A Beginner’s Guide to Consignment Shopping in Chelsea

Spend enough time at sales with clothing too cheap not to buy and you’ll end up with a few pieces that are too cheap to wear. Let Mom give you a few designer duds that don’t fit her right and you’ll end up with a closet full of stuff that won’t fit anyone right. The solution: Consignment. Luckily, New York is filled with shops dedicated to making sure your gently-used clothing ends up in the right hands, giving you a couple of bucks and a chance to fix your mistakes in the process. Remember, always bring a state-issued photo I.D., and always clean your garments before trying to sell them–there’s nothing worse than getting turned away from a store because they’re just not nice enough.

Beacon’s Closet (10 W. 13th St.)

At Beacon’s Closet (main image), clothing is sorted by color, so you’ll need time, patience, and a full stomach to make the journey through the racks. But it’s worth eating a hearty breakfast to find lacey Madewell shorts for $20 or a frilly Betsey Johnson dress for $40. They also cater to vintage lovers, with denim jackets, floral ’90s prom dresses, and pleated schoolgirl skirts.

What to bring in: Mainstream fashions no more than two years old, and vintage classics.

Appointment: Not necessary, but the earlier the better because lines can run out the door.

What you get back: 35% of the resale price in cash, or 55% in store credit.

Consignment 2

Second Time Around (94 Seventh Ave.)

When you walk in and see an entire rack dedicated to Diane von Furstenberg’s latest styles, you know you’re in Second Time Around, where "resale goes upscale" is more than just a tagline, it’s a way of life. Targeting a younger clientele (think 5F), along with fans of Prada and Louis Vuitton bags (the rest of Bergdorf Goodman), Second Time Around carries contemporary brands and high-end fashions. Desperately need a cocktail dress but want to avoid eye-widening prices in the how-could-they-charge-so-much-for-so-little fabric way? That LBD you’ve been rocking forever just won’t cut it anymore? Second Time Around is the place to go. Although let’s face it, if you’re a consignment shopper in the first place, you’re most likely not going to have just one little black cocktail dress.

What to bring in: Dry-cleaned or laundered, new or like-new condition of a current style, seasonally appropriate, with a three-item minimum.

Appointment: Required.

What you get back: 40% of the item’s resale price, payable by check. 

Consignment 3

Ina (207 W. 18th St.)

Ina features both classic–Chanel tweed jackets, Christian Louboutin pumps, Hermes scarfs–and contemporary–white eyelet Chloe dress, Dolce & Gabbana lace camis, t-shirts printed with Holly Golightly and her infamous cigarette holder.

What to bring in: See Ina’s list of designers and you’ll get an idea of what to bring in: the highest-end of the fashion spectrum. And of course make sure its cleaned properly and of the current season (unless it’s a classic).

Appointment: Necessary.

What you get back: The price that each consigner will receive is set during the initial appointment.

[More by Anabel Simotas]

Six New York Style Tips to Help Beat the Heat

As New York enters its third week of boiler room temperatures (at least the heat is consistent, right?), the challenge for stylish ladies is no longer what to wear, but how to hide sweat and maximize your chances of feeling a cool morning breeze. That’s a tall order when the mercury hits triple digits, so fight dirty and break a few rules and you’ll soon have people asking what your secret is (don’t tell them).

Here are a few tips to keep cool and carry on: 

Tip #1: Wear a slip as a dress. After all, light, breezy nightwear feels so good in the daylight. Don’t want creepy guys asking you "How much?" when you strut by? Go for a loose slip, all the better to take advantage of the cool breeze off the river. And avoid the side streets by the Port Authority. Slip into Tibi’s gorgeous kaleidoscope dress for the perfect combination of (late) night and (cool) day. 

Tip #2: Rock some loose pants. It’s that rare win-win scenario. You’ll be making a fashion statement and feeling ultra comfy at the same time. Wear them at home, at the office, at the beach, at the emergency cooling shelter, wherever. If you wind up looking like Princess Jasmine of Aladdin, all the better. She did okay. Brave enough to try a print? We like Jessica Alba’s printed pants by the L.A. designer T-Bags. 

HEAT Shoes

Tip #3: Lose the socks. Go with shoes that don’t need them, like ballet flats, sandals, wedges, open-toed heels, and espadrilles. Hitting the gym? Little ankle socks are okay with sneakers, but slip them off the moment you’re off the elliptical. Your toes will thank you. 

HEAT Lace Shorts

Tip #4: Slip on some lace shorts. A pair of high-waisted shorts by Chloé or Diane von Furstenberg are as appropriate for the runway as they are for the coffee-cart line. Your dresses, skirts, pants, and jeans can hang out in your closet until September.

HEAT Top Hat Cat

Tip #5: Put on a hat. What kind hardly matters if you pair it with the right attitude. Baseball, fedora, cloche, newsboy, cowboy, sombrero. Whatever it is, it’s an essential tool to keep your precious face shaded. Add some pricey sunglasses and a pout and people might ask you for an autograph.

