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Side view of Banana Republic floral print silk coat with silk scarf, 3.1 Phillip Lim bag and L.K. Bennett patent leather pumps (all own)

Slowing fashion down by consigning

Those of you who follow my blog already for a while know that I like to search for high end items on eBay and in consignment stores. One of my readers recently asked me to share how to score high in a consignment store. Of course, I answered to her email directly. Since this reader’s question may be of interest for a wide audience I am answering the question here as well and share the tips with all of you. Thus, please if you have a question do not hesitate to send me an email.

Kieselstein Cord belt buckle detail view

fashion blogger over 50 in casual work look with denim skirt and consigned sweater and belt
Outfit details: Oliveo denim skirt with Ann Taylor cashmere sweater (thrifted), plaid scarf, Kieselstein Cord Belt (consigned) and buckle, Seiko watch, garnet bracelet, Hermes collier de chien bangle, L.K. Bennett patent leather pumps (eBay)  and unbranded pantyhose (all own)
  1. Know the medium and high end brands or designer that you want to look for or that you are interested in and how they fit you and search the racks for these. When you are new to buying in consignment store get my free list of brands to look for as a start.
  2. Know your color palette, i.e. which colors make your face pop and look flattering on you. Only browse that section of the rack unless you have experience in which fabrics and colors you can dye to the colors that are in your color palette.
  3. Know your measures and have a measure band ready to measure the item that you are interested in. Lay it flat and multiply the flat measurements by 2. If the result fits your measurements plus an inch for ease this is an item you will try on for fit. You don’t want to go by size because a reason why the item is here may be that it shrunk in the washer and/or drier.
  4. Save time when thrifting or browsing a conseignment store by not going thru items that are labeled more than one size up of your size or are not your style or color palette.
  5. Inspect the item for flaws and assess whether the item is in a condition that the price is ok. For instance, when you still have to bring it to a tailor to shorten the hem, dye or bring it always to the dry cleaner, when it gets dirty, add these costs in your mind. As a rule of thumb, dry cleaning is between $10 to $15, hemming is about $20, dying is about $5, but may not turn out as you like. Always wash your consigned items before wearing them.
  6. Befriend a sales person and tell her what you are looking for and give her your phone number. She will call you when something comes in that you are looking for or she thinks you may like.
  7. Browse often. Tuesdays or two days after a holiday are best, as people tend to clean their closets when they have time and stores need a day or so to inventarize the brought in items.

What I found in a consignment store

This beautiful coat is a consignment store find for $52. I like the sleek elegant cut that seems somehow in contrast to the floral pattern. The pattern is quite large so it does not look sweet or romantic. On the contrary, the relatively large flowers even give the coat some edge. And as you know I like edgy.

over 50 years old woman in a second hand floral print silk coat

mature style blogger in a thrifted spring floral print silk coat

fashion over 50 woman in spring coat
Outfit details: Banana Republic floral print silk coat (conseigned), DIY and thrifted silk scarves, 3.1 Phillip Lim bag, D&GM sunglasses, unbranded pantyhose, and L.K. Bennett patent leather pumps (eBay) (all own)


Pro tip: Classic items and basics are the easist consignment finds to integrate into your existing wardrobe.

Do you thrift? What were your recent finds? What are you looking for when you shop a thrift store?
You can find more information on buying fashion second hand like tips for 5 star shopping on eBay, consigning, and an example of a second hand outfit at the links.

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Photos: G. Kramm

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