Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Consignment shopping

I'm not a big fan of clothes shopping. I only go buy something when I absolutely need to, and then I'm usually stressed out and hurried to find whatever it is I need. Therefore, I don't enjoy the shopping experience, so I don't have any desire to go shopping just for fun. What can I say.... it's a vicious cycle.

Oh yeah, and I don't really like spending the money, either. Don't get me wrong--I enjoy nice things. However, I'm not crazy about having to pay for them. I rarely pay full price for anything. Anything I buy is usually on sale, secondhand, or purchased with a coupon. If it is full price, it's a good deal to begin with.

(This way of thinking extends to bigger-ticket items, too.... such as my condo. It was a short sale, so that definitely saved me some money. Talk about a deal!)

However, there are a couple of kinds of shopping I especially enjoy. One is for stuff for our house. Furniture, dishes, decorations, home decor... you name it, I enjoy shopping for it. It's tough to make it out of a place like Bed Bath & Beyond (which has reasonable prices and a GREAT clearance section!) without picking up a couple of extra things not originally on my list.

Another type of shopping I enjoy is secondhand shopping. I like going to Goodwill, Half-Price Books, and consignment shops, and I regularly search craigslist. I even like clothes shopping if it's at a consignment shop or secondhand store. There are a lot of new things I like, but they're often very expensive, so I like finding a deal.

I also like the challenge of finding what I need/want from a rack of random things, rather than going through a rack of identical shirts and just having to choose the color and size. Don't get me wrong.... there are plenty of nice new things out there, but I think I just enjoy the treasure hunt/challenge that comes with secondhand shopping.

Anyway, I thought that today I'd share with you a few of my best consignment finds and the stores they came from (and one of David's finds, too). I got some great deals on these things!

Here's a sweater I love (sorry the picture is blurry):

This sweater is originally from Ann Taylor Loft, and I got it at a local consignment store, Carmel Consignment, for $11. I bet it was $20-something (or more), when it was first purchased new. It's a great green-turquoise color that I love. I have a striped scarf that coordinates perfectly and often gets worn with it. The sweater is great because it's easy to dress up or dress down, and I can wear it with sandals if it's warmer out or with a jacket if it's cooler. Very versatile. It's nothing fancy, but I wear it all the time, and I definitely got my money's worth.

I got this Anne Klein dress from the same store.

I was going to a wedding. A black-tie-optional wedding. In Chicago. In January. I needed something a little dressier and warmer than normal. I realize a sleeveless dress isn't exactly "warm," but I had a coat, of course, and I wanted something with fabric that wasn't too spring-y. This dress was perfect--the lace on the bottom part dressed it up and made it a little more formal and winter-appropriate.

The price was great, too! I don't remember what it was priced at, nor do I remember the additional discount I got (although I know I did get a certain percentage off), but I do know that I ended up getting it for a grand total of $18! I checked the Anne Klein website to see what other dresses cost, and most were $100+, with some marked down to the $80-$90 range.

(I should note that I took it to an alterations place to get taken in just a little bit at the waist. Because of the lace and lining, it cost a little more than it normally would for this type of fix. I think it was $35. But even with that added to the $18 I paid for the dress, it's still way less than if I'd bought it new! Plus, even if I'd bought it new, there's a good chance I would've had to get it altered anyway.)

Another one of my favorite consignment shops in Indy is The Toggery in Broad Ripple. I'm on their mailing list, and I've even sold some of my clothes there. Most of what they sell is clothing, but they do have a few home decor items, too. Here are a couple of goodies I've gotten there.

I bought this Lilly Pulitzer dress for about $32.

If you've ever seen the prices for most of her stuff, you know what a great deal that is. I was actually at The Toggery last week and found quite a few Lilly dresses and shirts there.

And now, for perhaps my best deal yet.... drumroll, please... these Garfield & Marks pants:

You can just ignore the wrinkles.
I was looking for a pair of dress pants that weren't just plain black or gray. These were perfect. It seems I have quite a few black shirts/sweaters, all of which would work with these pants.

I'd never even heard of Garfield & Marks (my apologies to those out there who know their designers), but a former co-worker told me it's a British designer, and that here in Indy, I could generally only find this brand at places like Nordstrom.

Again, I don't remember the consignment store's price on these, and while I know I got an additional discount, I don't remember the additional percentage off. But I do know that when all was said and done, I paid about $40 for them.

They were brand-new and had never been worn. I know this because they still had the original tags on them. (Yep, sometimes you can get brand-new things at consignment shops.) The tags included the original price.

Again, I paid $40.

The original price? $202.

Definitely a good deal!  :)

I'm not the only one finding good deals on clothes. David has purchased two suits at consignment stores. One he bought at a shop in Louisville, when we were visiting my family one weekend. The other came from Designer Men's Room in Broad Ripple. Unfortunately, I don't have photos (just imagine a black or dark gray suit), but I do have prices: he paid $35-$40 each for these two suits. If he were to buy them new, they'd be several hundred dollars each.

That's a lot of savings! They're in great condition and fit well. And he wears suits to work every day, so he's definitely getting his money's worth.

(I should clarify.... he does own, and wear, more than two different suits. But he only has two that he bought at consignment shops. The others he bought new, back before I introduced him to the wonderful world of consignment shopping.)

Have you visited any consignment shops? Any good finds? What kinds of shopping do you like to do? Any kinds you don't like?

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