Walking out of the shop, I had an A-Ha moment: I appreciate an outfit that is well composed and my career balances on the notion of me being able to put things together and create pleasing compositions. I have been op shopping for a decade and a half and often when I have bought at op shops, I have purchased complete outfits, or combinations of things that look good together. Colours, textures, patterns. All those trips to the op shops have been exercises in my ability to style something, flexing the muscle that sees the unseen relationship between items, creating whole outfits for under a tenner, putting the clothes into a new context.
So, with that in mind I have decided I need to tell my accountant that op shopping is a work expense, a work related educational activity, an extremely important part of what I do. Better start saving my receipts :)