Op-Ed: How to be Stylish Without Hitting Hard Your Wallet? Head to Op Shops

op shops, vinnies op shops



I love fashion.

And there are times that watching the runway shows every season is like porn that feeds my creativity, keeps me updated on what’s in and out.

However, there is one thing that I never do in every latest fashion.

I never spend money on it.



Don’t get me wrong. As much as I love the latest fashion trend every season and those unique pieces, I just couldn’t have a heart on spending my hard-earned money just to feed my fashion gratification, even though my favorite icon wears it, and I know that I will look good on it.

Okay, okay… another factor is my spending capacity.

Because I wasn’t belonging to some blessed high net-worth gaining individual, and rather spend my paycheck for other important things (like mortgage, experiential travel, and savings).

op shops vinnies

Say HELLO to Op Shops

Since I’ve stayed in Australia for vacation, I discovered another amazing way to pay gratification for my fashion hunger. That’s when I discovered the wonders of many op shops.



Op Shops are charity stores where they sell second-hand items (clothes, homewares, furniture, you name it) all came from donations. The difference of these op shops to the ukay-ukay stores (Philippine’s version of second-hand shops) is all the proceeds go to the charity. Op Shop staffs are all volunteers who carefully check all donated items, segregate them and do quality checks before it goes on display, the same procedures of what a typical clothing shop does.



Since I stayed here in Melbourne, visiting op shops became part of my weekend routine. My face glows with delight when I found this yellow summer dress hidden from the corner most of the clothing section, which I thought would be a great outfit for my next blogger’s event, or could be great for my next Instagram fashion post (note that I certainly love the dress and not buying it just for the sake of the gram).







A post shared by BLAIR VILLANUEVA (@blairvillanueva) on


Autumn is finally here, and it’s time for hunting for some nice warm clothes to protect my tropical spirit from the chilly weather.

During my recent visit at Vinnies in Warragul, I spotted this oversized knitted sweatshirt in mustard yellow (I love yellows!) for AUD$8.00, a lightweight jacket from UNIQLO (yes, those jacket with heat-tech) for AUD$15, and two knitted wear with lovely threads that I believe would be great for me for a longer period (I have a good eye for good kinds of stuff) for AUD$7.00 each.

Then I found this nice black leather boots perfect for the season (and surprisingly fits me) for AUD$15.00, an aquamarine weekend travel bag (with Chanel embossed on it, which I know is fake) for AUD$10.00, and other finds.



The point is the total costs of my op shop purchases are equivalent to a single brand-new dress from Myers.

I leave the shop carrying all my stuff having a wide smile on my face, coz I’ve got some great deals, and only paid a minimal dollar.

vinnies op shops
clothes all hanged and organized at Vinnies Warragul


Why you should choose op shops?

Shopping at these many op shops is like hitting two birds (make that 3!) in one shot:

• You spend money on items you like without feeling the guilt of no extra cash for your next grocery.

• By shopping at op shops, the money you’ve spent will directly go to the charity that helps many underprivileged citizens (and kids!) to get their basic needs, including education.

• The rise of fast fashion has a tremendous impact in our environment, (Today, the global fashion industry is responsible for eight to 10 percent of the world's greenhouse gas emissions, according to the United Nations) and by choosing op shops is a great way to minimize waste and not ended up these items to landfills.



You only need to arm yourself with lots of patience, time on checking all the racks and piles of items to get your next most prized procession.


And don’t forget to bring your own bags because plastics have no room for saving our environment.


Grab your friends and happy op-shopping!
And if you are in Melbourne, contact me for the next op-shopping party!



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78 comments :

  1. I love op shopping too! It's a shame so many are closing down right now with the virus :( 2 of my favourites have closed this week! :(

    Hope that you had a good weekend. We celebrated my son's birthday at home, with no guests, instead of the big party we had planned in the park, but he still had a good day :)

    Away From Blue

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  2. I LOVE Op shopping! I always find something unique to wear everytime i shop. Some of my favourite items have been from Op shops.

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  3. You have some really good advice here, thank you!

    Stay safe :)

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  4. I love thrift shopping is a good way to have a sustainable fashion in your wardrobe and you can get unique and even name brand pieces.

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    Replies
    1. You are right! I got many luxury Australian brands too!

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  5. it seems you got a lot of things in your last shopping.

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    1. Yup, tons! So happy to spend my money to many op shops.

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  6. Never heard of that before! Fashion with compassion, bec proceeds go to charity! Love it!

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    1. All store staffs are volunteers from different ages! They also offer programs for students who wants to volunteer and gain school credits.

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  7. Thank you for promoting non-plastic bags to carry items!

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  8. This reminds me a lot of TK Maxx! I love going in there but if I don't have a lot of time it's out of the question!

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  9. Oh they're called Op Shops in Australia. That's interesting. In the US we call it by their brand name, which is "Goodwill" or "Salvation Army". You must spend a lot of time looking for stuff? That's good that there are quality items there!

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    1. Australia have tons of op shops aside from Vinnies, Salvation Army is another favorite.

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  10. That sounds like a great chain. I love being able to find deals on stylish clothing. It's like Christmas came early!

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    1. I agree! It is now my happy place coz every shops are closed.

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  11. Good for you babe, I love going thrifting. You can find high quality pieces at affordable prices!

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    1. That is true! I felt motivated to shop here because of their cause. And the fact that they make sure all items are cleaned first before displaying.

