I love consignment shopping. I cannot get enough. The thrill of finding an item for an amazing price while knowing the original price is for some reason (sadly?) something I really enjoy. The fashion industry is incredibly wasteful, taking a major toll on our environment. Consignment shopping is just one way to help reduce that waste.
Here are a few of my Boston favorites:
1. Buffalo Exchange-My top pick for overall value. Items are priced very fairly. Great mix of brands, but fewer of the high-end brands. My favorite items to buy from here are shoes and jeans.
Top brands that I’ve found include Paige, French Connection, J. Crew, Frye, J. Brand, Gap, among others.
In Allston, MA they’re located right on Harvard Ave. In Somerville, they’re on Elm Street. I’ve also checked out their location in LA, which was awesome.
For selling clothes they are pretty strict, so far I’ve had minimal luck. Some of my friends have been able to sell a few items though. They give you meh store credit or less $ in cash.
One thing to note is you have to bring your own bag, or you can pay $2 to buy a nice re-usable bag. I recommend their re-usable bag. I have several and they are the best for groceries.
2. *Update. As of 2017 this store is no longer in business, but I’m leaving it for nostalgia sake*
Second Time Around-This store has always been a favorite of mine, though they’ve dropped a few spots as I’ve expanded my repertoire. Still a solid store though.
Positives include their many locations, they have 3 stores on Newbury Street in Boston alone. Two years ago they opened in Coolidge Corner in Brookline.
Their stores include higher-end items, but still, have casual brands mixed in. Overall their prices are higher than at a store like Buffalo Exchange, however, all the items have different colored tags based on how long the item has been in the store. Therefore, some items are up to 70% off. You can get really high-quality jeans for between $20 and $50, which I think is reasonable. They have some even higher priced items, but I never go for those. They also carry quite a few nice dresses and coats. One of the stores on Newbury is almost all dresses.
3. Revolve–This store is excellent for higher end clothes at still excellent prices. I stumbled upon it while bringing a girl I used to babysit to the dentist in Belmont center. They have one location there and another down the road in Cushing Square. There are three more shops, one in Winchester, one in Lexington and one on Newbury Street.
Revolve is awesome. Not only do they have beautiful clothes, but they are more selective than some other stores, which leads to more items with less of the “why did they buy this?” sentiment. I primarily purchase shoes and jeans here. Some of my favorite items purchased were Kate Spade pumps for $20 and Citizens of Humanity jeans for $50. They have a rack of Lululemon too, from which I’ve purchased multiple pairs of leggings, tops and sports bras, all like-new. Revolve is just a pleasant store to shop in.
4. Redress Boston-Located in Brookline, this is a shop that I’ve only stopped in a few times. I went right when they first opened and found a great pair of Cole Haan loafers. It looks like they have added a lot since then. Their blog posts new items in the store, which is nice if you are looking for something in particular. I will definitely have to make another trip here.
5. Ensemble–Beautiful shop in Boston’s North End, located on Salem Street. Though this shop is tiny, it has high end consigned items, as well as a few home goods, trinkets, and jewelry. If you’re looking for more professional items Ensemble carries nice suits and blazers.
This is a nice shop to visit because the woman who runs it is very knowledgeable about fashion, having been a former manager at Neiman Marcus. Plus, its located near a bunch of other cute shops and restaurants, so you can make a trip here into an afternoon in the North End.
6. Goodwill–Though it’s definitely a different shopping experience, I always love a good trip to Goodwill. Depending on the location, you can find some surprisingly high-quality items for ridiculously low prices. The hunt is worth the outcome.
In addition to clothes, they have furniture, home-goods, movies, and books. For a theme party (lumberjack, ugly sweater, Halloween, Harry Potter) you can’t beat Goodwill. The best part of the store is when you are ready to switch up your wardrobe you can bring bags and bags of clothes here and know that they are going to be sold at an affordable price. They are also just a great company in general because they strive to employ seniors, veterans, people with disabilities and people with criminal backgrounds. It’s fun to hunt for random clothes here and it’s also nice that those who cannot afford expensive clothing can find nice items at a low price.
Those are my top picks for now. As I continue to explore the world of consignment I will give you an update on how to stay Frugal Fancy.
*Update* Austin consignment post coming soon!