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Recently I attended a night at my local library where a fashion consultant was talking about how to dress. The woman was lovely but in the end I knew that I wouldn't be booking any future sessions with her.
She mentioned how she could usually help you to buy a basic wardrobe for $500 and that this would entail a number of good basic pieces.
I figured she must have been living under a rock for some time or at least at Chadstone Shopping Centre because she had no idea how much op shops have changed. They are often now airy, well lit places with racks of colour coded clothing so it is easy to find what you want.
This was really brought home to me when I visited the new Savers Superstore in Ringwood.
I like the way the kids toys are organised. A kid can easily find what they are looking for and spend their pocket money.
A friend of mine had been dying to go there and I wondered what all the fuss was about.
As soon as I walked in I suddenly got it. It was as large as a department store. No wonder they call it a superstore. There were all these clearly marked departments such as children's wear, bric a brac, homewares and so on.
There were even shopping trolleys and spacious changing rooms with large mirrors. And NO signs saying "You are only Allowed 3 items in the Change Room."
The clothes were all incredibly well organised. There were way more clothes in here than a small abode such as Myer. Each rack stretched for eons. For example there was a long road of women's short sleeved tops, another for long sleeves and so on.
Everything was categorized according to size. Even the shoes.
When it came to homewares there were all kinds of goods you could use for redecorating such as prints, paintings, furniture, bed linen, curtains and so on.
There was no need to rummage. It was more of a sifting through.
You could spend hours in this store, even days, weeks or months. A year would probably give you enough time to see everything.
I have a weakness for op shops and it goes back years. So my present search is for storage ideas to tame all my stuff. I found a great set of small drawers with a mirror which was perfect for keeping all my jewellery in plus I can now try on the jewellery in front of the mirror and see how it looks.
As for basic pieces for my wardrobe. I found a great fully lined black jacket which will instantly translate any outfit into something just that bit smarter. I also found a black lined winter coat which I will be able to dress up with colourful scarves. I also found a great crisp white button-down shirt which is another great fashion basic that every female needs in their wardrobe.
My friends found tops, table cloths, crockery, books (one on medieval glass which was a bit of a find) and storage containers.
When we got to the counter we pooled all our stuff as one friend had the nouse to bring a bag of clothes from home. This donation resulted in a 5% discount off our purchases. Apparently the more bags you bring in the larger the discount.
(This is also a great way to ensure you don't end up with an overload of stuff at home.)
We also received a card with a lot of stamps on for the purchases we made. These will allow for a 30% discount next time we go in.
There are also certain days when various sectors of the community get discounts. For example on Sundays students get 20% off and on Mondays seniors get the same discount. (This is the same in all Savers shops apparently.)
There is also some late night shopping with the store open until 7pm Mondays to Wednesdays and open until 9pm on Thursdays and Fridays.
This place is great fun you should get along and see what all the hype is about. People with old-fashioned ideas about op-shops really miss out on a lot of fun and fashion.
What a pity the fashion consultant wouldn't suggest putting together an outfit from an op shop! It is much more fun and more of a challenge when doing so. I can't wait to check out this new Savers, thanks for the review!