We sent out one of our intrepid reporters to scour Christchurch's op shops and report back with the best of the best - which means she's done all the dirty work and you guys can go straight to the second-hand source!
Here's what she had to say…
It was high noon all right - 25 degrees and climbing as I headed north of the City armed with a street map, a list of op-shops, huge bottle of water … and various plastic cash cards. I was on a mission to raid through as many second-hand clothing stores as I could in one afternoon. Which was my first mistake…
From the Universe is a comprehensive guide to secondhand, retro and vintage shops around Christchurch
A post quake site which is great.
Number 1 Rule: Allow yourself plenty of time in each shop i.e. if you've only got an hour, only go to one shop. It takes ages to rummage through stock, sizes, styles and colours. In the space of 4 hours I managed to visit several shops, which really was NOT a good idea. By the end of the afternoon I was hot, sticky, tired and couldn't have cared less if I'd seen a $2,000 dress marked down to $20.
Number 2 Rule: Try everything on. Even when you're totally knackered and feel you simply can't be bothered taking your clothes off one more time. I found out that lots of clothes have been altered so what you see is not necessarily what you get and it's the old old story - what looks great on the hanger can be something of a problem when you can't even get it over ya bum, which leads us on nicely to No. 3 …
Number 3 Rule: Make sure changing curtains are pulled tight
Number 4 Rule: Persevere. In most of the changing rooms you're allowed 3-4 items of clothing but keep going back with different outfits to try on because you'll strike gold eventually.
Number 5 Rule: Wear the minimal amount of clothes and ones that you can take on and off easily. This applies to shoes as well. Do not bother doing your hair or make-up before you go.
Number 6 Rule: Check out all items on the sale racks because they really do have the occasional amazing bargain.
Number 7 Rule: Buy something you normally wouldn't. At these prices it's easy and fun to experiment
Number 8 Rule: Decide how much you're going to spend BEFORE you start looking and STICK TO IT (well, give it your best shot anyways!!)