Op Shopping AKA Thrift Shopping Tips

It can be hard looking for quality clothes in op-shops these days.  Especially when a lot of Op-shops sell clothes for a hefty price tag (I’m looking at you Recycle Boutique and Tatty’s).  I question how these shops can call themselves op-shops if they sell clothes by Trelise Cooper etc? How are they vintage, retro or second hand.

Thrift Shopping Tips

Clothes are not vintage if they are only 2 years old.   I also don’t like going to an op-shop and spending $15 on a top.  Prices have risen and there aren’t so many true vintage clothes in op-shops these days. Unless you search for a LONG time.

I like op shopping at shops like the Salvation Army, church op-shops or Save Mart (which I don’t often go to…but when I do I look in the dress up section which is where the vintage clothes are for some reason).

Here are some op-shop and thrift shopping tips for you, ( so helpful for if you are a newbie to op shopping).

  1.  Don’t sniff the clothes.

Yes, you may get an accidental whiff when you are trying it on.  BUT honestly don’t even think about sniffing it because they can stink.  The smell alone can put you off.

Whenever I accidentally smell the clothes I feel like I get dust stuck up my nose, but I know it’s just my imagination.

2.   Wash before wear.

Yes, you can try them on in the shop.  But before you wear them wash them!  I wash mine about 3 – 4 times before wearing them to completely get the smell out.   Who wants to walk around stinking anyway?  My cousin never washes her Op-shop clothes after buying them.  The thought of not doing so makes me feel sick.

3,   Try before buy.

This is a no brainer.  It is important that you try before you buy just like in normal clothing stores.  Except most Op-shops don’t refund or take returns (unless you’re donating!).  If you really like something and it’s a little tight you can take it to a tailor to make bigger.  The same as when you buy something that is a little big – take to the tailor to get made smaller.  If you are handy with a sewing machine you can do it for free.   Just remember some tailors can charge a hefty price for small alterations.   I suggest PinTin in Milford Mall, North Shore.  They are great.  If you can’t be stuffed taking something to a tailor or altering it yourself don’t buy it.

4.   Make sure it is actually something you will wear.

Don’t just buy something because it is cheap!

Especially if it is a designer label.

Think about whether you would actually wear it or if it’ll just sit in your wardrobe.  If you don’t think you’ll wear it, don’t buy it.  No matter if the label is calling your name and you really want to own something by that label.

5.  Take handsanitizer and perfume with you.

These are essentials. Especially for after shopping.  My hands always feel creebly (if that even a word?) after Op-shopping because everything feels soft and unwashed.  I wash my hands at a public toilet if there is one.  I also double sanitize by using hand sanitizer.  If there are no toilets nearby hand sanitizer will have to suffice.

Perfume is great for getting the smell of old clothes off you (whether it’s in your mind or for real).


I hope these tips helped!

If you Op-shop a lot, what are your tips?


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