Tag Archives: consignment

The Art of The Shop

30 Oct

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.

screen-shot-2016-10-30-at-11-46-56-am

Sweater: The Clothing Loft, Skirt: My Mom’s semi-annual Clothes Exchange

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!

Falling into Fall (Fashion)

10 Oct

Summer is my favourite season and I LOATHE Winter. With Fall being squished in between the best and the worst, it tends to get some undeserved hatred from yours truly. 
This year I’m trying to embrace Fall and focus on the good not the bad. (The bad is the impending freezing cold weather and snow. Ewwww.)

The good?! The fashion. Fall allows you to be cozy without being a bundled up snowman. 

So this weekend I decided I would do what any good A-type like myself would do, and I prepped for Fall. (I’m aware it’s already technically Fall but it’s been really warm in TO. Cut me some slack.)

How does one prep for Fall you ask? Here were my steps. And I’ll tell you, I’m officially excited to put a fashionable foot forward into this season I normally don’t give enough credit to. 

Step 1: I took inventory of my closet. If I didn’t wear you last year, you’re not coming back. I separated my clothes into a bag for donation, and a bag to take to The Clothing Loft to consign. 

Step 2: Pre-shopping research. Ok you think I’m nuts now right?! But hear me out. Knowing what was in my closet after a good purge was great. But I wanted to put some thought into what I wanted to add to my Fall wardrobe. I scoured Pinterest and Instagram and made a mental list of my wish list. 

Step 3: Shopping!!! Finally the fun part. We were headed to Listowel this weekend so I wanted to make sure my first stop was to get as much as I could from The Clothing Loft first. 

I must say that the selection of Fall clothes there right now is AMAZING. (Post to come on that next week!)

My fav Fall find from last year!


Step 4: Matchmaking time. I brought all my SWEET finds home and went through my closet to mix and match my new additions. Doing this also gave me a chance to re-visit my closet again and I even purged a little more. 

I can honestly say that between my consignment finds and shopping within my own closet, I seriously upgraded my fall wardrobe, for under $200!

Check out @usedtobeyoursfashion for my Fall Fashion and @theclothingloft for all the goodies that can be yours!

This Used To Be Yours – A Fashion Adventure

28 Sep

I didn’t always love clothes. As a little kid I can’t really remember loving anything other than a Minnie Mouse dress I acquired on a trip to Disneyland.

When I hit Jr. High, fashion started to matter. I switched schools in the 7th grade, and making an impression with “the cool kids” seemed more about what you were wearing than the sick collection of Barbies you had.

My Mom has always been a fashionista, and has built a stellar wardrobe through having a keen eye for sales, and the ability to pick out designer clothes at consignment stores that suit her European flare.

Try telling a 12 year old girl trying to make an impression that wearing pre-owned clothes was cool. Yeah. Right.

Desperate to fit in and stay within my allocated clothing fund, I took to innovative ways to get my hands on the coveted “Tommy Girl” t-shirts and Club Monaco sweat shirts. I was a pretty scrawny kid, and I figured out that I could get these goods for a fraction of the price if I shopped at kids stores. Boom, hooked on a deal and also fit in with “the cool kids”.

As I got older, with the help of a savvy shopping Mom, and shows like Street Cents, I busted my butt and used all my babysitting money to get the things I wanted on the cheap.

Fast forward to high school. I got a job at Roots because I loved shopping there, but knew I could be outfitted head to toe with a sick discount if I worked there. Did it also help that the mall was also filled with cute boys from school? Heck ya.

My University days saw a step backwards and it was all Lululemon all the time. But when it got back to the real world, my eye for consignment shopping kicked in.

There was a boutique in Vancouver that was across the street from the gym. My favourite treadmill overlooked the shop, and I would often go over after a workout and pick up some hidden gems that others had thrown to the wayside. Little by little I started to grow my collection of beautiful outfits others had grown tired of.

When we moved back to Halifax, my Mom had already found the hottest spots in town. She showed me her favourite shops, and I couldn’t get over the beautiful clothes I could find that were not only way higher quality than I could normally afford, but they were unique and helped me grow my personal style.

I got addicted to the bargain, and buying things full price went from feeling trendy, to gross. Why would I pay full price for something of suspect quality when I could go to a well curated consignment shop and get high quality pieces for a steal?!

My time in Halifax saw my closet continue to grow, but things got serious when I moved to Toronto. Now, Toronto I’m sure is full of amazing consignment shops, but brand names tend to be king, and prices get jacked accordingly.

My consignment store of choice in Ontario actually falls outside the city in Listowel, where The Husband is from.

One day a cute window display at The Clothing Loft sucked me in, and I popped into this shop only to uncover a ton of treasures.

I walked around assessing the place, and a bright pink pair of pumps caught my eye. Upon further inspection, they were brand spanking new, and just my size.

Cue blood pressure and happiness levels increasing.

I left the store with a giant smile on my face, and a VERY Sylvia pair of shoes in my bag. Visit after visit, I continued to go into The Clothing Loft to see what gems I could find.

Much to my delight, in the two years I’ve been shopping there, I’ve rarely left empty handed. From amazing shoes to great skirts and sweaters, I’ve been able to build a wardrobe that I love by supporting a local business and spending WAY less money than if I was shopping at full retail price.

This brings us to “This Used to Be Yours”. My Mom wanted an outlet to showcase our finds, and because I LOVE a good deal thought it would be a fun project to start together.

screen-shot-2016-09-28-at-10-02-02-pm

SO starting today, you can follow @UsedToBeYoursFashion to see our favourite outfits from a mix of consignment shops and retail stores that we’ve found amazing bargains in.

Every week we’ll bring you a recap of our favourite outfits, and let you know where these sweet finds came from.

We can’t wait to share our closets with you!