14 March 2009


Here's what I wore to the think-outside-the-box-appalling-fashions themed 21st last night. I picked up the jacket, pants, earrings and belt at the op shop for a total of $9. The red beads are also an old op shop find.

I think Kath Day-Knight would be proud.

12 March 2009

If I only had a heart...

Mum wanted me to share with you the new little friend she made at the op shop today. He is 21cm tall and doesn't have a heart, poor thing :( I tried to tell Mum not to buy him, but I'm glad she didn't listen because he's growing on me (well not literally, as he's made of plastic). Introducing...
The Tin Man

Mum took a liking to him so bought him for $4 (really only cost $2 because I found a $2 coin on the floor... we were evil and didn't just donate it mwahaha). We're now keeping our eyes peeled for Dorothy and co :)

Tomorrow night the boyfriend and I are going to his friend's 21st in town. The theme is 'Think Outside the Box'. The invite suggests appalling fashions and terribly clashing colours so of course a trip to the op shop was in order. Let's just say my outfit involves silky mixed animal print pants, a red silky jacket and a blue belt with some kind of diamante horseshoe buckle. Stay tuned for picatures ;)

Tour de op shop

Mum and I had a great time on the op shop tour :) A bus took forty-five of us around to nine op shops in four hours. With a bus full of eager op shoppers (all ladies besides the driver, Bruce) Mum and I had to hone our bargain-hunting skills and put our elbows up. Our tour guide, Joanne, told us no one had ever gone home from an op shop tour without buying anything and we couldn't break the record now. Doesn't she know op shoppers don't operate well under pressure?! At the first three op shops ladies were buying bag fulls of clothing and other items, but neither Mum or I had found anything! I feared we had lost our op shopping mojo but Mum assured me not to despair...

I think it was in about our third stop where I found a gorgeous dress at the Unley Salvos. It's made of a silvery, sparkly kind of chiffon material and has a satin bow which ties around the back. I was surprised that the brand was Valley Girl because it's actually quite good quality and the last few times I've visited the shop I haven't felt very inspired by the clothing. It cost $13 and I almost didn't buy it because I'm used to the ridiculously cheap clothing at our local op shops. Mum (bascially) told me not to be so stingy and that was the end of that. I'm going to wear this to my cousin's wedding in October :) Sorry about the glaring light. Try not to look directly at it or it might temporarily blind you.

Our second to last stop was a Vinnies store which was our favourite op shop on the tour. Mum and I would have liked more time to look around, but we were on a tight schedule and it was kind of crowded. They were busy before we got there so an extra forty-five bargain hungry ladies didn't really help the claustrophobia factor. Mum ended up finding two necklaces - a silver Avon rose necklace for $4 which was for me, and a gold necklace, which we think has little bits of opal in it, for $2. I wasn't too sure about this one so Mum kept it for herself. I also got a little blue leaf-shaped dish for $1 that says "Fine China Made in Japan" on the back.

Even though some ladies were buying bag fulls of stuff, we didn't want to buy things just for the sake of it or come home with a whole lot of junk which is what I think some people did. Overall we had a really good time on the tour; it was good getting to visit op shops in areas we wouldn't normally get to, although because we had such a tight schedule we didn't get time to have a really good rummage. Some of the op shops were quite expensive; I have a thing for glomesh bags and they wanted $20 - $25 for the ones we saw! Made us appreciate the cheapness of our local op shops :)

Birthdays and bows

It's been a busy week so haven't been able to post for awhile. My Birthday was on Monday :) It was a public holiday, therefore no uni, so just spent most of the day relaxing at home which was great! As well as some books, jewellery and moolah from various people, I also got a couple of op shop-related goodies...

The first was a cute handbag which I happen to know came from an op shop. I love the colour and bow, and it has a really soft leathery kind of texture. The second was two tickets to an Op Shop Tour which was part of the Fringe! Me and Mum went to this on Tuesday; shall post about it in the next blog :)

07 March 2009

Lady in red

I found (well technically Mum found) this gorgeously floaty batwing style Sportsgirl top a couple weeks ago at Mum and I's favourite Save The Children op shop. I don't usually shop at Sportsgirl as I find it to be a bit (a lot) expensive for a chainstore, so was very very very happy to pick this up at half price for a mere $1.75!

After a quick stop at another nearby op shop I picked up these earrings for $2 in total. The little old lady at the op shop informed me she had some similar ones at home and that $2 was a bargain because they're Avon earrings :) The earrings on the right matched the Sportsgirl top I'd picked up perfectly, so I wore both out to a housewarming party that night :)

06 March 2009

Bits and bobs

Just a few bits and bobs I collected from various op shops.

