In the last year, I have really embraced the world of op shopping. Call it what you will, second hand shopping, thrift shopping or consignment shopping; in all its many forms, its just a great way to shop.
You do not have to find yourself in a financial situation before heading into one of these stores because I can tell you now that everyone and anyone can benefit from stepping out of the comfort zones and entering into their local charity stores. Not only will you be sure to find yourself MANY bargains, but you will also be contributing to a local charity to help with a great cause. In my local area I have stores supporting the Salvation Army, church missions and the RSPCA to name a few. Also, many people choose to shop via consignment stores so as they aren't contributing to the fast fashion industry.
The main reason I shop in op shops is because I love the thrill of finding a bargain. I blame my mother for this, as she would always get excited over a sale and well my sister and I seemed to have acquired the need for an awesome deal. I would say that about 75% of my wardrobe is now from the thrift store and I love it. It saves me money in this area, so that I can spend on other areas in my life that feel is more worth it to me.
I recommend op shopping to so many of my friends and family but I am often met with either a look of horror or confusion. Many are just not aware of how to approach op shopping and what to look out for. So, I am going to lay it out for you and go through my tips & tricks for shopping in an op shop.
1. Yes op shops smell different
Believe it or not, when you combine everyone’s old clothes together, with their different laundry detergence and their different life stories, the combination is going to smell strange. Don't let that deter you - it does not mean that the clothes a grubby. Once you have been into a few stores you don't even really notice the smell anymore, and infact once you throw the items into the wash, they smell just like the rest of your wardrobe.
2. Go with a plan
Op Shops can be extremely overwhelming for first time shoppers. The stores are packed to the brim with odds and ends and it’s hard to know where to begin. I like to go on with list of pieces or trends that I can keep my out for. It just gives you some things to focus on amidst the chaos.
3. Don't worry about brands
I have been so surprised by the brands of the clothes that I have picked up in op shops. I would say that vast majority of items have come from places like Millers, Katie’s and Sussans. I never really stepped foot in those stores as I always thought that they just weren’t my style, but I have found their clothes to be of such a quality and amazing fit. And on the other side of the argument, don’t buy a piece because of the brand name. Just because its a high end brand, does not mean that you HAVE to have it. If it fits well and will suit your wardrobe, then definitely but don’t be sucked in by a label.
4. Try Everything On
You will be dealing with so many brands at one time, that you wont have any idea on if a piece will fit you. You will often get sucked into the idea of "it only costs $5, so ill just risk it and try it on at home"..... well once this fails a few times, you end up with a lot of pieces that don't fit and you have to then donate them back.
5. Stick to your size or larger
Too many times I ventured into the smaller section of the racks and was only met with disappointment when I found an amazing item. It's important to remember that you can just find a bigger size in an item that you like, like in conventional stores. Save yourself the disappointment by sticking with your size range or larger. At least if you find something in a larger size, you can have it taken in or you can belt it,
So these are my tips for shopping in op shops. Make a plan, go with an open mind and try on your finds.
I hope this helps and please leave me a comment and ask me any questions that you may have. I will do a follow up post on what to look for in op shops, as well as my recommendations of the best op shops in the Gold Coast, and other locations as I explore them!
If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me - Jeremiah 29:13
Love Julz xx