Pretty and Penniless: How to shop at a consignment shop

by Debbie Stoller

From the adorbs  Mish and Sami over at the Poor & Pretty blog, comes the following guide to shopping at your local consignment shop. Enjoy!


We love consignment shops. Why? Well, we’ll get into that in a bit {think brand names at super affordable prices}. First, we want to give you some background before you check out our sweet video. Last week, we went to Peonies, a high end consignment boutique in Centerbrook, CT. Because Sami knows one of the owners, we were able to roam around the store and pick out some sweet outfits to show you some of the amazing fashion finds just waiting for you at consignment shops {especially Peonies, where each item is hand picked by co-owners, fashionistas, and lovely ladies, Pam and Laurel}. The background music is “I’ve Got Your Number” by Passion Pit.

Why Consign?

Because we’re broke, but we still like to keep up with the latest fashions, consignment shops are the best place to find really great clothing and accessories at prices we can afford. Being a consignor {bringing your clothes into consignment shops to sell them and make a percentage of the money} is a good way to make a few dollars, and selling and buying pre-loved clothing is also super sustainable, because you’re essentially recycling clothes rather than participating in a demand to create new clothes. More on this in the future.

Why Peonies?

Because it carries designer labels like BCBG, Chanel, Gucci, Isaac Mizrahi, Ralph Lauren, Vera Wang {the list goes on and on!}, Peonies is the perfect place for girls like us {i.e., chicks on a budget} to stay in style without breaking our banks. Also, we just love Pam & Laurel, and their sense of design. As Mish says in the video, Peonies {named after Pam and Laurel’s favorite flower} looks nothing like your traditional consignment shop. “Most consignment shops visually assault you with clothing,” said Pam, and she’s right. But the first things we noticed at Peonies were the soft lights and pastel colors, the antique mirrors, rustic doors and furniture, and the beautiful faux flowers bursting from all corners of the store. It reminded us of a garden… a garden of peonies!

We’re not most consignment shops,” continued Pam. “We think of ourselves as a high end boutique, and most of our clothing and accessories originate from high end boutiques. As such, we needed to bring design and order to the store. We’ve organized everything by article type then color, like many women organize their closet. We did this so that when you walk in, you feel a sense of place right away.” We think they were incredibly successful.

Another thing that makes Peonies so unique is their social outreach. They are one of very, very few consignment shops that delivers weekly e-mails {”what’s in store for you”} with photos of their latest consigns {they call them “blooms”}. You can subscribe to their weekly updates here. Additionally, you can become a fan of Peonies on Facebook or follow them on twitter.

We couldn’t resist going home with a few items, especially with their Winter clearance going on {tons of brand name clothing marked down to $5, $10, and $15!!! More on that here}:



P.S. If you’re curious about One Pearl, the jewelry company/charity organization Mish mentioned in the video, check out their website for more info and for gorgeous jewelry with a purpose. {We plan on writing more about One Pearl, too}

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