Summertime beckons pedicures and play – so what kind of sandals suit the occasion? Take a look at (a small selection of) what we have at our Lake Oswego store and tell us how your ideas might be different from ours (or if we're right on!). Let’s collaborate! To sweeten the offerings here, get 15% off dresses in Lake Oswego and 10% off shoes at both locations starting Friday, July 8 until Sunday, July 10.
An espadrille wedge is a great, timeless choice. This pair, in particular, have a stretchy strap fabric that moves with you. The white stitching lends a softer touch, and the braided wedge keeps it light yet sturdy. Great with a maxi dress or capris!
These colorful cork wedges add splash to your ensemble. If you're wearing a monochrome (all white?) outfit or a multi-colored dress, these options will coordinate very well, either way. The wedge heel adds stability.
Donald J Pliner's version of flower power! These metallic floral numbers will not disappoint. Designed with comfort and style in mind, these will take you across the many miles of shopping districts in Europe or keep you going on your trip to the local Farmer's Market. Pair with knee-length shorts or skirt. Pack and play, as they say!
Now these puppies are for the club-to-club girl - the beach club, golf club and dance club, that is! Super hot with mini-shorts or even leggings, you'll be singing Abba all night long in these golden Swedish Hasbeens.
The classic thong, updated for your bejeweled enjoyment. A little bling for Miss Thing. Can't you see these with airy, linen pants, maxi-dress, or summery wide-leg trousers?
These leather ankle strap heeled beauties are edgy for the evening or for adding some height in the office. Pair with black skinny pants and a short-sleeved blazer for a professional, yet feminine look, or with wide-leg culottes, horizontal stripe tee, and a large-brimmed summer hat. Don't forget the handbag!
Consigning Women has always been very active in donating to numerous charitable organizations, some of which include Dove Lewis, The Pongo Fund, Abby’s Closet, and Rose Haven. Most recently, Dress For Success named Consigning Women a “Fashion Partner”. Dress For Success Oregon is the local chapter of a national organization that connects women in need with clothing options to help them acquire professional wardrobes, empowering them to chart new paths of employment and job skills. We are very proud to have had the opportunity to participate in their gala event, Celebrate Success. Part of the reason we are able to give back to the community is because you support us. We are very grateful to all our consignors and shoppers -- without you, we couldn’t make the community a more fashionable place, and more importantly, a better one. Thank you.
Please visit Dress For Success Oregon’s blog to read more about their Fashion Partners.
We get a lot of consignments in on a daily basis. A lot. We have photos from a prospective consignor who wanted to know if we’d take her items. They are in like-new condition, they are size 8.5 (a very sought-after size), some were European purchases, others from Macy’s. So why didn’t we take all of the shoes pictured?
Many factors go into how to decide what items to take on consignment. We look at:
· Condition: If they’re the latest and greatest Frye boots, but the heel has fallen off, we can’t take them. The less wear, the better.
· Brand: If they’re from Sears, Target, Old Navy, and so on, we can’t compete with their prices, so it’s not worth the labor to input the item, tag the item, and have it take up valuable space for something else (Christian Louboutin or Stella McCartney, anyone?). Besides, the quality of some of those items is not good enough for our customers who come in looking for well-made, designer goods.
· Spring/Summer/Fall/Winter: Are the items appropriate for the season?
· Style: Is this something that has come onto the market in the last few years? Is it something that is sought-after? Have our customers been asking for this style? In other words, is it on-trend?
Let’s take a look at the three photos. Photo number one: The white slingback pumps are the only pair from this grouping that we could consign. They have a cute, cork platform and are open-toed; perfect for summer. Condition, perfect. The others have a square shape, toe prints in the sandal (yuck!), or the slides, which we don’t have much of a demand for anymore. Photo number two: We’d take the ankle boots starting in late August. The Baretraps are a cute style and in like-new condition, but the brand is not feasible for us. The others have a boxy quality, while the Nine West are clearly dated because of the material and style. Some may say, “But they’re classic!” – to us, that translates to: “They’re nothing special”. Photo number three shows some promise: Sesto Meucci-brand loafers (for the more conservative ladies) and really cute Tesori flats with zipper detail, not a classic (or boring) style.
We are the filters for your merchandise. We hope we’ve clarified what we take to help you in your clothing-sorting chore. We know it can be daunting. With your quick trip to consign with us, we hope this helps your experience be more efficient. And as always, if you’re unsure whether we’d take something, bring it by anyway. Happy consigning!
Springtime: The moment right before kids are out of school, everything is in bloom, and the busy holidays are either 6 months behind us or 6 months in front of us. It’s the perfect time to take little weekend getaways. We’ve compiled one outfit and some travel staples to pack when you’re ready to hit the road and recharge – even if just for one night.
We paired Free People striped capris with a colorful Trouve top. The tomato top livens up the neutrals of the capris and the Eileen Fisher cardigan – a cotton cardigan, because it’s a very convertible layer. Gold bejeweled flats dress up the ensemble, while allowing you to walk comfortably wherever you are touring (or shopping!). The Nanette Lepore white cotton eyelet cover-up works well poolside or at the beach. If you have to bring your iPad or MacBook Air, the Marc by Marc Jacobs nylon carrying case doesn’t necessarily compete with the top, and its bright color will ensure you don’t accidentally leave it somewhere! The Patricia Nash makeup case carries all those tiny essentials in one convenient zip pouch. It’s a great container for odds and ends in your handbag, too.
