ndwc in paris

ndwc_paris video.pngWATCH: [VIDEO] NDWC Paris

This month I spent a week in Paris soaking up the fashion and style, history and architecture, art and culture, and yes, the food and wine. It was a magnificent trip that couldn’t have come at a better time.

french style

Every time I go to France I am so inspired by how aesthetics are valued in all aspects of life. The shopfronts, the food, the fashion – simple elegance and attention to detail are the norm.

The fashion especially gives me new insight in ways to pair clothing, use of color and accessories, and what brings style to an outfit. It energizes me in my own personal style and in making recommendations to my clients. I can’t wait to share this Spring!

Check out my latest video for a little Parisian inspiration. And follow me on Facebook and Instagram to see even more – I’ll continue to post fashion inspo and more from my trip!

Happy Spring!

 

 

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.

ndwc_ER_storefront

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.

ndwc_ER_missy

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!”

 

 

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

Earth Day everyday: a resource guide to shopping new-to-you in the Twin Cities

guilt-free style: practicing sustainable consumerism – part 2

Today we celebrate Earth Day. This month’s posts honor the tenets of Earth Day by exploring how we, as clothing consumers, can reduce our impact on the environment in practical, doable ways and feel great about how we look at the same time. Read on – knowledge leads to action.

I heart resale

We shouldn’t have to choose between feeling good about how we look and feeling good about what we buy.

In my last post, I discussed the human rights and environmental implications of the manufacture of most new clothing today. Super cheerful stuff (NOT), but extremely important.

So what do we do about it? Here’s my formula for feeling good about how we look, AND feeling good about what we buy.

We can practice sustainable consumerism with our wardrobes (and the rest of our stuff, really) by:

  1. Maximizing the functionality of your existing wardrobe.
  2. Shopping new-to-you whenever possible when purchasing clothing.
  3. When buying new, shopping ethically.

Below is a resource guide for shopping new-to-you in the Twin Cities – use this as a tool to take action as a sustainable consumer. We are fortunate to have many, many resale shops here, making our choices for new-to-you clothing easy to find and wide in selection.

Resale shops range from non-profit/charitable organization thrift stores to upscale couture consignment shops. Thrift stores have wonderful finds and are economically the most beneficial, but require more searching and patience.

Consignment/resale shops do the editing for us, selecting high-quality, up-to-date garments that are in good condition before putting them on the sales floor. The price point at consignment stores is typically 1/3 or less of the retail price, creating an affordable way to purchase better-made, longer-lasting garments while keeping those garments in the use stream – rather than the waste stream – at the same time. Most shops also carry accessories and jewelry, handbags, and shoes in good condition.

This list gives a good overview of the wide range of consignment/resale shops in the Twin Cities. If you have a favorite that isn’t on the list, please do include it in the comments below. I’ve organized the guide by primary stock categories, typical price range (remember – 1/3 or less of retail prices, so $ means many items are under $10!), how the resale process works, and whether it’s an independent shop or a franchise.

In upcoming posts, I will feature specific stores to give a closer look at the shops I typically choose for my clients and why. I’ll also discuss where to shop ethically when buying new. If you have a favorite consignment/resale shop or ethical brand you’d like to see featured, comment below!

shopping new-to-you in the Twin Cities: a resource guide

women and men

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)   facebook page

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

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 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

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

Kid’s Carousel (Eagan)   website

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

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

Choose-to-Reuse

fun for the holidays

The Holidays. We know they’re coming.

Halloween is over, chocolate peppermint is replacing pumpkin spice, and decorations are ubiquitous. Poor Thanksgiving is lumped in there, but just barely.

Frankly, it can be overwhelming – so many things to plan and do to celebrate with family and friends over the next six weeks. One of those things is to figure out what to wear at the abundance of family gatherings, holiday parties, and formal events that occur this time of year.

Consignment shops are a great resource for finding new-to-you accessories and statement pieces that can make beautiful, polished holiday outfits without breaking the bank. Adding a sparkly embellishment or festive plaid can transform an outfit. Or finding a gorgeous fancy dress at a fraction of its retail cost makes celebrating all the more fun.

dress-casual gatherings

Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Hanukkah family and friend gatherings often call for comfortable-casual attire, but you want to look polished as well. Neutrals in soft knits are the trend this fall and winter – try an easy white-on-white or blend of neutrals for a put-together look. White denim or winter white dress pants with a fluid knit sweater and scarf are a perfect choice.

ndwc_fun for the holidays_neutrals

 

Or go more traditional with plaid accents like a cozy blanket scarf or flannel shirt peeking out of a fitted crewneck sweater. A plaid statement coat pops with white-on-white, and blue gingham or plaid offers a fresh alternative to red or green.

ndwc_fun for the holidays_casual

soirées

Mix it up a little at those holiday mixers by forgoing the little black dress and opting for a sparkly or shiny skirt in emerald, champagne, or bronze. A knee-length A-line or full cut skirt with a fitted dressy blouse or sweater and ankle-strap heels will stand apart. A vintage or statement coat over a simple solid dress will both keep you warm and let you shine. An embellished sweater paired with a wool pencil skirt and heels is a gorgeous classic look.

