Today I went op-shopping, one of my favourite past-times. I'm lucky that the town where I op-shop, is generally a low socio-economic area, so shoppers arn't looking for the same stuff I am at thrift-stores. They're looking for work/boring clothes, whereas I'm looking for vintage retro delights. I like to think I'm pretty good at finding the good stuff, I went looking for a cardigan today, and found three that were perfect. So I thought that I might share my tips with you.
1. Go to a low socio-economic background area and visit the thrift stores there. Subiaco, Fremantle and Dalkeith have already been stripped to the bone, so dont bother going there.
2. Use these websites to find shops close to you or where you intend on heading. You'll note that I've only listed charity stores. This is because I only shop at charity stores, because feeling good about spending money on clothes is pretty rare.
salvos :: vinnies :: anglicare :: good sammys :: paraquad
3. ALWAYS try on shoes and go for a walk around the store in them. Dont buy them if you're thinking "oh, they'll stretch" because they wont (no matter how cute they are), they've already been worn. Or if they're really high heeled, or they rub, cause they'll give you blisters pretty quick.
4. The dress sections are always my favourite, and basically offer a whole outfit for under $10 most of the time. Make sure you try these on too, as not everything is going to flatter you.
5. This goes without saying, but never buy socks, undies or pantihose/leggings from op-shops. Yuk.
6. If you're struggling to think what to wear something with, either dont buy it or find something in the store that will go with it, otherwise it will be chucked under the bed and forgotten.
7. ALWAYS take a car and your own bags, as many op-shops now have a "no-plastic bag" policy and often dont have anything to replace them. Juggling three pairs of shoes, a dress and a vintage typewriter on the bus home is just going to annoy you.
8. Take note of the price. I've had a couple of nasty surprises when I've gone to checkout and found that the cute jacket I thought was a cool bonus was actually THE most expensive second hand item in the history of the world.
9. This might sound gross, but smell the armpits/crotches of anything you've got your eye on. Chances are that if it stinks, you're not going to be able to get rid of the smell, sorry.
10. Lastly, always wash things at home before you wear them.
Any questions or tips? I'd love to hear them! xoLauren