Last weekend I spent hours traipsing from shop to shop without luck.
On the hunt for a new winter coat and some new work outfits I had set off armed with my saved pennies ready to spend.
I began at the mall working my through boutiques, high street chains and department stores but by the end of the first weekend I had failed to buy anything. Nothing was quite right, and, even if it was I bulked at the price tag.
I also fretted over the quality of the item and whether the brand fitted my ethical criteria – namely how high it ranked on the Australian Fashion Report Card on worker exploitation. In the end a decision became too hard and I plodded home empty handed.
This weekend I was adamant I would buy something. I headed off to the same old shops hoping something would jump out at me or I would get to a point where I could convince myself spending $200 on a jacket was justifiable.
A couple of hours later without opening my purse and with my energy flagging, I decided to head home via a visit to two second hand clothing stores.
The Brotherhood of St Laurence op-shop proved to be an undiscovered treasure trove. I picked up two basic tops in great condition and a comfy blue and white striped Yarra Trail cardi for $16.
I then hit the local Salvos store which I visit regularly. This time the clothing gods must have been smiling down on me as I rifled through the well organised racks.
I found a Wish button up cream coat with matching belt that, with a dry clean will be as good as new, plus a cute cropped charcoal Portman’s jacket.
The loot didn’t stop there – I also got a soft grey Zara basic blazer, a short A-line black and white patterned skirt, one Sunny Girl grey jumper with a studded neckline, a black Esprit cardigan, a Ladakh striped shirt dress, two fitted dresses perfect for work or a wedding and two necklaces. The grand total? $98.
I returned home triumphant in the knowledge I had enough new clothes to get me through winter and ethically, my mind was at ease.
Next time instead of leaving the op shop until the last resort, I’ll head there first and save myself a weekend.
What have been your best op-shop finds?