Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Skirt Obsessed

I am obsessed with skirts. I love them and wear them all the time, but my op-shop skirt collection is rather limited. I think this is due to the fact that you have to buy skirts that actually fit properly, whereas most other things aren’t too bad slightly too big or small. As you can tell I am a bit of a sucker for high-wasted miniskirts. I like how you can wear shirts over them or tucked in making them more versatile, which is always a positive. I have been hunting for a nice maxi skirt, but it’s hard to find one the right length on me as well as the right size and a pattern I like. Which all makes me sound very needy, huh?

So the first skirt I got from a Salvation Army store for $6.00, it’s hardly been worn – such a bargain. I thought this was such a cute skirt, I could hardly leave it in the store, but in all honesty I hardly wear it, it’s not really my style. But I have this problem where I find something really amazing like this and I can’t not buy it, so I end up getting them and giving them away. This one is promised to my friend Rose. In saying that I still think its super cute skirt. I love the chiffon fabric and the little pleats at the top.

The next skirt is actually as sarong skirt thing, I think. It has this weird tie on the side. But you can’t really tell when I’m wearing so I thought what the hell, and bought it anyway from Save Mart in Christchurch for $8.00. Such a good buy, even though for ages I didn’t really wear it but then I rediscovered it this winter and I am in love with it all over again. I really like the slightly more geometric print compared to floral, for no reason in particular just personal preference. I also really like that it’s a slightly different cut to my other skirts which tend to flare out a little more.

And finally this is my newest skirt which was also $8.00 from Salvation Army. I actually like this floral, I think it’s because it on a black background making it not a girly looking? Also I just like the colour combo in general. Plus the size of the print is really nice too. I am in love with the chiffon fabric and the tiered hem, which you’re going to have to trust me but it does look really nice on. However… confession time, I have owned this for nearly a month and still haven’t worn it…… I love it but just can’t find anything to wear with it…. So I am definitely going to have to work on that. 

** Also before you go, 'What? self-confessed skirt obsessive? with only 3 skirts?' I forgot to photograph one - you can see it on the post Opshop D.I.Y. I have 3 others that are first hand so I could hardly include them in my blog about op-shopping

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

a NEW cardi to add to the collection

This is the final piece from my op-shop trip the other week. It’s just a really simple khaki green cardi. If I am being honest I probably didn’t need it, but for $5.00 I couldn’t leave it behind. But I can completely justify the purchase; I needed a cardi in a darker shade, it’s longer than my typical cardis and its super-duper warm for winter. Plus, if you haven’t already realised I am obsessed with this colour.

I picked this up in the Hutt Salvation Army store which was a really great store and I ended up finding a tonne of stuff, will definitely have to take a trip back up there. I’m really pleased with this purchase. I am such a fan of slouchy cardigans, they are just so easy to wear, comfortable and I think they are really warm, especially when they are woollen. I have developed a pretty large collection of cardigans, and I’m always telling myself, ok that’s the last one, but I know it’s not. I have had my eye out for a patterned one for soooo long. Maybe when I finally find one my collection will complete. Doubt it.

This cardigan in particular is a really strange knit, I think its wool but it’s been knitted so finely that it looks like jumper material. But it’s really warm and longer than my usual cardigans which is nice for a change, and to mix it up a bit. Really pushing the boundaries with my change in cardigan style. (sarcasm)

Also I think this cardigan is a prime example of how rolling sleeves can look really good and make something fit so much better. Sometimes I try things on and the sleeves are either way too short or long, so rolling them helps with this problem. I actually think it looks nice. 

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Rainbow Wardrobe

Just a super quick post showing my nicely ordered rainbow wardrobe thanks to Paula. When my friends come over they put my clothes in to colour order. This must be a pretty good indication of how boring my house is! Such a social life I lead.

Looking at this now I am actually slightly alarmed at how rapidly my wardrobe is growing… I have always bought a lot of clothes from op-shops but I usually give away a lot, however now I am getting pretty good at this op-shopping thing, meaning I am now only adding and not taking away... I think I might have to consider getting some more storage space.

Also, I know it looks like I have a lot of black, but most of it is actually navy - By the way this will have no real meaning to you unless you read my blog.

