Handmade jewellery. Can you think of two words that turn you off more when reading a travel story? We’d apologise in advance, except that we’re sticking to our guns. The handmade jewellery at this tiny store is exquisite. Tony Williams crafts fine silver, incorporating wood and precious stones to make ‘surprised bat’ brooches – delicate flowers that look like they just bloomed a moment ago, and tiny bugs that might all of a sudden take flight. Rest assured, they won’t. 1 Grey St, Wellington.
We at Time Out have been obsessed with this vintage store for some years now. It’s a mix of hardto-find gloves, jewellery and 1950s dresses. There are baskets of wispy silk scarves, rows of shoes, tubs of 1960s swimwear (complete with modesty panel) and dresses ranging from house to party. It’s pricey, as all good-quality vintage items are, but you’re paying for more than a label – you’re paying for a little piece of history. 144 Cuba St, Te Aro, Wellington.
There are milk crates filled with second-hand records and brand new presses to make you swoon. We found Townes Van Sant and first pressings of live Hank Williams albums; cosmic early ’60s rockabilly compilations; and more reconditioned Smiths than you can point a razor and a wrist at. Slow Boat is staffed by crotchety music nerds, just to complete your High Fidelity experience. 183 Cuba St, Te Aro, Wellington.
Wellington has Karen Walker and Zambesi, but there’s still room for the traditional Big Shop. This Wellington institution offers everything from shoes and handbags and hats to $35 French olive oil and boutique marshmallows. Word on the street is Kirkcaldies is the best place to buy a bra in the city as you can still get a proper fitting here. It’s as close as you’ll get to Harrod’s in Wellington. 165-177 Lambton Quay, Wellington.
Oh, $700 pony bag, you will be ours... This store is relatively new to Wakefield Street, and it’s already making an impression. First, with the look: polished concrete floors and suspended clothing racks give it a Flinders Lane feel while deconstructed silk dresses and camisoles take you back to the ’70s, when Halston was more than heritage. There are excellent sunglasses and a cabinet filled with a range of industrial-look fine silver studs. 126 Wakefield St, Te Aro, Wellington.
Head back to our Insider's Guide to Wellington.
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