Wednesday, 12 December 2007
So yes, I found an Oilily t-shirt at the Salvation Army in Malvern on Monday, along with a whole swag of other great things - a blouse, a two-piece French outfit, a sequinned top to wear to a wedding later in the month, a couple of woollen jumpers - all great stuff. And what didn't I buy? Scanlan&Theodore trousers, a Body skirt - all not my size. In fact, they have a separate 'designer clothing' rack there.
It's not all about the labels for me though, honestly. I do like to buy expensive items for a fraction of the price, but I also love vintage finds. The French two-piece outfit is '70s or '80s by Rodier Paris a blouse and wrap skirt made from 100% fib. cellulosique. It's black with a white spotty pattern and I'm going to love wearing it to work.
Friday, 30 November 2007
RMIT fashion students give charity donations a new lease of life
WHAT: Launch of Remake-Remix exhibition of garments recreated from second-hand clothes
WHEN: 11am–noon, Tuesday, 4 December, 2007
WHERE: Brotherhood of St Laurence Hunter Gatherer Store, 82A Acland Street, St Kilda
Remake-Remix is an exhibition of garments designed and created by past and present fashion students from RMIT’s School of Architecture and Design, using clothing donated to the Brotherhood of St Laurence.
RMIT students will model some of the garments at the launch. Clothing given a second chance includes:
- trousers from an airline uniform turned into the billowing sleeves of a jacket
- layered fluorescent necklaces made from old T-shirts
- the sleeves of discarded woollies incorporated into contemporary scarves
- designer dresses and tops created from conservative men’s business shirts
- Emer Diviney, Research and Policy Coordinator for Ethical Business at the Brotherhood of St Laurence
- Mick Peel, Program Director RMIT Fashion
- Five student designers
Wednesday, 21 November 2007
I've had some great finds here - a cotton Scanlan&Theodore skirt, a 70s black velvet floral print skirt, Fred Bare children's clothes. I particularly like it that HG stocks retro children's clothes which can otherwise be hard to find.
There's more info, including about their ethically produced No Sweatshop vintage-inspired new gear, on their website.
Friday, 16 November 2007
Well there is one great thing about my new full time job, lunch breaks along Smith St and the great Op Shops I get to rummage through.
I found this at St Vinnies for the bargain price of $5, brand new in its box. I know I am going to be collecting those three little balls from underneath the couch over, and over again, but it'll be worth it!
Tuesday, 6 November 2007
- was vomited on at three in the morning
- missed my flight to Tasmania
- locked myself out of the house
- drove to Sandringham to collect my neighbour's house key in order to get my spare key from her kitchen drawer, and
- visited the All Souls' Opportunity Shop in Bay Road, Sandringham (tel: 9598 2189; M-F 9:30-5:00, S 9:30-12:00) where I recovered a portion of my childhood.
Help! I'm a Prisoner in the Library! is a book that I read as a child and have been trying to recall for the past few years. I could remember that library was incorrectly spelled but not the actual title and thought that it was a picture story book. I always have a look on the bookshelves in the op shop - for good children's books, for craft books and, well, anything else of interest. I have no recollection of how this book ends - it's next on my reading list!
The All Souls' Opportunity Shop is fantastic, one of those old fashioned op shops where things cost a couple of dollars and there is a 5c basket. I also bought some great children's clothes, a vintage Fisher-Price toy, a couple of jumpers and a rubber duck (from the aforementioned 5c basket). Highly recommended.
Wednesday, 24 October 2007
Our family BUS has been leaking bits and pieces and making funny noises for a few days now, Ty normally handles this side of life, not this morning...
When the BUS started spewing litres of coolant in the carpark of Theo's, I had to act.
Our lovely trustworthy fantastic mechanic is in Croydon so we limped down and left the BUS in his capable hands, 3 hours of bakery, park, and 'the rounds' ensued:Vinnie's, the Salvos, Red Cross on Main street and The Brotherhood of St Larence around the corner.
Waiting, waiting, waiting....lots of waiting!
My companions were well behaved/asleep and it was lovely to have no excuses but to browse.
Lots of treasures to be had, two cardies for Ami, a cool linen growth chart, a very loud smock style apron which will be harvested for its fabricy goodness, and some shirts that WILL fit if i get back to the gym and put down the tim-tam!
