One of my saddest memories was when I lost a pair of Chanel sunnies in a change room a couple of years back. I must admit, I was known to be the scatter brain in my family. Since youth, I have lost a few beloved jumpers Mom knitted for me, a couple of silk scarves that disappeared from my head, neck and bag, and let’s not start on my jewellery disappearances. I have no idea where these pieces have ended up, in a loving fashionista’s closet, or in an opshop :) And so for years, I abstained from purchasing designer sunglasses because I was bound to lose them, sooner or later. But when I saw these Versace shades at OPSM, I could not resist. They are the perfect shape and colour, etched with heritage but oozes modern sophistication. Pure love at first sight.
You know how much I love op shops, there is always something incredible to be discovered there – like this wool skirt. My high-pitched squeal could not be contained when I spotted this holey wool maxi! A vintage gem, never worn, tag still in place. I tried it as a tube (strapless) dress but the holes got in the way – too much view. So it will serve me as a skirt only. It does restrict my tomboy strides, so I have to walk like I have bound feet.
Most of this outfit have come from op shops- my tips for finding unique, quality treats from thrift stores are:
- Have patience. Don’t visit op shops in a rush. Look at everything. EVERYTHING. You just don’t know what’s hiding behind that stack.
- Read magazines before you head to the shops. The visuals in your memory will help your selection process with current trends, colours and styles. I am much more fruitful when I’ve flipped through fashion mags.
- Only buy it if it fits, unless your best friend is a tailor. If it has stains, abstain! Not everything can be removed by Napi-san. If you buy woollens or coats in summer, stock up on cedar balls.
- Try it on, look hard into the mirror, close your eyes and imagine your wardrobe. Will this piece go with at least 3 things you already own? If not, you’ll more likely to give it to another op-shop than wear it.
- And lastly, there is a reason why certain things are in opshops. Never forget this! I have been thrifting for nearly 2 decades, learning from past mistakes and this has become my op-shopping philosophy. Do remember that some things end up in opshops for obvious reasons- they no longer fit, they are not loved, they are smelly, their owners are gone, but there are also some pieces there for not-so-obvious reasons: they are missing clasps, buttons, zips, elastic bands, lining, hems, or have faulty components, and even stains in places you’d never check. So pretend you’re a parking inspector, check everything carefully and be brutal.