Consignment Couture – Finding High End Pieces to fit your Budget!

Ever since I was a little girl, fashion has had it’s claws in me! I used to steal my mom’s Cosmopolitan and Glamour magazines, and I would read some of the articles, but my purpose for the magazines were to make collages. I would cut out models wearing my favorite brands and make collages featuring items that I hoped to own one day. I actually had a huge collage on the inside of my closet door in my room during middle and high school!

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Right around the beginning of high school, one of my favorite shows aired and I felt like I was watching my dream closet every episode. Yes, you might giggle when I say it, but I loved Gossip Girl. I actually remember that before junior year, I had saved up and bought all new wardrobe based loosely on Blair Waldorf. Her style fit perfectly into my private school uniformed life, and I actually still use pieces that I bought back then! Her style is just that timeless and classic!

When I had bought a wardrobe based on Blair, I bought everything primarily from Forever 21 and H&M, given that I was just a high school girl working as a waitress at a retirement community! Yes, I did purchase this entire wardrobe! No help from Mama, I swear! 

One thing that I really have learned, is to utilize consignment and thrift shops as much as possible. A brand new (yet poorly made) piece of clothing or accessory from a mall shop will never hold up like that essentially new Christian Dior trench coat or a nice Coach leather handbag gifted to you from your Aunt!

As I get older, my tastes just keep getting more and more expensive! It used to be enough to just buy American Eagle at retail, or perhaps something fun from Nordstrom Rack. Now, I am finding myself shopping during New York Fashion Week, and Hello! My car is not even worth as much as that Dolce! I know I’ll never own most of those things, but I really appreciate the artistry, and I love when I find pieces in consignment or thrift stores and I can touch them for myself! I usually still can’t buy them even at consignment prices though.

 

Some great online consignment sites that I recommend based on friends and family giving me their reviews are:

Tradesy

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Second Time Around

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Fashionphile

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The Real Real 

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Some notable brick-and-mortar consignment shops featuring couture pieces that are fairly nation-wide:

Uptown Cheapskate

Ask about pieces like Chanel or Louis Vuitton, as they may keep them behind the counter or somewhere locked up – I’m totally not kidding! I once saw a brand new Chanel bag in an Uptown Cheapskate!

Plato’s Closet

Location matters a lot for these, if you go to one near an ‘affluent’ area, your findings will be way different than otherwise! Down South, you’ll find a lot of Lilly Pulitzer and Southern Marsh type brands, hint-hint!

Goodwill, believe it or not!

So hit or miss! I like to think that my Grandmom taught me how to spot nice name brand clothing in thrift stores. To this day, I can really tell from just the sleeve or a collar what brand something is, or if it’s made well. 😉 I’ve found Coach, Michael Kors, Lilly Pulitzer, Christian Dior, Gucci, Emilio Pucci, and more in a Goodwill store before! You just need a trained eye to spot things! 😉 Some items I’ve found were sadly worn to tatters and I’d never purchase them, but still, it just goes to show you that even Goodwill stores can have some pieces that you’d never expect!

Fun Fact: I actually used to shop, purchase name brand items at discount thrift stores (like Goodwill), clean them and have them fixed or dry cleaned, and use them for a season, and then list them for reasonable prices on EBay (I do not believe in being unfair on EBay as ‘flippers’ are, but I love to change up my closet and EBay makes that possible!). I funded travel and college expenses using my resourcefulness! I took a Michael Kors bag once and had to really sort out the leather with polishes and cleaner, because someone had just treated it so horribly. I also have had stitching fixed on bags as well!

*I’ll add to these lists as I learn more about some other stores! 

Thanks for reading!

 

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