Skip Nav

How To Be An Op Shopping Professional: We Get Top Tips for Vintage Clothes Shopping From Vinnies Stylist

2011 Earth Month: Vintage Shopping 101, With Vinnies

Ever been inspired by the vintage styles of Rachel Zoe, only to walk out of your local Vinnies empty handed feeling frustrated and uninspired? Thrifting for vintage gold is a finite skill (as Alexa knows), and once mastered is a fab tool for updating your wardrobe for a steal. "At Vinnies, a good deal equals a good deed, because by shopping or donating you are directly helping people in the local community...Moreover, you're directly helping the planet by recycling," says St Vincent de Paul spokesperson Julie McDonald. Agreed! We quizzed Vinnies resident stylist Karmyn Pembridge on her top tips for bagging an eco-bargain.

Top tips for a successful vintage hunt at Vinnies:

  • Before heading in to Vinnies devise a plan. Gather some magazine clippings of inspiring outfits to clarify your vision, and shopping goals.
  • Think of the items that you need and will fill gaps in your current wardrobe. On-trend accessories like cocktail rings or statement hats are good buys, as are staples like an LBD, or vintage jeans for any wardrobe.
  • Take a friend along. They are easier to talk to than the mirror and will often give helpful feedback!
  • Be imaginative! That beautiful scarf can be worn as a belt or a head scarf or to zhush up a bag.
  • What is the best op-shop buy you’ve ever scored: Some of the treasures I have purchased include a fabulous black leather jacket from George Gross that was only $60, a classic 60s style black Charlie Brown dress which was only $30, as well as Sass & Bide buys for under $25.
    What should people look for in particular when scouring the racks?
    Aside from looking for things on your list, you should keep an eye out for surprises! Never turn a piece away if it's not your size. If it doesn’t fit, you may still be able to get it altered to fit you perfectly. Consider walking into the men’s section as well. There are no rules at Vinnies. The outfits are waiting for you to create them.
    What should people avoid when it comes to buying second hand?
    Avoid pieces that don't suit your shape, style or colouring. That high neck top from Scanlan & Theodore may be enticing, but if you have a large bust then leave it for someone else.

    Want to know more from Karym? You can register for Vinnies "Styled by" sessions here.

    More from POPSUGAR
    From Our Partners
    Latest Fashion