How to style the one op shop find so it’s poolside and pub appropriate, according to two Australian creatives


One pre-loved piece, a wardrobe of options.

There’s nothing more gratifying than coming home with a shining wardrobe jewel at the end of an op shop rummage. It’s a labour of love, secondhand shopping. Despite your best intentions, some expeditions bring only ceramic chickens, stained festive sweaters and merch tees from a youth group camp in 2008 (from personal experience).

The marvel of an op shop treasure is twofold. The first win is usually the price and/or the unique, ‘authentic’ styles (where else can you find ’90s pieces from a brand called ‘Groovy Chick’?). Most importantly, the wonder of a beautiful secondhand piece is in the story. Maybe you spent the whole day hunting, scored an archive designer piece or your mum owned something ‘just like it’ when she was your age. 

For more fashion news, shoots, articles and features, head to our Fashion section.

We asked our friends over at Beginning Boutique to lend a hand styling the duo behind Melbourne-based retail space Hunter Markets, who understand the importance of a good sartorial story. Founded by Sarah Kokkinos in 2015, Hunter Markets was created as “a destination for Instagram addicts to shop the wardrobes of the influencers they follow”. Opening her (very pink) warehouse every Sunday morning, Sarah K would welcome a slew of keen shoppers to hunt (get it?) through a curated selection of secondhand goodies. 

Naturally, 2020 forced the warehouse into a more digital direction. With friend Sarah Dennis (yes, also Sarah) joining the team, Hunter Markets launched online, “hoping to bring those same Sunday market morning vibes onto an online store”. And as you can imagine, if anyone knows how to find a special secondhand piece, it’s these girls. 

I wanted to know how to make my favourite summer thrift finds last all season long. According to Sarah D, “we believe you don’t have to spend a lot to have a hot girl summer” – music to my ears. To further prove their point, Sarah D and Sarah K chose a few products from Beginning Boutique to style with their favourite vintage staples – a classic blue shirt and vintage denim jeans.

Styling vintage staples with a selection of Beginning Boutique swimwear and accessories, the girls put together some versatile outfit options. The pair opted for the Rue Orange Print Bikini top when styling a classic blue button-down shirt to add some colourful contrast and textural interest, while layering a selection of gold necklaces to elevate the overall look. 

Styling the vintage cargo jeans, the duo selected an oversized vinyl black jacket to create the base of the outfit. They added accents of colour through accessorising with a bucket hat and Beginning Boutique’s Theo Green Bikini Top, playing off a variation of the colour of the season, Bottega Green.  

According to Sarah K, “It’s easier than you think to take one item and make it last all summer long. Choosing the right versatile piece means that you can wear it again and again, no matter where this summer takes you”. 

Do you have to spend hours rummaging to locate the ideal piece? Not necessarily. According to the duo, there are a few tricks to finding the pre-loved summer piece of your dreams. “Anything oversized is perfect to throw on over your bathers,” Sarah D explains. “Look for lightweight material and anything that doesn’t crease. Colour neutral pieces go with different pairs of bathers and good quality materials – like cotton or linen – are breathable and likely to last for seasons to come.”

Most importantly, Sarah K says “choose an item you really love, one that makes you feel confident. Thrifting is all about having fun and exploring your style!”. 

Explore more of Beginning Boutique’s range here.

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