Friday, 25 May 2012

New Winter Woollies

Last weekend I got a bit scarf happy. I think that it was largely to do with the fact that it felt like sub-zero temperatures... 

I only bought 2 new scarves, and that might not seem like many, but when you already have 10 lying around at home it does start to become a bit obsessive… In the winter months I can hardly leave the house without a scarf, firstly because I would die of cold and secondly because I just think that they complete an outfit and they're so simple to wear, especially if you have a variety of colours.

The first purchase was the grey/blue scarf which I got from Opportunity for Animals, which I have to say have a great selection of scarves for only $1.00; you can't even buy a lemonade ice block for that much these days.  Admittedly I was looking for a charcoal grey scarf, but typically when you look for something in particular you can never find it. I thought this one was a close second. This colour – which is extremely hard to describe - will fit in nicely with the rest of my wardrobe without being too boring or too overbearing. It was definitely more of a wardrobe staples buy than a statement piece. Still, you can never go wrong with a chunky knit.  

The second scarf (which I am in love with!) cost $6.00 from The Salvation Army. What I love about this one is the pattern and also the fact that it’s muted tones of tan and grey so that it easily fits in with the rest of my wardrobe. I also really like the tassels on this scarf, which are nice and fine – almost like fringing, which is a nice change from the chunky ones that you normally find on scarves. To be honest I can’t believe anyone gave this to a charity shop! It’s so soft and snuggly, perfect for enduring a Wellington winter with. 

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Over sized blazer

This oversized blazer is another one of my finds from last weekend’s op-shopping trip. Because it’s well and truly heading in to winter now where I am, I have been drawn to all things warm and cosy – meaning that I am buying faaar to many scarves, cardigans and blazers, although I have limited myself to only buying one blazer  – this being it, because I don’t find that I wear my existing blazer all that often. Still, I love my new one and will definitely be wearing it as the months get colder.

I picked this up in the Newtown Opportunity for Animals store for $7.00. It was my last purchase of the day and I nearly didn’t get it – I was looking through all the blazers and picked this out but put it back thinking I didn’t really need it. I then went and tried on another coat which I returned to the rack and picked this out again. So glad I did. I have had a real obsession with this colour at the moment. However I’m not really sure what to call it… brick red? Terracotta? Rust? Oh well. I also really love the loose oversized fit of this, I prefer my blazers a few sizes too big so they look more casual, not like I’m a try hard office worker.  Another detail about this is that its designer by Daniel Hechter so it’s obviously a quality buy from what I can see on the website.

Overall I pretty much love everything about this blazer, especially the colour, it’s so nice in winter to have something that’s not dark, as I tend to wear dark tights and jeans all the time and it can get so boring!

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

All time favorite top?

I think that this white top would have to be one of my all-time favourite buys. I am such a sucker for embroidery detailing. I picked this up in the Lower Hutt Salvation Army store, which I have to say was very nice – a little pricey but still a very nice and relatively large store. This cost me $4.00, and you’re probably thinking, 'You just said the store was pricey!' Well it was, however there was the exception of things (like this top) that unless people such as myself come along they would have a hard time selling – so I ended up finding a few bargains.

Like I mentioned before, what I loved about this top was the embroidery details, and quite often I see tops similar to this but in floral patterns, which I don’t like as much  because they end up looking really feminine. But I fell in love with the more geometric pattern. In fact I love it so much I am wearing it now. Also please forgive the crap photography, on the hanger this top looks awful, I promise it looks a million times better on.

Besides the embroidery I am also quite fond of the shape of the shirt – basically it’s a white T-shirt, so it goes with everything. Which is amazing because there is nothing worse than falling in love with a garment and realising it doesn’t go with anything in your wardrobe.  Another cute detail that I love about this top is the buttons up the back; I just thought it was a nice difference. However it is slightly impractical as I can’t actually do them up myself… Then again, when is fashion ever practical?

Monday, 21 May 2012

Op-Shop D.I.Y

I would say the most important thing, if you want to become a successful op-shopper, is that you can see the potential in things. A lot of the clothes you see on the hanger look like crap. And quite often all that’s running through my mind is ‘who would even buy that in the first place?’ But you have to be able to look past all of that, otherwise you will probably come out with nothing. Something is too long – cut it and hem it. Don’t like the colour – dye it. Like the fabric print but not the cut – re-cut it: shirt dress, sleeve-less shirts, denim cut-offs.

