Eco-Chic: Vintage Fashion

Vintage Fashion

Emma Jean Bridge wears a beanie, $6; stretch top, $4.50; beaded necklace, $3; belt, $6; Skirt, $8; and black leather boots,$25. Total outfit from op shops: $52.50.

Credit: Nick Watt

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How to op-shop like a pro

Op-shopping is an affordable way to acquire gently used, one-of-a-kind classic clothes. But be prepared to work for your booty - searching these treasures out will take some effort on your part. Here are some tips:

  • Tear out the looks you like in magazines and think about how you might copy them. Visit your wardrobe and have a clear out. Think about what you actually need.
  • Head for charity stores in regional areas and suburbs where quality clothing is likely to be stocked. Visit regularly and dress comfortably - wear good underwear, separate top and bottom and slip on shoes so you can try things on easily.
  • Scan the racks for trendy shapes or trims, favourite colours and fabrics and think about how you might combine these with your existing wardrobe.
  • Keep an eye out for classic pieces that never date - trench coats, white shirts, pencil skirts, tweed jackets, silk blouses, cashmere twin sets, great prints, quirky hand knits, pre-loved jeans, surf shirts and vintage tees.
  • Take time to search out interesting accessories including scarves, belts, bags and purses, shoes, hats, leather gloves and costume jewellery.
  • If it tickles your fancy, try it on - challenge yourself and have fun.
  • Check for moth holes, missing buttons and signs of excessive wear. Don't buy things in need of alteration unless you feel capable of fixing them. Don't buy things that are stained.
  • When you bring your purchases home, throw open the doors of your closet again and try on your new finds in as many different combinations as you can. Layer them under and over things you already have, try different colours and patterns together with different coloured and pattered tights and different kinds of shoes and accessories. Go crazy, loosen up - you're in your own house. Get used to seeing yourself in a different light and perhaps you'll even have the confidence to wear some of your eco-chicest concoctions out of the house!!
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