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  12. First time to know about them but why not if you are going to save a lot of bucks right?

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    1. Saves a lot of bucks, and you are helping as well. Parang you gave donations and you received gifts.

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  13. It's good to know that one can look good without breaking the bank. Who said looking good has to be expensive?

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  14. Great finds! They all look good on you and I must say that even in a regular shop, you really need to look for what would look best for you.

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  15. I'am not fan of shopping but I really love fashion. Most of my clothes made in (UK) Ukay Ukay HAHHAHA. but I use bags when I'am buy something to the malls. Love your outfit!

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    1. Thank you dear! When I was in Manila, I used to visit many ukay-ukay too... but my always concern is the hygiene part. Most of them not cleaning them before display.

      And ukay-ukay in the Philippines are not for a cause.

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  16. i had never heard the term OP stores before. i used to go to the USA Salvation Army thrift stores that look a lot like the stores you are shopping in. It's a lot of hunting through the bins and racks and finding the special something that makes you want to scream with happiness.

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    1. Yeah Aussies got Salvation Army too, which they locally called SALVOS!

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  17. Used to thrift store shop more when my kids were younger. It was kimd of exciting bc you never knew what you would find but it was always a great deal!

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  18. My wife loves OP shops. I think it is the feeling of finding something really amazing after an hour of looking. That feeling of success is what makes her want to get into those stores and start digging!

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    Replies
    1. I agree with you. Someone's trash is another one's treasure :D

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  19. So many great things to be found! I can't wait to get out and go shopping again!

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    1. Same here! OMG I know there is online shopping but they are still expensive for me.

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  20. I love thrift shopping as they are super affordable and if you are lucky you can get some nice and unique outfits. I love the look you created so much

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  21. I LOVE visiting Op shops. It seems I always find a treasure! We've found tons of skiing items!

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    1. Op Shops are great! Especially finding items that are expensive if you got them brand-new. And If I know I will only use it for one season, I prefer to get them from op shops.

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  22. You've given a well-detailed blog post about shopping. I feel that while most people go for new items, the market for second hand also has a role to play, & may benefit some if not everyone.

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    1. I also love brand-new clothes especially when its free. But buying brand new clothes is not a priority.

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  23. Yes! I love finding great deals and this is a way to do that and give back.

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    1. That's true! Another technique I learned is visiting op shops near the rich neighborhood. These shops always got AMAZING pieces!

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  24. I think that what we have here that is similar would be those bargain stores and those that have rejects. Cheap but its reallyn ice.

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    1. Quite similar but not really coz many bargain stores in the Philippines are not for charity. It's business for profit.

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  25. I'm a terrible dresser and shopper, I buy something online but never get the courage to wear it. I like how you got that lightweight jacket though, that was a great bargain!

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    1. I had that same shopping behavior before, and felt so guilty because I haven't got a chance of wearing them. Sometimes those 80% SALE Promotion online is quite hard to resist!

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  26. These are some cool tips. I feel like going out for shopping right now.

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  27. Your styling looks pretty trendy. I guess my girlfriend will too like them, gonna share it with her.

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    1. Thank you dear! I'm not too trendy like those top influencers, hahaha I can only afford op shopping!

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  28. Mama Maggie's KitchenApril 1, 2020 at 4:49 AM

    Shopping is one of women's best friends! Op Shops sounds really amazing! This is such a wonderful shop to visit for those who want to be stylish on a budget!

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    1. I know it might quite a challenge for men to shop at op-shops because the items are either mostly for women or for kids (I think these two market shops a lot!), and men doesn't shop a lot just like women. But I found some cool items good for man's cave!

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  29. Love love love a good charity shop bargain an it makes it all the better that you're helping someone else in the process, films and books are great finds there too

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    1. and furniture too! I found this tripod for $12 which got an original price of $400 in the market

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  30. great ideas! i love shopping 2nd hand stores i find such great things. most people don't realize that its not new

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    1. it's been going around for many years, but only few notices. There are many visits where I always lucky to find amazing clothes with its original tags on.

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  31. Never heard of OP shopping before but that sounds like a great place to visit and buy some stuff.

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    1. Thanks for visiting! How to you promote sustainability in fashion?

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  32. This is the first time I heard about OP shopping. Seems like you got so much from there. <3

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  33. That is good for you babe. OP Shopping looks really great. I need to check more about this.

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  34. While I don't have any patience shopping for clothes, I spend a lot of time hunting for bargain books. I might follow some of your tips next time I go book hunting.

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    1. You'll never know what you can find in those vintage shops!

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  35. I've never shopped at Op shops before, but now I want to give them a try! I will look for some in my area thanks to your inspiration!

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    Replies
    1. You will sometimes feel surprised that some of our favorite brands are in op shops.

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  36. It's always smart finding ways to enjoy the hobbies you love like shopping for new fashion and also saving money while doing good at the same time!
    XO, MJ
    http://www.lush-fab-glam.com

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  37. I have never heard of OP shops but now I know, I will be on the lookout coz as a Mom of two kids, every centavo saved matters.

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    1. Nowadays we need to find ways to save. We don't know what would happen tomorrow.

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  38. That looks like a nice shop to buy affordable and nice outfits like yours. I'm gonna check this shop, my sister would like this for sure.

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    1. Thanks Elizabeth! Hope many op shops will be open in every cities.

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  39. Hhhaaaa....patience, I have got! No worries, Blair. I will check them out once we are all safely out of the COVID-era.

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