Consignment shopping can be a thrilling adventure! Each outing results in a sort of treasure hunt to find clothing that is compatible with your individual style.
Creator of shopyourwardrobe.com, Jill Chivers, said “Consignment shopping provides you with 'new to you' items that also offer the opportunity to explore and take home something more unique than the mall usually offers.” Not to mention that most retail stores only offer certain brands or types of clothing, whereas consignment and thrift shops offer a variety of clothing style.
Consignment shopping can be a little overwhelming at times due to the variety of where clothes are coming from, all different stores, and people with unique styles, but that’s the fun of it! With these useful ideas, tips and hints your consignment adventure can be an enjoyable experience, and your own personal treasure hunt.
Chivers pointed out a couple things to keep in mind before embarking on your shopping extravaganza.
- Beware of sizing. Because it is unlike a retail store, the shop will only have the sizes that are out on the rack or display.
- Quality is still important! Because an article has been consigned does not mean that it is of poor quality, but it is still smart to check for pilling, tears or if it is stretched out. Check the insides and the outsides of clothing.
- Returns. They usually don’t exist.
Tips and tricks from the experts:
- Shop by category and shop with a purpose. Look for pieces within a category, like sundresses, then look for size and quality. Doing this makes it easier for you not to miss something. Know what gaps you need or want to fill in your wardrobe.
- Remember that vintage pieces may run small, but also that pieces have already been washed and probably won’t shrink as much, if it all. Don’t forget that items don’t have to be worn as they come - make the pair of jeans that you found, that maybe aren’t long enough, into your new favorite pair of shorts. Alter hems, change buttons, possibilities are endless.
- Accessorize. Accessories are the easiest pieces to find and can really add pop to any outfit. Consigned jewelry and handbags are significantly more unique and every other person in town won’t be wearing the same pieces as you!
- Know how you’ll wear it. Don’t just buy something because it’s Gucci and really cheap. Because you find something awesome does not necessarily mean that it will go with the clothes that you already have. Be sure to have an outfit in mind or know what else to buy. And don’t be afraid to fuse modern pieces with vintage ones!
Teri Gault the CEO of TheGroceryShop.com suggested visiting stores often. Unlike retail stores consignment shops are always getting new and different products. She also warned to be prepared NOT to buy. You’re not always going to find your style or size; it’s all part of the hunt.
Remember that consignment shopping and thrift shopping are different. Nicole Longstreath shared “A consignment store is usually well-merchandized like a department store; it's clean, the lighting is good, things are organized, the employees are helpful, etc. Thrift stores, on the other hand, serve a function in the community primarily to offer very inexpensive clothing.” She also mentioned thrift shopping in an affluent neighborhood, which generally results in nicer clothing.
Carol from Retro Fitted had something very worthy of noting while consignment shopping: “Consignment shopping is not for finding wardrobe staples. Use vintage clothing to add color, excitement and flavor to a dull closet. When shopping look for patterns and colors that stand out.”
Don’t forget consigned furniture and music shops!
Now that you’ve heard it from the experts go experience it!
X Marks the Spot
Consignment in St. Louis:
Back on the Rack Consignment - St. Louis
Second Sitting Consignments - Manchester Road St. Louis
Thrift Plus - Delmar Boulevard