With the recent revival of daggy patterned jumpers, old man style brogues and kitsch shirts, op shopping has never been so cool. Melbourne boasts a wealth of secondhand stores, and it is often worth trawling through many in search of that perfect vintage piece. But which op shop is the first one you would go to in search of an indie-chic fix?
St. Vincent de Paul op shop in Brunswick. Photo credit: David Jackmanson.
Savers is often regarded favourably by fashionable op-shoppers on a budget. Known for being particularly cheap, you can score a whole outfit there for less than you'd spend on lunch. However, while there are many great finds to be had at Savers, you have to really look for them amongst a miscellany of dowdy clothing.
Vintage stores with a more trendy spin, where you can be assured your visit will be worthwhile, include Retrostar and the Lost and Found Market. While they are pricier, they take the work out of op shopping.
A middle ground between price and style can be found at the Posh Opp Shoppe in Glenhuntly. While it is run as a charity with money raised going to children with disabilities, and the prices are kept low for those in need; the Posh Opp Shoppe's interesting wares marketed as 'treasures' set it apart from your garden variety op shop.
What do you think the best op shop in Melbourne is? Let me know in the comments, whether it's your local St. Vinnies or a well-hidden store.
I went to Savers in Dandenong last week and had much more luck than I've ever had at the Brunswick store - I assumed this was because Dandenong hasn't yet been raided by hipsters and students, so they had a better decent:dowdy ratio...
Try shopping at op-shops in smaller suburbs, and suburbs a bit further out... I find Kew op-shops pretty great for books too, take the route 48 out and there's 5 or 6 on that line.
I find that the best op shops are in the affluent eastern suburbs where firstly, people can afford to buy good quality clothes and secondly, have the luxury of updating regularly and thus need to send clothes and other items to the op shops.
I would imagine the same would occur in other affluent areas.
Finally, op shops of smaller charities usually have cheaper prices. If old ladies are running the place as they are often unaware of expensive brands and do not differentiate pricing accordingly.
By Joanne Tarasuik - senior reviewer Friday, 12th of August @ 12:35 am
Sacred heart, Chapel street and Grey Streets.
By Victo84 - reader Monday, 22nd of August @ 03:49 am
Salvo's and St. Vincent may be well known chain Op shops, but this usually just results in an increase in price. Thus I agree that smaller, local run Op Shops have lower prices, and particularly with the recent trend in vintage clothing, the Salvos in particular have definitely increased prices. However, every week they have half price on a particular colour tag of clothing, so look out for those.
By Emily Pong - senior reviewer Sunday, 21st of August @ 02:17 pm
Vinnies in Ringwood is great! Good quality cheap furniture and brand name clothes.