Most times, if the opping gods are kind, i tend to come away with a favorite, a pearler, something that makes doing 'the rounds' worthwhile...
Marion, who were you?
Somebody obliviously felt that you were very special, gold embossed lettering, smart blue leather.
20 crisp envelopes and a fresh 'Basildon Bond' writing pad
Tuesday, 23 October 2007
November 1st to 4th
Thurs to Sat at 7pm Sun at 6pm
Tickets $20 /concession $15
At The Butterfly Club
204 Bank Street, South Melbourne, VIC
Friday, 12 October 2007
Wednesday, 3 October 2007
Sunday, 30 September 2007
I have really been enjoying looking through this book, particularly because it focuses on some western suburbs op shops which are outside my neighbourhood. There are many ideas and themes in the book that resonate which I plan to share here over the course of a few posts.
How many times have you proudly been able to say "I bought it at the op shop" when someone compliments what you're wearing. That's how Sue and Enza met over the photocopier, each admiring the other's skirt. I complimented a colleague at work last week on her lovely fine green knit - she bought it at the op shop - hooray! A lot of what I wear to work comes from the op shop including a nice little Alannah Hill skirt, black, simple with a flounce at the back which gets noticed every now and then.
Grab a copy of this book or request that your local library buy it and share the op shopping message!
Debra let me know that she bought a good navy blue pant suit there and that they often have great shoes. My poppet wrote that the shop has a good wig selection and lots of lovely holiday knick knacks from Israel. Has anyone else bought something good there?
Friday, 28 September 2007
Now I call Frankston my local... cos there's HEAPS of variety and not a little quality. Of course, Savers is a good place to start. Once you've thoroughly (and that can take an hour. Maybe two.) searched their racks, you should walk out with minimum one pair jeans (Bettina Liano floats my boat, but I've stumbled across the occasional pair of sass&bide's and mavi and lee and....yeah, ok) a skirt (lots of choice, all $5.99 unless otherwise tagged) and some books. I read a LOT. Then, head over to the Red Cross shop. They get a lot of new and ex-shop stock. One day and girlfriend and I were trapped. We spent a hundred bucks between the two of us and left with about $800 RRP worth of dresses. If you don't mind a few tiny (seriously tiny) repairs, this shop can be your best friend. Two doors down is the Brotherhood store. Can be very hit and miss, but I've found some wonderful seventies' dresses here and boots that I will love until I die. On the back side of Quayside...a tiny tired little shop has lots of jumpers. Well, that's how it always seems. on the station side of Quayside three more shops sit in close proximity. One's pretty new and has TONS of cheapie stuff (and maternity, last time I was in. ) One's got good books, and the other ...you never know. I think that's my favorite thing about op-shopping (other than the thrill of getting a bargain, like the breast pump below!) ... it takes determination and effort, but the random rewards are great.
Further down the Peninsula...Mount Eliza has three op-shops, all of which have great potential. I don't think I've ever returned home empty-handed after a sojourn there. Of course, it's also the suburb of hairdressers, so you can kill two birds with one stone! A little further down... Mornington is not the op-shoppers' best friend, but you can start at one end of the Main Street with St.Peter's Church op-shop, walk most of the way up to another, cross over and visit the Animal Aid op-shop ...then have a great lunch before you get back in your car. Where else???
Rosebud has a lovely big place that is always good for books. Blairgowrie has another big place with lots of tee-shirts (well, usually) and Sorrento has two op-shops which I visit on a weekly basis and never come away from empty-handed. Someone down there must be a proof-reader, because I keep finding uncorrected proofs and getting to read them well ahead of their release dates! So... in the area? go op-shopping! Hope I'm not boring you all....
Thursday, 20 September 2007
Josies is a small op shop - clothing, some toys, books, shoes, some homewares, some linen, some bric-a-brac, no furniture. I can't honestly say that their stock is great but I do mostly find something whenever I go in. (How often is that? hmmm, weekly.) Some good buys have been: a copy of Hanging Out with Cici by Francine Pascal* which I read as a child and am storing for baby bear; a fine knit cabled men's woollen jumper for Tim from Saba; a black wool Valentino skirt made in France with a tiny waist that will be refashioned; and best of all, the boob trumpet, ah, that is, the breast pump. This device has been a life saver and cost me only $8 (they retail for around $90) - it does actually count as a best find ever. Kudos to my neighbour who spotted it in the window and alerted me.
