While this blog is primarily about finding and using beautiful previously loved things for your home, I want to share the joys and rewards of doing the same for your closet. If anything good has emerged from the Great Recession, it is the renewed interest in shopping consignment and thrift stores to build an interesting wardrobe.
When I lived in Nashville in the mid-90’s, I had access to some amazing consignment stores that helped build my professional wardrobe in a city where the women dressed to impress. It was not unusual for me to spend a Saturday morning at my favorite secondhand store buying a Bagley Mishka suit and Prada cashmere sweater for less than $100. I felt like I was stealing, the consigners, mostly music industry execs and society women, felt like they were doing a great community service by selling their clothes to these shops. Everyone left a winner.
When I first moved to Denver, I sat next to The Denver Post’s fashion editor, Suzanne Brown, at a luncheon and waited until the end of the meal to ask this well-healed woman a very embarrassing question, “where are the best fashion consignment stores in Denver?” I didn’t want to appear cheap or tacky, but I thought she was the woman with the info, so what the heck. She gave me the list of the top shops and what each store was known for. Unfortunately, those stores didn’t stack up to Nashville’s. However, recently Goodwill opened a pre-owned designer label boutique in Cherry Creek, our affluent shopping area. The boutique is very impressive and is small, well edited, organized and provides a shopping experience similar to any other nice boutique only the items are very reasonably priced and one of a kind.
Déjà Blue Boutique
303 University Blvd.
Denver, CO 80206
If time permits when we travel, I get on YELP or GOOGLE to search for the top consignment shops and pay them a visit. Years ago while in LA for a girls weekend, I dragged my friends to Decades, the high priestess of resale shops. One of the most elegant stores Ive ever been in EVER, the well edited collection included Yves St. Laurent and Halston gowns. When actresses wear “vintage” on the red carpet, many times these pieces come through Decades. It was so exciting for me to go there. I ended up buying a pair of Prada sandals at a less fancy vintage place down the street. Whenever I wear them, I wonder what their LA story is and I remember mine.
However, shopping vintage isn’t just to find top designer items. Recently we were in our favorite funky CO town, Salida. Its an old town tucked next to the Collegiate Range in central CO that has become a haven for artists, cyclists and kayakers. Salida’s historic downtown is comprised of art galleries, antique stores, vintage clothing shops and coffee shops. I love spending the day there. Their vintage clothing stores are very specific, well-edited collections curated for specific customers. There is the sporty vintage clothing store with ski apparel, hiking clothes, etc. There is the mid-income family vintage store. There is the BoHo/Hipster store. There is the fashionable store for the Chico set. At the sporty store, my daughter found this adorable, circa 1980 Lake Placid, NY Winter Olympics-era sweater. So, this morning, in honor of the beginning of these Winter Olympics, she put it on, looking adorable, hip, cozy and happy.
Last summer, Rachel Zoe produced an amazing reality show, Resale Royalty, that featured one of the largest designer resale shops in the US called “Women’s Closet Exchange”. This store is massive, located in a suburb of St. Louis, and filled to the brim with top designer clothes and accessories. It was fascinating to see the women who consigned five LV bags at a time, how the store determined authenticity, how they priced and how they sold. It was a business class on how to set up, run and shop such a store.
There is so much more to discuss about how to shop vintage, how to find the best pieces, how to judge your piece as purchase worthy, that I will continue this blog another night. Right now, its time to bid adieu and thank you for sharing my passion on saving money, living and looking great and helping to keep our planet a bit less cluttered.