Consignment Shopping: Have Your Cake and Eat It Too

Imagine…it’s a beautiful August afternoon.  You’re getting ready for your friend’s wedding that evening and simply can’t wait to put on your new dress. 

This isn’t an ordinary dress, though.  This is a dress so splurge-worthy, so fun-worthy, that you’ve gone against all your self-determined budget rules to make owning it a reality.  You’ve talked yourself into certainty that you’ll wear it again. 

The internal chatter begins…

“It will be so perfect for that trip to Italy that I have to get started on planning!”

I know it’s a little showy, but maybe I’ll designate this as my New Years Eve dress!”

“I mean, I don’t really need to buy groceries this month, do I?”

(Must I go on?  OK, so maybe you haven’t whispered these EXACT things to yourself, but you get my drift.  We’ve all felt the post-shopping guilt at one time or another.)

So you go to the wedding and it is FAN-FREAKING-TASTIC!  Let’s be honest…you really rocked it on the dance floor, all thanks to how amazing this designer dress made you feel.  The guilt fades a bit and you’re confident in your purchase.

Then…tomorrow morning happens.  You wake up to find your beautiful investment piece, sadly cluttered up on your bedroom floor.  (Maybe it has a red wine stain on it, maybe it doesn’t, I’m not judging.) Then the guilt really sets in.

Now let’s consider another, better scenario:

You find an equally beautiful dress at 1/10th the cost so you also have some money left for shoes, jewelry, and maybe getting your hair and nails done.  You go to the wedding, own the dance floor and wake up the next morning feeling no guilt.  Your dress has that same red wine stain (because hey, you're a party animal!), but you didn’t spend too much on the dress so now you have the money to pay a great dry cleaner to bring it back to life.

Enter: the wonderful world of consignment shopping, where you can have your cake and eat it too!

I promise, if this sounds too good to be true, it totally isn’t.

Just to prove it to you, here is a small sample of items I have collected over the years (and an actual outfit I’ve worn to a friend’s wedding). 

Consignment Shopping Tips Designer 2.jpg

Vince black silk dress:  I picked up this beauty on a whim.  It still had the tags on when I purchased it and I can’t remember the exact MSRP because it was a few years ago, but it was around $350.  I paid about $50 for it. Vince uses amazing silk in their pieces and this dress is no exception. The black color gives it unmatched versatility.

J. Crew Collection necklace: This piece had been worn with no tags, but really, who would ever know except for me?  Well, I guess all of you do now.  I picked this up for about $30.  Usually pieces like this sell at J.Crew for north of $100 so $30 was a total bargain.  This is one of those necklaces that looks just as good with a black silk dress as it does with a white tee.

Consignment Shopping Tips Designer 3.JPG

Suede handbag with gold chain: This piece is one of my prized vintage finds.  I picked it up in a small shop when I lived in Washington, DC about 5 years ago.  I think I paid about $40 for it.  The quality of the materials is unmatched and always feels special when I wear it.  The shop owner told me it was probably made in the 1950s so I like to imagine the beautiful and confident woman who owned it before me.

Consignment Shopping Tips Designer 1.JPG

Dolce & Gabbana bow-toe pumps: This might be one of my greatest finds to date.  I purchased these used, but LIGHTLY used.  They looked like they had been worn maybe 3 times max.  Similar styles from this fashion powerhouse go for $1,000 or more a pair…YIKES! 

I paid $65 for these.  To say I left the store on a shopper high is an understatement.

So if my math skills are correct, I was able to snag all of these pieces for under $200.  If that doesn’t feel like a win, well, then I don’t think we’re playing the same game. I love beautiful clothes…but I pretty clearly love a great deal even more. 

Want to know some of my favorite tips and tricks for finding these amazing pieces?  You’ll have to follow along!  You can do so by signing up for my newsletter here.

Not only did I not break the bank, but by taking the time and having the right tools, I was able to find pieces that are of amazing quality and construction.  Pieces that will always be in style and make me feel beautiful time and time again.

Over the course of this collection I hope to provide resources and inspiration so that you can take on the world of consignment/second-hand shopping head on. 

Do you live in the Twin Cities and want to head out for a shopping date?  Shoot me a message and we’ll set something up! 

With love and body positivity,

Jess