If the fictional pirate Long John Silver was a real person in 2022, he’d probably be a die-hard op shopper.
Why? Because op shopping is often referred to as treasure hunting.
Everyone’s idea of op shop treasure is different. For some, it might be a Camilla kaftan or a set of Royal Doulton champagne flutes. For others, it might be a fondue set or smiley face slippers. Beauty is in the eye of the thrifty beholder. So, how exactly do we find this preloved gold? I asked Perth’s thrift-fluencers to share their best tips.
OK, let me start with my own tip. I’m by no means an expert, but I am a veteran op shopper and I’m known to go a little overboard, so I’m going to include this first one because it’s advice I desperately need to follow.
It’s hard to feel buyers’ remorse when you go op shopping because it supports a worthy cause, it’s sustainable and it’s kind to your wallet. But this lack of remorse can also lead to a lack of self-control, and you might end up buying a tonne of stuff you don’t need because it’s cheap and ethical.
Before you know it, you have a wardrobe bursting at the seams…and in my case, a very fed up husband!
To make space for new purchases, you MUST do a wardrobe cull before you head to the op shops - and be ruthless. If it doesn’t spark joy, or if you haven’t worn it in a year, get rid of it and let it spark joy for someone else. Double the good vibes by donating it to the store you plan on going op shopping at. Using cash over cards will help you stick to a budget and avoid impulse buys. It’s out with the old and in with the “new”.
2. Shop your wardrobe
After you’ve done your wardrobe cull, go through what’s left and create outfits from the clothes and accessories you already own. Head to the op shops to “fill in the gaps” and get those key pieces you don’t have.
Shopping your wardrobe is a great way to give your old clothes a new life, reduce clutter and unnecessary spending, and discover your own personal style. According to @_morgan_thrifts, knowing your style is the key to op shopping because it gives you direction and allows you to find pieces that work with your existing wardrobe. Morgan always makes a mental note of her wardrobe before going op shopping so knows what she needs and doesn’t need.
3. Do your research
Sylvia from @style_meraki always does her research before hitting the op shops. She uses Instagram and Pinterest to save images of her favourite designer labels and pieces so she has a catalogue of things to look out for. Her commitment to research has given Sylvia a keen eye for quality. She can spot a designer gem a mile away and she has a very impressive wardrobe to show for it. Her Instagram features opped clothing by Valentino, Lanvin, Chloe, Balenciaga and many more. It’s the epitome of a champagne wardrobe on a beer budget.
4. Be prepared
In the words of Forrest Gump, op shops are like a box of chocolates because you never know what you’re going to get. Jenni from @this.girl.thrifts says it’s important to have an open mind when op shopping. It can involve sifting and rummaging, which takes time. Jenni recommends eating, drinking and going to the loo before you go so that you’re comfortable. Very practical advice.
5. Dress appropriately
Cherie aka @the_thrift_seeker likes to have her hands free when she goes op shopping, so she wears a crossbody bag that fits a foldable reusable shopping tote and a pair of socks for trying on shoes. She also recommends wearing clothes that are easy to get in and out of because op shopping requires a lot of trying on. Think loose dresses and slides that you can easily take off or bike pants and tanks that you can easily throw something over. Never trust op shop sizes. Try before you buy!