Every summer when the dreaded wardrobe re-jig takes place, there's always that realisation: where did my summer clothes go? They're either too small, too big, or it's a mid-2000s Ed Hardy bedazzled hat.
Australians are the world's second largest fashion consumers, buying an average 27 kilograms of new clothing and textiles per year, so instead of heading to an overcrowded shopping mall, hit up your local thrift shop. Not only will you find must-have summer clothes at a cheaper price point, but you'll be incorporating positive sustainable fashion habits into your lifestyle.
But before you walk into the op shop, here are five key items you should definitely be looking for in preparation for this scorching season.
wide brim hats
Say so long to the cap: it's all about getting that sun coverage while harking to French countryside glam. And no, we don't mean a Bunnings gardening hat; we mean the type of hat that makes you feel like eating grapes outside a château. This style pops up in vintage stores all the time, but they end up getting snatched quickly, so keep a sharp eye on the hat rack for raffia or straw. If you're worried about hygiene, New South Wales Health actually cites research that suggests "hats... do not harbour or transmit lice or nits". You're safe!
2019 was the year of skinny sunglasses, but now make way for oversized, coloured sunglasses. Whether they're round, square or cat-eye, as long as they cover half of your face, they should be in fashion. Luckily, many thrift shoppers often forget to check the glasses section, meaning you might come across some goodies in that sunglasses bucket that haven't been noticed.
printED BEACH shirts
For Australians, the printed shirt is a classic and never seems to go out of fashion, which means second-hand stores tend to be bursting with them. You can find modern prints, like pineapples or avocados, as well as vintage ones, such as geometric 80s or floral; not to mention you can dress them up or down, depending on your liking. While everyone's wearing the "festival shirt" this summer, you can rock a unique pattern that no one else is donning.
Ditch the thongs; Birkenstocks and Tevas have officially been declared cool again. Lucky for you, everyone donated their sandals to op shops when they weren't supposed to be fashionable so there's bound to be a few pairs for you to take home. Good vintage shoes are harder to come by than a jacket, but if you're a regular thrifter, you might be first to grab some chunky sandals off the shelf.
LINEN FOR DAYS
If there's one thing everyone can agree on, it's that linen is the perfect summer fabric. You might not want to rock the summer linen suit that Boyle from Brooklyn Nine-Nine wears, but a simple shirt, dress, or pair of pants will keep you cool in the heat. It's highly absorbent too, meaning you won't be trying to hide any uncomfortable sweat stains, and claimed to have a heat conductivity five times higher than wool and 18 times higher than silk. You want to be checking every rack, men's or women's, for this material.