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How to Op Shop Like a Stylist

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by Bloom and Breeze (subscribe)
Lifeís too short. Iím not.
Published November 22nd 2020
Memoirs of a pro op shopper
Before Op Shopping

1- Learn about fashion and stay away from trends, as they die very quickly, and you are left with items that you're never going to wear again. Look for classic pieces and basic colours (black, brown, blue, grey, white).

Op Shop
All items purchased from op shops

2- Create a list of everything that is missing from your wardrobe before going op-shopping as it is easy to become overwhelmed in the op shop and forget about what you wanted.

3- If you're bored with your style or have no clue how to style yourself, find inspiration online. What I like to do is to Google my favourite celebrities. If you only search for Angelina Jolie, you'll see all her red carpet images, which is not really useful for our day to day purpose, so I search Angelina Jolie street style fall, summer, etc. and then I study the images and hunt for pieces that match what I see.

During Op Shopping

4- Wear something that is really easy to change in and out of and wear comfortable shoes.

5- Treat Op Shopping like normal shopping. Be patient and you will be rewarded. Look at all sections, do not trust the sizes on labels and check the men's section for oversized jackets and t-shirts if that is your style.

Op Shop
be patient while op shopping

6- Don't just grab a bunch of stuff because it's cheap; pick pieces that you will actually wear and that will stand the test of time.

Please Don't buy second-hand Kmart t-shirts, look for higher-end brands, and also look for classic pieces (and remember the basic colours). My rule of thumb is to buy items that I can get at least 20 times of wear out of them.

Op Shop
Ask yourself key questions befre you buy

7- Ask these questions when selecting an item:
Does it fit and is it comfortable? Remember all those outfits in your closet that you must lose a few kilos to fit into? Do not add to them
Does this reflect my style or how I want to be perceived? Do I wear dangle earrings? Do I wear oversized t-shirts? Do I even like polka dots?
Does it suit my body shape and highlights my best features?
If it were full price would I buy it?

8- Befriend the people who run the op shop and ask them when they receive donations and update their racks or have sales.

Op Shop
All items purchased from op shops

9- While at the op shop, look at the other sections. Read this article to see what other things you can buy from op shops

After Op Shopping

10- Wash and Iron your items and make them presentable if required. Most of the items I buy are already washed and clean, however, I like my outfits to smell like my own fabric softener, so I give them a quick wash. I also clean jewellery with some alcohol or hand sanitizer.

11- Check your pieces with other items in your wardrobe and mix and match to find different styles

12- If you are a keen shopper, you might want to follow the rule of "one in one out", to prevent cluttering your wardrobe/house. Look for the items that you have not used in the past season and let them find a new home and make somebody else happy.

Enjoy shopping and let me know about your best finds.
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Why? For the love of fashion
When: Anytime
Where: Any thrift store
Your Comment
I love op shopping. Thatís something I have missed this year during lock down. One of the things that I appreciate is the quality of the clothes, beating fast fashion hands down. I still have items Iíve bought several years ago that are still in better condition than modern throw away fashions. Yes you do need to be patient and have an open mind but the rewards are worth it.
by chrys (score: 2|111) 60 days ago
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