Twenty dollar winter outfits in Mahurangi – is it possible?

Posted at 10:00am Wednesday 28 Apr, 2021

Hannah Dunn’s top look could be had for  just $19. Caoimhe Lane, right, looks great after spending only $11.
Hannah Dunn's top look could be had for  just $19. Caoimhe Lane, right, looks great after spending only $11.

As we head into winter with tighter budgets in a continuing global pandemic, two University of Auckland students, home for the holidays, test the local op-shopping scene. Can they get a winter outfit with a budget of only $20? Massey communications student Alisha McLennan finds out …

Hannah Dunn and Caoimhe Lane are both in their fourth year of their respective conjoint degrees, so they have been running on a student budget for quite some time. Confident that their op-shopping skills were up to the challenge, they spent a few hours last week exploring op-shops throughout Warkworth and Wellsford.

Hannah started her outfit at the Warkworth Hospice Shop on Queen Street with some $1 maroon rolled up jeans and $5 grey ankle boots.

“They were kind of weird, but they were really cheap,” she says.

These items set her colour scheme. From there she focussed on pieces that would suit the outfit, and other clothing scenarios, and purchased a black belt and a thick button-up shirt that she doubles as a jacket. She then added  a $3 silver necklace. She finalised the outfit with a $7 black blouse from Wellsford Hospice Shop.

After only two op-shops Hannah had a complete six-piece outfit for only $19.

“I feel like it's something I will wear, and the individual items can easily work with clothes I already have,” she says.

Caoimhe also started with pants – some $1 orange shorts – before remembering she should be shopping for winter things.

“Then I found the green pants. They were really soft and comfortable,” she says about her $7 find from

Wellsford Hospice. She followed up this up with a $1 maroon shirt from the Anglican Opportunity Shop.

“The shirt is pretty eccentric and not something I've worn in the past, but I thought it would be fun to try a new style,” she says.

Then upon her return to Warkworth Hospice, she purchased a $3 brown belt.

Caoimhe's final 3-piece outfit came to $11.

The pair says that having op-shop clothes is really “in” at university, in what Hannah describes as an “anti-label clout”.

Hannah says she prefers to op-shop in her hometown of Warkworth.

“I haven't op-shopped in the city. Sometimes you walk into a vintage store, which looks like an op-shop, except everything is, like, $60.”

The slower shopping speed was not an issue for them. Hannah says it allows them to spend more time creating combinations.

“You try styles that you wouldn't normally try,” she says.  

“In a mall it might take a bit less time, but you save so much money at the op-shops. It's kind of worth it,” Caoimhe says.


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