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Affordable Fashion: Best Clothing Resale Shops in Austin, Texas
Five years ago as I crossed the line from my 30's to my 40's I had a clothing crisis. Stumbling from store to store I could not find anything to buy; colors all wrong, styles too young, shoddily made clothes selling at ridiculously high prices. I've always know that the markup for expensive clothes can be 100%, but it seems that ready-to-wear price and quality had become inversely proportional and not much has changed since.
My solution to the lack of options and exorbitant cost of women's clothing - resale shops. Years later I'm still mourning the demise (due to fire) of my favorite resale shop, Fashion Exchange - owned by the fabulous Ati. I had it made when she was still in business - I always had credit from clothes I had consigned there so I could shop until I dropped without having to part with my cash. Luckily, Austin Texas has women's clothing resale shops in abundance.
To be a savvy shopper:
Visit several shops until you find your favorites. Visit each more than once because with the high turnover, the same store could seem like a completely different place the second time you visit.
Remember, you are buying at a huge discount. If a piece does not fit quite right, but is otherwise perfect for you, buy it and splurge on alterations - you'll likely still come out ahead money wise.
Resale sales are super sales - already discounted clothes at even deeper discounts - always check the sale racks.
Remember that you can make money too. You can place your items on consignment and receive about half of what they sell for. If you are selling, make sure your clothes are cleaned, pressed, smoke-free, and current styles. Call first as most places accept seasonal clothing by appointment only.
Here is the list. You'll notice that several shops are on Burnet Road, which makes that "visit several shops" plan totally doable. If you go to all of these stores in the order listed, you'll follow a logical progression that moves steadily north. I've even got a lunch suggestion for you so please keep reading.
Second Time Around
This boutique is light, well-organized, and now carries vintage clothing too.
Clothing and accesories for women, men, and children can be had at this donation only shop where they only put out the best items for sale. You can get your frequent shopper punch card and get $10 off once the card is filled. The shop is small, but the items are eclectic.
This shop of St. David's Episcopal Church has some great clothing finds as well as furniture, decorator items, books, and more. I've frequently consigned with them and typically don't make it out of the store without "reinvesting" my earnings.
The Junior League of Austin Resale Shop
Like most donation only shops (no consignment), the quality here varies, but it's worth a look since they have an extensive collection and an expanded men's section.
Restyle is one of Austin's newest stores (opened Summer 2008) and does a superb job of keeping up with the latest fashion styles and trends.
Your Secret Closet
If you like the clothes at Chico's then you'll love Your Secret Closet, where you can get them along with other upscale clothing at deep discounts. This is your last stop on Burnet Road, so head next door to Par's Mediterranean Deli and have a gyro before you drive to the last two shops.
I first knew this place as Nouveau Options. They have an amazing selection of bridal and formalwear as well as a couple of sales rooms in the back where treasures can be found. They sell new clothes from other designer boutiques (at deep discounts) as well as people like you and me who consign their clothes. You will find true couture here.
Just Between Us
This shop is pretty much an Austin institution. It's been around since 1983 and occupies 3,200 square feet in Northwest Austin. You can bring your whole family with you since they sell not only women's clothing, but young men's, juniors, and children's too. The clothing racks are well organized, but packed so you may have to dig a bit to find your treasures.
That's it for the guided tour of Austin's best resale shops. For the bonus round you can try Goodwill. Goodwill? Yep! I found a brand new Ralph Lauren jacket, a Louis Vuitton suitcase, and a pair of Manolo Blahniks. Sadly, I only cared about the jacket, but my point is there are deals to be had because a lot of folks donate rather than take the time to consign. Goodwill is also the best place for Halloween costumes - they rearrange their stores every October and really go all out.
Goodwill of Central Texas
Goodwill has various locations, but I have the best luck at
Happy shopping and remember - it's the thrill of the hunt that makes it all worthwhile!
Article published by Shannon Marlow du Plessis.
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CategoriesFashion, style, clothes, shopping
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