Op-Shopping in Annerley
The other day I went out to Ipswich Road in Annerley, with my friend Kat. We went op-shopping. And boy, did we op-shop.
In fact, I’m so in love with my purchases, that I might just excuse myself to go have another sort through them, if that’s alright with you?
Ok, sorry about that. Back to the writing.
I love thrift store shopping, and it’s not because of Macklemore and Lewis’s catchy song. It’s because there are just SO MANY amazing things hidden away in op-shops. It’s kind of like a treasure hunt. And while you’re at it, you’re helping the environment by reusing and recycling used goods. What’s not to like?
I have lived in the Tarragindi/Annerley/ Moorooka area since I moved out of home (aside from living overseas, of course!) and so Ipswich Road has been a common name in our house.
When Kat messaged asking me if I would like to go op-shopping with her, I thought sure, why not. I used to op-shop a little in my teenage years, as there was a particularly good one near the house where I lived with my parents. And even more recently, I acquired a great selection of second-hand work-friendly attire off my friend, Wendy, when she quit her job. But I had forgotten what absolute steals you could find out and about in the community op-shops, and the best thing about it – you’re helping charities while you do it. So I thought I’d write a little piece detailing my day, and hopefully inspire some of you to invest in some recycled clothing!
We started off slowly, visiting a couple of places where nothing really grabbed me. I’d set a spend limit of $100, and at this point I thought that was very generous.
Things really started to look up at Aid for the Blind, where I really had to stop myself from spending an arm and a leg – they had, amongst other things, half price handbags. And when the handbags are only $7.00 to begin with, you can’t really go wrong, can you? I purchased an eye-catching Michael Kors shoulder bag in blue (it may be fake, but for $5.00 I don’t really care), and a cute little crossbody bag in white – which I had been searching for forever! Two bags for less than $10.00. I also found a lovely gold necklace (with the tags still on) for only $3.00.
Spent so far: $10.50
Right next door to this shop was an absolute hidden gem of a store. When you walk inside Vintage Revival, I dare you not to let your jaw hit the floor. It’s full to the brim with clothes from the 1940’s right up to the 90’s, with accessories, shoes, and all manner of other knick-knacks to match. They have records. They have variety of converse high-tops (and low-tops). They even have a dedicated ‘costume’ section. I cannot believe that I haven’t been here before. Bookweek 2016, look out! They are also affiliated with Lifeline, so you’re still helping out the less fortunate when you shop there. I ended up buying some adorable Cole Haan low-heeled wedges. The tread was barely worn in and the straps still had bits of cardboard between the buckles. They were a bit more pricey than most thrift-shop shoes, at $15 for the pair. But I have since done some research, and found a similar pair on the Cole Haan website for USD$178. I think that I can make an exception, just this once! (And embarrassingly enough, I have barely taken them off since I got home).
Spent so far: $25.50
After this find I was a bit more in the op-shop spirit. We headed to an ACTUAL antiques shop next – the Southside Antiques Centre. Believe me when I say, this shop will put all other op-shops to shame. They are the real deal, with collectables of every shape, size and era, antique and classic furniture, unique and unusual jewellery, and a wonderfully strange (and sometimes exciting) collection of vintage clothes. I found a few dresses which I wanted to try on and quickly found the change room (way down the bottom level at the back, past the Waterford Crystal collection). I made the decision to only buy ONE dress from this place, but it was so hard!
Now the great thing with op-shop shopping is that you can find some absolutely beautiful pieces. But the flip side of that is that you can also find some absolute bombs. But, all in the name of fun! You’ll have to excuse the phone photos. I stupidly didn’t bring my camera with me.
See that blue dress that looks so amazing? Yeah, I bought it. Again, it was a bit more pricey than your usual op-shop item of clothing, at $38.00. However, it is all HAND-MADE. I’m almost too afraid to wear it incase I tear it!
Spent so far: $63.50
Kat and I took a break at this point to have some lunch and a coffee at Little Clive. I *think* that all the super-cute guys there are brothers. Otherwise they are all uncannily similar in looks. I actually said to Kat at one point “Is that the same guy that served us before, or does he just look REALLY similar?”. I got the grilled halloumi with field mushrooms, kale, pistachio crumble and poached eggs. Food and coffee was very good, and eye candy was even better (sorry Ryan).
Last stop on our op-shop list was Save The Children, a small store who’s proceeds go towards support programs for under-privileged children locally, nationally, and internationally. The gentleman who worked there (bless him) was incredibly friendly, even though he obviously thought I was much younger than I was (he kept referring to ‘my dad’ helping me out around the house). I walked in, saw their Christmas display and immediately grabbed two decorative items – an advent calendar bootie bunting, and a weighted snowman door stopper – before looking at the clothes. I had to seriously restrain myself here. So many good clothes! Skirts and dresses in particular. But I had set my limit of $100 and I still had some change left so I tried on a few pieces. Again, I found something amazing – a 100% wool skirt (it’s actually a kilt), at half price. That’s half of $5.00. So I bought a 100% wool skirt for $2.50. Do you understand now why I feel thrift shopping is so amazing? Then Kat found a dress that she liked, so she tried on and it didn’t fit. I tried it on and liked the colour so thought ‘Why not?’ it was only $15. Turns out it was a Trenery dress. If you don’t know what brand that is (like me), check it out here. Combine those with a cute $7 ASOS skirt, and I felt my work here was done. On the way out I grabbed a knife/fork/spoon/chopstick travel set (to match one I already have) for 50c and some extra coat hangers to accommodate my purchases!
TOTAL SPENT: $91.00
I headed home exuberant, incredibly pleased at myself. In total I had spent less than $100 and had 12 purchases. I had a new necklace, a hand-made vintage dress, a 100% wool skirt, a $90 designer dress and a $200 pair of designer shoes. I have a feeling I’ll be op-shopping more often from now on.
Have you ever found something amazing in an op-shop?