Thursday, June 30, 2011


I do love a good vintage dress. I have a few, stashed away, with my pre-baby wardrobe. But I am finding that they are getting increasingly hard to find, even in our country area. Only five years ago there seemed to be so much more around, but sadly I think that those days are almost over. I know for a fact of an arrangement in one of our local op shops, which explains why I have never seen a single vintage frock there. Ever. The other one charges vintage shop prices in a bid to attract the out of town shopper.

Only the other day, I was chatting with one of the managers who told me that people from out of town were buying woolen blankets at ten at a time. Ten. On one occasion I saw an almost clear out of all types of items, with a city vintage shop buyer buying up big. I also witnessed her try to make a behind-the-scenes deal with the manager.

Fortunately there still seem to be some good kitchen ware buys. Still the occasional fabric, sheeting and blankets. But I have always believed it good karma to only buy what you need, and leave what you don't for someone else who will love it. Or need it. As is the case with the woolen blankets.

But I do wonder for how much longer will the bargains still be there? Will all vintage items not make it to the shelves? As one big store has now gone online and with the rise of the op shop "boutique" stocking only the very best items, with prices accordingly,  is the bargain vintage buy destined to become a thing of the past?

Kid's vintage still makes the occasional appearance, though even it is getting more difficult to find these days. I will leave you with a few pics from Julia's wardrobe.

I know that most of you regularly op shop. Are you too experiencing a bit of a "drought" in your locals?


Susan said...

This is so true! There is definitely a 'drought' out this way. With vintage becoming increasingly 'trendy' I'm finding everything is being bought out by overpriced vintage shops and other sewists looking for fabric for their market wares. It's near impossible to find a nice vintage sheet or pillowcase out this way anymore and certainly impossible to find a dress. Thankfully it is still possible to find fabric cuts like wool and tweeds which don't seem to get snapped up out this way!

Kate said...

I don't even check our local oppies any more.
There are far too many deals made and regulars that know the time tables of the trucks that unload new goods and such.
Many people in our town have little stalls at antique markets selling stuff they have picked up the day before at the oppy or a garage sale.
Takes the fun out of it I think.

Lindsay @ Delighted Momma said...

You have some great pieces there. Yes I am also noticing vintage finds are becoming rarer and rarer.

XO Lindsay

Tania @ Out Back said...

Great post Tania! Everything you say is true... There was not one wool blanket or quilt in the op shops that I went to recently.

I used to be able to find so much more, but like you say, those days are almost over. You can still be lucky on occasions, but that is becoming a rarity!

You have a lovely collection there.


Tammi said...

Most definitely!! I volunteered at Vinnies when we were living in Brisbane and was amazed at what doesn't even hit the shop floor. There were deals going on behind the scenes all the time.

I love the fact that more and more people are buying second hand but not that it has become so trendy that there are less and less bargains to be found. I have op shopped my whole life :)

Julia's wardrobe is just gorgeous.


jodi said...

it's so sad that boutiques and city-dwellers are scouring the local country op-shops and taking all the goodness. I've got a few vintage kids clothes stashed away (mostly little dresses) in case bubba is a girl. You look like you've got an amazing collection - hold onto it for your grandchildren, won't you! x

Nelly said...

I am having a drought of Vintage clothing here too I do know that a few shops had a deal going on with some fella that comes in to buy and resells to Movie World.But I have been lucky on occassion,Latley tho its been awful and I get such a buz when I find a vintage piece so my buz has been sadly lost.

BarefootBride said...

Hello, I came to your blog via Down To Earth.

I agree wholeheartedly that there is a dearth of good buys to be had now at op shops. I'm looking for vintage lace and cottons to turn into a patchwork style of curtain and unless it's ugly synthetic stuff, I can't seem to find it. And I live in a city of around 200,000. Once upon a time I could find heaps of colorful crocheted blankets to put on the couch or hammock, now it's almost impossible to find. We always try and buy books whenever we can for around $1 or less (especially for the kids), but even they are getting too dear. Just recently, I saw a hard copy of the DaVinci Code at an Endeavour Foundation store for $15! Another big-name op shop had $2 on a used sticker/coloring book. Oftentimes it's cheaper to head off to Best and Less or Big W and buy kids clothes for less than $5 when they're on sale as most of the op shops here seem to be marking their used goods higher than new stuff from chain stores.