HEAT White Guy

Tip #6: Wear white. If you learned nothing else in your high school science class, you know that white reflects heat, while darker colors absorb it. That’s because on the electromagnetic spectrum, heat radiation is concentrated in blah blah blah you’re gong to skip this tip because you’re a New Yorker and we don’t wear white here except ironically which we’ll leave to the Bushwick set. Let’s move on.

HEAT Black

Real tip #6: Wear black, but keep it loose. Loose, black ensembles do exist, and they’ll catch a breeze just as well as some stark-white number. They’re also a hell of a lot easier to keep clean and stain-free. And when the first wisps of fall alight in September, you’ll be ready. 

[More by Anabel Simotas]

Blast from the Past: The Denim Cut-Off Short Is Back

Has anyone else noticed the explosion of denim cut-off shorts this summer? One might associate cut-offs with their dark period, a time when layering denim over colorful spandex, paired with a colorful (or busy floral) crop top was a fashionable choice a la Beverly Hills 90210. In the ’90s, denim cut-offs were also sported in a grungier way: Angela Chase of My So-Called Life rocked distressed cut-offs with an oversized flannel and combat boots for a casual, nonchalant look.

Now, nearly two decades later, denim shorts are back in a big, chic way. Style Icon Alexa Chung, fashion blogger Leandra Medine, and almost every fast pacing, high-heel wearing, catwalk-strutting fashionista has been seen (and photographed) sporting denim cut-offs. Are you daring enough to try, or re-try, the trend?

They’re not hard to find. Vintage cut-offs are available at most thrift or vintage stores, as well as city standby Urban Outfitters, while designer versions can be found at Rag and Bone, and Bergdorf Goodman (5F anyone?) or Barneys. Or for the DIY gal, grab a pair of jeans and scissors and get cutting. 

Image via the man repeller

[More by Anabel Simotas]

Seven Essential Pieces for Fall 2013

Fall will be here before you know it. Is your wardrobe ready? From the classic American pastoral look to the edgy, futuristic grunge pieces seen in almost every major Fall 2013 line, this season has an eclectic look of America’s past and future. If you’re tired of the busy patterns and florals that seized the runway in seasons past, fear no more. The all-American look features plain chunky knit sweaters, tweed skirts, tall (maybe even over the knee) boots, fur accents, and houndstooth everything. Come nighttime, take off your Audrey Hepburn inspired trench or Jackie O skirt suit and slip into a mini leather dress and thigh highs, or opt for a mod tux look as seen from Oscar de la Renta to Diesel.

While it’s hard to think about outerwear in heat like this, the upcoming fall season features a number of statement-making coats. Whether it be the fabric, color, or length, the more eccentric the better. To accompany an eye-catching jacket, try a beanie. Or if you’re nervous about catching too many people’s eye, a simple jacket paired with a funky hat has been encouraged on the runway for this fall.

With the previous trends in mind, here are seven essential pieces for this fall:

Fashion 1

A Chunky Fisherman Sweater

While the runway doesn’t always suit everyday life, the chunky knits seen this fall have actual practical appeal. Pair your sweater with jeans or a tweed skirt for the ‘American girl’ look seen on the Theyskens’ Theory runway.

[Available at Ralph Lauren, Etoile Isabel Marant, Buffalo Exchange, Brooklyn Flea]

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Over the Knee Boot

Nervous about channeling a Pretty Woman-era Julia Roberts with your new over-the-knee boots? Don’t worry. If you’ll remember (or Google), she ended up scoring a rich attractive sweetheart, so there’s hope for you too.

[Brian Atwood, Stuart Weitzman, available at Bergdorf Goodman.]

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Don’t shy away from mixing houndstooth with colors, it’s so simple it’s basically a neutral color itself.

[available at J. Crew, H&M, Barneys, Rag and Bone

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Channel your inner Agnes Deyn with the ‘Le Smoking’ look this fall. Opt for the classic Yves Saint Laurent look (sans shirt), or style your tux yourself. Bowtie or cummerbund anyone?

[available at Sandro, Yves Saint Laurent, Barneys]  

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Leather can be anything you want it to be– feminine, grungy, sporty, etc … Grease up for the night with a leather jacket, sport a mini dress a la Jane Birkin, or even invest in a colorful leather trench and kill two essential items with one fabulous stone.

[available at Allsaints, Diesel, Zadig & Voltaire]

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Statement Outerwear

If you’re interested grabbing attention on the street, bold furs, oversized parkas, and cool leathers will definitely do the job.

[available at Rag and Bone, Etoile Isabel Marant, Sandro, Maje]

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Knit Beanie/Funky hat

Don’t underestimate the power of a funky hat to glam up an outfit. Have you ever heard of anyone trash talking Santa’s hat, or Dr. Suess’ striped top hat?

[available at Kate Spade, Albertus Swanepoel and Eugenia Kim at Barneys]

Photo via