Michelle Trebilco shares her tips on how to make thrift-shopping a fun and stylish adventure.
When it comes to op-shopping, Michelle Trebilco sees endless possibilities in her vintage finds. From a Versace dress to a cheese grater, she knows how to turn any item into a unique and stylish piece. “Secondhand is my couture,” says the former university administrator, who goes by the name Veteran Vamp. She began documenting her incredible thrifted style and fashion art projects after putting together an outfit for a Lady Gaga concert. Thrift stores are a treasure trove for Michelle. “You can find pieces from all over the world and from any period, some of it handmade,” she says. “The handcrafted items are so special; they can bring tears to your eyes.”
Michelle likes to dress up for no particular reason, simply because she enjoys it. Her motto is “dress up for the sake of it” and she sees the streets as her own personal runway. However, she also supports a great cause, Frocktober, an annual fundraiser for ovarian cancer research run by the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation. The event takes place during the month of October and encourages people across Australia to wear beautiful dresses to raise funds and awareness for the development of an early-detection test, which could save the lives of 14,000 Australian women over the next 10 years. Michelle is a perfect representative for this year’s theme of “life’s too short for boring” and demonstrates that you don’t need to buy a new dress to feel special. We asked Michelle for her tips on how to make thrift-shopping an adventure and how to turn everyday items into fashionable treasures.
You don’t have to stick to your usual style choices.
Instead, try exploring different sections of a thrift store and don’t be afraid to venture away from the typical racks you would normally shop in. For Michelle, this means looking in the men’s section and repurposing items such as old Halloween costumes or children’s accessories. By stepping outside of societal boundaries, you can open yourself up to new creative possibilities. Michelle doesn’t limit herself to one particular style, instead she wears whatever she enjoys. As she puts it, “I will not be limited. I want to have fun.”