Comeback Couture

Stylists chime in on why shopping at consignment stores can be a smart—and even thrilling—experience.

PHOTOGRAPHED BY LAUREN PRESSEY

 

Imagine a place right down the street where you could buy a chic black leather moto jacket for half the price you would discover online or a Chanel bag in great condition from one or two seasons ago—for a steal. These are the types of “finds” you can often score at consignment stores.

Unlike shopping online for one-of-a-kind, pre-loved pieces, you get to see them, feel them and try them on. While that can involve more time, many shoppers admit to enjoying “the hunt.”

When it comes to consignment, stylist Andrea Lublin (andreaslookbook.com) likes Crossroads in Studio City. “It is great because it is a ‘two-fer’! I can sell my old clothes there as well as shop for new finds. The best thing I ever got there was an Isabel Marant maxi dress. Bought it seven years ago and still wear it!” Andrea says. She also frequents Iguana Vintage in Studio City for unique pieces. “I just found the most incredible pair of vintage Levi’s for $25. Doesn’t get better than that.”

Stylist Allison Rae Marsh (Facebook: Allison Rae Style) has also scored with Levi’s. “I bought my very favorite oversize, very distressed Levi’s jacket five years ago. It is still my favorite piece in my wardrobe. And another fantastic item I bought is a beautiful vintage Chanel silk scarf,” says Allison.

She frequents Slone Vintage in Burbank. “Great hidden treasures! You have to be willing to look but I found an amazing woven dress by Missoni from the first year their line came out in stores,” she says.

Allison stresses it helps to have an open mind. “I look for anything from Levi’s, to scarves to flannels. I often go in looking for something specific and then am inspired by a whole different piece, which gives me an entirely different approach to my styling vision.”

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CONSIGNMENT 101

Cleaning out the closet?  Here is how selling works.

1. DUST OFF THE GOOD STUFF
Sort through your closet and pull out the quality designer items that you want to get rid of. Keep a keen eye on condition. Anything that is too worn (aside from denim) or stained will most likely be rejected.
Pay attention to the time of year. Most shops only take items that are in season. For example, wait until August or September to try and sell faux fur and wool. Wait until March or April to take sundresses and swim cover-ups to stores.

2. MAKE AN APPOINTMENT
Once you arrive, the store employee will pick which items they want and you can price them together. Listen to what they suggest; they typically know how to price items to sell.

3. WAIT IT OUT
Some shops offer a trial period (60 or 90 days) for first-time consignors. A check is cut for anything that sells, and unsold items can be picked up or stay on the racks. After the trial period, consignors can keep bringing in items to consign and check with the store every month to see what has sold.