last-minute sustainable gift ideas

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If you celebrate Christmas and are like me, this last week before the holiday is a bit of a scramble to finish up all the preparations, including finding the perfect gifts for my loved ones. I do some of my gift selections earlier, but I also wait to make my final purchases to make sure I’m really choosing the right thing for each person. Ok, some of it is procrastination, but since many of my choices are sustainable, I don’t have to worry about the hot new thing being sold out.

Choosing gifts that are sustainable is easier on the environment, and can be easier on the budget as well. I don’t subscribe to the idea that something must be new to be a gift nor that it must be something that can be unwrapped. There are so many ways to show your love for someone while showing love for the earth at the same time.

Below are some sustainable gift ideas for you to explore for the important people in your life.

homemade

baked goods

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Who doesn’t love something scrumptious?

crafty fun

Instead of fighting crowds at the mall, get your maker hat on to create something big or small! Some of my most precious gifts are things made by my family members. Ornaments for the tree, coasters, book marks, knitted and crocheted hats, decorative pillows – the options are endless!

new-to-you

Consignment shops have so many amazing items that make wonderful gifts. Elite Repeat Consignment and Boutique (women’s clothing and accessories and giftables), Fashion Avenue (designer women and men’s clothing, accessories and jewelry), and Nu Look Consignment (women and men’s clothing and accessories) are all independent consignment shops that carry very high quality pieces. Look for:

cashmere

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At a fraction of the cost of retail, you can wrap your loved one in coziness without breaking the bank.

high-end jewelry and accessories

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Find luxury brand jewelry, scarves, ties, and more – again at 1/3 retail pricing.

items with tags still on

I frequently find gorgeous clothing with the retail tags still on them – meaning they are brand new! A client recently purchased something with the tags on it as a Christmas gift for her partner during a personal shopping session at a consignment store.

gift card for a new-to-you shop

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Not sure exactly what your loved one will like? Consignment shops sell gift cards, just like retail shops!

experiences

Experiences are one of the most sustainable gifts ever – less stuff AND creating time for your loved one to take a break to do something fun!

spa services – massage, facial, manicure, etc.

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I’ve mentioned how much I love my hair stylist Bee at Urban Village SalonSpa in previous blog posts. This fall my mother-in-law gave me a gift card (sustainable birthday gift!) to enjoy some of the other services there. LOVED. IT. I chose a massage with Sarah and a session with esthetician Whitney. Both were simply amazing. I would happily receive a gift card to Urban Village at every gift-giving opportunity! HINT.

plans for a date night with a gift card to a favorite or new restaurant

Simply making time to do something together can be the greatest gift. And the Twin Cities have so many fabulous restaurants!

cocktails and hors d’oeuvres at a fancy hotel or bar

The craft cocktail scene has exploded in the past few years. Two of my favorites are The Commodore in St. Paul, a gorgeously restored Art Deco venue, and Marvel Bar under The Bachelor Farmer in Minneapolis, which feels like a speakeasy.

wacky fun

Mini-golf and arcade games accompanied by adult milkshakes? Axe-throwing? Yep. Check out Can Can Wonderland for fun for all ages and FlannelJax’s for your favorite lumberjack wannabe.

gift card to a movie theater with enough for two tickets and treats

Classic fun!

tickets to the theater

We have such great theater in the Twin Cities! Get tickets to a play at The Guthrie or a touring Broadway show at one of the Hennepin Theater Trust venues.

gift certificate to NDWC – pair it with a consignment shop gift card!

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that I offer gift certificates for any service or dollar amount. Give the gift of living your life without your wardrobe bringing you down and feeling great about how you look. So. much. fun.

I hope you enjoy the holiday season with the people who are important to you. The gift of time to reflect and share gratitude is the greatest gift of all.

happy holidays!

secondhand score: i see red (pear and valiant poppy)

#secondhandfirst

This fall I want to refresh my wardrobe a little to bump up the level of dress – more dresses and polished blouses, skirts, and pants. Polished jeans outfits will always be my signature style, especially for work sessions in closets and shopping sessions, because I need to be able to move with ease. I’d also like to have more go-to outfits to be a little more dressed up.

I always, ALWAYS (except for undergarments) shop secondhand first. I have great results with consignment shopping, and my latest trip to Elite Repeat was particularly fabulous.