ndwc_fun for the holidays_soirees

dress parties

Jacquard, lace, and embroidered fabrics are beautiful monochromatic textures for fancy dress. Again, instead of stand-by black, choose navy, charcoal, white, or a metallic for a contemporary look. The shift, sheath, and fit-and-flare cuts are all lovely on-trend, yet classic styles. Add an ankle-strap or ankle-wrap heeled sandal, a clutch, and a sheer wrap for elegant style.

ndwc_fun for the holidays_fancy dress

accessories

Anything sparkly will instantly make an outfit feel dressier and festive for the holidays. Add a brooch, or even two or three paired together, to a fine-gauge fitted sweater or fasten one to a bobby pin for your hair. Choose a sequined scarf or oversized ring as accent pieces. Jeweled bracelets, earrings, and collar necklaces will dazzle any outfit.

ndwc_fun for the holidays_accessories

 

shopping consignment in Minneapolis and St. Paul

The Twin Cities have countless consignment stores for all of your holiday wardrobe needs. In Minneapolis, Nu Look has many lovely blouses, sweaters, and skirts. Fashion Avenue in Edina has gorgeous formal wear and designer/couture pieces.

St. Paul’s Elite Repeat has beautiful scarves and dresses, as does Second Debut in St. Louis Park, where you can also find a great selection of sparkly jewelry. Clothes Mentor (multiple locations) has lovely dresses as well.

I hope everyone has a relaxing, reflective Thanksgiving next week. And if you’re brave enough to join the crowds the day after, consider participating in Plaid Friday, a national effort to support local and independent shops on the biggest shopping day of the year. “Plaid is the new black!”

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new to you – shopping consignment

style for everyday: new to you – true to you

These are the tenets of nancy dilts wardrobe consulting.

I help my clients create or refresh a personal style that reflects who they are right now. It is essential that they feel authentic, comfortable, and excited about their wardrobes after working with me. And we accomplish this in an economically and environmentally sustainable manner. It’s a win-win!

But what does that look like?

part 1: new to you – shopping consignment

“New to you” can mean embracing a new style or look that reflects your current fabulous self. It also means new to you – or second-hand – clothing.

Second-hand clothing means different things to different people. Many people shop second-hand out of economic necessity. Some feel it is environmentally responsible to buy second-hand. Some love a bargain and the thrill of the hunt and will happily dig at thrift stores for that one great find. Others are horrified and overwhelmed at the thought of it, imagining piles and piles of dirty, worn out, and out-of-date clothing.

Like retail stores, second-hand stores run the gamut in quality, cleanliness, and atmosphere. With my clients, I shop specifically in consignment stores. Consignment stores are competing with retail stores, so they are organized and tidy (if they aren’t, I won’t shop there). They accept only clean, high quality, gently used, up-to-date clothing and resell it for 1/3 or less the retail value. The consignors then receive 40-50% of the sale, depending on the store.

walking the talk

I shop almost exclusively consignment myself. My husband and I have a joke about how exquisite my taste is – whenever we are in a store, especially when we travel, I am immediately drawn to the most expensive items being offered. Like a moth to a flame. I don’t even have to look at the price tags to know when I’ve done this because I can tell by the quality of whatever item has caught my eye. Then I brace myself for the price and know I won’t be taking that particular item home.

In the world of consignment, however, I CAN take it home! I have found $400 European designer silk dresses for $28! I have found $250 men’s dress shirts for $40. And those $200 designer jeans that fit my body type and style just perfectly? Again, $40.

The economic advantages of shopping new to you are jaw dropping. And these items are often better made than inexpensive new clothing, so they last longer as well!

environmentally AND economically sustainable

One of my clients and I tallied up her purchases after a personal shopping session at a consignment store, and I looked up the retail prices for each item (for a few, a comparable item of the same brand). She spent $300 on 28 items, including clothing, belts, boots, and shoes. The retail cost for the same items was $1,900! Even with my consulting fees, she still saved hundreds of dollars on a new wardrobe and had style guidelines and support from me to boot (pun intended).

personal shopping results

Personal Shopping with Nancy 28 items: $300 at consignment store prices, $1,900 retail!

The other significant benefit of new to you shopping is the reduction of impact on the environment compared to retail shopping. My first career was 15+ years in environmental education and community outreach. I feel strongly that our personal behaviors, however small, directly impact the overall fate of our environment.

The “cradle to grave” concept of environmental impact explores the idea of how an item affects the environment – beginning with its creation, its transport and use throughout its lifespan, and then in the waste stream. New to you clothing not only reduces the amount of waste we generate by keeping good quality, reusable items out of the waste stream, but also lessens the energy and resources used to create and distribute new clothing.

“The environmental footprint of clothing and textiles is substantial. Americans throw away a whopping 68 pounds of clothes on average each year, and we only buy 10 pounds of recycled clothes annually. But on the brighter side of things, reclaiming clothing and textiles for reuse and recycling saves a staggering amount of energy and natural resources.
Remanufacturing or reusing textiles can save up to 85 percent of the energy required to produce the same product from virgin materials, according to a study conducted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.”
Source: The Huffington Post: How Reducing and Reusing Saves Money

recycle-clothes

New to you shopping allows you to have beautiful clothing both without spending beyond your means and with the knowledge that you are doing your part to reduce your environmental footprint. You can shop guilt-free! AND find clothing that helps you feel great!

See? A win-win.

 

Coming soon: Part 2: true to you – working with nancy