Anyway, thought I would practice what I preach, and I bought this skirt. Silly me forgot to  take a photo before I cut it – good one! But it was exactly the same apart from it was mid-calf length. People who know me will know that I am more of a short skirt person. With that in mind I obviously wouldn’t have bought this if I didn’t think I could change the length.  I will be the first one to put up my hand and admit that I am a pretty crappy sewer, there is no way I could sew a dress or anything like that, but hems are very easy. If you can sew a straight line then you’re good to go. This skirt was only $3.00 from Vinnie’s so I thought it was worth the risk of cutting it.

Cutting it was pretty simple, I just used an old skirt that I already owned and liked the length of, drew a line a few inches below that – so there was fabric left for the hem. Then sewed it and I had a nice new $3.00 skirt. It turned out pretty well considering my lack of sewing skills. 

Saturday, 19 May 2012

A good day out.

I just got back from one of the best op-shop trips ever! As you can see I managed to find quite a few things. Being the dedicated and debatably stupid op-shopper that I am, I woke up at 7.45 and headed out to the Hutt, which was actually really exciting as I stumbled upon three stores I had never been to before, so that was nice for a change. Then I headed back in to Wellington and met up with my friend Isla and started on the regular Kilbirne - Newtown op-shop route. For some strange and unknown reason some days are better for op-shopping than others. There have been days when I can’t find a single thing and others when I have to hold myself back - today was one of those days. I bought at least one thing from nearly every shop I went in to. But I won’t go in to too much detail about what I bought as I will do separate posts on them, otherwise this could get quite long..

Another point I want to make about op-shopping in general is that taking a friend is pretty much the most helpful thing ever. Obviously you have their lovely company, but it’s really helpful to get opinions on the clothes you like. So many times I have bought something, gotten home and realise I look like a total idiot, having a friend there reduces that risk. Plus you can make it in to a cute friend date. Completely out of the blue today Isla and I stumbled upon the coolest coffee shop, to be honest I don’t even drink coffee it just looked really interesting and it was freezing outside. Have to say, going into that coffee shop was such a good idea - amazing d├ęcor, really friendly barista who was obviously passionate about his coffee as he explained the beans origins and what not. But I have to say, from someone who doesn’t really drink coffee it was so good, none of that nasty burnt after taste that you sometimes get.  All in all I had a really good time, and I am still on my retail therapy high.

And finally, in total this cost $25.00. Not too bad if i do say so myself. 

Friday, 18 May 2012

Red Cross Stores

I have mixed emotions on Red Cross charity stores. Compared to other op-shops they are much more expensive and I only buy from them when I find a bargain. Most items are overpriced (in my opinion) by about $5-$15.00 which is a bit of a shame... BUT, it is going to a charity so it's not as if it’s a waste of money, and I shouldn’t really complain because it’s still cheaper than retail. Red Cross has the nicest stores by far. They are always so clean and new, they never have that ‘op-shop smell’ which personally doesn’t bother me but I hear a lot of people complain about.  So if you’re thinking of giving op-shopping a try but are still slightly apprehensive I would recommend Red Cross stores.

I wouldn’t say that Red cross has particularly good or bad stock in terms of things that are fashionable, but what they do have in store is really good quality and always clean. I suppose if you think about it, the higher prices are worth it considering how much effort is put in to the service they provide. Another point I will add is that there don’t seem to be as many Red Cross stores around compared to Vinnie’s and Salvation Army so if you’re not living in a main city they could be a little harder to find.

All in all, I have found lots of really nice things in Red Cross stores, so here are some of the better ones:

The first purchase is my brown leather wallet, it was $8.00. This was a bargain; it’s a real leather wallet in good condition. I think the reason it was so cheap is because when I bought it the leather was coming away from the lining of the wallet, but I fixed easily enough with a bit of glue which only took a minute to do. Definitely worth the effort, which was minimal.

Next is this striped cardigan which I got for $8.00. Again this was very cheap in comparison to other things in store. Admittedly I don’t actually wear this as much as I would like, but I still really like it , the cream and black go with anything and the stripe pattern works well as I can still wear it with other things without it overpowering an outfit.