Remember Pantone’s colors for Fall 2018? Here’s a little reminder.

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This season’s palette is gorgeous. Red Pear and Valiant Poppy are two colors that really suit my complexion and hair color, and I had what I call a secondhand score shopping session – I found several pieces I’ve been patiently seeking, and I LOVE them!

i see red, and a little quetzal green

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I have wanted red oxfords for a long time. And I found unworn – meaning BRAND NEW – Cole Haan suede red wingtip oxfords. So comfortable, so stylish. I also found Quetzal Green – Pantone’s fancy name for teal – block-heel pumps. I’ll wear these with dresses and skirts, but also cropped raw-hem jeans, which instantly bumps up the level of dress and style of the outfit.

I’ve been looking for a longer (tea length), flowy red dress since I saw a gorgeous one on someone earlier this summer. This Red Pear geometric print one is perfect – it has a built-in tie at the waist, and sometimes I’ll put a structured belt right over that for more polish. A bonus is the other faux wrap-style dress, which combines fall colors and has flirty, but not too fussy, ruffles. I’ll wear this with my cowboy boots for fun and dress it up with booties or pumps.

The two blouses are perfect for wearing with jeans or dress pants. The contemporary bell sleeves on the solid one are just right for me – some bell sleeves render your hands practically useless with all the excess fabric, which is a total deal breaker for me. And I love the cutout embellishments. The dark floral is just what I was looking for to wear with dark-wash jeans – and the block-heel pumps! – and to pair with slim-leg ankle pants or a fitted skirt.

Happy Fall!

i ♥ resale: twin cities new-to-you shopping guide – updated

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Source: NARTS: The Association of Resale Professionals

happy earth day!

Sunday, April 22, is Earth Day 2018. A couple of years ago, I marked the day with a resource guide for resale shops – mostly consignment – in the Twin Cities. We are fortunate to have so many choices of resale shops with high quality clothing being kept in the use stream!

“But the true gold mine is the constant savings resale shoppers realize every day, both in their personal budgets and in the reduction of waste by the recycling of gently-used good possessions.
~ NARTS: The Association of Resale Professionals

I’ve updated the guide this year to include more shops and provide current information about all of them. I’m so happy to add two consignment shops that carry plus-size clothing exclusively – Cake Plus-Size Resale in Minneapolis and Stacked Curvy Girl Consignment Boutique in Shakopee! Plus-size clothing has been under-represented in the consignment world, so it’s good to see that changing.

Elite Repeat is holding their annual fundraiser for Friends of the Parks and Trails this Sunday, where a portion of Earth Day sales goes towards planting trees in the community. Other shops are having sales to mark the day as well.

Enjoy!
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shopping new-to-you in the twin cities

women and men

Cake Plus-Size Resale (Minneapolis and online)  website

Clothing for all genders, sizes XL – 4XL+ | $ – $$ | Mall and online brands | Resale Process: cash outright | Independent shop

Cherie Consignment Boutique (Excelsior)  facebook page

Women’s sizes 0-14 | $$ – $$$ | High-level brands – Designer | Resale process: consignment | Independent shop

Clothes Mentor (multiple locations)   website

Women’s sizes 0-26 | $ – $$ | Mall brands – designer | Resale process: cash outright | Minnesota-based national franchise

Elite Repeat (St. Paul)   website

Women’s sizes 0-16 | $$ | High-level and designer brands | Resale process: consignment | Independent shop

Encore (St. Paul)   website

Women’s sizes 0-26 | $$ | High-level and designer brands | Resale process: consignment | Independent shop

Encore Designer Consignment Boutique (Eden Prairie)   website

Women’s sizes 0-3X | $$ – $$$ | High-level and designer brands | Resale process: consignment | Independent shop

Nu Look (Minneapolis)   website

Women’s sizes 0-16, Men’s, Children’s | $$ – $$$ | High-level and designer brands | Resale process: consignment | Independent shop

Second Début (St. Louis Park)   website

Women’s – all sizes, Men’s | $$ – $$$ | High-level and designer brands | Resale process: donated goods from Goodwill | Non-profit organization

Stacked Curvy Girl Consignment Boutique (new location in Shakopee opening April 28, 2018)  website

Women’s sizes 14 – 4X+ | $ -$$ | Mall and online brands | Resale process: consignment | Independent shop

