Prahran’s boutique fashion scene is well documented by every fashion enthusiast and blogger alike but it still has its hidden gems. Minimal social activity and virtually no online shopping has kept these stores masked from the general public and reserved for true shoppers who love the thrill of browsing IRL. So delight your senses and inspire your future fashion choices with these hidden boutiques in Prahran that will change your world. But be careful, a quick shopping trip could become a day long journey… but the rewards will be transformative.
#1 Dakota 501
Where: 245 Chapel St, Prahran
Originally located at 501 Chapel Street, hence the name Dakota 501. This boutique’s trade focuses on men and womens’ street style with a grunge, edgy aesthetic. They carry a range of brands and curate their in-store collection to offer Melbourne customers something that can’t be found at the Emporium. Dakota 501 offer well-known brands like Champion and Adidas but the truly unique beauty of this boutique is their support of Australian based designers, Outworn and VDM the Label (their swimsuits alone are well worth a look).
A Cali vibe is accentuated by brand I Am Gia, commonly seen on Bella Hadid, Kaia Gerber and The Jenners. And the fun doesn’t stop there. Dakota 501’s accessories and lifestyle brands add a sense of joy and even nostalgia. You only need one visit here to find your new summer wardrobe.
MOF recommends: Check out Lonely Lingerie and Avenue’s scrunchies are just too cute to resist, completing any look.
#2 Chapel Street Bazaar
Where: 217 Chapel St, Prahran
Chapel Street Bazaar is aptly named. Bursting with knick-knacks and trinkets, this vintage boutique will have you mesmerised for hours. Chapel Street Bazaar is home to over 80 individual stall holders. Here you will find retro gems from all over the world at one convenient location.
This treasure trove of unexpected delights includes the staff, who certainly know their antique history and the backstory to your pre loved purchases. Like any vintage store the process of finding quality pieces, that are right for you, can not be rushed. Make a day of it and enjoy trawling through racks and basking in the glory of the bazaar.
Side note: Prices are not fixed, bartering is definitely part of the experience.
Where: 201 Chapel St, Prahran VIC
Welcome to your new basic brand. Nique has combined the comfort of home apparel with chic silhouette designs to create modern everyday basics that are timeless, minimalist, fashion-forward yet affordable. Nique offers style-conscious men and women trackies and basics that are socially acceptable for any occasion and will be the envy of all your friends. Founder Lucy Douglas has branded this ‘Subtle Luxury’ – pure genius. Their dresses and swimwear are the only thing you will need this summer. Each piece is designed and created in their Australian Design Studios.
#4 Olga de Polga
Where: 212 Chapel St, Prahran
The fact that Olga de Polga is a small hole in the wall boutique merely adds to its quirky charm. While the rest of Melbourne is wearing black, or a version of it, Olga de Polga’s customers are dripping in patterns, bold colours, print on print and seasonal tones. In saying that, this boutique’s number one intent is style. There is an art to getting an Olga de Polga original right so I recommend enlisting the guidance and expertise of the style assistants. If you want to push your fashion comfort zone, stop at this store and find your new style within their racks.
#5 Coco and Lola
Where: 582 Malvern Rd, Toorak
Looking for timeless feminine fashion? Then Coco and Lola is your one-stop boutique in Prahran. Guaranteed to please the princess inside us all, shopping here is like having your own personal stylist. The owner Jessica Dunlop is a self made boss who hustled in heels as a stylist for 10 years before launching three stores nation-wide. Jessica carefully hand-picks each piece sold in store to showcase both international and Australian designers. If you are in the market for bridesmaids dresses, something special for garden weddings, kitchen teas, and formal lunches, Coco and Lola should be on your list. Although technically located in Toorak, Coco and Lola is a stone’s throw away from Chapel Street and worth every step of the short walk.
Feature image credit: Nique