I’ve always loved Op-shopping for all sorts of things, and currently it’s props for food photography, but second-hand clothes have been a passion since I was a teenager, and that’s quite a long time ago now. I think it’s partly the rush when your eye alights on that attention grabbing colour, texture or whatever, and your heart beats a little faster. You grab it and nine times out of ten it’s horrible, or, just sometimes it’s terrific!
I love that your new find can’t be found at every high street store; I love that it didn’t cost more than you could really afford; I love that it isn’t brand new and contributing to the ever increasing mass of mass-produced fashion; I particularly love that there’s no buyer’s regret, and if it turns out not to be your new fashion favourite, it can just find its way back to the op-shop without a fuss; and of course, the money goes to a charitable cause. Everyone’s happy.
Over the years I’ve collected some fantastic pieces which I’ve worn and worn and loved dearly, and some I still do. I have a tailored vintage jacket which I bought at the Birmingham Rag Market when I was about 19. It was from around circa 1940’s I reckon, and it was just stunning – velvet collar, faceted jet buttons, exquisite tailoring – a quality piece. Miss E came across it the other day at the back of my wardrobe and asked to borrow it. I realised I’d owned this jacket probably longer than any other piece of clothing I have, even pre-dating Mr.B. Though the stitching had deteriorated and the cuffs had almost entirely dropped off, I set to with needle and thread and it was good to go. I’ll never part with it. It has a history with me and before me. That’s the special thing with second-hand treasures I think.
There was a long drought in my second-hand fashion journey, for various reasons, time, patience and living in Hong Kong being a few, but in recent years I have rediscovered the thrill of the op-shop hunt again. It constantly surprises me what some people throw out. On one fantastic day at Vinnie’s I scored a haul of designer brand goodies; as if a woman of the same size and taste as me had gone shopping in Italy and then ditched her stuff just before I walked in. It’s amazing what you can pull together from the op-shop.
For all those fellow op-shop aficionados out there, feast your eyes on these beauties!
Black tailored vintage jacket – bought in 1984 from Birmingham Rag Market.
Silver grey velvet jacket – Massimo Dutti, bought from Vinnies, $25.00.
Cream cotton blouse – no label, bought from The Salvos, $7.25.
Leather bomber jacket – Sass, bought from Sacred Heart Mission, $25.00.
Shocking pink silk blouse – no label, bought from a vintagy op-shop in Daylesford, $25.00.
Black sheer silk crepe blouse – Massimo Dutti, (new with tags!) bought from Vinnies, $22.00.
Pinstripe waistcoat – T.Store by Trussardi, bought from Vinnies, $15.00.
Skinny jeans – Diesel, bought from Sacred Heart Mission, $35.00.
Cropped wool pants – a Japanese brand, (new with tags!), bought from Sacred Heart Mission, $30.00.
Tooled leather bag – no label, bought from The Salvos, $25.00.
Black studded belt – no label, bought from The Salvos, $8.00.
Black metallic suede ankle boots – Jo Mercer, bought from The Salvos, $20.00.
Grey scarf – Country Road, bought from Vinnies, $8.00.
Hi-top runners – Converse, bought from The Salvos, $15.25.
For non-Australian speakers:
Op shop – Opportunity shop / charity shop
Vinnie’s – Saint Vincent de Paul
The Salvos – The Salvation Army