Style Encore (multiple locations)   website

Women’s sizes 0-4X | $ – $$$ | Mall brands – designer | Resale process: cash outright | Minnesota-based national franchise

Turn Style (multiple locations)   website

Women’s – all sizes, Men’s, Children’s | $ – $$$ | Mall brands – designer | Resale process: consignment | National franchise

high-end/designer/couture

Fashion Avenue & Fashion Avenue 2 (Edina, Wayzata)   website

Women’s sizes 0-16, Men’s | $$ – $$$$ | High-level brands – Couture | Resale process: consignment | Independent shop

June (Minneapolis)   website

Women’s sizes XS – L | $$$ – $$$$ | Designer and couture | Resale process: cash outright | Independent shop

Mona Williams (Mall of America)   website

Women’s sizes 0-14 | $$$ – $$$$ | Designer vintage and couture | Resale process: consignment | Independent shop

Rodeo Drive (Minneapolis)   website

Women’s sizes 0-18 | $$ – $$$$ | High-level brands – couture | Resale process: consignment | Independent shop

eclectic/vintage

b.  (Minneapolis)   website

Women’s sizes 0-16, Men’s | $ – $$ | Streetwear and vintage | Resale process: cash outright or store credit | Independent shop

Buffalo Exchange (multiple locations)   website

Women’s sizes 0-16, Men’s | $ – $$ | Mall brands and vintage | Resale process: cash outright or store trade| National franchise

Everyday People (St. Paul)   website

Women’s 0-16, Men’s | $ – $$ | Funky and vintage | Resale process: cash outright | Independent shop

My Sister’s Closet (Minneapolis)   website

Women’s sizes 0-16 | $$ – $$$ | High-level brands, designer, vintage | Resale process: consignment | Independent shop

Rewind (Minneapolis)  website

Women’s sizes 0-16, Men’s | $ – $$ | Funky and vintage | Resale process: no walk-ins, appointments for large quantities or estates | Independent shop

teen/young adult

Gina+Will (Minneapolis)   website

Girl’s sizes 0-3X, Guy’s | $ | Mall brands | Resale process: donated goods from Goodwill | Non-profit organization

NTY Clothing Exchange (multiple locations)   website

Girl’s sizes 1-19, Guy’s | $ | Mall brands | Resale process: cash outright or store credit | Minnesota-based national franchise

Plato’s Closet (multiple locations)   website

Girl’s sizes 0-20, Guy’s | $ | Mall brands | Resale process: cash outright or store trade | Minnesota-based national franchise

children

(Children’s sizes only)
Children’s Orchard (multiple locations)   website

Baby – Kid’s size 16 | $ | Resale process: cash outright or store credit | Minnesota-based national franchise

Once Upon a Child (multiple locations)   website

Baby – Kid’s size 16 | $ | Resale process: cash outright | Minnesota-based national franchise

(Children’s sections)
Nu Look (Minneapolis)   website

Baby – Kid’s size 16 | $ – $$ | Resale process: consignment | Independent shop

Turn Style (multiple locations)   website

Kid’s sizes 2T – 16 | $ | Resale process: consignment | National franchise

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i ♥ resale: 5 items for spring

resale reboot

Shopping resale is a great way to add a few key on-trend pieces to your wardrobe to keep things fresh without breaking the bank (and it’s easier on the environment). I always say only embrace a trend if it resonates with you – these trends are all classic and enduring, which I love.

You never know what you will find at a resale shop – and remember, consignment is much more reliable than thrifting. Both are great, but are very different experiences. Consignment shops have already applied the quality control and current style filters for you.

When I shop resale (90% of my wardrobe), I shop with an item or style in mind, and I’m open regarding brand and variation. I may find the exact item I want, or come across something that is only within the category, but is perfect for me. I reliably find what I want. Sometimes, if I’m looking for something very specific, it may take more than one shopping time – to me it’s worth the wait, unless I need something for a particular event.

Here’s what I’ll be looking for this Spring.

Find all of these images and more inspiration for Spring on my Spring 2018 Pinterest board

1. military green utility jacket

Utility jackets have been in for a couple of years and show no signs of going out, because they are so functional and so fun. I recommend them constantly to clients, but have never gotten one for me – that will change this season! You can almost always find them in the consignment shops.

