I sent The E List contributing writer, Alix Boyle, out into the world of consignment shops and here’s her list of her favorites on the Shoreline:
By Alix Boyle
Always popular, consignment shopping is finding new customers who not only seek designer brands for a fraction of their original cost, but want to do their bit for the planet by purchasing fewer, better quality clothes, rather than cheap disposable clothing that clutter landfills and consume fuel when they are produced and shipped. Even Pope Francis is telling us to lay off the consumerism.
Here are my picks:
Fantasia, 210 Main Street, Old Saybrook
Fantasia owner Myshel Enman says “it feels like Christmas every day of the week” in her store because new items come in all the time, from $5 shoes to a Chanel bag. In this sunny, spotless shop, a row of Tory Burch tops and Diane Von Furstenberg peasant shirts hung invitingly on a rack. There is absolutely no ick factor here. Each item is clean and pressed and looks almost new.
One of the pretty young teens who works in the shop landed a strapless Lily Pulitzer dress for $30. Why would anyone pay full price for Lily? All the consignment stores are lousy with it.
On a recent visit to Fantasia, I bought a J. Crew denim shirtdress for $28. But I was really coveting the items in the “treasure chest” glass case. Vintage Hermes handbags shared space with Chanel and a fabulous Mulberry bag for around $400.
Cinderella’s Attic, 1058 Boston Post Road, Guilford
Speaking of vintage handbags, Cinderella’s Attic was awash in Louis Vuitton recently. A version of the popular Speedy bag is offered for $449 (retails for about $950). Owner Kristin Rippel regularly posts photos of sought-after items on her shop’s Facebook page. With women’s, kids, shoes, accessories, some home goods and a small rack of men’s clothing, Cinderella’s Attic is a go-to institution for “higher end mall labels and beyond.” As usual, I’m interested in “beyond.”
No sooner did I ask “what’s the best thing here right now?” than Rippel pulls out a cream skirt suit by Alexander McQueen. Sadly for me, it was a size O. However, a twentysomething fashionista on her way to a bridal shower snapped it up for $100.
Workout clothes have even made their way to consignment stores and Cinderella’s Attic had a fair amount of Lululemon, including a new pair of lounge pants for $60. Lily Pulitzer (again with the Lily!) has its own little section, some items with the tags still on.
Molly Rose Consignments, 391 Durham Road, Madison
Named for the owner’s Saint Bernard (who’s a cutie), Molly Rose Consignments in Madison is off the beaten path. Head up Route 79 to a little strip of stores next to Klein’s Golf Driving Range. The shop is neatly organized and chock full of jeans (American Eagle, Not Your Daughter’s) basics, designer handbags (Michael Kors and Coach) home décor items and once again, Lily. In fact, a strapless, silk jersey Lily dress was priced originally at $59, then knocked down to $47.20 after a couple of weeks, and finally $35.40.
Amongst the more common brands of shoes was a pair of cream, low-heeled Bruno Magli pumps for $45 and on the clearance rack, a darling black Sgt. Pepper jacket from J. Crew for $6.
In housewares, I found a couple dozen black fuzzy hangers, identical to the ones I already have in my closet, for less than 15 bucks. And I saved myself a trip to the overstimulating Bed, Bath and Beyond.
Owner Brittany Jackson offers The E List readers 20 percent discount on their entire purchase for one visit to the shop.
Coco’s on the Green, 235 Montowese Street, Branford
Coco’s on the Green is not a consignment store. It’s a resale shop where the overflow from Double Exposure in Darien lands. The busiest day of the year for the shop is the Branford Festival day when newcomers discover this gem. Sales associate Alyssa Merrick told me the shop is known for its costume jewelry and special occasion dresses including this Nanette Lepore two-piece for $58 with the tags still on (see photo). The couture section boasted a Bill Blass knit top for $28, numerous St. John items and a crazy pair of Moschino slacks. Anyone with a size 6 foot will make out like a bandit in the shoe department.
Owner Mern Palmer-Smith says that a huge summer sale is imminent in order to make way for the influx of fall items.
Gather, 104 Main Street, Ivoryton. (CLOSED)
Gather is just the kind of quirky, stimulating, offbeat store that is the absolute antidote to mall shopping. Think the consignment version of Anthropology. This shop is a hybrid of consignment and new items. You’ll find furniture, garden statues, collectibles, paintings, old books, vintage silverplate flatware sold by the piece for $2, consignment clothing, new jewelry, greeting cards, penny candy, and some truly crazy, nutty items.
A Tory Burch wool cardigan for $50 and Eileen Fisher linen shirt dress for $75 were some of the better labels represented on the clothing rack. Oh, an if you’re on the hunt for a mounted warthog head, you need look no further.
Owner Deanna Pinette says she enjoys the consignment items because it allows her to offer more of a variety. She treats her customers like friends and remembers every item they consign. For The E List shoppers, Gather will give a 30 percent discount on one item or 20 percent off your entire purchase through August 15, 2015.