We love our little shop for its Aladdin’s cave of designer goodies, but we also appreciate a good re-sale shop-hopping adventure! This means we actually take time to search out and hunt down pre-owned designer clothes shops when we visit new places.
Before we took over at number 10 Kingsmead Square my mum, Sharon, would hunt for bargains there regularly – spending Saturday afternoons trawling through the rails looking for that one thing she couldn’t live without. I seem to have inherited this trait and whilst i’ve been known to throw a tantrum after spending 20 minutes in one shop, this does not apply to resale boutiques. Unlike chain stores, secondhand shops are completely unique – there is (usually) only one of everything and you can discover pieces that you ordinarily might never get to…do you know how tricky it is to visit an Hermès store as a customer when you and they know you’re probably not going to buy anything?! In secondhand shops you can see, touch and try on any Hermès items they have with no pressure and without feeling self conscious.
If you can spare half an hour to really look, try things on, pair pieces with what you’re wearing and explore new styles – you’ll experience the excitement of secondhand shopping.
Mum and I were lucky enough to visit New York for 4 days in January this year. Amongst the usual must-see places was one boutique we just had to visit: Michael’s. Found on Madison Avenue, away from the hustle and bustle of central Manhattan is a fashionista’s dream den! Much like Grace & Ted, it is packed to the rafters but surprisingly easy to navigate. The industry’s best are stocked here – Chanel, Hermès, Gucci and Prada organised by either designer or style. We spent a good hour squeezed amongst the racks with other savvy shoppers and I was ecstatic to find a brand new Alexander McQueen skull scarf for less than half price! The staff are constantly busy taking new stock and tidying the rails but were really friendly, knowledgeable and happy to offer style advice. If you love hunting out your favourite designer pieces really recommend this place you won’t regret it!
Last month I road tripped with our friends at Bath’s speciality coffee shop Colonna & Smalls to Seattle. The purpose of the trip was to watch owner Maxwell compete in the World Barista Championships but of course, downtime needed to include exploring the shops and before I knew it i’d stumbled upon Sell Your Sole. Tucked off the high street behind another store, is a bright and airy loft space filled with top end classic and contemporary designer labels. Chanel jewellery glistened alongside Alexander Wang bags and Rag & Bone boots. The owner, Natalia only takes items in immaculate condition and the passion and excitement she has for Sell Your Sole radiates.
The enthusiasm Natalia has for ‘consignment’ (as our friends across the pond call it) shopping is contagious. We talked all things shop and which designer pieces we are longing to walk through the door of our boutiques (an Hermès Birkin scored pretty highly!)
Different to Michael’s in appearance but still maintaining the high standard of stock and service, it was a pleasure to explore Sell Your Sole. The shop has won numerous awards in Seattle and you can see why the minute you step through the door. www.sellyoursoleconsignment.com
In a not so distant land and this side of the Atlantic you’ll find a tonne of great resale shops. London is home to some of the county’s best – one of our favourites is Pandora in Knightsbridge. Tucked away on a back street surrounded by big names like Harrods, Louis Vuitton and Burberry you’ll find the holy grail of discounted designer clothes.
Here you’ll find everything – rails filled with Chanel suits stand alongside Chinti & Parker cashmere and Equipment shirts. What’s incredible though is their selection of Hermès bags. Any colour, skin and budget. If, like us, you don’t quite have the room on your credit card for a £50,000 Birkin, it’s worth a visit to Pandora Dress Agency just to see one in all its stunning glory.
Prices remain fairly high but the selection is massive and they regularly reduce their stock so there are some major bargains to be had. Mum picked up an awesome Dolce & Gabbana skirt worth £300 for £45!
Next time you visit a new city, why not do a little research to see if you can take part in some re-sale shop-hopping too? You may not find something but you’ll have a great time hunting and when you do stumble upon that designer piece you’ve always wanted, it’ll feel like you’ve struck gold!
Also, don’t forget that little shop on the corner in Kingsmead Square next time you’re bargain hunting in Bath…