Op shop designer wardrobe

Posted November 6th, 2005 by Penny Wise

I am the proud owner of a whole new wardrobe of designer clothes! I have three pairs of shorts, four skirts and four tops, all for the princely sum of $90. To be honest, I felt a bit guilty about even spending that much on clothes for myself, but as I said, they were all labels that I would never normally be able to afford and they all fitted perfectly. So how come I am suddenly able to flounce around wearing affordable designer gear? Easy - I went op-shopping at the weekend, it was so much fun! I had to take Mum to her chiropractor's appointment and while I was waiting, I thought I would check out my local op shop and Salvation Army store. I read so much about these kind of stores in Simple Savings, but until now I thought all I would find at the Sallies would be ancient tweed jackets and masses of crimplene. Boy, was I wrong! I could easily have spent an entire day in the op shop, I had a ball! After trailing round department stores moments earlier with Mum and not being able to find a single thing I liked, I couldn't believe the selection of quality garments hanging on the second hand racks. Unlike the flimsy new clothes I had just seen in the stores, many of the op shop clothes were tailored and really well made. I was trying on designer labels from places I would never normally have set foot in before and picking them up for less than $10!

The staff were really helpful, and because I 'bought in bulk' I was even given a discount of $13 to boot. I was also given an extra pair of shorts for half price, as I really liked them, but noticed a small stain on the front. However, I liked them enough to take them anyway and have a go removing the stain at home � which came out as soon as I washed them! Even Mum found a stylish blouse at the Sallies for $4.00 and couldn't believe her bargain. Where else can you get an entire summer wardrobe for less than $100? My only regret is that I'm now so well kitted out, I don't have to go back there for ages!

Hindsight is a wonderful thing and after missing out on the Melbourne Cup trifecta last week, it would have been sensible for me to stay away from any more horses, but it was not to be this particular week, as Noel's work held their staff function at the local race track. We usually go to the races with them about once a year and find it a cheap and enjoyable day out � many would dispute that, but we always keep our bets small at around $2.00 and usually come home with more money than we started with. Mindful that we had a whole day of racing ahead of us, I was struggling with choosing between two horses in the second race (I have no idea about horses and their form and always just pick the first name I like that jumps out at me) and decided it was no good, I was just going to have to put $2.00 on both of them. 'Why don't you put your two horses with my horse and go for a trifecta?' Noel said. I said absolutely not, a trifecta was going to cost me $12 and it was too early in the day and I was going to remain conservative with my betting. 'Suit yourself�, Noel said and so I trotted up and put $2.00 a place on our three individual horses. Which proceeded to come in first, second and third. Had I bet on the trifecta as Noel suggested, I would have just won $4,300 but thanks to my miserly restraint, I came away with $24.90, which just wasn't quite the same! You can imagine how much stick I received from Noel for the rest of the day can't you?

However, I did feel slightly better to see that the work syndicate, who had put together a total betting pool of $1100 at the start of the day, finished $400 down at the end of it. As easy as that to throw away all that money � and for what?! While I may not have cashed in on my 'big win', at least I didn't end the day hundreds of dollars worse off. I'll be sticking to my $2.00 bets again next year!

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