how to score the best secondhand styles

For those who aren’t into it, thrift shopping seems boring, gross, pointless or simply a great big waste of time. For those of us who are however, the hours spent searching through racks of musty dresses, finding the perfect denim and scoring 233512 different outfits for less than thirty dollars are all reasons why we know that thrift stores are a true blessing to this world.

Believe it or not, finding the best secondhand threads requires patience, imagination and a fair bit of talent. In order to help and encourage the world to embrace op-shops and thrift our hearts out, I have put together a few tips in order to ensure your next op-shop outing is a success.

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THE DO’S AND DON’T’S FOR EVERY OPSHOP OUTING:

1. DO be brave and persevere with any item if YOU like it. It may be either not quite perfect, you think it is too wacky to wear or maybe you totally dig it but it’s a little baggy. Firstly, you do you, and you wear whatever the hell you like. Whether it’s a sequinned mini or a patchwork jacket – there’s seriously nothing cooler than someone who breaks the mainstream mold of fashion, and does it with killer confidence (!!!). Secondly, don’t part with those beautifully faded boyfriend jeans if they are a little too big around the waist – we have become a generation that no longer fixes things, replacing our clothes has become the easy way out. There’s nothing that a good belt, a pair of scissors or a few stitches can’t fix, so if you love it, mend it and make it yours!

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2. DON’T buy for the brand. Ugh, every naïve op-shoppers common mistake. It’s so easy to look at thrift stores as a place to score designer brands and well-known labels at a fraction of the price, but in reality, you’re missing the whole point of what thrifting is truly about. Create you own look, regardless of the label. Some of my favourite clothes are probably the most crummy, cheap brands but seriously they can look a million and one times cooler, simply because you can make them your own.

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3. DO venture over to the menswear section to continue your hunt for vintage gold. I’ll admit that about 85% of my wardrobe is actually comprised of men’s t-shirts or jackets. Don’t let this segregation of clothing stop you from discovering the coolest graphic tees or oversized denim jackets, seriously, there’s plenty of gold in there.

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4. DON’T go with impatient, judgemental or narrow-minded friends who fail to see potential and possibility in your selection of secondhand goodies. Seriously this is a place where you need your own freedom and have no limitations or anyone judging your choices (otherwise you may as well just be a mainstream gal and shop at a department store or something). I basically only thrift with my sisters because we are all into the weird and wacky and aren’t afraid to throw on tartan skirts or orange turtlenecks and laugh at ourselves.

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5. DO spend hours upon hours trawling through every pair of jeans, bags and sweatshirts just to find that one perfect fit. Patience is the key to success with thrifting and I can honestly say those who get into it and are determined will get seriously carried away! Set aside a couple of hours and don’t leave any part of the store untouched, it truly pays off when/if you score a rad outfit.

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6. DON’T buy things just because they are super cheap. Only buy what you absolutely LOVE and if you’ll actually wear it (I sound like your mother, I’m sorry). It’s so easy to fall in to the trap of buying things simply because of their $2 price tag. If you don’t love it, you won’t wear it (let’s be realistic). Don’t suffocate in regret and unwanted outfits, save that spare cash for something you really, truly, honestly dig – even if it means that you’ll wear it everyday for the next month.

** I will be doing a haul of all my vintage and secondhand finds each month (starting soon) and discussing prices and how I style them, so watch this space (!!). **

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