As Ice Cube once said, “Life ain’t a track meet, it’s a marathon”. Sub “life” for “consignment shopping” and the same applies.
When I first started consignment shopping, it was quite overwhelming. No matter how organized a store is, the bottom line is there is ususally only one of everything, and that can feel chaotic.
It can also feel INSANELY rewarding when you find that thing that speaks to you, and fits you like a glove. It can also feel a bit deflating when you walk out empty handed. HOWEVER, the highs and the lows are frankly part of the journey to a fabulous closet you can love, and your bank account will thank you for.
So, this post is dedicated to the Art of the Shop. A how-to guide to get into someone else’s clothes! (By shopping, not looting obviously!)
Tip 1: Get to know your personal style. This may seem a bit obvious, but do you ever stare at your closet and complain that you have nothing to wear? Well maybe your closet is just full of the wrong things. Sometimes your style evolves slowly and you haven’t really realized it. I used to hate flower prints and bows. Now I welcome them with open arms!
I also used to consider my style as “classic”. Now I realize I like structure and classic shapes, but I love my pieces to have a bit of flare to them to make my outfits feel a bit special.
Tip 2: Be honest with yourself: Once you figure out your style, figure out the types of fabrics you love to wear. Do certain things make you itch like no tomorrow? Do you gravitate towards particular colours? Textures? Prints? Knowing all of these things will help you keep focus when going into a busy shop and adding things you simply won’t wear.
Tip 3: Assess your closet: We all think we know what’s in our closet. But no matter the size, I bet there are things you forgot you had hiding in there. Before you venture out, take a look at what you’ve got. It will help you figure out where you think you have gaps. Jean skirts are coming back in, do you already have one from ages ago? Or can you add it to your wish-list? I recently got rid of a bunch of pants that didn’t fit me anymore and now I can re-stock when the right pair(s) come along!
Tip 4: Shop! Shop! Shop! Shop! Shop! Shop! (Everybody!): It’s time to go shopping. Like most good shopping trips, you need to give yourself TIME. Popping into a consignment store for 10 minutes will almost always end in heartache. Again, there is usually only one of everything and with the amount of pieces in any given store, you need to give yourself time to search.
I will admit – I’m not a digger. I loathe the idea of aimlessly searching for things I may never find. But this is where Tip 2 comes in handy! If you know the types of things you like, your eye will start to gravitate to fabrics and patterns you like and the chances of finding a gem get WAY higher!
Tip 5: Shop early, shop often: Now, I’m not saying become a shop-a-colic, but the key to consignment shopping is building it into your routine. Most stores add new items to their shop floors on a daily or weekly basis. Get to know the schedule of the shops you plan to frequent so you can get in on the hot new items when they arrive!
If you know you have something you need to add to your closet (special occasion, new coat etc…), make a consignment store your first stop. If you plan early, you can give yourself a couple of opportunities to go back and hopefully stumble across something perfect!
Remember, a fabulous closet doesn’t need to be on that is busting at the seams. It’s about having pieces that are uniquely YOU and that you’ll wear with pride.
Now, get shopping and show me what you find! Share pics @UsedToBeYoursFashion!