Monday, July 12, 2010


A few months ago, I posted a blog on Eco-Friendly Fashion and pointed towards Vintage or High End Consignment Boutiques.  Consignment shops tend to carry unused or slightly used designer items less than 2 years old.  Vintage shops carry period items (say '40s or '50s wear).  Whether Consignment or Vintage, the items are typically in very good, if not excellent condition.

Pre-owned Louis Vuitton Alma purse
from "Its A Girl Thing" in Willow Glen, San Jose

Aside from upholding the Green mantra:

"Reduce, Re-Use, Recycle"

these shops attract Stylistas who are high on taste, low on budget.   They also attract well-heeled shoppers who love the thrill of the hunt for that buried treasure.  The Dressing Room becomes a Girl's Club where ladies who don't know each other give each other thumbs ups (or downs) on pieces.  Style tips are exchanged.  I've even had fellow hunters pull out "just the right shoes" from the shelves to finish my outfit.

In San Francisco, I spent hours trying on stuff at the Goodbyes dressing room with help from impromptu stylists in the next dressing stall.  Goodbyes' 2 shops, across from each other, are nestled among little, upscale boutiques in Laurel Heights.  They are packed with hidden gems at great prices.  Be prepared to stay at least an hour.

Goodbyes in Laurel Heights, San Francisco
Over in the Hayes Valley neighborhood, Ver Unica is a Vintage shop well known for its stock of '40s through '60s items in great condition.  They are pricey but the classic selection is in terrific condition.

Ver Unica in Hayes Valley, San Francisco

Heading 60 miles South on to downtown Santa Cruz, a new high end consignment store called Twist is gaining a following.  They specialize in purses but also carry a small but very carefully-edited selection of new and used clothing plus artisan jewelry.  I've always found wonderful pieces in this little store.

You'll find Consignment or Vintage shops all over the country and all over the world.  They tend to be in upscale neighborhoods or downtown areas rather than shopping malls.   "A Second Chance" was right around my apartment in NYC and was always stocked with the Upper East Side uniform of Chanels.  Across the pond, London has several high end consignment boutiques.  Nice neighborhoods in smaller cities like Denver, Seattle, Vancouver, and more also offer this alternative to Mall shops.

Next time you head out for a shopping expedition, skip the Mall and find one-of-a-kind treasures at these boutiques!

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