I bought this blue and white striped top nearly a year and a half ago and I still wear it regularly. I think what I love about it is its originality, it’s made out of a cotton knit material meaning that its warm enough to wear in winter but is still cool in summer so I can wear it year round.  I am also particularly fond of the cute collar and asymmetrical stripes. I just think they make the top really individual and I can honestly say I have never seen anything like it in a retail store.

And finally there is the lace top, which I also got for $8.00. I am quite particular about the lace I like to wear, I’m not really a fan of the lace used repeatedly by retail stores, to me it looks tacky and I prefer larger designs within the lace rather than the really dainty ones – that’s just personal preference though.  I also really like the high neckline of this top, it balances out the fact that lace is see though making it slightly more modest. Slightly.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Possibly the most helpful thing ever?

I would call my self a full-time op-shopper, meaning wherever I am I generally have my eye out for a charity store. However, op-shops can be pretty tricky to find - in strange little back streets, in the middle of no where - personally, I think it adds to their charm. But also it's nice to know that you're not looking in the completely wrong place. So I was pretty pleased with myself when I stumbled across this after extensive Google searching. 

New Zealands Op-shop directory is basically a website that lists all the op-shops in NZ, which is super useful if you're doing a roadie or just happen to be passing through somewhere. Also I managed to find some op-shops here in Wellington that I didn't even know existed. Plus it solves another issue I had, I didn't know when the stores open and shut. A lot are closed on Sundays, and there is nothing worse than taking a bus trip all the way to the other side of town to realize the shop you were going to is closed.

I'm not too sure if other countries have the same sort of thing, but if little old New Zealand at the bottom of the world does, surely other places would? And it's definitely worth a look because the more shops you know of the better your chances are of finding some great stuff. 

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Wardrobe Stats

So I thought it was about time I figured out how much of my wardrobe is actually made up of Op-shopped items. Out of the 48 items hanging in my wardrobe, 37 are from op-shops or hand-me-downs (to be honest I don't seem to acquire many hand-me-downs, maybe because of my height?) Sorry that the photos aren't that clear, I have hardly enough room in my wardrobe for my clothes let alone to put a huge gap in the middle of them. 

I actually think I am addicted to op-shopping, every weekend when I get the chance I spend my time trawling through the shops and that's probably why I have found so many clothes, you really do have to go regularly, meaning that you get practice  picking out things that you like and suit you – yes, I am serious when I say you need practice, so often I go op-shopping with friends and they complain about not being able to find anything while I’m stacking clothes in to a trolley. Also by going regularly it means you get to know what shops have the best prices and stock. For some reason some op-shops just have better clothes for no apparent reason, they just do?

Normally after a shopping spree it’s common to feel sort of guilty for spending soooo much, but the beauty of op-shopping is you can literally buy 10 things for under $50.00 and its helping the environment! That’s right, its Eco friendly instead of buying clothes made by some poor little slave child, and having the clothes flown to the stores and blah blah blah greenhouse gases, your simply recycling. No buyer regret here. Yay. 

Monday, 14 May 2012

A Weekends Efforts: New Clothes

Ahh the infamous weekend shopping trip I keep on wittering on about. Well I thought it was about time I did a post on it. Last Saturday I was out for only 2 hours and of those 2 hours I probably only spent 30mins in Op-shops but I still managed to find all of this. Some of the things I bought are pretty basic but I still really love them, and as much as I would love to, it pretty hard to construct a wardrobe on statement pieces alone
The two tops are from the Salvation Army store, I got them for $8.00 each. The shoes and Dress were from a market in the centre of town, therefore costing a little more: Dress - $25.00, Shoes $35.00. Personally I think they were well worth it. At first I thought $35.00 for shoes was a little pricey, but the shoes are leather – and well, they are just really cute…The Dress is vintage, and so beautifully made, with so many little details. For me that’s what sets vintage apart from clothes now days which can be such poor quality: Loose threads, tacky embellishments, poor fitting – the list goes on. I won’t go on about these too much as they already have their own individual post which you have a look at if you’re interested.

