Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The green skirt

Yesterday I mentioned that I'd been thrifting/op-shopping/vintage hunting... wanna see what I found?

Now, before I get too far into this post and my find(s) I must tell you a few things:
  1. I'm a newby at this second-hand shopping thing
  2. We do like saving things from becoming land-fill
  3. I do LOVE shopping, and
  4. It gets quite cold here in the mornings/evening, even in spring/autumn.
With that background information dealt with I'll get onto the green skirt! It's an op-shop skirt. An op-shop here is Australia is a shop that sells goods that have been donated to them. Generally the goods are second-hand. Sometimes they are new. There are things of all tastes and types in our op-shops, the goods are generally very cheap and it's GREAT fun to poke around in them :-) Plus you have the added bonus of saving something from rotting away in landfill, I've a rep for this rescuing ;-)

I haven't always been an op-shop, thrifting girl. In fact, for many years I shopped in normal retail shops without a second thought. But lately, for a multitude of reasons, I've been 'a-hunting' in our local op shops more and more. Plus I've been introduced to a few other second-hand places around town with housey stuff, so the horizon is wide-open and clear! I love that you can find things with character, to suit you and your life, for not very much money at all! 

Another progression for me has been the purchasing of second-hand clothes. This has taken me a bit more to get used to. And I admit that I generally don't buy much clothing from op-shops, you see I can scrub a cupboard down with eucalyptus oil, or bleach it, and I don't have to wear it next to my skin. But clothes seem just a little more personal. And as my gorgeous girl put it, they nearly always have a certain smell after being through the op-shop! She's nice and direct ;-) Anyhow, there have been a few items of clothing that caught my eye, that I've found whilst 'a-hunting' AND I've purchased. Funnily enough, they nearly all have woollen content. Wonder why that would be?! Might be something to do with the seasons in here place...

The wool is the bait that's lured me into clothing purchases. When it's as cold as it is here and you've been used to living out west where it's warmer, the necessity for wool in your wardrobe is real. I love wool! And not just because we spend so much time at the farm with merino sheep... though spending time with wool people has educated me to know that quality does matter with wool. When you buy quality woollen products you don't get that itchy sensation. But good wool doesn't come cheap. And being a normal family with just one income (I'm not whinging, I'm grateful we can do it actually!) good wool is a bit of a stretch. Though not so much if you find it while 'a-hunting' at the op-shop!!!

So, my quest began. Instead of heading straight out the back to the housey stuff I started to detour to the jumper and skirt racks. I was looking for the wool. And I've found it! My wardrobe has now been richly bolstered with pure wool jumpers and cardigans (I found one yesterday with a note attached informing and apologising that the cardi needed to be hand washed). I have some hand-knitted stuff and some well-known woollen labels. This skirt is the latest addition. It's definitely wool, almost looks like a blanket! And it's nicely lined. Not to everyone's taste I know ;-) Hopefully I can pull it off with the addition of interesting boots/jacket, if not at the very least I'm warm. I'm not apologising at all.

One last secret; our washing machine has a BRILLIANT wool cycle. I'll admit it to you. I wash my wool in the machine. I know some would call this sacrilege, but hey with the amount of washing this family generates and the amount of wool I wear, hand-washing wool just.wouldn't.happen. I do use one of those little sensitive items bags, I turn the jumper/item inside-out, shove it in the bag (it's generally a tight fit), zip it up and pop it into the machine. The other concession is using a gentle detergent, the sort meant for wool. And on the first wash post-op-shop I use a bit of eucalyptus oil in the wash too, removes any smell and nastiness. But that's it, that's all I can handle in my everyday life - it has to be real, and simple!

Well, there you go. That's quite the confession for me; the buying and wearing of second-hand clothes. Might seem a bit silly to others. But I'm trying very hard to be less a consumer of 'new' stuff! And I like the character of the second-hand. And I love knobbly scarves like this one, I didn't knit this one, it's courtesy of my mum! Lucky me hey?! I've some more op-shop stuff to show you, but right now I MUST get the washing on the line while the sun is out.

PS - This greenery is willow, freshly shot, from the farm. I've a lovely post for you this Friday, from time spent last weekend at the farm. For another willow post at the farm click here.