2. oversized plaid blazer or top

This trend started last Spring, and I love it. I love classic prints, and plaid is the ultimate. This one may take a little looking and patience to find the perfect one for me – I don’t mind though – more reason to scope the consignment shops! 🙂

3. sheer embroidered floral dress or duster

I LOVE the feminine combination of sheer fabric and a small print floral, especially embroidered. This is a style where I will use the chic runway look as inspiration, but am open to variation. It could be a dress, skirt, or duster, and I’ll know the right one for me when I see it.

4. bold print blouse

Bold geometric and graphic floral prints as well as mixed-print blouses are a beautiful way to add a little edge and interest to business wear or to dress up a jeans outfit. This category of blouse is reliably in stock at consignment shops. Choose a print that speaks to you.

5. oxfords/brogues

Lucky me – during the preparation of this blog post, I found the bottom-left oxford (unworn!) in black and white at Fashion Avenue in Edina. Love them, love them, love them! Now the rest of the snow just needs to melt…

and one for summer – comfort sandals

I typically wear more refined shoes – clunky footwear can throw off the balance of lines of an outfit. The comfort sandal is very on trend now though with stylish Birkenstocks and big, cushy-soled variations. And, they’re comfy! I’ll be looking for something comfortable for a lot of walking to wear with casual outfits this summer, and I like the idea of a bright color or something with a little edge to it. We’ll see what I find!

Think Spring!

 

 

1 white linen top 3 ways for summer fun

A basic white linen top can be the foundation for great summer outfits, bumping up the polish from a knit tee and keeping you cool at the same time.

Everything I’m wearing – with the exception of the tassel necklace (a travel purchase), the belt (made in the USA), and the polka dot scarf (a gift) – was purchased new-to-me, including the shoes. Right now is a great time to shop consignment – the summer sales are on! #secondhandfirst

with cropped jeans

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Cropped jeans (with a contemporary raw hem – mine are DIY!) and comfy neutral wedge sandals make a simple, polished outfit for knocking around or casual going out. A long skinny silk scarf as a belt adds a pop of fun.

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white on white

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White on white is bright and fresh for summer, and the gold metallic strappy flat sandals (Stuart Weitzman, unworn, and a steal at consignment prices) complement the monochromatic look. Tie a small silk square scarf into a bracelet for a fashion-forward splash of color and head to your favorite patio for cocktails and dining al fresco.

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with bright shorts

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Feel put together for daytime fun with bright shorts and sandals good for walking. I love the embroidered anchor print on these shorts – I’m a sucker for preppy, throwback styles!  Partial-tuck the top (notice I did this in all three looks for body definition) and add a belt for further polish. Casual, but intentional.

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Stay cool!

 

#secondhandfirst

The new normal for weather patterns everywhere is volatility. Here we swing from 90s to 50s and back and have dramatic thunderstorms and droughts thrown in. My previous career included work dedicated to improving water quality: 1-inch rainfall events used to be the standard used for managing stormwater – now the standard is 4-inch rainfall events.

This is climate change in action.

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What does this have to do with the clothing we wear? A lot. The growth and manufacture of the textile fibers used, how garments are created, the transport of them around the globe, and their disposal all have environmental impact and contribute to climate change in varying degrees. And the fashion industry only continues to expand, with American spending on clothing and footwear up 14% in 2016, according to a recent article in the New York Times that grapples with this issue.

It’s grim to think about the long-term impact our consumer actions have. But there is a way to lessen our impact, and boy is it sweet.

#secondhandfirst

This hashtag has been cropping up here and there with more frequency on social media, and I. LOVE. IT. It’s been around for bit – check out #secondhandfirst on Instagram and on Twitter – and lately thredUP has been using it specifically in their marketing.

I love it, because it is the perfect way to remember how to practice sustainable consumerism – my ndwc mission. Buy second-hand (what I like to call new-to-you) clothing first. You can also call it resale. Whatever phrase works for you, just do it!

There are so many fabulous clothing resale options in the Twin Cities as well as online. It makes so much sense to shop new-to-you – both environmentally and economically. And now is the perfect time to check it out; summer sales at consignment shops begin in July – items that are typically priced 1/3 of retail cost are 50-75% off those prices.

