My name is Sarah Horth, and I am an op-shop junkie.
As long as I can remember I have always coveted a box of my mother’s retro clothes from the 1960s. Compared to the 1970s and 80s, her clothes just seemed so much cooler. I wanted to have a beehive and wear knee-high boots. I remember asking my mother when I was 9 if she would buy me a pencil skirt, and I started wearing vintage suspenders to hold up my stockings at high school.
I discovered op-shopping when I was 14 years old. Being somewhat curvy, I was relieved to find that the clothes from the fifties and the sixties fit me – they were designed with boobs, waist and hips, far more than the clothes that came out in the eighties. The clothes were cheap and I loved the hunt – I was hooked. Those were the days when you still found circle-skirt cotton sundresses from the fifties in op shops. I found my mum’s old fifties petticoat in the attic and wore it with my dresses to school. I even had a bullet bra! I definitely stood out (sometimes in a good way, and sometimes not, like when I wore old-man pyjamas to school).
I still op-shop like crazy, I also go flea-marketing, garage-saling, am addicted to Trade Me and enjoy junk shops. I have a darling husband who asks me to not overwhelm the house with all things retro, so we strike a balance. He didn’t complain when I got married in a vintage wiggle dress though, and he was happy to run away to Napier for the ceremony. We recently acquired a 10-foot 1975 caravan that I am going to ‘retro-out’ (it’s all mine I tell you!).
I dream of owning a mid-century ranch house, but instead we live in the next-best thing: a 1940s Art Deco house. It has had some dubious make-overs in the 1970s and 1980s so we have tried to give it an eclectic look rather than getting it back to its roots. It always had a bit of a Miami-drug-lord feeling to it, being plonked in the rainforest in the Waitakeres, so I wanted to have fun. I’ll be documenting the ongoing renovation – I’m back working out what to do with the jungle garden.
I am an op-shop junkie. I’m addicted, and I’m giving in to it.