Thursday, 5 February 2009

Thrifted Thursday

A bit sun faded, but definitely one of my best finds this week. Those trims shall be reborn as many a new project.

With this, and a few other key pieces in the last week, it seems like my op-shopping mojo has finally returned.

I had decided to give up op-shopping after some REALLY bad decisions and the general malaise that followed many fruitless hours spent sifting through broken crap and tired Made in China clothes.

I was beginning to think the golden age of op-shopping was over for me.

I know it can be a hard graft at times, but pickings had definitely been getting slimmer and slimmer, or non existent (unless you want to pay $10 bucks for a Kmart t-shirt that only cost $20 to begin with).

Worse still, if there was something nice -it was way out of my budget. Perhaps I am just more discerning now (though if you saw my excuse for an outfit today you'd probably disagree).

I know charities aim to pass on all the cash they can - and I don't begrudge 2nd hand dealers trying to make a crust, but for some of us - we actually need op-shops to get by.

This might seem like hypocrisy from the chick who just got given a kitchen aid - but that was an "outlier" purchase.

The truth is, buying certain things 2nd hand and upcycling others makes the cash stretch just a little bit further. But you have to be disciplined.

The rules I try to practise are: Look early and look often - and don't buy it, if it don't fit. I'm still working on that last one (but it'll be perfect if I just .... lose 15 kgs ... didn't have cats ... competely redesign/cut/sew/paint/upholster the entire thing). It NEVER happens (and I have a cupboard of crap to prove it).

I also have to remind myself - don't buy it unless you love it. Just because it's a screaming bargain and you've seen them selling on ebay for heaps more - PUT IT BACK. Leave some bargains behind and enjoy the op-shopping karma.

My final law of op-shopping is that you must give in order to receive.

I try to make sure the stuff I give back is useful and good quality. Not just the crap I don't want anymore. Again, I could ebay it - but why not just let it go? Feed the system that feeds me.

Granted I might not do this if I had a stash of Eames chairs I didn't want kicking around. But that set of Wedgewood cups I no longer use - and that leather jacket that never fit quite right ... they can join the cycle.

I also believe it helps if you tell the universe what you desire. I try not to be too specific ("black pencil skirt" will do the trick rather than "black knee length pencil skirt with button detailing with ..." and then leave myself open to what the universe deigns appropriate (but keep your eyes peeled - it may not show up in an op-shop but be hiding instead on a sale rack or unused in a friends cupboard).

The real key to op-shop success is to practice the art of patience.

A bit of rummaging doesn't hurt either.

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