Is Melbourne the Fashion Capital of Australia?


By Georgina Tippett

All around Australia you see a lot of diversity when it comes to fashion. In each of the major cities there are different subcultures that people belong to, individuals with their own unique style, and others who follow the popular trends. So while there is a lot of variety between the major cities and the people who live in them, it seems to me that when it comes to fashion, there is one city that stands out among the others. I’m convinced that Melbourne is Australia’s most stylish city.

Always full of  unique shops, interesting people and  with lots of quirky little boutiques in  tiny alleyways to explore, Melbourne’s colder weather is good for dressing up stylishly.

Cold Weather Fashion. Photo:

Cold Weather Fashion. Photo:

On a recent visit,  I was so amazed by what the city had to offer and how stylish everyone was there! Arriving at the airport, it was immediately noticeable how well people were dressed in comparison to what I was used to , having lived in both Adelaide and Brisbane. Everyone was wearing gorgeous winter coats and I hadn’t seen so many well-dressed people in one place since I was last in Europe. I was even more impressed when we got into the city. As soon as we stepped out of our hotel and walked a few metres down the street, we were completely surrounded by fashionistas. Back in my hometown, you only get that sort of crowd at a fashion event. But in Melbourne, this was just a regular Thursday afternoon.

Most of the street style I saw in Melbourne was quite dark and alternative, which is exactly the kind of style I love. It was a wintery day  too, which made it possible to dress in furs and boots on a daily basis, which is something I’m not used to! Although it was sometimes a bit too cold and windy for my liking, I definitely think that the upside of cold weather anywhere is that people have more of an opportunity to dress up more.

It also seems to me that in Melbourne there is always some sort of fashion festival or event happening or about to happen, alongside all sorts of amazing art exhibitions. So maybe all this creativity and just having somewhere to go is what inspires people to dress their best? In any case I found being there again really inspiring!

More Melbourne Fashion. Photo:

More Melbourne Fashion. Photo:

So, is Melbourne really Australia’s best dressed city? What about the other major cities?

In recent years I’ve lived in both Brisbane and Adelaide and while there definitely is a fashionable crowd to be seen, especially out on weekends and at fashion events, overall people are just far more dressed down and casual. In Queensland in particular this is most likely because of the climate because it’s just not very practical to dress up in too many fancy clothes in hot, humid weather. There are certainly not many occasions to wear your best winter clothes.

Similarly, when I’ve visited Sydney in recent years I’ve always noticed that there seems to be overall a quite fun, colorful and ‘beachy’ style. Although of course this varies depending on which area you’re in and the people you happen to see that day. So while I absolutely love Sydney and think it’s a beautiful city with amazing shopping, the fashion I’ve seen there just never made that much of an impression on me – unlike what I felt in Melbourne. So could this maybe come down to a matter of personal taste?


Melbourne Street Style. Melbourne Street Style. Photo:

Melbourne Street Style. Melbourne Street Style. Photo:

This is just my impression and I definitely don’t expect everyone to agree with me. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and we all have different tastes. But I personally was seriously blown away by the style in Melbourne. For sure in each Australian city there are people with amazing, unique styles. But I think this is more than just appealing to my tastes… Maybe it’s Victoria’s colder climate, maybe all the most fashionable and creative people naturally gravitate there for work… But in my experience, the style I saw there was way beyond what I’d expected. Even the city itself is incredibly inspiring with its amazing art and architecture. I am always impressed with how stylish and fashionable the city is as a whole.

There will always be some individuals who are more interested in fashion and those who make less of an effort. And we all have different tastes of what appeals to us. So maybe it’s a matter of finding a place we love and that appeals to us. Or of having the confidence to dress however we love, no matter where we are!

What do you think? Is Melbourne the fashion capital of Australia?


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