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!

 

 

last-minute sustainable gift ideas

holiday-gift-boxes.jpg

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

ndwc_homemade gift_baking

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

ndwc_nu look_cashmere

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

ndwc_fashion avenue_jewelry

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

ndwc_elite repeat_gift card

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!

consign, donate, or RECYCLE?

 

eureka-recycling_clothes-and-linens

What to do with clothing that is outdated, worn out, or no longer fits can be daunting. As a result, textiles are a significant contributor to solid waste issues around the world.

Sally at Already Pretty invited me to discuss the ins and outs of determining the best methods of disposal for unwanted clothing. Check out my guest post to learn more!

Image: Eureka Recycling

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

les modes de lyon

My husband’s work brought our family to Lyon, France, for a month. THANK YOU, dear husband! We’ve been soaking it all in – exquisite food, wine, architecture, and culture. And I have been admiring French fashions (les modes), which are, not surprisingly, quite different from the United States’, and particularly Minnesota’s.

I have a confession to make: until a few days ago, it’s been in the 50s and 60s here. Then it got “cold” – it dropped to the 40s. I do not miss the polar vortex in Minnesota. Not. One. Bit.

lyon - place bellecour

Place Bellecour

We’ve been doing a lot of walking and, along the way, window shopping. The shop fronts are beautiful. Presentation is clearly a value – in dress, food, and home. What stands out to me most is that care is taken for many things rather than focus on convenience, and quality is prioritized over quantity. Pairings are given thoughtful consideration – how wine is paired with cheese, how pastries and glorious desserts are arranged, how colors and textures for the home are combined.

With clothing, how things are paired is simple, yet elegant: clean lines; black, embellished with a pop of color; soft, fluid knits in grays, caramels, and winter whites combined; rich fabrics and attention to detail.

Seemingly every shop front is a work of art – some quite literally. Everywhere you turn, something lovely appears!

On a side note, I did try my hand at consignment clothing in Lyon – called dépot-vente vêtements – and found quite a few shops. I also discovered their approach is different from consignment shops in the Twin Cities – these tiny boutiques primarily sell a small selection of very high-end designer items. Coincidentally, the shop I found with the most selection was one block from our apartment!

Lyon has been inspiring – I look forward to looking at my wardrobe – and my clients’ – with a fresh eye for elegant simplicity and thoughtful pairings.

À bientôt, mes amis! 

 

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