9 September 2015

How to Snag Something Great from an Opshop

The weekend before last I went opshopping (or thrift store shopping) and didn't really intend to buy anything, but I couldn't help but look anyway. I bought two dresses, one of which is in these photos. Clothes you buy in opshops you wouldn't necessarily find in store right now as they're not so 'on trend' at the moment. I think opshopping is a great way to buy clothes for less as well, and owning something others wouldn't have from the normal shops. I thought I would offer some of my tips when it comes to opshopping as well as my favourite opshops in the Auckland area (if you happen to live where I do).

Dress originally from Boohoo bought at Finders Keepers
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Find some good places to shop (obviously): There are always going to be a few trustworthy places that you can rely on to have a good selection of things. I'm not just talking about something you'd actually buy, but a collection of clothes that are good quality, collated nicely and fit within your style. There are some more, what you might say, upmarket op shops which might have a more particular focus on brands for example and less items because they're slightly more picky. Sometimes these shops are wonderful but other times it's all about the really selection and budget price. If you live in Auckland, shops like The Salvation Army or Save Mart in New Lynn are great if you want to look through dozens of endless racks, but a personal favourite of mine recently has been Finders Keepers in Newmarket. The staff are friendly and the selection is smaller, feeling more like an opshop boutique. I also really like Paper Bag Princess on K Road; I'm sure if you live in Auckland you'll know K Road has a few opshops to muse in. The Recycle Boutique in town can sometimes be a bit expensive but it's worth a try. I also like a particular SPCA Opshop near my house. Having charity and sustainability in mind while shopping for your clothes is always a bonus.

Quality over quantity: Obviously when the staff of an opshop get new items in, they're going to check for stains, rips, etc and make sure it's of decent quality. However, I think it's important to really consider if you think the item your holding in your hand is actually worth buying and if it will add something to your wardrobe. I've said it before and I'll say it again, having less clothing but of higher quality or more thought towards the pieces is ideal. Unless it's a few $2 T-shirts that you know you'll chuck on all the time, sometimes you need to have a stop and think: do I really need this? Is it seasonally appropriate? Does it feel like it's good quality?
Look through everything: You will most definitely miss out on things if you don't look at everything - it's just common sense. Even if that rack of black, samey clothing doesn't look too enticing, try and sift through every item and don't skip large portions. When I was opshopping for said two dresses, I only found them at the last minute because I bothered to look at a rack near the front of the shop which I hadn't looked at first.

Hold onto the items you think you might want but you're not sure of: I've unfortunately made the mistake of putting a pair of perfectly nice black Windsor Smith sandals down because they were a little too pricey and I wasn't sure. But if I had just held onto them while I was looking around the rest of the store, that other girl wouldn't have bought them. Seeing someone else buy something you want is a sure way to make you want that thing even more - trust me.

Only get it if it fits you: I've made the mistake of buying things that don't really fit me or flatter me that much. Sure, I know I can wear anything I want, but I was never going to wear that tight, size 8 body-con dress out of the house. I mean, what was I thinking? There are just some things that I have never worn that I've bought from an opshop and that's certainly not ideal. Take some time trying your things on and only get it if you immediately think 'Yes - this does look nice!'. Just don't get it if it doesn't fit properly - those one size bigger jeans aren't going to magically resize. I've made this mistake of buying wrongly sized clothing items in normal shops too.

Also, please donate your own clothes to charity shops instead of throwing them away.
Do you like opshopping, and what are some of your tips?

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