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Taking a Second Look at Second-Hand

You're budget may be tight, but your look can still get the latest by checking out a few of these second-hand stores, like Bryn Mawr Thrift Shop.

Just as we wrap up summer, designers have already begun to unveil the latest trends for fall. Patch took a sneak peak at what big trends are on the horizon and how DelCo can get those looks for less than runway prices.

Big patterns are in big time. Designers are not being subtle with plaids, polka dots, and other bold patterns. They are also using very boxy and geometric shapes to outline dresses and skirts. High-end fashion is also seeing a return of the mod look, so prepare yourself for A-line skirts and skinny belts. One of the last big trends noticed was the a lot of goth or punk elements like studded shirts, black corsets and few things that maybe only Lady Gaga could pull off in public.

On the accessory front, shoes are hot and dangerous: big heels, lots of wide straps, and a rainbow of colors. As for jewelry, thick cuff-style bracelets are the 'it' thing for designer Michael Korr's new fall line-up.

The fall styles are looking to be pretty fun, more is more, but does it have to cost more?

Nope.

One great way to find the latest looks for less are second-hand or consignment shops. These store charges on the average half of what department stores charge for the same outfit. They feature gently used or new clothing, that's right new.

Consignment shopping is not just about finding cheap clothes that are a little out of date; it's becoming a great way to find the current styles and keep cash in your pocket. Most of the Delco shops we spoke with will only take clothes that are two years old. Stylish folk are looking outside the box to get their fashion fix.

"Some people who will only buy things with tags on them, or some people won't buy shows, but overall people are really getting hip to consignment shops," explained Shawnee Johnson of Media's The Cedar Chest. Johnson admits to converting a few people to consignment, but it wasn't too hard to do in this economy.

"Its just fun. I just think people are getting over the stigma. Consignment shops are not your average thrift store anymore," said Johnson.

 Patch and consignment shop advocate Tara Endicott went on a Delco shopping spree to find the new fall looks for less. Endicott, who also books all the bands at Newtown Square's has a wardrobe that is practically 100% consignment. She has been finding gently worn bargains since high school. She also agreed to be our model for the day.

Here are the Patch's picks for second chance fashion and don't forget to check out our photo gallery to see our secondhand look for fall fashion.

Radnor
Bryn Mawr Hospital Thrift Shop
804 County Line Road
Bryn Mawr, Pa.
610-525-4888
Hours: Monday to Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Sizes: Children's-Plus

The Bryn Mawr Hospital Thrift shop is a great place to find those little everyday items. Gap and Express skirts range from $6-$12. They mainly carry mid-range labels and more casual clothing for men, women, and children.  The first floor also has a variety of housewares and bric-a-brac. While the majority of the items are donated they do offer consignment. Proceeds from the shop go towards programs and services offered ay Bryn Mawr Hospital.

Consignment:
Consignment is by appointment only. They look at furniture and household items Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday 9:30 a.m.-noon.  Clothing appointments are seen on Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday 9:30 a.m.-noon. There is a $15 per-year fee to consign. The thrift shop gets 50% commission on all clothing items and 40% on furniture and bric-a-brac items priced under $250.00.  The thrift shop receives 35% on any items priced $250.00 and over. Furniture is limited to three items per consignor per appointment, and a maximum of 20 items may be consigned for each appointment. Check their website for more details.

Springfield

777 West Sproul Road, Springfield, PA 19064
610-544-2801
Hours: Monday-Friday 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday 10 a.m-6 p.m. Sunday 12 p.m.-5 p.m.
Sizes: Girls sizes 0/1 to 15/16 and guys size 28 to 40 waist

Plato's Closet is the place to go for back-to-school on a budget. The store does cater to younger fashion, but even 30-somethings can find a few fun pieces. Plato's carries mid-range priced designers and labels.  There is tons of Charlotte Russe, Forever 21, and even a little Ed Hardy. Even if you aren't in high school the prices are worth hunting through.  Endicott noted a lot of the items we found were cheaper than at your local Goodwill, and that wasn't a joke. There were lots of fun shoes with buckles and straps (just like on the runway) for as low as $10. They also sell men's clothing too.

