Top tips for op-shopping

Friday, June 3, 2011
Top tips for op-shopping
Model dressed in head-to-toe op-shop clothing for $90 (details below)

The Weekly's Market Editor Olivia Fleming on how you can bag a designer-inspired outfit for less at your local charity shop.

When my editor came up with the idea of shooting our June fashion story in head-to-toe (no cheating) op-shop pieces, I bravely (and a little bit sceptically) rose to the challenge.

In pictures: Top trends from Australian Fashion Week

Three days and 12 Vinnie's and Salvation Army stores later (vintage shops, the kind that charge $300 for a coat, were strictly off-limits), I was armed with enough loot to dress our entire fashion department.

While it helps to know your Gucci from your Prada when searching through the mounds of unwanted clothes for hidden gems (there were several eureka moments when I spotted particular pieces that were 'just like this seasons Celine!'), there are plenty of other ways to ensure you find great pieces, or whole outfits, buried in your local op-shop.

Top tips for op-shopping:
Lesson 1: Don't be afraid to trawl through the menswear section to find well tailored, classic and chic pieces to add to your wardrobe.
Lesson 2: A trip to the drycleaner with your purchases will have even the most seasoned fashion know-it-all wondering what designer store you got those great (but previously musty-smelling, crumpled and tired-looking) trousers from.
Lesson 3: Keep an eye out for luxury fabrics. You'll be surprised how many cashmere jumpers and silk blouses you can find for less than $10.
Lesson 4: Don't give up. You may find nothing today, but tomorrow there will be countless items you won't want to leave without.

Related: Designer op-shops

Model in photo wears:
Wool jacket - $20
Cotton shirt - $10
Cotton and polyester pants - $18
Gold plated necklace - $10
Leather bag - $10
Suede shoes - $22
TOTAL - $90

Read more of this story in the June issue of The Australian Women's Weekly.

Your say: What is the best thing you've ever found at an op-shop?

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Video: Op-shop fashion

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