Shopping Trip: Chloe vs. Cole

Inspired in part by my love of thrifting and this article on shopping 2nd hand first, I’ve decided to chronicle my thrifting, consigning and boutique-ing adventures as I search to curate my wardrobe one affordable piece at a time while helping you navigate the world of 2nd hand shopping.  There is nothing quite like the thrill of the hunt, so keep reading for today’s adventures!

My first stop was a long awaited trip to Finnicky Fox, a name brand consignment store that sells items from brands such as J. Crew, Toms, Vera Bradley, Kate Spade and the like.  Think of it as a smaller version of Nordstrom’s with some high street thrown in the mix.  The owner Tracey Scales is an incredibly sweet woman who started the store by buying items from friends and storing them in her garage until she had enough items to open.  She has only been open a year and yet her business has grown rapidly due in equal parts to word of mouth, economic shift, and Tracey’s belief that her customers are her friends.  On this trip I picked up several pairs of jeans (Paige, J. Crew) along with a Micheal Kors top, Tahari and Kenneth Cole jackets and an unknown brand sweater with to die for military details (I forget the brand now – this was prior to me deciding I wanted to document).  I ended up narrowing down my purchases to the KC jacket, which I actually passed by on my first round through the store due to the $58 dollar price tag, and sweater.  Immediately picture texts were sent to my best friend and we made the purchase decision on a very calculated equation:  Fab or Not Fab?  I settled on the Kenneth Cole jacket because it met Fab criteria: incredibly well fitting, slim down the torso and a good length.  The only minor issue is the arm length which actually extends down over my finger tips, but it’s nothing a little tuck can’t fix before I can get to a sewing machine.  While the sweater is very cute (and here I must emphasize the very) and even now I am dreaming about the military detailing, there was weird bunching at the arms and the epaulets (tags on shoulder) seemed to dwarf my frame.  I eventually used my own shopping rule on this purchase: over what item would I be upset if someone else bought?  The Kenneth Cole (I know, so very calculating of me). To sweeten the deal and prove I made the right decision, the KC jacket rung up an extra 25% off at the register, although I suppose I am really just a bad judge of color between the orange and yellow discount cards, but regardless of potential color blindness, I successfully paid just under $45 for a wool, well fitted, designer jacket.

Since I was in the area, it seemed a shame to pass up a stop at Baggio Consignment, a high end designer consignment store with brands such as Prada, Hermes, Jason Wu and others.  You can read a store review I did here and extra photos and info here.   After greeting owner Norma (decked out in amazing round tortoise shell glasses), I pulled three fun, casual looking items to try on.  First up was this lime green cardigan.  It looked a little odd on the racks, but I figured with neon and lots of fabric it just might be on the right side of odd.  I also grabbed this item because of the red dot – 70% off the marked price (already marked down 1/3 off retail) which would have made it about $60.  More than I would have typically spent, but worth a try on in the dressing room.  Once it was on, it was easy to see that this was a no-go – too much fabric and an unflattering shape on me.  Returned to the racks.

Next up was this button down top that I debated over for a solid 2 minutes while standing in front of the racks.  I loved the color, the fabric detail on the sides, but was slightly put off by the bell shaped sleeves.  It came with me to the dressing room anyway because of the yellow tag = 30% off marked price.  If you can’t tell by the slightly disturbed look on my face, this was a no go.  The top seemed to fit fine, it just wasn’t my style.  Returned to the racks.

As soon as I laid eyes on this striped See by Chloe top I was ecstatic – something about casual chic just gets me.  The stripes had a great color combination and the weight of the fabric was pretty hefty without being hot.  Again, I was pulled in in part because of the price and green sticker = 50% off.  I would have definitely paid $35 for a See by Chloe top.  Upon trying it on however, it was just a tad too lose and a little bit too short.  So sad because I really loved the top, but I am trying to not only stick to my rules (Fab, Disappointed if Someone Else Buys), but I am also focusing on finding fashion that fits.  I have spent a lot of time recently reading blogs on petite clothing and right sizing and I am convinced that even a less expensive item can be made to look expensive with the right fit.  Ultimately, See by Chloe was returned to the racks.

So those are my consignment adventures of the week!  I will be sharing more dressing room glimpses as I embark on a year of consignment, thrift and value shopping along with store reviews, tips, reviews, and how to get that carefully curated closet at a fraction of the price.  I hope you’ll follow me on the journey and share with me your own tips and tricks!

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