Selling Clothes:
Plato's is a little different than the other shops we've covered so far.  They don't consign—they buy.  This can result is cash for your old clothes.  Sellers bring in their old clothes and an onsite buyer reviews the clothing then offers a price. The seller can get cash money right then and there. The inventory they look for is hip, trendy and must be in good condition. Plato's ideal age for clothes is about 12-18 months old.

Media
Cedar Chest
21 S. Jackson St. Media, PA 19063
(610) 891-8815
Email The Cedar Chest
Hours: 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. Monday-Saturday
Sizes: 2-16

Shawnee Johnson and her team of vintage fashionistas are eager to help you find a unique look that is just for you. The Cedar Chest features women's clothing and accessories.  Not all items are gently worn; they also feature some local designer's clothing, jewelry, and handbags.  The fun boutique atmosphere makes shopping fun.  They love combining vintage with modern classics.  Here's a taste of their modern selection: Michael Korr's wedge sandals for $32, Gucci booties and Manolo Blahnik sandals for $18, and an Anne Klein dress for $18. Since they love vintage, The Cedar Chest doesn't have an age limit on consignment items, because as Johnson explained it, "you can always revamp it." They Cedar Chest aims to take care of their customers. If a shopper likes the pieces of a particular consigner they will notify the customer when the consigner bring in new items.

"I'm like a personal shopper," said Johnson.

Our model Endicott ended up walking out with about three outfits for under $80.

Consignment:
They are looking for slightly worn vintage, fun, trendy clothes that are in great condition. They even take in never worn items. They consign for 6 weeks.  The Cedar Chest sells new items for about 50% off the tagged price (pending quality and sell factor).  Gently worn item pricing depends on the quality of the item and the designer. The consigner and the store split the sell price 50/50.  If an item does not sell after the contract period and it is not retrieved it will be donated to Ravenous Heart, which supports children in Liberia

*Note: The Cedar Chest is closed for vacation, but will re-open August 15.

Havertown/ Drexel Hill
New 2 U
692 Burmont Rd. Drexel Hill, PA
(610) 623-6233
Email New 2 U
Hours: 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. Tuesday -Saturday

New 2 U was the vision of shopaholics Leah Pugh and Shavonne Tillman.  When the store opened almost  two years ago much of the store's original inventory was straight from their closets. Their inventory grew even more when they invited friends and family member to donate to the store as well. It was a hard offer to refuse since the donations also went with a party.  The store features mainly women's fashion and accessories, but does carry a small inventory of children's clothes and toys. 

New 2 U carries a lot of mid-range labels and names like Hollister and Express for younger women, but also carries Anne Taylor Loft for the professionals.  This is the type of store that consignment shoppers should take their time with, because there are diamonds here. Endicott discovered and Arden B. dress for only $11.99. Dresses by that designer could go as much as  $100. We also found a $50 New York and Co. dress with tags still on for only $25. They stay on top of trends by only taking clothes that are about two years old while still focusing on the quality of the item.

Consignment:
New 2 U consigns for 60 days with a 60 (New 2 U)/40 (consigner) split of the contracted price. There is a one-time $10 membership fee for all consigners. Consigners may bring in up to 25 items at time, but can only consign once a week. They accept high quality slightly worn or never worn items.  All infant and children's items must be clean and in full working condition. They consign on Tuesday and Thursdays from noon to 3 p.m. and on Saturday by appointment.

Newtown Square
Stuff Consignment
3605 B Chapel Rd. (off St. Alban's Circle)
Newtown Square, PA 19073
(610) 299-4920
Hours: 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday

The majority of Stuff Consignment's inventory is household items; they do have a pretty fun collection of costume jewelry and accessories. There are lot of chunk bracelets and beaded necklaces.  If you need a faux pearl fix, this is the place.

Consignment:
Items consign for two month and the selling price is split 50/50. If an item does not sell, the owner must come and pick it up within five days of the contract ending. If it not retrieved it becomes property of the store. On the first Tuesday of every month they have an appraiser come in to look at possible consignment item.  The appraisal costs $5 and is donated to Walk for the Wounded.  Stuff matches each donation.


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