The other day I was looking for a new show I could sink my teeth into when I came across a show called Fashion Hunters on Bravo. It’s a show about the owners of a consignment shop that go around looking for people’s designer clothes that they can buy for cheap and then resell at a discount.
Now normally, when I hear the words thrift or consignment I cringe because all I can picture are mothballs, bed bugs, and sweat stains on clothes that you can tell have been worn before. As I started watching more and more of the show though, I saw that most of the people have only worn these outfits once or twice and then the outfit just sits in their closet for years without ever being worn again. I also noticed most of the clothes are dry-cleaned or washed before being sold to the consignment shop since most people want the most for what they sell. So it got me, a poor college student with a part-time job and a shopping addiction, thinking: what could I find if I started going to these places looking for deals.
I started looking around Minneapolis for consignments shops and found a few such as Via’s Vintage Wear on Hennepin Avenue, Upscale Consignment which has 3 locations in Woodbury, Inver Grove Heights, and St. Louis Park, and … & Again located in Wayzata, MN. I couldn’t believe the quality of things that one could get at what seemed like the third of the price it originally sold for. These stores were all well and good but the problem was finding the right size and fit so I expanded my search to the internet and found even better deals at sites such as My Sister’s Closet and of course Ebay.
The only downside to all of this is the amount of fakes out there so before you go out, I would deeply recommend doing a bit of research online. If you see something you like, it’s as easy as googling what you’re looking at and coming up with a history of the item and what it should look like not to mention what to look for to distinguish it from a fake. If you order something online you could also take it into a local consignment shop where I’m sure they’ve seen a fair share of fakes and know what to look for and if it’s a fake you could then return what you bought.
So thanks to this one show I can now buy more clothes in my already full closet, but my favorite part of shopping at these shops is that they buy clothes from anybody so I can take in clothes that I don’t wear as much anymore and trade them in for something next to new. It’s a perfect way to recycle your closet and keep your wardrobe fresh for the changing trends of each season.
by Nick Casperson