“The environmental problems from textiles will continue to compound if we can’t get rid of that mind-set that clothing is disposable.”  ~ Frances Kozen

Clothing is not disposable. #Secondhandfirst means keeping high quality clothing that will last in the use stream – reducing demand for the manufacture of new clothing and lessening solid-waste issues around the world. It means each of us taking a simple action to reduce our impact on the environment. (Added bonus: it reduces impact on our pocketbooks too!)

If enough of us practice sustainable consumerism, together we can make positive change. Let’s do it!

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i ♥ resale: Elite Repeat

In honor of Earth Day last year, I posted a roundup of consignment and resale clothing shops in the Twin Cities. We are fortunate to have a broad selection of choices – each having its own niche in the market.

As we mark Earth Day tomorrow, I’m celebrating practicing sustainable consumerism with the first in a periodic series, I ♥ Resale, featuring local consignment shops.

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elite repeat

Elite Repeat is a gem. Located on Randolph Avenue at Hamline in St. Paul, the shop celebrated its 40th Anniversary last fall. After 18 years as an employee, Melissa “Missy” Auran took ownership of Elite Repeat in 2014, and she has brought a fresh eye, tone, and energy in her new role.

Elite Repeat features “designer and on-trend clothing and accessories.” The consignment portion of the shop has recently been augmented with an increased selection of new jewelry, scarves, and “giftables,” many of which are Minnesota-made.

Elite Repeat’s selection is appealing to women of all ages and styles – classic, contemporary, trendy, and couture. You will find higher-end mall brands like JCrew, Talbots, and Banana Republic, all the way up to Burberry, Prada, Chanel, and St. John. They also have a nice selection of outerwear, athletic wear (think Athleta, Lululemon, and more), accessories and handbags, and shoes.

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Melissa Auran

“Customer service is really important to us – it’s how we distinguish ourselves. We want Elite Repeat to feel like a boutique – and we want people to feel good when they are here, whether they buy something or not.”  ~Missy Auran

Elite Repeat is very selective in what it accepts for consignment: “Items need to be in excellent condition and current [3 or less years old, unless a timeless designer piece],” according to Missy. “We have a very large and loyal consigner base, and we are always looking for new consigners – from teens to grandparents.”

This makes shopping easier – I know when I do a personal shopping session with a client at Elite Repeat that the clothing will be like brand new. And the staff is careful about not overcrowding the racks, which can get overwhelming and frustrating. If you are looking for a particular item, they will bring out any extra stock for you.

The staff regularly refreshes displays and creates an appealing, relaxing environment to shop in while featuring their offerings.

Once a customer told Missy, “This is the one store where I can shop together with my mom. At the mall we have to shop in separate stores to find what each of us likes.”

Elite Repeat has a fabulous selection of dresses, workwear, and casual pieces.

Elite Repeat reliably has gorgeous shoes – from casual, like these on trend for summer espadrilles, to drool-worthy high end designer brands.

Handbags range from good quality mall brands to designer, like the Kate Spade one on the left. They are always in excellent condition and reflect contemporary styles.

A portion of the shop features “giftables,” many Minnesota-made. You will find lotions, house decor, accessories, and more.

Missy’s first job in retail was at Dayton’s! Elite Repeat just started carrying Bygone Brand Apparel’s homage to the historic department store’s iconic logo. You can find memories of Elite Repeat’s original concept of couture consignment in decor like these vintage department store hatboxes.

giving back

For a second year, Elite Repeat is celebrating Earth Day (tomorrow, Saturday, April 22!) by giving a portion of the day’s sales to plant trees in the community through Friends Of The Parks And Trails Of St Paul And Ramsey County.

The shop also holds a food drive two times a year in conjunction with their seasonal clearance sales in July and February. Shoppers receive 75% (instead of 50%) off all items with a food or cash donation to The Food Group.

And Elite Repeat supports organizations like Dress for Success, the Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota, and Operation Glass Slipper by donating all unsold merchandise at the end of the season, and consigners receive the tax donation slips for their items. Consigners can also donate their earnings to an organization of their choice.

when you go

You will receive a warm welcome and a great selection of new-to-you clothing at Elite Repeat. As Missy says – and I couldn’t agree more, “We want people to wear what makes them feel good!”

