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Op Shopping Hacks

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by Caitlin Pianta (subscribe)
Queensland based writer and digital nomad.
Published July 4th 2014
Shop Like A Pro
People op-shop for a lot of different reasons. Many people only consider it when they're looking for a costume for a dress up party. Some people do it so they can save money for other things in life. Some people prefer the sustainable fashion industry, including buying recycled clothing. Some like to support charities, and some just love a bargain.

But one thing I have learnt over years of trawling the racks of Vinnies, Lifeline, Salvos and Church thrift stores is that there are many viable, fashionable thrift store options getting overlooked.

When you head out with a bargain in mind, there are a couple of op shopping "hacks" that can mean the difference between happily filling your tote bag or going home empty handed.

Don't bypass the kids section...
Some op-shop volunteers can inadvertently mis-label adult clothes as kids clothes.

On top of that, you may find a fabric pattern that you really like which could be harvested to use as an upcycling material and made into something else.

Don't even bypass the mens section...
As with the childrens clothes, this side of the store can open up a plethora of new fabrics, patterns and garments that can be edited.

Also, mens button up shirts can make quite effectual dresses (as demonstrated in the below picture), when wrapped around with the sleeves tied as a bow. Paired with leggings or stockings this can make a unique fashion that is sure to start a conversation.

Patterns, zips, elastic and crafty assortments...
Generally, most thrift stores will have a basket or box full of sewing and craft related "tools". Here is where you can pick up cheap elastic, zips, buttons, buckles and bits and pieces including incredibly cheap patterns (great for beginner sewers - just make sure all the sections of the pattern are included in the packet before purchasing).

Lastly, go shopping on a Tuesday when possible...
Why? Most people do not get chance to donate their unwanted goods to op shop until the weekend, when many stores either close early, or do not have enough staff to sort through donations.

Mondays will be the chance when staff are able to sort through newly donated goods, therefore Tuesdays see new fresh stock for sale on the shop floor.

Hopefully, with just those few tips, your next trip to the op shop will be fruitful and fun!
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Why? For a more fruitful thrift shop outing
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