pieces and vintage treasures,  preserving the history of fashion.

Practice Circular Sustainability

Extend the lifespan of your vintage finds by embracing circular sustainability practices. Instead of discarding clothing when it shows signs of wear, consider repairing or upcycling it to give it new life. Learn basic sewing skills or connect with local seamstresses and tailors who can help you mend garments and make alterations to ensure they fit you perfectly, as well as making items shorter lengths and tailoring.  By taking care of your vintage pieces and repairing them when needed, you contribute to a more sustainable fashion ecosystem.

Have Fun!

Last but not least, remember to have fun! Vintage shopping is an adventure filled with surprises and discoveries, so enjoy the thrill of the hunt and cherish the memories you make along the way. Whether you're hunting for the perfect designer statement piece in a local market or scrolling through online listings from the comfort of your couch, vintage shopping in New Zealand offers endless opportunities for exploration and inspiration.


At Ames Store, we celebrate the beauty and craftsmanship of vintage clothing, and the circular sustainability of second hand finds both in-store and online. Follow us @amesvintage on Instagram for a curated selection of vintage and second hand women’s clothing finds that are sure to elevate your wardrobe and spark joy in your everyday style. So why wait? Start your vintage shopping journey today and discover the magic of bygone eras right here in New Zealand. Happy hunting!

Please let us know in the comments below your favourite second hand and vintage clothing stores, markets and online stores?


Leave a comment