Times Have Changed - Op Shopping For Clothes


These days many people buy clothing from op shops                     Image:Pixabay


Over the time of my life many things have changed. So many things have been invented and there have been many changes in attitude. I popped in at one of the op shops in my area this morning and thought of how the availability of pre - loved items and the attitude to buying them has changed over the past sixty or so years.

When I was a child I would not have known what was meant by op shop, opportunity shop, charity or thrift shop but I do recall browsing in a couple of dusty second hand shops. These shops sold mostly old furniture, with some books, bric-a-brac, paintings and the occasional item of clothing.

Second hand clothing in shops was rare, at least where I lived. People didn't have much surplus clothing, if any when I was a pre-schooler, back in the fifties. Women generally wore the clothes they owned until they were worn out, the clothes that is, not the women. Adult clothes were cut down to make something for a child if there was still some wear in the fabric when the adult had finished with it.

Sometimes an item of clothing was handed down within the family or perhaps passed on to a friend. No body had something hanging unworn in the wardrobe, months after its purchase, with the price tag still on it as can happen today. 

Today many have items they rarely or never wear. Clothes can be bought cheaply, especially at end of season sales. There are shops that stock low priced clothing throughout the year. And there is online shopping.

It is so easy to purchase a few new items when feeling in need of retail therapy. Plastic cards enable one to buy clothes, including expensive designer items, even if short of money. For some it is common practice to make a few purchases as a way of dealing with feeling stressed or depressed.

Eventually the unworn or surplus clothes will be pulled out of storage and may be donated to charity. Op shops provide the opportunity to buy plenty of inexpensive clothes, some of which have never been worn.

When op shopping it is easy to justify buying pieces of clothing one suspects one will hardly ever or never wear -
  • The money is going to help those in need
  • It's so cheap it doesn't matter if I don't end up wearing it
  • I can't leave a bargain like that behind
  • My daughter/mother/friend might wear it if I don't
  • I can donate it back to charity if I don't lose the weight I need to shed in order to fit into it
Salvos and Vinnies are household names these days and more people are happy to buy from op shops. Many stock new goods as well as second hand. There is even prestige in showing off a 'vintage find'. Times have changed.

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