The Thrill of The Hunt: Designer Consignment

Photography by Kirsten Beeksma Morse

For the past five years I have been working for a friend's designer consignment business in addition to writing fashion for Vanguard Seattle and my own blog here. And I love it all. Writing about fashion and style on a weekly basis has been a true education in not only becoming a better writer, but in teaching me so much about the history of fashion, local designers, and so much more. I love it.

I started out as a customer of MB Finds Designer Consignment trunk shows and eventually it turned into a part time job. While sharing a passion for truly beautiful clothing, Mary Bridget Pehl and I also are good friends. She has a long history in the world of designer clothing, including working at Nordstrom, and her depth of knowledge is really impressive. She knows collections by years, designers and their particular dynamics and details of fit and styles. She is amazing.

The best part for me has been the exposure to brands and designers that I would not normally be able to own, or that I have not had a chance to learn about. Getting a customer's consignment pieces feels a little like Christmas when it arrives. Designer consignment has changed my closet and the knowledge I have gained has spilled over into my writing as I learn more and more about the beauty and artistry of so many amazing brands. I have said before that designer consignment is the secret not-so-secret of the well dressed woman, and those that don't shop it or understand it's value truly baffle me. Adding a coveted designer piece (at a lovely discounted price) gives your closet new life, and who doesn't love that?

The most important thing about bringing new pieces into your own closet is knowing your closet well. You don't know what you need if you aren't sure what you have. It is very easy to keep buying new versions of the same thing when you don't even know what is in there, so I encourage you to grab an honest friend and a bottle of wine and get cleaning. After you have your closet cleaned out, organize things by color. Trust me, this is crucial. You many have your own designer pieces that for whatever reason must find a new home. If not everything is worthy of a higher end consignment shop, check out Buffalo Exchange before you donate your items. It is a great place to pass on items and get cash (or credit) on the spot. Then you will be in possession of "free money" you can use to update your closet with a new item or two. Winning!

I bought this gorgeous Isabel Marant Etoile sweater coat from MB's Finds this fall because it is the perfect addition to my fall closet. It can be a sweater or a jacket over lighter layers, in this case a lighter sweater and my favorite Hermès scarf. The green gray tones work really well with denim and it is super soft and cozy. Chunky knits are always big each fall so this is a piece that will never go out of style. I knew after cleaning out my closet recently that my sweaters needed a refresh, so getting rid of a few I no longer wore made room for this beautiful one.

Back to my closet. I am such a big fan of the cropped flare denim that is huge right now for so many reasons. It is practically all I wear right now. This pair of rag & bone Cropped Flare in the color Paz is one of my favorites and I love them with cool booties that are the of-the-moment shoe to have. I also love all the fringing on denim. I attended the opening fall trunk show at Sell Your Sole Consignment in the Belltown neighborhood last month and found a pair of 3x1 Fringe Jeans in the Stella wash with the tags on in my size! The thrill of the hunt.....

While hosting a shopping event at Joie in University Village last week, I bought this gorgeous pair of green suede Joie Cloee Booties. They are such a cool color that will go so well with all the my fall and winter neutrals, and the deep green is way more fun than basic black or brown. And did I mention they look fabulous with my latest consignment find? ;)

This is a quintessential weekday look for me, and I am really happy to add this gorgeous knit to my closet at a fraction of it's original price tag. Incidentally, I found this Alexander Wang Rocco bag at a consignment shop while on vacation in Arizona a couple of years ago. It pays to look around wherever you go. I will definitely be on the look out next month while in NYC! 

Get your closet ready for fall with a closet refresh and check out MB Finds Facebook page for information on her trunk show coming this week! Happy hunting!