"I used to think it was a sign of being poor but there is no shame in where I buy my clothes."

Way before Macklemore made ‘thrift shopping’ trendy, have I been pursuing the isles of second-hand opportunity shops on a weekly basis. A large portion of both mine and my daughter’s clothes, I can proudly say, are either from bargain department store sales or savvy second-hand finds.

Since I can remember, my mum has been an avid op-shopper. I used to hate it because I thought it was a sign of being poor. That was until I realised that most of what mum bought was actually cool, and sometimes even designer.

"A large proportion of my clothes are savvy second hand finds." Image supplied.

When I was in my late teens and early 20’s, I would be out almost every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night out and of course, I couldn’t outfit repeat. Between the typical girl wardrobe swaps and borrows, I would do weekly shops at Savers in Brunswick (Melbourne) and find multiple mix-and-match pieces. I would walk out with several different outfit options for less than $30.

While it does take a bit of skill to be able to walk into an op-shop and find a bunch of goodies, if you take your time to sort through and have some kind of vision of what you are after, then you are bound to nab yourself a few bargains. That being said though, a lot of the time you need to be prepared that you might walk out empty handed.

You don't need to spend big to dress well. Image supplied.

However, over the years I have scored some great buys including a hot pink vintage Cue pencil skirt that I sold $300 (after wearing it myself) and a gorgeous double-breasted Marc Jacobs trench for only $19. The same now goes for children’s clothes, especially as kids grow so quickly and sometimes never end up wearing the clothes you buy them. I have found Ralph Lauren, Bardot Junior, Bonds and Rock Your Baby items – still with tags attached.

Sometimes I get people turning their noses up when I tell them my clothes are second-hand. But most are usually just surprised and impressed when I tell them the dress they asked about was, ‘$4 from an op-shop’.

You can discover some great bargains by shopping second hand. Image supplied.

There is absolutely no shame in second-hand, whether it’s out of necessity or you just like to find unique pieces at a steal. You should be proud of your savvy shopping skills.

You shouldn’t be ashamed to brag about your eco-friendly purchases that sees money go to local charities any less than you would be proud about an expensive brand new dress you spent your hard earned money on.

Do you shop at second hand stores? What's the best thing you've ever found?

TAP ON THE IMAGE to see Olivia's amazing op-shop style...