Rust Shirt – Typically what drew me to this was the strange detailing on the front of the shirt, I think it look really interesting and I really love the colour but admittedly I’m not so sure about this one? It might just be a little too weird? Still it’s worth a try and hopefully I will find something to wear it with – it’s so original, I can safely say I have never seen anything like it. Also a nice little added extra was that it had never been worn, it still had the tag on and originally cost $70.00 – which is a crazy price if you ask me.

Navy T-shirt – Basically this is a loose fitting t-shit with a little more detail than your typical t-shirt. I really like this top; it falls really nicely and is so comfortable. I have been on the lookout for tops other than button up shirts which I seem to be forever buying. Because it’s a basic block colour it works really well with pattern skirts which I also seem to be constantly wearing – defiantly a worthy buy. 

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Little Black Dress

Well as you may, or may not of read in some of my other posts, I had a rather eventful day op-shopping last weekend, and I managed to find this stunning little black dress. Although I do admit it is slightly hypocritical of me as I have confessed on multiple occasions my dislike for black, but in the typical way I do have a few acceptations to this rule : LBD, Jandals (flip flops for all you non-Kiwis) and jeans. 

I think it’s pretty safe to say, it wasn’t the colour of the dress the caught my eye but more the stunning detailing, I am a bit of a sucker for beaded… well anything. I think it really adds to the vintage vibe of the dress plus it’s just really pretty, which is always a good sign in my opinion. The beading also compliments the chiffon the dress in made from, so all up it looks quite fancy for a $25.00 dress that is supposedly vintage – The woman I bought it from said it was, and it possibly is? All the other dresses there were, but I am not completely sure, I got the feeling it could just be a vintage design? Oh well it looks nice enough.

The other reason that I love this dress is the cut of it – it’s so simple. Which I really like because it means I can wear it with some killer heels in whatever colour style or pattern I choose. The possibilities are endless. 

Monday, 7 May 2012

New Shoes

Last weekend I was op-shopping and ended up finding so many amazing things, it was that typical scenario when you find all these amazing clothes but have hardly any money. Typical and so annoying!  

Anyway I happened to come across a vintage market on Cuba street, which I have seen before but never gone in to, but they had so many really really nice things, but because it was a ‘vintage market’ in the middle of town it was a lot pricier than an op-shop, but that was to be expected. Now that I am thinking about it the pricing system was strange – I bought the shoes shown above for $35.00 and a dress for my year 12 ball (meaning that its relatively fancy and good quality) for only $25.00 not that I am complaining – it was a bargain. It just seemed strange to me and I would have paid waaaay more for it. Oh well, their loss.

I actually have a very limited wardrobe when it comes to shoes so I am always on the lookout for new ones, then again I think even if I had hundreds of shoes I would still look to buy more? Shoes are one of those annoying things that you can’t make yourself and there are no short cuts – pretty much you have to pay a decent amount to get good shoes. So that’s when op-shopping comes in useful. Quite often I see pairs of shoes with the tags still on or have hardly been worn. Second hand shoes can be a bit yuck, so when I am shopping I look to see how worn the shoe is, if it smells or looks nasty, also I think about who would of worn in last – e.g. buying sports shoes that looks like an old man has worn – NO, buying a pair of heels that are hardly worn, and good quality – yes, chances are they just didn’t fit well or something similar. Also when I get home I chuck a whole lot of baking soda and other things in the shoes to get rid of anything that may have been in them.

These shoes cost me $35.00, they’re real leather and to me they look like quality shoes. I really like the red-ish leather that the shoes are made of, it’s a nice change from plain brown or tan.  Over all I think that these shoes are just really cute and have so many nice little details, like the tips of the laces are leather and the patterned edging on the shoe – it just makes them a little more original. And I don’t have to worry about everyone else having the same shoes as me because they are defiantly a one off.  I will mostly wear these with skirts and dresses, layered for the winter time with socks and tights. But I can’t really see them going well with jeans?

I think that buying shoes second hand you have to be a little more careful, look at them more closely before you buy. But if they are:
  • Good quality
  • Smell fine
  • Fit well
  • Don’t have much damage or wear

 Then I personally don’t think that there is anything wrong with buying shoes, of course not all shoes are like that and you have to be careful! Also buying heels and sandals better than sports shoes or something similar as sweat and things build up more- however you could check if you could put them in a washing machine – solves all your issues. 

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