ABC newsreader Kumi Taguchi is one seriously impressive shopper.
To celebrate national Op Shop Week, an initiative to get local communities to band together and give their op-shops a serious injection of great quality clothing, Taguchi has been taking on the challenge of five days, five op-shop outfits, all under $50. Phew.
Put it this way: Taguchi’s outfits have us inspired to drop into our local Vinnies, stat.
That’s right, people. Digging for treasure at an op-shop does NOT mean you’re going to walk out smelling like cigarettes and patchouli.
Here are all of her looks this week.
Black pencil dress with black Valentino knock-off heels.
— Kumi T_guchi | 田口久実 (@kumitaguchi) August 22, 2016
Sass & Bide white dress, with cream patent pumps.
— Kumi T_guchi | 田口久実 (@kumitaguchi) August 23, 2016
A colourful graphic SHeike top with a Country Road skirt.
— Kumi T_guchi | 田口久実 (@kumitaguchi) August 24, 2016
This is a Jil Sander dress. HIGH END DESIGNER. Less than $50.
Op Shop Week Day 4! This is my favourite outfit so far. Loving this week ♻ pic.twitter.com/NgRKxN0yCa
— Kumi T_guchi | 田口久実 (@kumitaguchi) August 25, 2016
And we’re at day 5. Already! Last day of Op Shop Week. It’s been so much fun ♻ pic.twitter.com/7ixqQ7JQ70
— Kumi T_guchi | 田口久実 (@kumitaguchi) August 26, 2016
Doesn’t she look gorgeous?
The news presenter said she found the challenge pleasantly surprising.
“I am generally pretty thrifty when it comes to buying clothes for the studio anyway – we don’t have big budgets here and most of us do it ourselves – no stylists! So finding enough to wear for work can be stressful at times,” she told Mamamia.
“Being able to dress well for an on-camera job, for that budget, has been surprising and liberating. And also knowing that the clothes are going to a good cause on so many levels, has really lifted my spirit.”
She’s also proved just what treasures can be found among the piles.
“We tend to think of op shop as second hand – and mostly it is. But there are other great finds. This week, I wore a dress from a well-known brand that was new, it’s just that it was last season’s. Another piece had a small makeup mark on it after it was tried on in a store. Again, brand new.”
G U E S S W H O | Can you guess who’s checking out her outfits for National Op Shop Week, next week? I’ll give you a hint, she is an ABC News Presenter…?? So exciting!! Can’t wait!! #nationalopshopweek #abcnews_au
A photo posted by Alex van Os (@op_shop_to_runway) on
Taguchi had the helping hand of fashion stylist and Red Cross Store ambassador Alex Van Os.
“She is passionate about recycling, reducing our consumer footprint and has a real eye for spotting great clothes. She has her own business called Op Shop To Runway and does exactly that! OK, the studio is not a runway, but you know what I mean…” she said.
The impact of the challenge has not only been aesthetic – Taguchi says she’s felt free and had more fun this week than she has had in a long time.
“Wearing op shop has given me licence to experiment, with no pressure to be trendy. In this industry, there is pressure to look good and to be honest, I don’t invest the time or money to keep on top of what is fashionable. I own two pairs of jeans and have not bought new ones for five years,” she says.
“I generally buy things that will last and that I really like. But I do go through phases of feeling totally daggy and unfashionable and I really don’t like that feeling because underneath, I know it shouldn’t matter.”
Op shop blogger Hannah Klose is also proof that saving is stylish. (Post continues after gallery.)
It’s a change that’s been clearly visible.
“You can see it in the photos, I think. I chose clothes that were ‘me’. I’ve felt more authentic. Let’s be honest, some of us can’t pull off the flares or tight pants or the crop tops – we all have some part of our body that doesn’t work with what’s in fashion,” she says.
“The whole process of trying things on in shops that look great on mannequins and models can be demoralising. This process has been far less stressful.”
A savvy shopper anyway (she has a strict ‘one in, one out’ policy, where every time she buys something new she gives an old item to charity), this week has taught her a style lesson she won’t forget.
“Sometimes I feel uncomfortable about presenting news about refugees or bombings or poverty or the homeless or job losses, all glammed up,” she says.
“Wearing clothes that are recycled, second-hand or last season has been a nice fit with how I feel about the world. I don’t ever want to feel disconnected from all aspects of life.”
The feedback has also been overwhelmingly positive.
“Normally, I feel very uncomfortable when people comment on clothes, especially if men tell me what looks good and what doesn’t (yes, it happens). This time, though, there is a different vibe: people are commenting on the find or the bargain, rather than the fashion. It’s built a totally different sense of community around what can often be a very judgemental space,” she explains.
And her favourite outfit?
“Definitely the red dress on day four! I wasn’t going to even try it on but Alex was convinced it would work. It is a brand I would normally not buy – usually a bit pricey – and it is a style I would not normally wear on camera. But the whole ‘but it’s for Op Shop Week’ gave me a bit of an excuse to break the boundaries a bit, so I did,” she says.
A B C 2 4 | Kumi, the lady in red ???????????????????????? I found this #jilsander vibrant and fabulous dress from @redcrossshops, worn on #abcnews_au today. The quality of clothing that you find at the Red Cross is ace ???????? #nationalopshopweek
A photo posted by Alex van Os (@op_shop_to_runway) on
“And that is what underlies a lot of this, too: when you’re sitting there, presenting three hours of news a day to a national audience, in a $30, $40 or $50 outfit, you can’t help but feel a bit naughty, like you’re breaking some sort of unsaid code.”
As Taguchi has shown, it’s never been easier to find an amazing outfit for a fraction of the price you would normally pay. Hey — if it’s good enough for her to wear on national TV, it’s good enough for us.