Consignment Tips & Tricks

PC: Three Pigs Vintage

Welcome back! Today we’re continuing our discussion on consignment shopping and its contribution to a more ethical fashion industry. As a reminder from my last post, each year Americans discard 13 million tons of clothing and other textiles. Supporting consignment shops and sharing and recycling clothing can help drastically lower this number.

Now that we’ve talked about the benefits of consignment shopping, I want to offer you some tips and tricks on how to get the most out of this kind of shopping. I also want to make you all aware of some of the incredible places to shop consignment besides Goodwill. There are a lot of higher-end consignment brands out there that are making great strides towards a more sustainable industry.

How to Get the Most Out of Consignment Shopping:

  1. There’s a difference between vintage and outdated. Stick to classic pieces that don’t scream three decades ago. When you’re browsing the racks look for clean lines and simple silhouettes. This is also a good way to make a piece last for years to come without going out of style.
  2. Don’t be afraid of small fixes; do be afraid of big fixes. Odds are when you are shopping at a consignment store that there will only be one size of something. If you find a great piece, don’t be afraid of hemming the bottom or rolling the sleeves. Little adjustments like this are often totally worth it. However, if the item just doesn’t fit, don’t get it. You’ll end up never wearing it and putting it back into the consignment cycle one season later.
  3. Come with an idea of what you’re looking for but allow some wiggle room. I personally love a good hunt through piles or racks of clothing in a packed clothing store. It makes the shopping experience that more fun and exciting. However, if you’re not that way, the typical consignment store can be overwhelming. You will be more successful if you come in with an idea of what you want with some mental room for change.
  4. Know your labels. You can find some amazing designer pieces in consignment stores for extremely discounted prices. You just have to be able to recognize what’s valuable and what’s not. It’s always a good idea to keep up with trends and designers so you know what to look for when shopping.
  5. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes that make changing in the dressing room easy. This tip honestly applies to all shopping, but it especially goes for consignment shopping. Like I said earlier consignment shopping can be an adventure. You might have to put some elbow grease into finding that perfect last season Ralph Lauren little black dress, but the $15 price tag makes up for it. Wearing comfortable clothes and shoes makes it easier to look longer and harder through those mixed up racks.

Check out my Consignment to Love page for a list of great consignment shops and brands!

-Kate Hornberger

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