Canberra Op Shop Guide – Casual Brunch Outfit

Heather Lansdowne 27 May 2014 3


Op-shopping can be a daunting experience if you’re not sure where to start, but there are some real gems to be found within the many local charitable outlets if you’re willing to do some digging.

To get you started on your thriftventure, we’re launching a new series that will zero in on the best op shop locations in the capital and offer heaps of tips and tricks along the way. We’ll also show you how to assemble a number of different outfits for mere chump change. First up, let’s see what we can put together for a casual weekend brunch look!

Chambray shirt – $7 Salvos Belconnen
Striped top – $5 Vinnies Dickson
Black skirt – $7 Salvos Jamison
Ballet flats – $2 Vinnes Dickson
Sunglasses – $2 Salvos Jamison
Backpack – $15 Vinnies Belconnen

Let’s take an in depth look at the different aspects of the outfit.

When choosing a casual outfit, the main thing we want to project is an air of ‘effortless chic’ right? Well let me tell you, stripes remind everyone of either Paris or sailing, and are therefore classy as hell. They’re a timeless choice, and a basic top like this is a good building block piece that can be used in a multitude of ways.

In this case, we’ve layered it up with a blue chambray shirt, which works well as we’re keeping everything in the same colour family as our striped top. Layering is a technique you can use to add interest, and it’s also practical for the fluctuating temperatures Canberra’s experiencing at the moment. Wearing the shirt open also creates vertical lines down the body, which makes you look slimmer if you’re into that kind of thing.

For our bottom half we’ve chosen a plain black skirt. I don’t have much to say about this because it’s kind of boring, but it’s black and it goes with everything and that’s all we’re asking of it for today.

Now, let’s get down to the accessories! If you’re wearing a simple outfit it’s good to throw in a few quality items to maintain that high-low aesthetic, and avoid descending into hobo-chic territory. These Banana Republic flats were only $2 at Vinnies, and the buckle detailing helps lift an otherwise basic outfit and remind people that you are totes posh. Even these classic cat eye Witchery sunnies were a thrift find, again setting us back just $2 from Salvos! The most expensive item in our lineup is the Guess backpack, which I maintain was a steal at only $15. You can fit a decent amount of crap in here while still keeping your hands free for texting/signing autographs/etc, so it’s practical and cute.

So there you have it, voila (see, stripes = French)! Our casual brunch outfit is now complete. For just $38 we have an ensemble that’s perfect for sitting at a café, discussing the latest climate change research with your girlfriends or writing about Benedict Cumberbatch in your secret crush diary.

Even if you wanted to get all serious, you could swap the chambray shirt for a cardigan or blazer paired with a longer skirt or cropped pants to create an office-appropriate outfit.

Now, go forth and thrift my friends, and don’t forget to tell me about your best op shop find in the comments below!


Photos by Jiawa Liu from Closet Voyage.

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3 Responses to Canberra Op Shop Guide – Casual Brunch Outfit
gemstar gemstar 7:43 pm 30 Jan 15

Another Chance Op Shop in Scullin has been selling treasures to op shop customers in the last 20 years. It currently has summer sales on: 50% off ALL clothing until the end of February 2015.

I have volunteered here for the last ten years (so I’m not paid to say this) and I constantly hear customers say it is the cheapest in the Belconnen region. It’s located at Scullin shops, Ross Smith Crescent. It is open from 10am-4.30pm Monday to Friday, and 10am-1pm on Saturday.

Fashion Fashion 5:54 pm 28 May 14

curmudgery said :

Throughout their school years my kids’ wardrobe was filled with ‘cool’, if not the latest, stuff from the Op Shops.

There are definitely heaps of good brands and some items still with their tags on! I know when I have kids I’ll be shopping at the op shop, especially when they’re little and constantly growing out of everything!

curmudgery curmudgery 11:24 am 28 May 14

Throughout their school years my kids’ wardrobe was filled with ‘cool’, if not the latest, stuff from the Op Shops. Head-high, brand name stuff, too – very important. Tommy Hilfiger, Doc Martens, what’s-his-name t-shirts, cargo pants, hoodies. And all for a song!

If you’re not visiting these op-shops, you’ve got more money than sense.

One develops ‘an eye’, I’m told.

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