 

 

choosing a handbag

ndwc_fall 2016 handbags

reader request

A client recently asked me to write a post on handbags. She said, “How do you choose a handbag? Write a post on that! I never know what is the best thing to carry.” That’s because there are so. many. choices. And you have to find the one that is right for you.

Handbags, like accessories, are very personal choices. You can follow trends, but what works for one person may be disastrous for another. When choosing a handbag, think carefully about both style and function.

Here are some guidelines to help you select something you will love.

match your activities

What kind of handbag you carry says a lot about who you are. Back in my college days, I prided myself in not being a “purse girl.” I had a leather book satchel that I loved, and if I wasn’t going to class, I grabbed my wallet and headed out. If my college self could see me now…

There are so many choices for handbags. Being intentional about what you carry not only meets your needs, but also expresses your personal style, which feels great.

I have a 2-3 different handbags for the warm season and for the cold season. I also have a couple of small dressy handbags, one a deep purple and one black, for the rare occasion that I really dress up, and one formal clutch. Each of these are classic in design so that they won’t go out of style, since I use them so infrequently.

For the everyday handbags, I like to have slightly different sizes for different needs. As I said, I tend to fill up my handbags – I like to be prepared for whatever might come up, like weather (small umbrella and sunglasses), stopping for groceries (fold-up reusable bag), minor injuries (I once was without Bandaids when my then 3-year old daughter had a major crash and required many of them – I’ve carried a little first aid kit ever since! Mom guilt.). I have to be careful not to get a handbag that is too large, or I will fill it up and be lugging around too much weight all the time!

I like multiple pockets on the inside and outside of the bag, so I can put my phone and keys in a handy place, zip my wallet into a safe place, store my sundries without them making a mess. Pockets are a high priority for me, so I make sure any bag I select has them. I hate rootling around in the bottom of the bag to find something.

I’m currently looking for a high quality crossbody bag that isn’t too sporty or too small to use when I’m working with clients. During personal shopping sessions, carrying a handbag along with the clothing we collect for try-ons can become cumbersome.

Different bags serve different needs – embrace your lifestyle and find something that fits it well.

When choosing your own handbag, really think about what its purpose will be. Is it something you’d like to use as a work satchel/tote? A larger, structured leather tote is a great choice for you. Something to throw on while you’re out and about with the kids? A crossbody or hobo-style shoulder bag could work well. Something for traveling frequently? Again a crossbody or a large tote with a smaller handbag for once you arrive. Or something to make a bold style statement? The sky’s the limit!

Different bags serve different needs – embrace your lifestyle and find something that fits it well. Otherwise, you will feel frustrated. Choose a color or pattern that appeals to you (it does not have to be black or brown!) and make sure it feels comfortable to carry it. I’ve had purses that constantly slid off my shoulder – talk about feeling frustrated! I rarely choose shoulder bags because of this.

Sources: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3

pay attention to size

In terms of function, make sure the bag is large enough to hold everything you must carry, but not too large. A bag that is over- or under-filled can look wonky. If it is a crossbody or shoulder bag, make sure the strap or handles are the right length to fit your body comfortably.

If you are a petite person, you want to select a bag that does not overpower you. Choosing a smaller bag will look more balanced and be easier on your back.

invest in quality

It is worth it to spend more on a handbag that will last. I can be kind of hard on my handbags. I take care of them, but I’m always accidentally banging them into things, I tend to carry a lot in them, and they get regular use. I don’t like to change bags with every outfit, so I tend to use the same one for weeks at a time, which can lead to faster wear and tear. Higher quality construction holds up better to my clumsiness and to regular use.

don’t be afraid to have fun

Black and brown are very functional colors, but don’t be afraid to branch out! Handbags do not need to match your shoes, and a statement color can add polish to your outfit. Red is a gorgeous statement color that goes with almost everything. Burgundy and rich jewel tones are great for fall, and summer brights add a lot of fun to outfits in the warm seasons. There are also so many beautiful shapes, prints, patchwork, appliqués, embroidery or embellishments that make handbags true works of art. Choose something that speaks to you, and carry it with confidence.

shop new-to-you

I buy all of my handbags new-to-you. That way I can buy higher quality without blowing my budget as well as know I am practicing sustainable consumerism. I find amazing handbags at consignment stores – there is always a great selection, varying from mall brands to high-end designers, that are barely used – if at all.