I like your site, by the way.

Paula said...

Definitely! Even when I go home to Orange I now find alot of 2nd hand Kmart or Big W stuff rather than vintage finds. Love your collection, especially the hearts frock xx

monkeemoomoo said...

What a beautiful collection of dresses you have found for your daughter:) I'm lucky, grandma makes most of ours, but I did find a vintage turtleneck jumper for my daughter last week for $2.00. It still had the original 'marks and spencer' tag on it.

I know what you are saying about things disappearing. I was having this conversation with a friend just the other day. I too buy only what I need at the time, but am finding of late I am buying things just in case I don't get to see them again. And while I might not really need them - there are no regrets:)

Andrea said...

Absolutely beautiful dresses and such a shame they are hard to come buy. It doesn't seem fair. Fortunately in our area people are searching for newish (second hand)designer clothes, leaving the old ones behind. I'd better take advantage of it whilst it lasts!

The Provincial Homemaker said...

I haven't really found anything very vintage - just a few smocked dresses for Ginger. You have a beautiful collection of clothing there.

Sometimes the prices at op shops these days are crazy - they can be more expensive or the same price as new sale items.

karlyn Jackson said...

I have managed to find a few vintage things for Rosa which I love but rarely find dresses for me and if I do they are well over $20. Things in the city are just getting really pricy. I'm about to go on a country op shopping trip with my best friend, I do hope I find some treasures and they have not been all cleared out.
I love Julia's little collection and her hangers are so sweet.

Mongs said...

yes I do agree, people realized the value of vintage clothes, so they become pricey. There're hardly an vintage stuff in our thrift store. Yours are a nice collection. Priceless!


PJ said...

i would love to have her wardrobe - it looks adorable. So many colours and prints!

ingrid said...

Those dresses are lovely!

I know what you mean about nice vintage getting harder to find. My favourite shops are all either bare of anything decent or charging ridiculous prices. One of my local shops is closing because they can't afford to stay open and it doesn't surprise me when they are asking $10 for a kids target dress which isn't even vintage! You can buy it cheaper brand new! And one of my favourite local oppys has a new sorter who apparently like to send the good stuff off to another location where it will make more profit. No one will tell which store exactly the stuff is getting sent to, but nothing good is ever left behind.
It makes me so sad. It seems my days of finding lovely thrifty bargains are numbered.

Evi said...

Love your little dress stash!! When my older girls were little I used to find those cute vintage dresses too but now 15 years later it's a very rare find, indeed! I think there are just fewer around because not as many people were sewing their own kids clothes after the 70's - every one started buying cheap garments from large cheap stores (you know the ones I mean!). Here in Tassie it's still a bit easier to find cheap vintage at op shops but sadly thats changing too, with 'trendy vintage' shops buying up and reselling.

Helen said...

I never see any real vintage clothing in op shops anymore (I live in the inner suburbs of Sydney) - it is a very rare find! The op shops are becoming more and more expensive too - I think a lot of them are missing the point of them being an 'op shop' in the first place!! I love sorting through stuff, but half the time it's not even worth it with the prices they charge. It was much better years ago when having 'vintage' clothing/house items/etc wasn't so bloody trendy!

(btw - love your blog :)

Sometimes Life is Bliss And Sometimes Not ! said...

I am in Chicago and it is hit and miss , My daughter is a size 8 so hit and miss, I am a size 16 so I do not find many deals. The shops are starting to know or vintage hunters come out early in the morning and buy and resale. This could have been the case with the blankets. I agree with buy what you need nothing pisses me off more than a hoarder karma happens and you always find what you need right when you need it !