Bold colors, daring prints and 1970s flare arrived just in time for last weekend's thaw.
Yes, 2011 spring fashion has officially hit several local boutiques and I can't wait to get out there and shop for the upcoming season. However, before I get to that I need to make a little room in my closet by ditching some of my "what-was-I-thinking" wear.
I know I am probably not the only one who needs to edit their wardrobe, so I thought I'd share my tips. Whenever I update my closet, I like to go through what I already have first. This not only creates space for the new goods, but can also provide a little cash for the them — yes, my true motivation.
There are a variety of consignment shops in and around St. Louis Park where I'm planning an attempt to turn my unwanted clothes into much needed mall money.
Upscale Consignment might be my first stop this year. The shop is currently seeking spring and summer clothes, and they pay out 45 percent of each clothing sale (or 55 percent in store credit) to the respective seller, manager Paula Golemgeske explained Tuesday.
"We are taking just about anything right now," Golemgeske said. "That includes women's, men's, children's, plus-size, maternity, home décor and furniture."
Another perk of consigning with Upscale is that items that don't sell within three months are donated to Gracie's Gratitude, a free-store for those in need.
So, what are you waiting for? Follow these steps to organizing your closet, so you can fill it right back up:
1. Edit your wardrobe
This might be a terrifying concept, but it is best to begin with a clean slate so pull everything out of your closet. Next, go through your clothes and make three piles:
- Clothes to keep (those that you wear, and which fit well and are flattering)
- Clothes to give away to charity or consign (It's up to you whether you want to simply donate your clothes, or try to sell them, or do a little of both.)
- Clothes to discard (those that are stained or tattered and worn beyond repair)
Discerning what goes into the middle pile is the most difficult. Separating ourselves from clothes that are in good condition but are seldom worn can be a challenge. But, if you haven’t worn something for a year, I say it's time to let it go. Hopefully, it will make you some money to get something you will get more use out of. Or, even if you can't sell, it might go to someone who will get more use out of it.
2. Review your consignment selections
Most consignment shops are interested only in clothes that are in fashion, in season and in like-new condition.
"We prefer things that are within the last couple of seasons," Golemgeske said. "We do have a list of brands we do not accept as well."
So, don't waste time and expenses dry cleaning your Zubaz, polyester bellbottoms and stained overalls in an attempt to consign them (though some stores do seek nice, vintage goods). Your items will get the most consideration if your whole collection looks clean, fashionable, and well presented.
Upscale Consignment prefers things cleaned, ironed and brought in on hangers.
3. Prepare to consign
Before I consign anything, I like to visit a few shops as a consumer to review the assortment and prices. This is because my profit is tied to the selling price and if prices are too high, I may end up with items that don't sell. During these visits, I also ask about the store's policy. Often, clothes are kept for 30 to 60 days and sellers receive a portion of the selling price. Items that don't sell may be returned to the seller, be donated to charity, or become property of the store.
Once I decide where to consign, I keep a record of what I've left and if I don't hear from the store, I call a few days before the selling period ends. Some stores do not notify you when there is money available to pick up.
4. Fan out, then hit the malls
Drop off your items at the consignment shops, and then work on the fun part — re-stocking your closet.
However, if money is tight, don't spend your consignment profit until you actually see it. People can sometimes have unrealistic hopes about how much money their unwanted clothes will go for.
And it can be hard to swallow if something you paid $100 for sells for $20, of which you will only be paid a fraction — or, worse yet, if the consignment shop doesn't even want to put your old party dress on its sales floor at all. But, come on, there's a reason you're willing to get rid of the piece of clothing in the first place — it's not that great.
I like to think of consigning as a way to de-clutter (let the store donate your unsold stuff — don't take it back home!). Any money that comes along as a result is just a great bonus, not an expectation.
Consignment Shops in St. Louis Park:
Location: 5640 36th St.
About: This shop accepts furniture and clothing for women, men and children, as well as maternity and plus sizes.
Location: 4110 Minnetonka Blvd.
About: Labels, labels, labels is what this shop is about.Designer dresses and bags are displayed on racks at the front, and treasures are often found in the shoe rack as well. This store also buys better department store brands.
Location: 5021 Excelsior Boulevard
About: A fine solution to kids growing out of things so fast. This shop accepts gently-used play yards, toddler beds, changing tables, strollers, highchairs and toys in addition to clothing — and they pay you on the spot, no need to wait for it to sell.