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.

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!”

 

 

3 myths about wardrobe consulting

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Saint Paul Magazine recently published a feature article about nancy dilts wardrobe consulting (fabulous article – super exciting!!), and for the last few weeks I’ve been getting the question, “Have you had tons of phone calls since the article?” The honest answer? No.

It makes me a little queasy to say that here. But it’s true, and frankly, I didn’t expect to get a huge increase in calls right after the article. Not because the article isn’t amazing or I don’t think my work is important or worthy – I KNOW it is.

Being in this business for several years, I also know that my clients don’t engage in my services impulsively. And that’s ok. In fact, for my work with clients to have the most impact, they need to be ready – ready to embrace feeling good and open to stepping outside of their comfort zones to accomplish that.

Some things that hold people back, though, are just plain myths.

myth 1: it’s too expensive

My tagline is “style for everyday: new to you – true to you.” New-to-you refers to my focus on practicing sustainable consumerism.

A lot of my clients have never shopped consignment before working with me. They are floored when they realize the quality of clothing they can get at 1/3 or less than retail prices. Even when you factor my fees into the overall investment, you are still spending less than you would on fewer items of retail clothing, and without the guidance, support, efficiency, and success you gain when working with me.

Here are some numbers to make it real: during a 3-hour personal shopping session at a consignment store with a client, we found 28 high quality top brand/designer items to rebuild her wardrobe – including two pairs of boots, two pairs of shoes, and a belt – for $300. I looked up the retail prices of each item, which totaled at a whopping $1,900.

The client had selected my True To You Style service package, which includes a 3-hour Wardrobe Consult in your closet, personal Style Guidelines and a digital “lookbook,” and a 3-hour personal shopping session for $525.

By working with me, she invested $825 overall, less than half the retail cost of the clothing alone.

myth 2: i can do it myself

Sure, you can do it yourself. But this I know: it will take longer, it will be harder, and you won’t have the same results.

When I tell clients we will get through their (typically-sized) wardrobe in three hours, they are amazed. I know from personal experience that going through your own wardrobe by yourself takes at least twice that long. The emotional energy required and sheer number of decisions to be made make it much more difficult to do solo. I also help clients create new outfits with the clothes they already own, adding energy and increased function to their wardrobes.

Clients are also completely certain that we will never spend a full three hours at one store when personal shopping or find more than 2 or 3 items. Most of the time, clients find as many as 20-30 items in a 3-hour personal shopping session, unless they choose to purchase fewer. And those are items that fit well, reflect their personal style, go with other items being purchased or items at home, and – best of all – make them feel excited about how they look.

myth 3: i’m not worth it

Women often put themselves last. We are inculturated to feel like it is frivolous to spend money or time on ourselves. We feel our needs are not worth as much as others’ needs. Some of us simply don’t have very much time to spend on ourselves because of the demands of work and life. I often hear women say they won’t address their wardrobes until they have accomplished some other thing, like weight loss or getting in shape.

Here’s the kicker: being intentional about how you dress – right now, as is – helps you to accomplish your other goals. Scientific studies show that when you feel confident in how you are dressed, it has a positive psychological impact, allowing you to have greater success overall. We are all worth taking care of ourselves, no matter where we are in our journeys.

the myth-busting truth

I’m a busy girl on a budget too, so I know about making choices with my time and my dollars. I also know that taking care of yourself, including how you are dressed, is an essential part of your overall wellbeing.

When you work with me, this is what you gain:
  • Assistance in identifying your current personal style and embracing it
  • Objective and supportive guidance in making your existing wardrobe more functional through purging things that don’t work, reimagining ways to wear the items that do, and identifying gaps to be filled and items to be replaced
  • Effective and efficient shopping support for rebuilding your wardrobe to meet your current needs in an affordable way
  • A closet full of clothing that WORKS for your body and personal style, instead of an overwhelming clutter of items that cause frustration
  • A better understanding of how to put clothing together to make intentional, polished outfits that reflect your personal style and suit you
  • Positive, honest advice and feedback and open communication (And even some laughter!)
  • Countless hours of precious time and energy saved
  • Renewed confidence and joy in your appearance and feeling your best

Working with me is about so much more than the financial investment or feeling like you shouldn’t. It’s about taking care of your outer self, which is really about taking care of your inner self too. It’s about having someone who can help make daily dressing SO. MUCH. EASIER. Which allows you to live your life feeling good about how you look, right now, today.

Today is a perfect day to start the process of feeling great about how you look.

I always ask new clients how they learned about my services. I won’t be surprised at all if for the next year, and beyond, I hear, “I saw you in Saint Paul Magazine, and I’m finally contacting you!”

What’s stopping you from connecting with me today? Because really, today is a perfect day to start the process of feeling great about how you look.

 

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