Summer to Fall Transitional Look: Johnny Was Blouse: Consignment, Winston-Salem, NC. Cropped and frayed Jeans: Boutique Sale, Winston-Salem, NC. Vintage Cuff Bracelet and Anthropologie Sandals

If you are over the age of 18, you are well-schooled in the wisdom of understanding that falling in love and making the decision to be in a relationship are two very different things. The same applies to shopping, in general, and consignment shopping in particular because things have “more of a past,” shall we say? Remember that I am a die-hard consignment shopper; for me, it’s a committed relationship. But as with most relationships, I’ve had a lot to learn.

  1. Separate the dazzle from the substance. It’s hard, right? Looking that good, how can you say no? We all know that what’s dazzling on the outside may be an unravelling mess on the inside. Take a close look at that eye candy before you jump in. Is it “quality” based on your personal standards? Is it in good condition on the inside as well as on the outside?
  2. Invest only as much as the relationship “is worth.” This is always a tough one. In the end, if that new love is going home arm-in-arm with you, you need to feel that it’s worth the investment. I have had a few flings, loves I knew would only last a season or two, but I invested with that forethought. On the other hand, if this one looks like a real keeper based on its uniqueness, its quality, and preferably both, it makes sense to make a bigger investment. 
  3. Accept the things you cannot change…or move on. If you’ve ever fallen into the trap of thinking that once you get your hands on your new love, you’ll whip them into shape, you know just how foolhardy that thinking is. It doesn’t work that way, not often at least. That said, if your love has substance and is worth the investment, a good tailor or seamstress may be able to make those few adjustments that will make your “relationship” work.
  4. Ask “Does this work for me?”  Check in with yourself. Just because something is pretty, has substance, and seems to be worth the price doesn’t mean that you should take it home with you. In another post I’ll talk about the “Super 5,” the criteria I use to create and sustain a great wardrobe. For now, think in terms of the look you want to express, what you already own, and any wardrobe gaps you need to fill. The important thing is to pause before you commit.
  5. Be willing to take a few risks. Alas…because things are rarely black and white in life, love, and relationships, I encourage you to also do the opposite. There are times when my gut knows things that haven’t yet made their way to my brain. That is likely true of you, as well. So if your heart, informed by your gut, screams “Yes,” trust it. Give it a moment and heed its call. Sometimes, that “risk” turns out to be just the right thing that moves you forward.
Fall change-up with Nanette Lepore fitted jacket: Consignment, Westport, CT. Black Suede Kate Spade Booties: Online ebay.

3 thoughts on “Five Keys to a Successful “Consignment Relationship”

  1. I love this comparison of consignment shopping and love relationships! You offer such wonderful words of wisdom for both and I will never walk into a consignment shop now without my heart skipping a beat with all the possibilities before me.


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