Monday 30 April 2012

a green vinnies fling

Since Sydney's Fashion Week is kicking off today, I thought I'd share with you the very exclusive fashion event I attended last Thursday night . . .

The launch of the winter line from Narrabeen Vinnies.

The store had been well-merchandised and well-staffed, and customer service was second-to-none. As I entered the store during it's special late night session I felt the distinctive buzz of excitement and slightly competitive atmosphere as shoppers started their hunt that reminded me of the vibe at the many sample sales I've been to over the years and the Clothing Exchange swap I attended last year.  Real shoppers love a bargain! 

Shoppers of all ages, shapes and sizes were scouring the racks.
There was a surprisingly large amount of fur - from hats to
mink collars to coats of varying length - not my particular
style, but if you desire fur, used is the way to go.

After spending about 45 minutes of serious shopping, I left with 5 items to refresh my winter wardrobe. My grand total was less than $50 and I get a special discount if I return before 10 May (maybe my vintage-loving friend Nat will want to join me?).

Chocolate brown velvet blazer - $15

The perfect top to dress up or down - $4

I've been looking at silver cuffs for so long - this was only $6

Vintage men's military sweater - $10

Black skinny jeans - $8

Now that I've brought home my treasures and the post-shopping euphoria has worn off I have to admit to some slight buyer's remorse. Even though I'm a seasoned shopper, I still let the thrill of the hunt get the better of me, and a few of the items are not up to scratch.

The blouse and jeans are from fast-fashion brands.  I knew this as I tried them on, but I was mostly thinking about how great it was to extend the life of the items instead of critiquing the quality as I should have. Now that I've examined them in more detail, it's obvious these items were made cheaply from poor-quality materials; the blouse is pilling and the chain detailing around the neckline is faulty, and there is zero structure to the jeans - they may as well be leggings. I'm not sure how long I'll hang onto these items before I send them back to Vinnies (not that this is the answer to unwanted fashion, since so much excess clothing is donated annually they can't actually distribute it all).

The Vinnies has a great mix of products - including designer brands and vintage finds - but the abundance of fast fashion items was a stark reminder that we need to wean ourselves off these brands to avoid filling our landfill with unwanted, worn out items. What a great personal reminder of why quality is better than quantity, not only for my style, but also for the environment.

Will I be shopping at Vinnies again?

You betcha! I'm enamoured with my blazer and military jumper. But I'll definitely be a more discerning shopper next time around.

So tell me, what's the best item you've scored from a thrift shop?


  1. My whole wardrobe??... :)

    I needed a new winter coat and I found one at a garage sale for $15 yesterday!

    1. Nat you rock vintage/pre-loved clothes better than anyone I know! Can't wait to check out your new (used) find!