Retail or Resale?

One of my goals for 2019 is to increase my awareness about a topic you’ve probably seen in the news recently: fast fashion. Even as “going green” becomes more popular, fashion is one area of our lives where it is often overlooked. We all know about the harm that things like plastic bags and straws can do to the environment; however, we don’t often hear about what discarded clothing and textile factories can do. I’m still researching the topic and what the fashion industry is doing to help remedy this situation (look for a blog post about it in the near future). For now though, I’m sharing one solution that I already know A LOT about: shopping resale.
When my girls were little and money was tight, I found most of my clothes at thrift stores. In fact, a dear friend and I used to make a weekly pilgrimage to a thrift store near the college campus in my hometown. We knew what day of the week they put the new stuff out and would go peruse the castoffs of the rich sorority girls. Now that I am more financially stable and have moved to a larger city, I’ve been fortunate to find some really exciting new resale options. Besides having bigger and better thrift stores, there are some AMAZING vintage stores in my area. And while it’s not technically resale, clothing rental shops are another great way to reduce waste. Companies like Rent the Runway have been around for a while, but there are lots of cool local rental shops popping up, and I always like to support local businesses when I can (more to come on those in a later post)! Currently I am obsessing over resale boutiques such as Clothes Mentor and Buffalo Exchange because they feel like the perfect fit when it comes to shopping. They hit that happy medium between thrift stores and retail. You get a higher quality of merchandise, but you don’t pay anywhere near full retail price! I know some people don’t like the fact that you have to “dig” to find what you want, but for me, that’s half the fun! And it’s not as if you’re blindly rummaging through a bin at a garage sale; all the clothes are hung up neatly in sections such as pants, long sleeve tops, short sleeve tops, sweaters, dresses, tunics, etc. They are further arranged by size and even color. I have rarely left without being able to find what I was looking for (along with a few other items). Resale shops also have a pretty savvy social media presence nowadays, so you can often find a great bargain without even going into the store!People often ask me, “How much can I REALLY save by shopping resale?”. It’s a fair question, so I’d like to share some examples of recent purchases I’ve made at my local Clothes Mentor:
These two Burberry pieces were some of my earliest purchases from Clothes Mentor. The classic Burberry scarf is $430 new on their website and around $100 used on Poshmark. As you can see, I got this one for $18. The skirt is a classic black knee length skirt currently selling for $80-$125 on Poshmark and eBay, but I snagged this one for $20.
The three pieces above are all recent purchases I’ve made in the last two months. The green distressed sweater by Wildfox retailed for $138, but I got it for $14. The hot pink sweater was $89 from Express and $12 from Clothes Mentor. Both sweaters looked and felt like they had never been worn. The one I am most proud of, however, is this GORGEOUS leather jacket by Rag & Bone (I’ve scored a couple pairs of their jeans for around $25 also). I paid less than $70 for this insanely beautiful jacket. It’s selling on Poshmark for $350. Want to know how much it retailed for? $1,035. Yep, you read that correctly…over $1K. That’s basically a 93% discount!
Another really exciting find that the fashion nerd in me went CRAZY over is this NEW pair of Tory Burch high tops. They retailed for over $200, but I got them for $40. To make the deal even sweeter, I later found out that THE style icon Gwen Stefani has the same pair!!! That’s me in the middle pic. 
Now let’s talk everyone’s favorite…high-end designer bags! Clothes Mentor regularly gets in Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Fendi, Chanel, Marc Jacobs, and Prada. I purchased all four of these bags in the last year, and all were $300 or less (note: the Louis Vuittons go for more since they are more popular in this region, but they’re still WAY below retail). All designer bags are authenticated by trained buyers and then double checked by a computer program that provides a certificate of authenticity. They do NOT accept or sell fakes. Besides these luxury brands, they also carry Kate Spade, Coach, Michael Kors, Dooney & Bourke, Frye, and similar designers. I will NEVER pay full price for a designer handbag again!
Besides being good to the environment by reusing clothes, I’m also being extremely good to my bank account. You can see from these few examples that I have saved hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars just in the last year. I also sell many of my own items to them for either cash or store credit which helps me save even more. I highly encourage you to check out local resale shops in your area and see how much YOU can save! Xoxo

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