OPINION: You don't need a supermodel's budget for style

I DON'T have a supermodel's budget, but I always attract nice comments about my outfits - and I love watching people's reaction when I tell them that it's all thanks to the humble op-shop.

For me, thrift shopping is all about the joy of wading through the bulging moth-ball smelling racks of goodness, to find that one gem - plus it's shopping with a conscience because you're giving back to charity too.

I've never understood why people spend thousands on designer outfits when you can make clothes look expensive for next to nothing.

I've learned that you wear the clothes, don't let the clothes wear you. The biggest challenge in thrift shopping is working out how to make a garment work.

TJ Hamilton loves nothing more than to hit the op-shops
TJ Hamilton loves nothing more than to hit the op-shops Alistair Brightman

You have to think outside the box and disregard the sizing, instead look at the actual item of clothing itself.

You can't always judge what something looks like on a hanger, but I have sizes 8 to 14 in my wardrobe, so that in itself tells you that fashion sizing is very inconsistent.

This is another rule of thumb in thrift shopping - don't be deceived by the look of something on the hanger.

My favourite skirt to-date was a $7 beauty that I found in an op-shop.

The print wasn't something I'd normally go for, but once I tried it on, the whole skirt transformed into something amazing, and it's still a skirt that I am guaranteed to be stopped and commented on if I'm wearing it - including when I've worn it around our fashion capital, Melbourne.

It's good to be adventurous with your outfits. Have fun with fashion, and get out of your comfort zone. You may surprise yourself.

I like to do a good wardrobe clean-out at least once a year and donate my threads to a charity, that way I'm giving back to the fashion circle of life.

We have an abundance of amazing op-shops and thrift shops around town, so learn what some of the top designer labels are and you may find yourself a well-wearing bargain.

Celebrities don't pay for their designer threads, it's actually all geared towards marketing a look for consumers.

So don't fall into the trap of becoming a consumer of the latest fads, and make fashion your own.

Do you like op-shopping? Tell us about your best deals by commenting below. 



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