Op Shops (Thrift Stores) have always been around, but it hasn't always been cool to frequent them. In days gone past, there was a certain stigma attached to Op Shops and buying second hand clothes. I cannot remember any negativity being associated with buying second hand books or furniture, for instance, but purchasing second hand clothes was another matter. If you could afford to buy clothes in a regular shop, then you didn't tend to frequent Op Shops.
Times have changed and Op Shopping has become much more the in thing. Rather than second hand clothes, we now tend to talk about pre-loved clothes. I'm not totally sure why there's been such a change in attitude, but there's definitely been a big swing. It's most definitely much better for the planet, but I'm not so sure that's the reason for the change.
I've bought fabric from Op Shops before, but earlier this year was my first time purchasing items of clothing. Up to this point, all of my refashions have been made with pre-loved clothing from family or friends.
So why the change for me to consider purchase clothing from an Op Shop...
- encouragement from a friend
- more time on my hands
- less money now that I'm not in the workforce
- finding a bargain that I just couldn't pass up
- positive comments from a few friends when wearing my first purchase
And now I'm thinking of all the money I could have saved over the years!
Are there any negatives to buying second hand clothing? It's all luck as to whether you'll find something or not. I know you can visit many retail shops and still not find what you are after, but the chances are even less in an Op Shop. However, your chances of finding something different that everyone else is not wearing, are greater.
On my last visit to an Op Shop, I purchased four items of clothing for myself. Even though it was only $3, the first item was not a good buy, as I found a stain on the sleeve that I couldn't remove. Pity, as it was a lovely, pale blue Ralph Lauren top that was a perfect fit. Lesson learned... check clothing for stains and signs of wear.
The next three articles of clothing are all way too big, but I'm thinking, that with a bit of refashioning, I can make them work for me.
This top is six sizes too large for me, but if I can take it in and reshape it, I'll have a tunic to wear over leggings. I don't know if it's even been worn, as the plastic tag, minus the original price tag, was still attached. A bargain, with all that fabric, at only $3!!!
The next two blouses were brand new and only $4 each. They're both four sizes too big and made with sheer fabric. Not sure how I'll attack them yet, as I tend to make refashions up as I go. Maybe I've just been lucky, but I'm very pleased with my pre-loved clothing purchases.
Why do people donate clothes to Op Shops?
- clothes that are no longer in fashion
- clothes that no longer fit
- clothes that were a bad purchase in the first place
- clothes that are never worn
Have you ever bought second hand clothing for yourself? Tell us about your experiences Op Shopping... the good, the bad and the ugly. Do you think the trend will continue, or is it just a passing phase?