Any fashionista worth her salt recognises the value of second hand stores for adding quirky, one of a kind pieces to her wardrobe. Buying clothing second hand also has ethical and environmental applications. These Brisbane suburbs make op shopping as easy as a trip to your local shopping centre.
The bayside suburb of Wynnum offers the best experience for those who like to rummage. With more than ten stores within close proximity, you can easily lose a day sorting through racks and boxes. The bigger stores, like the Salvation Army and Endo's stores on Bay Terrace, usually stock brand new chain store clothing (like Sportsgirl and Minty Meets Munt) as well as a range of designer bargains (I once bought a 1980's Lisa Ho body con dress from Endo's for $30.) But the dedicated rummager will prefer the secret spots.
There's Pandora, tucked behind the Anglican Church of Australia on Charlotte Street which, although small, has a good range because nobody knows it's there! Then there's The Box (133 Bay Terrace, down the alley.) You'll have to rifle through piles of clothes, magazines, home wares and other bric a brac to discover treasures like a vintage candy dish or a magazine from the 1950's. Don't be alarmed by the lack of pricing – The Box rarely charges more than a dollar per item.
If you prefer vintage chic, you've probably already seen the offerings in Paddington. Adornments (135 Latrobe Terrace) is an institution for Brisbane thrift shoppers, offering more luxurious recycled items like designer clothing, furs, hats and linens. They also purchase second hand items, so you can make money as well as spent it.
Encore La Chance (Shop 3/267 Given Terrace) deals exclusively in Australian and international designer clothing (regular lines include Louis Vuitton, Veronika Maine, sass&bide and Easton Pearson.) They only purchase stock that's less than two seasons old so you can pick up newish second hand designer items for a fraction of the price you would pay in the stores.
There are no laws requiring second hand retailers to wash or sterilise their stock and there is a small risk of contamination from disease causing bacteria. Always wash your clothes in hot (more than 60 degrees) water before wearing. Delicate items can be hung in the sun for a couple of days.
Op shopping is a cheap and cheerful way to spend a day. Be sure to bring your friends, because two eyes are better than one.