Wednesday, November 23, 2011

5 Top Tips For Consignment Shopping

Camisole Neglige -- IMG_7672

There are alternative ways to score deals on designer clothing, and Chief Fashion Consultant of My Sister's Closet (They just opened a new store in San Diego!), Tess Loo, shares her top tips for consignment shopping in this article...Enjoy!

Looking for great designer, great quality pieces at a fraction of the retail cost? Then consignment shopping is a YES! If you are looking for wardrobe favorites, career clothes, a date outfit or a designer classic, MySister’s Closet is a great place to shop, try and buy. I was recently on the hunt for an investment designer piece of the season. I chanel-ed Karl Lagerfeld, and was blessed with a camel wool pea coat a la Coco Chanel, infused with black leather panels at the bracelet cuff and collar. It’s double-breasted and absolutely delightful. I love wearing expensive designer clothing that someone else has paid for the first time around. I paid $650.00 for the coat that at one time retailed for over $2200.00. I am happy and look and feel amazing. Thanks, Coco.

If you want this same experience, follow these top 5 tips...

Drum roll…

Tip #1: When shopping My Sister’s Closet and other consignments stores and websites, allow plenty of time for looking, looking, looking. Take time to get to know the layout of the store.

Tip #2: Ask for help. Become acquainted with a sales associate of your liking and use them to find amazing designer pieces, favorites and basics. Ask them what is new for the day. Have them add your name and contact information in their client book.

Tip #3: If you are looking for specifics to fill in wardrobe gaps, come equipped with a list of items, colors, and even pieces in tow that you are matching. At My Sister’s Closet you can give the associate your name and they will add you to our Wish List for couture and designer labels. This means you will be notified when that dream piece you have been searching for arrives on the sales floor. Chances are the piece will arrive; it is just a matter of when.

Tip #4: Try everything on. Examine the pieces you are purchasing. Check hems, buttons, etc. Chances are, even if the piece needs a slight repair it is well worth the reduced price. Most consignment stores do not take returns, but you can open your own consignment account at My Sister's Closet and Well Suited and build up store credit for your next purchases.

Tip #5: Do not let sizes detour you. When shopping at higher end consignment stores, you will find a plethora of designers from all over theworld. Every country sizes differently from, 1,2,3, to 34, 36, 38, to small, medium, and large. Use your eyes and then try-try-try. Find a good tailor and have the pieces altered to your body. Nothing is more flattering then a Prada skirt that is the right length and shape.

Remember consignment shopping is also the best place for that "one of a find" piece that is not available any longer in the retail market. I have collected amazing handbags that now sit happily in my collection. Most recent was a Thomas Wylde brown leather skull clad handheld satchel. Still attached were the new price tags.  I remember my mentor Mr. Ken Downing's (a la Neiman's) advice about carrying your new bag appropriately and NOT draped in the nook of your elbow like Grandma did. Oh Mr. Ken… thanks for keeping us all current.

Happy shopping and remember the best accessory a woman can own is self-confidence!

Photo Credit: Steven Depolo
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