Sunday, September 13, 2009
St Andrews Op Shop Brighton
one sentence review: It has a lot of homely kitsch pieces (such as little statues and crockery) and several dynasty-esque, shoulder-pad fantastic jackets.
The St Andrew's Op Shop operates from a small hall at the rear of the church on the corner of Church St Brighton. It's a neat, airy space, which possesses that real op-shop aroma.
It's staffed by a small team of elderly volunteers who are part of the St Andrew's congregation and its a charming little off-set to the bustle of Church St.
It's a tidy shop, with those quirky old oil paintings and prints of lopsided flowers and sailboats along the wall. It's not the place you would probably come across something really vintagey and obscure. It has a lot of homely kitsch pieces (such as little statues and crockery) and several dynasty-esque, shoulder-pad fantastic jackets. Actually these jackets are something special, coloured angular blazers, puffy shoulder pads and frills, pleats and bows and poker dots, I had to be a little careful not to get carried away. They are always the type of thing that seems really great while I'm trying them on in the shop and pretending I'm Joan Collins, but I seem to have many of these sort of blazers/jackets in my wardrobe that I cannot find anything to match and wear with in an everyday non-dynasty situation.
There was a some really sweet lace and silk nightwear towards the back of the shop. I loved this floaty, soft felt top with a lace trimming around the collar that could be worn to bed or as a camisole. There was plenty of affordable linen, pillows, cushions, table clothes and towels along the back right-hand section of the shop. Items ranged from about $5-$10, and it was really simple to locate some pieces that would look really nice around the home. In the mens wear section there were some good picks, i picked out a couple of reasonably priced Rivers and Gaz man shirts and there was a rack with some well-cared for tweed and suit jackets ($20)
80s pumps, rounded heels and toe, sandals and flats dominated the women's shoe section, and I found these huge, doc martin-esque work boots that were so heavy I could barely life them off the shelf. The was also plenty of kids wear to browse through.
St Andrew's Op Shop has a bit of an unusual lay out. The clothes are on racks in the middle of the floor of the shop arranged in horizontal rows (imagine salmon migrating up stream.) It's a little hard to navigate around, but it creates a nice sense of blocking through-out the shop and really helps to distinguish the different areas from each other (i.e mens, women's, kids etc.) It's a fairly small collection, but the space on the racks means the clothes don't get creased, its easy to flick through and you're not overwhelmed by choice. There were even some really nice dresses, especially nice floral floaty dresses that would be good for summer and some patterned and bright wrap around dresses for casual daywear. My pick of the shop would have to be a giant, cream lamp shade, with lace trimming around the side. It looked pristine and was priced at only $8! (I'm a little bit of a lamp fanatic.)
The staff were nice and left me alone to browse around the shop. It was nice to wonder around and listen to all their church gossip and old Perry Como songs on the radio. The prices were very low, I picked up a pair of comfortable leather and synthetic pumps with a small heel for $5.
op shop: St Andrews Op Shop Brighton
address: 17 St Andrews St, Brighton
music: Magic 1278
pt: catch the Sandrigham train to Middle Brighton Station and walk down the gentle slope until you get to the round -about
parking: Parking can be a little dicey on the main street but Coles and Safeway have big car parks behind Church St, where there are generally spaces
food: Popular restaurant, "the pantry" is opposite the op-shop, otherwise try the adjacent fish and chip shop or Brumby's next door!