Support your locals!
As an 'eco' and 'fashion-conscious' shopper, I also love my local independent consignment shops. These shops typically carry pre-loved (my preferred expression for 'used') and new with tags (but 'pre-loved' since they are not new from their retail origin) items by consignment.
Consignment means that people bring their items to the shop, and they are priced, tagged, displayed, and sold by the shop. When sold, the shop earns a percentage of the sale price, as does the original consignor. Sometimes products are bought outright by the shop then sold without the consignment. Either way these are typically smaller, independently owned stores and offer a whole different experience than the thrift.
I love all the experiences. LOL. Bring it on. I love the sweat and work of digging and rummaging through endless racks and shelves at the thrift. It's my therapy. However, I also LOVE the intensely mixed emotion of relaxation and excitement that fills my lungs when I blow into my favorite local consignment shops.
Clothing and accessories are separated by size, colour, style, and season. There is almost always a 'last chance' rack that will have some awesome deals. Each store will reflect the unique taste and style of the owner which makes it easier to find your favorite styles and labels.
Over the years I feel lucky to have been surrounded by a few of the best consignment shops around (in my opinion). I enjoy seeing the owners and their staff year in and out, chatting, and developing relationships.
A few key differences from the thrift, besides the obvious 'thoughtfully curated selection' :
- items will be clean, in excellent condition (for the most part- and if not it will be clearly indicated by the tag and reflected in the price)
- store is neat and organized (including change rooms)
- staff are friendly, helpful, and offer honest advice on both style, fit, and washing instructions (VERY IMPORTANT!)
- products are almost exclusively at least mid-range brands, and some shops will specialize in more luxury goods
- if you have any regrets about something you should have purchased, just give them a call and if it's still there, it's yours!
- you can shop from afar! Products will be featured on Instagram accounts and if you are the first to call- it's yours!
- throughout COVID-19 some of my favorite shops have been selling through Instagram and delivering to doorsteps, or setting items aside until it is save to reopen
- I love supporting independent businesses. My father was an entrepreneur and I am aware of the importance and impact of small independent businesses on both our economy, and community
One of my favorite pieces is this Kit and Ace blazer, which I purchased at a local consignment shop My Girlfriend's Closet in Oakville, Ontario. It would have retailed for close to $400.00, but I purchased it for $78.00. Pricey, as far as thrifting goes, but when you look at the difference compared to new, it's a steal! It was also so much fun to purchase.
I flew into the shop straight after work, and before going home to cook dinner for my family. I just felt like treating myself. I tried on a few different things and with the owner and one of her employees help I decided on this blazer (and a few other items to go with it!). It was so much fun! I left feeling fantastic. Supporting a local business, going home with a bag of awesome goodies, an eco-friendly indulgence, and some great deals.
The Kit and Ace borrowed from the boys blazer has an over sized cocoon style cut with rose gold zipper detailing on two horizontal symmetrical pockets. Fully lined, technical fabric with a single vent in the back. I love Kit and Ace for the comfort and style that it provides.
My favorite thing about this blazer is that it fits well on top of over sized pieces and oddly shaped sleeves, and tops. There are a lot of bell sleeves and different cuts going on with tops these days and it's not always easy to layer them when necessary. Layering is an essential part of my outfit choices as I work in an older building where it can be hot or freezing. This blazer fits the bill! I love it, and always get compliments when I wear it.
This outfit is 95% thrifted. The blazer, I've already touched upon, the top is a 100% silk Equipment Femme camouflage blouse which I thrifted for $7.99, the jeans are Levi's skinnies which I purchased from the same shop as the Kit and Ace blazer for $24.00, as well as my Stuart Weitzman Fjord wedge booties which were $135. May seem like a high price tag for 'pre-loved' boots but when you compare the original retail of $400.00, and the fact that they were in brand new condition (BNWT- brand new without tags) I think it's worth it! I wore this outfit to a family event and was comfortable and casual eating messy food and drinking red wine: in all black. xo