The VAMFF (Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival) is well underway and there’s plenty of runway shows packed with wonderful fashion for Melbournians to enjoy. Unfortunately, it’s snuck up on me again and I’ve made no plans to go to one! Guess I’ll just have to wait until the new season hits the stores.
Unfortunately, each new season of fashion produces waste. The old season is discarded to make space for the new pieces. The faster the turn-around for a fashion label, the more waste they create. As lovely as it is to buy beautiful new clothes, it’s in our best interest to make good choices. Buy quality items of clothing which will last and get good use. Buy second-hand and donate quality pieces to your local op-shop so someone else can enjoy. The local Vinnies shop has a wonderful variety and ever changing items.
The Clever Shopper
Op-shopping has become more appreciated nowadays. A clever shopper will be on a regular hunt for bargains which are regularly found in them. Still, there are a whole lot of people out there that will give it a wide berth because of their outdated perception of it. For those who don’t want to step into an op-shop, there are the recycled boutiques which are a good option – although they do charge a lot more for their items. There’s eBay as well. Any way of preventing clothing being thrown away into the rubbish heap is a good way. Clothes swap parties are also a good idea, unless you’re the only one who has anything really good to swap. Treat it as a place where you are giving away your unwanted pieces for further use.
Visiting an op-shop will not transform you into a retro-loving hipster – unless you want to be one! My love of op-shops started many years ago, when my budget was tight and my love of fashion had to be satisfied. After finding some wonderful, barely used fashion (which was also current) I quickly became hooked. Sometimes I’ll walk out empty handed, but sometimes I walk out with my arms full. My favourite fashion items are second-hand. They’re pieces I throw on quite often.
Since it’s Melbourne Fashion Festival time, I thought I’d put together something which is runway worthy without the runway price tag. This outfit is one recently purchased outfit from my local Vinnies op-shop store. The dress (unknown label) is so couture-like. It’s made from soft cotton which is ruched all over, forming a bubble skirt hemline. It’s not going to appeal to everyone and my husband’s reaction to it was ‘that’s the ugliest dress and I’m not going to photograph it!’. Not a problem, I’ve always dressed for myself and not what other people think I should be wearing. It’s great to have some fun with fashion and this dress is just one of those fun pieces! Hubby was kind enough to photograph the dress in the end and he did a great job as a fashion photographer!
The length on the dress is a little on the shorter side, which I’m not used to wearing these days. Not long ago, I asked my teenage daughter the question ‘when should I stop wearing mini-skirts?’ and her answer was ‘when you’re knees are old and wrinkly!’. She went on to say that my knees were not yet old and wrinkly so I should just keep wearing minis. Made my day! The jacket is also a op-shopped piece of clothing (unknown brand) which is just very cute and goes very well with the dress. My shoes are old favourites from Walnut Melbourne and my handbag is from Mimco (not from the op-shop but existing pieces from my wardrobe).
The Conscious Shopper
By all means, go and enjoy the fabulous fashion shows. Support our wonderful designers by purchasing their designs. Just keep sustainability in mind when you make your purchases and choose quality pieces which you’re going to use many times over. Better still, buy the items off eBay or hunt around in an op-shop to see if you can put together looks which are similar to the ones in season. You might be nicely surprised by what you might find in an op-shop.