Black opaque tights - 50c
White dotty tights - 50c
Brown plait belt - $1
White plait belt - $2
Silky scarves - $1 or so each
Brown and gold weave shoes - $4

While I buy quite a few clothes, I'm not yet (or ever, I hope) at the stage of buying underwear from op shops... I figured the tights were ok though as they're brand new and still in their packaging. This is the first pair of shoes I've bought from an op shop - will need to replace the innersoles but apart from that they're in fairly good condition :) I loved the patterns and colours on the scarves. Here's a close up:

Hope everyone has a great weekend :) It's my Birthday on Monday, which is really why it's a public holiday - not because of Adelaide cup ;)

04 March 2009

Enough books for a library

As well as being an Opaholic, I'm also an avid reader. I couldn't believe my luck with the books I found at op shops over the holidays, and most of them were only $1 each. I'd seen 'Tis by Frank McCourt sitting on the shelf in the op shop for awhile, but didn't pick it up as I hadn't read the book that came before it, Angela's Ashes. The next time I went to the op shop there was half price off almost everything, so I decided to pick it up anyway and low and behold Angela's Ashes was also sitting on the shelf :)

Another time I'd put Suite Francaise on hold at the library and was ready to pick it up, when I went to the op shop and it was staring at me from the shelf! Snapped that up for $2 in brand new condition.

They say luck comes in threes, and my third piece of luck was finding Tears of the Giraffe by Alexander McCall Smith at the same op shop for $1. The book I was currently reading was by the same author and I was thinking about getting some more of his books :)

The only book I've read so far is Pride and Prejudice and I have to say I struggled through it a bit. To be honest I thought it was a bit like a 19th Century version of Women's Weekly - full of gossip about who's marrying who, how much money so-and-so is inheriting etc. I don't think I could have lived as a woman in the 19th Century, spending my time sewing, strolling and gazing out windows. I can appreciate that it's a classic though and the time it was written in.

So there you go - twelve books in excellent condition for less than $15. Should keep me going for awhile :) Although uni is back since yesterday so will probably be restricted to reading textbooks, bleh.


In my op shop travels I've found some really unique pieces of jewellery. One of my favourite necklaces is the wooden one on the left with the leather cord, which set me back 50c. The turquoise ring is another one of my favourites - it has writing on the inside of the band which says it's sterling silver and cost $4.50. Lucky I have small fingers because a few ladies tried it on before me but it didn't fit them. It was meant to be :) The ring next to that is a thin silver band woven into an infinity symbol or sideways 8 and cost $4. The dish came from an op shop too; I bought it to keep a few rings and things on.

After a bit of research (ie. Google) I found out that the hot air balloon brooch ($1) comes from the Red Hat Society who are a network of women 'approaching 50' who gather at conventions and events wearing red hats and purple outfits. I'm a little far away from turning 50, but I think the brooch is cute anyway :)


If you source your wardrobe from op shops you can find some really unique items and there's little chance someone will be wearing the same thing as you. It can be hard to find clothing in small sizes, so I was lucky to find these pieces...

Ladakh dress - $2.50
Colorado dress - $1
Free Fusion from Target dress - $1.75

I am yet to wear the Ladakh or Colorado dress, but I think I'd wear the first with shorts as its a bit short and slightly see through, and I'm imagining wearing the Colorado dress with a belt, black leggings or tights and a long cardi if it's cold. The Free Fusion dress is nice and cool for around home.

Little Potty Red Shoes dress - $8
Olive dotty dress - $2

I was really excited to find the Little Potty Red Shoes dress in Vinnies as I'd heard of this Adelaide designer before. The dress is really tight fitting but looks great, can't wait to wear it! The tag on the olive coloured dress has been cut off so not sure of the brand, but it looks nicer on than on the coat hanger. As much as I dislike the overuse of the word, it's very 'vintage' looking.

Mink Pink blouse - $1.75
Target lacy shirt - $2.50

I love both these shirts. Mink Pink is quite an expensive brand I think so was happy to find this.

Target jacket - $4
Jacqui E jacket - $12

Both these jackets are a great fit, but haven't had a chance to wear them yet as it hasn't been cool enough. $12 is usually more than I would pay for an op shop jacket but it fitted so well I couldn't say no.

So there's some of the clothing finds I've made at op shops over the holidays. Most of the clothes were extra cheap because they were half price =)

03 March 2009

I op to shop

In the past year or so my Mum and I have become extremely addicted to op shopping. Op shops are an endless treasure trove of abandoned items just waiting to be found by the right person. It's such a happy feeling coming home with a stash of great finds after a successful op shopping trip, knowing that a) you are supporting a worthy cause as most op shops are run by charities; b) you're doing a small part in sustaining the environment by recycling and finding a new use for something; and c) you've found unique treasure(s) for an absolute steal.

I love reading about the bargains and interesting finds people make at op shops which is why I have decided to create a blog to share my own finds, and hopefully inspire people to find their inner op shopper. With that said, I'd like to welcome you to The Secret Lives of Op Shops. My name is Bec, and I'm an Opaholic.