Sooooo you know how I said that I was taking a break from blogging until I finished my Masters thesis??! (12,000 words down, a few thousand more to go) well yeah, then I saw this…..

I’m not really a shopaholic….well OK, maybe….


So yeah, that’s me! Talking about how good I am at shopping. Which we all know I am (have you seen my shoe wardrobe?!?!)

SOOOOOOO on the coat-tails of that article (which is basically about giving shoppers other options than shopping at the major centres now that Westfield are bringing in paid parking at some centres in Brisbane), here are my own personal tips for shopping outside the box:

Your local boutique:

Most suburbs have a great little set of shops, and more often than not, there is a little boutique somewhere hidden there too. It might look like a nana shop from the outside (sorry Grandma – I love your style) but there will always be hidden gems inside. One of my besties (Hi Kales!!) is always telling me about great finds in her local boutique at Graceville. As an example Cannon Hill, Cooparoo, Kenmore and Hendra all have great little shops, and I’m sure your local strip does too!


My friend Beck is THE best Op-shopper you have EVER seen! She has a knack for finding things that you never thought you would find! But you can do it on your own too! From Vinnies and Lifeline stores to consignment shops that are full of second hand designer clothes (click here to read about the awesome competition I am doing with Lifeline at the moment).

Blue Spinach in Sydney – Op shopping at its finest

Two of the best consignment shops that come to mind are:

Blue Spinach in Darlinghurst, Sydney – labels like Trelise Cooper, Lisa Ho and Prada line the shelves

Cinderella’s Closet in Clayfield, Brisbane – great designer pieces at affordable prices

I love the uniqueness of Op shop finds – no one else is going to be wearing what you are wearing, in the way you are wearing it. It’s a real chance to let your own personal style shine through (and on a side not, the old crockery and vases you can find are!!)


If you are a regular reader of my blog (and if you aren’t I hope you now will be!) you know that I am a massive fan of eBay, in fact I wrote a post about how to get the most of your eBay sales here. eBay is a great resource for buying clothes but you do have to do a little bit of searching. I have found that eBay is becoming increasingly overrun with cheap imports from eBay stores, not real second-hand bargains, but you can still find some on there if you look hard enough! Try searching for a particular brand that you like, or narrow the search down by looking at auctions only.

Urban Villages:

Major shopping centres are no longer the only shopping hubs in your city. As the article in the Courier Mail said, Paddington in Brisbane is a favourite destination of mine. I love the mix of independent boutiques (both high end and cheap and cheerful) with chain stores and cafes. Make a day of it with the girls, or your partner if he is as silly as mine and likes shopping almost more than you do!

Here are my picks (any other suggestions are MORE than welcome in the comments girls, share the shopping-love i say!)


  • New Farm
  • Bulimba
  • Hamilton
  • Paddington
  • Fortitude Valley
  • Wynnum (AMAZING for Op Shops)


  • Paddington (great shopping name that!)
  • Woolhara
  • Rozelle
  • Bondi (look in the back streets, some awesome boutiques are hiding from the tourists)
  • Mossman


  • Toorak (Chapel Street – just make sure you avoid that Gasp! store unless you like being belittled by staff)
  • Richmond (Bridge Road)
Markets and clothes swaps:
Sydney, you are amazing at this, Bris-Vegas, you could do a little better but we are getting there. Don’t have much cash to splash? A clothing swap is a great idea! Either get a bunch of girlfriends together and literally swap clothes, or go to a registered clothing swap.

"you don't want that anymore? Oh don't mind if I do!"

Check out The Clothing Exchange for a clothes swap in your town – basically you take your clothes to be ‘priced’ and you are given a certain number of tokens depending on the value of your clothes, you then go and spend your tokens on everyone else’s clothes! Genius! The only cost to you may be an entry cost to be a part of the event, but a whole new wardrobe awaits!


For markets to get great deals on second hand clothes (or sell some of your own) try Kiribilli Makets, Bondi Markets or Rozelle Markets in Sydney, Camberwell Markets in Melbourne or The Diva’s Wardrobe in Brisbane.


So there are a few tips for avoiding the parking fees (although, I do have to say, Westfield parking is free for the first two hours and it’s only about $1/hour after that so it’s not that bad!).


If this is all too much for you, then  call me – I am actually a personal shopper by trade, I don’t do it JUST for me…. well maybe sometimes…..