Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Op Shop Haul

So there's something I love just as much as a brand new designer watch or lusting over Givenchy's latest collection in Harper's Bazaar - and its basically the polar opposite of these acitivites. Op-Shopping. There's not much better in life than coming across a hidden gem in a crowded Salvos cave of matching Grandmother suits and dusty china. Nothing sets my heart racing like finding the perfect vintage one-off at Vinnies amongst a collection of skirts that smell like mothballs. And where else do you find a better price tag? Over the past few months I've collected a variety of great finds from op-shops - none of which have hurt my bank account (things that have: boxing day sales and alcohol). I thought I'd share my finds with you guys, as well as how I like to style them. Styling some op-shop finds can be a challenge as theyre nearly always very quirky and obviously from a significant/particular era. Anyway, here we go.

I scored these high-waisted textured leggings from a second-hand store called Irving Baby for $19 - on the more expensive side of my op shop finds, but hey, I was in love. They are the ONLY time I break the 'no leggings as pants' rule. THE ONLY TIME. They're very thick so they aren't see-through and don't gracefully highlight every lump and bump on your body like normal leggings do. I always wear them with a belt so they pass as pants. Don't judge. They're pants, okay. I mostly wear them in the winter because they're so warm, usually with a knit, necklace and this hat. Here I've styled them in a more summer-friendly manner. Because they're very 90's styled, I like to pair them with modern shoes and accessories (like these amazing heels) so I don't look like I've fallen out of Pulp Fiction. Even though that would be awesome.

I found this beautiful vintage dress at one of my favourite op shops, House of Serendipity (for any Adelaidiens, its just off Jetty Road at Glenelg, you HAVE to visit it), for around $20. Again, another of my more expensive op-shop gems but it is so pretty and the quality is amazing. I'm always up for the colour pink and this dress just takes it a step higher with the subtle rainbow stripes. It was love at first sight. Because its a fiftes style dress, it is a midi length, hitting around mid calf. This really isn't the most flattering style for my midget body type so I normally try to avoid them (unless I'm aiming to look like a short, fat male). That's why I personally don't wear this dress, or any other midi style skirts, with flats. I only ever wear it with heels to avoid looking stumpy. Because the dress is a pretty big statement, I like to keep accessories simple and classic. Buuuuut we all know I love to embrace my inner boho hippy, hence the head chain.

One of the biggest challenges whilst op-shopping is finding things in your size. That's why I was so excited to snatch up this adorable daisy sundress for just $14 - never has something from an op-shop fitted me so perfectly! I bought it from House of Serendipity the same day I bought the pink vintage dress. This little baby has basically become my summer uniform. I can dress it up with heels and lipstick to wear out to dinner, dress it down with sandals and some chunky jewellery to wear out and about during the day, throw it on over my bathers before heading to the beach - the list is never ending. Here I keep it modern and fresh with monochrome and gold accessories.

I can't entirely remember where I picked up this pretty butterfly-print maxi skirt. I'm pretty sure it was at a church charity shop at Victor Harbor. I haven't seen much of it recently as its been packed away throughout winter - but now that summer's back, I'm more than happy to endulge in its pleated chiffon, button-up perfectness. It has an elastic waist so it can sit basically anywhere I want it to but as I never wear anything low-rise or hipser (EVER) it pretty much lives on my waist. The light material is perfect for summer's scorching temperatures and, well, I don't need to explain how gorgeous the print is. Just look at it. As the skirt is very vintage/indie styled, I like to wear it with more modern items to even out the overall look - plain crop tops, bralettes, etc. Here I paired it with a leather crop top and plain white accessories. Because the skirt is so intricately patterned, I don't like to go too crazy.

Anybody that knows me knows about my fanatic obsession with The Beatles, and this t-shirt is one of my cheapest finds at just $3. I got it from a Salvos and they always have fantastic prices. Does it matter than I already have two Beatles tops? No, of course not. One can never have too many. I really don't need to go into detail about how I style this - band t-shirts and slogan t-shirts fall under the same catogary of 'can be worn with anything and everything'. Seriously. Here I wore it with my favourite skirt from Nasty Gal and a tied up denim shirt, because tying a shirt around my waist is my obsession right now. Its the closest I can get to looking like an Olsen twin.

This Maurie & Eve skirt is one of my absolute favourite op-shop finds. I actually came across it whilst interning at South Australian Style Magazine. The stylist, Sam Dorning, picked it from House of Serendipity to use in a shoot. Looking at the price tag of $12.50 I gasped at her, 'is this a joke?!'
Turns out it wasn't a joke, it was just one of those moments of fashion fate when a beautiful piece of clothing is meant for you. I bought it the day we returned it to the store. It's slightly pleated and made from the most amazing thick material. SIGH. It's love. My favourite way to style it is with white, especially clean, crisp white shirts. Here I dress it up a little with heels - usually I wear it with sandals, or with boots, which is perfect for those awkward spring days that are both too hot and too cold.

This is one of the first pieces of my haul that I purchased for just $22 from Irving Baby. It isnt my usual style but it stood out to me as soon as I walked into the store. I adore the rose print and beautiful silk material. It also has a little slit at the back which you can't see in these photos - very subtle sexy. Again, because of the midi length I always wear heels, even if they're just baby ones. Can't go around looking like tree trunk, can I. Weirdly enough, as much as I am obsessed with the white-on-white trend, I don't like pairing this skirt with a white top. It just doesn't look right for some reason. I also don't wear red or green (not my colours. AT ALL) so that basically leaves me with black to pair it with. As with most of my op-shop finds, the style of the skirt is very vintage so I like to wear it with modern accessories like this holographic clutch.

This 'Girls Army' cropped tank is another one of my cheapest finds - I scored it at Salvos for just $3! Funnily enough, I bought it because it reminded me of my mum, even though she moaned 'Oh God Kate please do not buy that awful thing' at me as I picked it off the rack. Cue Beyonce's 'Run the World'. Because its a plain back slogan top, it basically goes with anything. I mainly wear it in summer, paired with high-waisted shorts or overalls. I also like to wear it when I go clubbing to remind the male species to stay the hell away from me (I swear to God if you touch my behind again uninvited I will destroy you).

Phew. So, that's my op-shop haul. In summary, I'd like to share with you my Op-Shopping Guidelines:

1.) Op-Shopping is basically all luck. Sometimes I go into a store and find absolutley nothing other than allergies from dust. Other days I find Marc Jacobs earrings for $3.25. True story.

2.) Some people say if you visit op-shops in richer suburbs you'll find better stuff. Completley untrue. It's all luck. Refer to Guideline 1.

3.) Take your time. Look through every rack, every nook and cranny. Sometimes the hidden gems are where you least expect them.

4.) Suss out the op-shop's mannequins! Sometimes they put the best things on mannequins. Other times the people that dress the mannequins appear to be blind.

5.) When it comes to incorporating op-shop finds into an outfit, most of the time less is more. Most things from op-shops are quirky, statement pieces. Keep them modern with simple accessories.

Voila. I hope this post inspires you to suss out some op-shops near you! They're full of treasures, not just old ladies. I promise.

'Till next time,


  1. I LOVE op shopping! and omg you found some fab stuff. I love that beatles shirt, so fab

    1. It's so fun and relaxing at the same time! It was a good find! xxx