So Josies is certainly worth a look - all that they are missing is an apostrophe.
* Yikes, I just learned that Francine Pascal was the author of all those Sweet Valley High books, which I didn't read. Cici will never be the same.
Wednesday, 12 September 2007
Op shopping is a fixture on the Melbourne cultural scene, and Victoria University lecturers Enza Gandolfo and Sue Dodd, bring their combined skills as writer and artist to the production of a book and exhibition that uncover the charm of these local treasures: the community op shop and its volunteers and patrons.
Book Launch and Exhibition Opening
Find out everything you’ve wanted to know about op shops at the book launch of Inventory: on op shops and art installation exhibit opening on Thursday 13 September from 6-8pm at Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West, Maribyrnong. Melbourne author Alice Pung will be on hand to launch the book.
Inventory: on op shops uses excerpts from the interviews, vignettes, poetry, photographs and video production stills to take the reader into the op shop world – both front and back of shop. It explores the many reasons people op shop – necessity, bargain hunting, recycling – as well as the many stories that reside in the donated goods waiting for a second life.Contact Enza Gandolfo on 9919 2611.
Plastic Bags a live op shop pop performance by Sue and Phil Dodd, on 22 September from 1-4 pm. Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West.
Tuesday, 11 September 2007
Like Justin Heazlewood, who lamented the state of op shopping in the latest issue of Frankie, I too had just about given up on op shops, remembering the wonder days of rocking in and scoring stuff almost every time. The senior ladies were lovely, friendly souls, who'd often help me in my quest for mixmaster beaters, fowler bowls, or whatever fad had befallen me at the time. These days, it's more count yourself lucky to find something and get service.
Sometimes, you can win. Kitchen dressers at a decent price aren't easy to come by - Abbotsford was recently selling one for $400.00 (yep, we checked, and it was the right price). Finding a decent dresser with cute vintage typography, trashy rose print contact on the inside, and lemony yellow faux padded leather backsplash was kinda special.
The lesson learnt here (that we keep on learning...) is that any op shop can deliver the goods - it's the frequency of checking the place out that will ensure that you score.
Monday, 10 September 2007
Knox Community Care Warehouse is a local welfare agency, providing support to those in need within Knox and surrounding areas. Knox Community Care Op Shop is a warehouse full of great bargains in clothing, shoes, furniture, bric-a-brac, books, records, electrical, crafts and loads more! We are having a Half Price Sale with all goods, excluding furniture and the 50 cent rack, at half price.
When: Monday 10 to Friday 14 September, 10am to 3pm.
Where: 48 Parkhurst Drive, Knoxfield 3180 (Melways 64 C11).
Cash sales only - no eftpos / credit card facility. Limited parking. All proceeds go to Knox Community Care programs.
For more information, call 03 9887 4268.
Sunday, 9 September 2007
Position – Assistant Manager
Shop - Sacred Heart Mission op shop, East St Kilda
Vini has been Assistant Manager at the Sacred Heart Mission op shop in East St Kilda since it opened on 10 November 2006. The shop is open seven days a week (yes folk, Sunday shopping!) and is staffed by around 15 volunteers.
Vini likes the variety of working at the shop – you never know what stock is coming in, there are things that are very old, things that are modern, and heaps of stuff in between, a real cross-section of wares. It's important to Vini to make these things available to people who are setting up a home in the area but don't have a lot of money to spend.
In the last financial year the three Sacred Heart Mission op shops raised $1.4 million that goes towards the
Vini puts a lot of effort into maintaining the Inkerman Street location's boutique feel – the shop is neat and tidy, the stock is carefully chosen (not everything donated finds its way onto the shop floor but it does get passed on to other charities) and well presented, and there will be a selection of hats available shortly for the Spring Carnival. Indeed, the stock is great which is why this is one of my absolute favourite op shops. I have bought Camper shoes, Puma sneakers, a Ben Sherman shirt, Scanlan & Theodore trousers and
The Sacred Heart Mission op shops are at:
And they're looking for a fourth location – spare shopfront anyone?
Sunday, 2 September 2007
Op shop opening hours are more commercially aligned these days, Saturday trading is the norm and there are even a fabulous few which are open on a Sunday. And city workers do not despair, there is a great Salvation Army op shop up the top of Bourke Street, just about opposite Pellegrini's. It's open Monday to Friday, 9:00am to 5:00pm. I tried on some Scanlan&Theodore and some Saba trousers there the other day - they didn't fit so they might still be there ...
