Fashion and shopping, Melbourne style


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Entries in stripes (111)


Pretty – and unnecessary?

I go second-hand shopping for two reasons: one, it’s fun, because you never know what you might find; and two, I’m saving for a sunshine-and-shopping fuelled holiday in December (will there be op-shops where I’m going?).

Many people make their ‘savings’ at sale time, and you know what they say: a bargain is not a bargain unless you actually need it. Of course, for women this does not usually apply when it comes to clothes, shoes, bags, jewellery, perfume and/or makeup. (Did I leave anything out?) We need those things. However, if we can save a few dollars, that will make us feel both happy and virtuous.

There are several sources for second-hand treasures. I am fortunate in that there are six op-shops and at least five vintage boutiques near my place of employment, and many a happy lunch hour has been spent in the avid pursuit of a bargain. I call it ‘hope-shopping’, because you never know whether you’re going to come away empty-handed or carrying a swag of stuff.

It’s a bit like gambling: riding that wave of uncertainty; not knowing whether I’ll be triumphant or disappointed by the time I return to my desk.

Going further afield there are places such as Camberwell Market; Round She Goes, and of course clothing-exchanges-with-a-cocktail. And let us not forget eBay.

DFO, by comparison, is expensive and certainly does not deliver the same thrill as finding a pair of Veronika Maine linen/silk-mix pants that look hitherto unworn for only $10 – or less, if you’re lucky.

Which brings me to last week’s bargains… an MNG mint-green, cotton cardigan ($5.75), in mint condition. Pretty (almost too pretty for me), but will go admirably with a Veronika Maine diagonally-striped mint-green and white silk dress I bought on eBay. Just fine for summer holiday evenings.

Continuing the green theme, I found a polka-dot t-shirt with the cutest puffed and gathered sleeves you ever did see. I was undecided until I tucked it into the skirt I was wearing that day. Works. Only $4.75. (Both pictured in main photo.)

I also found a navy, rayon beaded scarf (above left) with the tiniest hint of purple in it for $3.50. I’m not sure if I would wear it, but if not, I’m positive one of my sisters would like it. Rayon is a natural fibre based on wood cellulose, but is not as enivoronmentally-friendly as its younger cousin Lyocell is to manufacture.

And lastly, a tomato-red wool knit T by Bracewell (above), for the princely sum of $6.75. Never mind the fact that I already have a VM top in that colour, and am getting rid of a Jigsaw wool short-sleeved knit in the exact same shade of red (a BrandSmart ‘bargain’ which I wore maybe once). Bracewell, I said. It was $6.75. A bargain!

So, to appease my conscience, I am finally going to start selling some outcasts on eBay myself, starting with these gorgeous striped sailor trousers* (above). They were a ‘bargain’, from an Alice Euphemia sale a few years ago. The problem was, they were too big to start with and I convinced myself they wouldn’t fall down, and now that I’ve lost weight from all that martial arts training, they don’t stay up at all. I’m very sad about it (not the losing weight part).   

Secondly, a Phillips sleeveless silk top (right). So, so pretty, but so not me! Again, it is too large. Need I mention that this was another ‘bargain’ bought from Cream, the second-hand designer boutique on Chapel St, in Windsor?

Farewell it is. Sigh.

* Trousers are not as big as they appear.

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