New-to-you online shopping venues thredUP and the RealReal have a great selection of good quality handbags. Both websites provide photos, dimensions, and item specifics and are very accurate in reporting the level of wear of their products. Handbags are final sale on both sites.

In the Twin Cities, Fashion Avenue is a great place to find high-end designer bags at ~1/3 their original cost. Think Kate Spade and Coach on up to Chanel, Prada, and more. A personal shopping client recently found a gorgeous burgundy (a fall trend color) Longchamp shoulder clutch there.

Elite Repeat (St. Paul) and Nu Look (Minneapolis) consistently have lovely designer handbags, and Turn Style (multiple locations) has a wide range of more affordable to designer bags.

3 outfits for transitioning to fall

The shift to fall clothing is always hard for me, and I can get a little irritable (my husband might say a lot…). The weather is still warm, but it’s September, school is in swing, and it doesn’t feel overly summery anymore. What to wear? It’s too hot for true fall clothing – fine-gauge sweaters, blazers, big scarves, booties and tall boots – but sundresses and shorts don’t feel right either.

Here are three outfit ideas to help ease the transition. Adapt them to your personal style using these basic guidelines.

shift from summer brights to neutrals and darker colors
wear cropped pants and jeans – cooler, but suggest fall
use lightweight silk scarves to add polish, but not warmth
replace sandals with close-toed shoes like flats, mules, and sneakers – still great for warm weather, but not too summery

Almost all of the clothing in these outfits is new-to-you. I’ve included where I purchased each item to give you a sense of the breadth of selection you can find when shopping consignment. Practicing sustainable consumerism rocks!

pair a summer dress with straight-leg jeans and flats

ndwc_dress_jeans_flats

Dress: Second Début | Straight-leg Jeans: Turn Style | Flats: Elite Repeat

This darker summer dress works great as a tunic over straight-leg jeans, giving it a little more mileage before I put it away. This makes me happy, because it’s one of my favorites. I can even layer a lightweight long cardigan over it and switch out the flats with booties as the weather gets cooler.

add a classic silk scarf to a short-sleeve tee and culottes

ndwc_culottes_silk-scarf_mules

Scarf: Second Début | Shirt: Turn Style  Culottes: Second Début | Mules: Elite Repeat | Belt: J Crew – US made

Neutrals work really well for fall transition. Add a pop of color with a silk or faux-silk scarf – they are lightweight and comfortable – and all the rage. For tying ideas, see this post. Open-heeled mules are on trend as well and add polish. My Cole Haan pair from Elite Repeat were a score – brand new and 85% off the retail price!

wear a lightweight jacket over a cami with cropped jeans

ndwc_striped-jacket_cropped-jeans_sneakers

Scarf: Second Début | Jacket: Turn Style | Cami: Intimissimi | Cropped Jeans: Turn Style | Sneakers: ThredUP

For casual, pair fun sneakers with flared or wide-leg cropped jeans. Add a fitted lightweight jacket – over a cami to stay cool – and a neckerchief. I typically shop at local consignment stores to be able to try things on and to support our local economy. Occasionally, I buy through online consignment venues like thredUP if I can’t find something. I had been looking for a pair of classic Adidas sneakers for awhile and couldn’t pass them up when I found them!

your turn

What are some ways you manage the fall transition? Share your outfit ideas (and pics! 🙂 ) in the comments below.

 

summer clearance season has begun!

Consignment stores everywhere have begun their summer clearance sales – now is the time to find amazing new-to-you pieces at astonishing prices. Summer items are marked 50-75% off, meaning that many high quality top-brand and designer pieces are available for less than $10. Sometimes even less than $5. 

This sale season is a great way to explore new-to-you shopping as well as new brands and styles. You will be pleasantly surprised at what you find!

in the twin cities

Check out my resource guide, Earth Day Everyday: A Resource Guide to Shopping New-To-You in the Twin Cities, for the lowdown on the incredible selection of consignment stores here.

Sale highlights:

Clothes Mentor (multiple locations): 50-70% off
Elite Repeat (St. Paul): Official sale begins August 6, but many items are already 50% off
Nu Look (Minneapolis): 50% off
Second Debut (St. Louis Park; sadly, the St. Paul location closed recently!): 30% off
Turn Style (multiple locations): 50%-75% off