Forget designer handbags or luxe accessories, right now the most coveted fashion item out there is the perfect pair of vintage denim jeans. So in celebration of National Op Shop Week, Who What Wear Australia chatted to the week's ambassador, journalist Rae Johnston, to find out where she finds outstanding secondhand pieces in Sydney. Having regularly hunted out the best of the best at op shops for the past 16 years, Johnston is no stranger to finding the gems that have people asking, "where did you get that?"
As an ambassador, all this week Johnston is wearing clothing only bought from Vinnies in an effort to prove you don't need to spent a lot of money to look great (follow along on Instagram to see her #HeadtoToeVinnies outfits). If you too are an op shop fan and would like to get involved, head to your favourite vintage stores and share your finds using the #NationalOpShopWeek hashtag.
Keep scrolling to find all Johnston's answers to our curious questions about all things vintage.
WHO WHAT WEAR AUSTRALIA: What brands do you look out for when shopping for vintage denim jeans?
RAE JOHNSTON: "I'm a sucker for old-school Levi's. The denim is always such good quality, and really does last a lifetime. Because they have been around forever you can always find a solid range of styles in every wash you can imagine—from high-waisted to low-rise, boot-leg and skinny. You can turn them into something else entirely or style them as-is. No matter what, they still look great!"
WWW: What are the deal-breakers when it comes to purchasing secondhand clothing?
RJ: "I know myself really well, I'm far too busy to have any major alterations done, so if it's too big, too long, or needs mending, I'm out. A pair of jeans, however, can be given a whole new lease on life with a few DIY hacks, from distressing, to shrinking or stretching."
WWW: What's your best tip for finding op-shop gold?
RJ: "Look behind the counter! That's where you'll find designer pieces, brand-new shoes, leather handbags, jewellery, leather gloves, and the special items that are far too fancy to be on the floor with the rest of the stock."
WWW: Where in Sydney have you found your best vintage denim?
RJ: "Newtown Vinnies is my local store. But I also love the Waverley, Paddington, and Bondi stores. They always have unique retro pieces, great labels, and the shops themselves are really well-organised. When I'm op-shopping, my rule is to always take a bag to donate when I drop by as well."