Remember, addresses, telephone numbers and a growing list of opening hours for every op shop in Melbourne are listed over there in the side bar. Just click.
Thursday, 30 August 2007
It was a tad expensive - $35.00 - but it does pour really well and in a teapot that's almost priceless.
Monday, 20 August 2007
Interspersed with some cabaret song numbers she went through 10 good reasons to op shop - including supporting charity, wearing something unique, saving the planet and grabbing a bargain. She also included procrastinating by going op shopping. Sacred Heart Mission on Grey Street in St Kilda got a mention, including the bloke who sits on the stoop there and lets you know the opening hours. Anyway, I'm very glad to see op shopping taking centre stage.
One of the things that I find most gratifying about op shopping is confirmation of my 'eye for fashion' - that is, when in amongst a crowded rack you spy some fabric and think 'yes, that's lovely' and it turns out to be an Italian designer label. Like the Romeo Gigli 100% wool jacket that I bought today at Salvation Army in St Kilda. It was priced at $55 (no thank you) but when I enquired at the counter the kind volunteer told me that those prices were old and that I could have it for $15. Excellent! I intend to use the fabric for a child's coat. Having said which, an equal number of times I have spied something and thought the cut was great only to check the label and find that it came from Target. Just goes to show (perhaps that Target's range is really improving).
Friday, 10 August 2007
I look at photos of myself as a child and wish that my Mum hadn't gotten rid of all those great treasures of the late 70s and early 80s. If only they were still around for me to dress my Bella Cinderella in such funky attire. Hence I just had to buy these maroon tracky overalls, I'm guessing circa 1970 something.... $4 at the local Hunter Gatherer on Acland St. I was so desperate for her to wear them this winter that I even clumsily sewed extra buttons on the straps to make them smaller.
With my sentimental yearning in mind I discovered this treasure this morning at another local Op-Shop - The Sacred Heart Mission on the corner of Hotham and Inkerman. Melamine vintage Disney at only $3! I can already hear it hitting the ground over and over again....
Friday, 3 August 2007
I have been keeping an eye out lately in my op shop travels for some needlepoint and couldn't pass up this fabulous example. It's beautifully done, very evenly stitched and (as it came framed and under glass) in perfect condition. I've donated the frame back and will use this in some crafty endeavour. Purchased at the Posh Opp Shop in Glenhuntly - all the details are in the treasure map.
Monday, 30 July 2007
Tuesday, 24 July 2007
Yves Saint Laurent Homme blazer
Although this is a men's blazer I like to wear it as a jacket/coat when it gets cold. 100% wool, beautifully made. I bought it years ago at the South Melbourne Community Chest Opportunity Shop in Bank Street. $12.00 rings a bell.
My husband wears Camper shoes - usually just one pair until they fall apart. We went on a shopping expedition the other day and bought a couple of new pairs for him (they were 20% off) at which point he relinquished the totally dilapidated pair that he was wearing. The next day I was at the Sacred Heart Mission op shop on Inkerman Street, East St Kilda and found these Campers for $15.00 - identical to the ones that he gave up the day before, same colour, same size, just in better condition.
Fisher Price activity centre
When we visited a friend a few weeks ago I was green with envy over her original 1970s Fisher Price activity board - her mother had kept it packed away for almost 30 years. Thank you, thank you St Vincent's Benalla - $3.00.
What are your best op shop finds ever? Please share!
Friday, 20 July 2007
I need to start this blog so that I have an outlet for crowing about my latest op shop finds; I think that I’m beginning to bore some friends. I’m a big fan of buying stuff from the op shop – clothes, shoes, bags, furniture, wool, books, toys; I even found a breast pump once.
Here are just some reasons why it’s great to op shop:
SAVE MONEY – There is always a bargain to be had at the op shop. I like expensive label clothing, I particularly like it when it only costs $5.00.
CHARITY – This is where I like my money to go; when you op shop you are doing a good deed at the same time.
SUSTAINABILITY – A great way to recycle and re-use, it’s a greener way to live.
TREASURE – I love the thrill of the chase; to find something at the op shop that is your size, your colour, your treasure basically.
There will be posts about best finds ever and ongoing commentary on what people are finding, feature op shops, treasure alerts and a link is coming to op shop names and addresses. If you live in