The finishing touches are a weighty yet comfortable turquoise necklace to contrast with the top. The scarf is like your throw-pillow-interior-decorating inspiration (or your oriental rug, “It really ties the room together”). It combines all the colors, can be used as protection against a drafty area in a restaurant, tied around your head for a playful look…a very versatile accessory! All of these items neatly pack into a tote bag. Remember to be sure to roll your garments to save space and minimize wrinkling. We hope you’ll share how your Consigning Women purchases have traveled with you!
Upcoming weddings, spring break, travel, and just plain need-some-change are all reasons to get a fresh perspective on your wardrobe. Consigning Women hosts a monthly free style session with local stylist Holley Shepard. She’s been on AM Northwest with her recommendations for ways to improve your style from fit to flair. Along with Holley, Mari Faye from Silpada Designs will be on hand to offer unique sterling silver accessory perfection.
Join us Saturday, March 19th from 1 – 4 pm at our Lake Oswego location for the next opportunity to mine Holley and Mari Faye's expertise. No need to make an appointment – just show up! If you can’t make it, be sure to subscribe to our events page on Facebook to be alerted when the next opportunity arises. You can also watch our Facebook page and ask to put items on hold in the comments!
Remember, any time you stop in is also an opportunity to consign seasonally-appropriate items that are newer in style and in excellent condition. We are currently accepting spring items. Shorts and capris will be accepted in mid-April. Handbag consigners receive an entry to win a $50 gift card each month. See you soon, Consignistas!
We are preparing for spring right now at Consigning Women! While we are accepting clothing, shoes, and accessories on consignment, our primarily sought-after items are newer, stylish handbags. Each month, we are awarding a $50 gift card to one lucky handbag consigner. Each time you consign a handbag with us, you will receive an entry. We will announce winners once a month, on the first of the month, on our Facebook page. So, what are we looking for? Louis Vuitton is a great seller – they fly off the shelves. If you have any of those LV’s lurking in your closet, please bring them by so we can evaluate them for consignment. Other brands we like: Coach (no outlet purchases, please), Cole Haan, Alexander Wang, Chanel, Proenza Schouler, Yves Saint Laurent, Chloé, Tory Burch, Kate Spade, Prada, and many, many more. Remember, we only accept authentic items, so you may shop with confidence that you’re getting a real deal.
What inspired you to become a small business owner? Why consignment in particular? I inherited my dad's entrepreneurial genes, and I've always loved consignment and think it's truly the ultimate in recycling!
What are top three business lessons learned?
1. Weigh the risks of a new opportunity, then don't be afraid to jump in if it makes sense.
2. Trust your people (i.e., don't micro-manage!)
3. Watch your bottom line - always.
Advice for other small business owners? See #2 above
Advice for those seeking a career in retail? Leave the drama at the door.
Most memorable staff/customer interactions?
Ogaenia: “Has to be the day Vanessa Preston came in looking for a new bag. What a fun day. She shopped around for a long time and would not put down this one Louis Vuitton - I want to say it was an Olympe - it had red handles. I had high hopes of selling it until she left. I was so dejected (lol). Anyway, while closing up, I was startled by a tapping at the door. It was Vanessa! She wanted the bag. So cute - she couldn't get the one with the red handles out of her mind. Great day, great new relationship built and her restaurant (Café Nell in Northwest Portland) is to die for!
Theresa: “A young lady came into the boutique several months ago on a Sunday evening a few minutes before closing time. She said this was her first visit, not really looking for anything in particular. After trying on several things, including one of the dresses on display in our front window, she was totally pleased with the quality merchandise we had for sale. She bought a Michael Kors dress, shoes, and a Michael Kors watch. She thanked me for staying late and helping her. I always say, "I love to help you spend your money!"
Any changes we should look for in the future? Not in the near future . . . just focusing on taking care of our customers\consignors!
Because no business is an island, who would you like to thank in helping you along the way? Certainly the many consignors who have stuck with us through thick and thin over the past 12 years, as well as the employees along the way who caught our passion and work so hard. Most notably, our Lake Oswego store manager, Geri McKarem, and newer Pearl manager, Jill Cabrera!
You’ve heard it before: "Shop local". This really is important to us as a small business in the Portland area. While we reach other areas of the globe through our online store, we recognize that it is of utmost importance to partner with our local pals: Customers and Consigners alike.
That’s why we ask that you consider us your first stop, while doing your last-minute Christmas and New Year’s Eve outfit shopping. (You get to avoid the mall!) If you visit us in the Pearl, you can get your nails done around the corner, grab some delicious Middle Eastern food at Zaatar next door, and accomplish everything you need within just a few blocks. If you are still undecided about what to get – or you are a time-management wizard and are sitting back reading this with a cocktail in hand – we invite you to pay yourself forward by purchasing a gift card. Get 10% off ($50 or more) if you purchase one now through December 25th!
Oh, the holidays. The season used to begin in December, but now it’s go-time beginning with Thanksgiving. Buying presents, wrapping them, sending them, delivering them, making meals, coordinating schedules, procuring last-minute items at the grocery store, making trips to the airport…all of these add a little more stress to our already-busy lives. Why make your wardrobe any more complicated than it needs to be? We’ve come up with a Cheat Sheet for how to dress for the conception of Thursday’s Food Baby and its gestation throughout the month of December.
1) The A-Line Swing Dress. Wearing jeans on a special occasion is still considered gauche. One way to circumvent closely-tailored clothing options is to wear a dress. An A-line swing dress (see pictured) is a very comfortable, yet chic, option. Wearing cute patterned or solid tights with pumps or knee-high boots creates a “mod” look, all the while concealing any recent indulgences that are trying to get attention.
2) Elastic Waistband Pants. Now we know that yoga pants are all the rage – they are forgiving, they hug you, they love you, you’re not pulling them up every 5 minutes - but sorry, they must be ditched on days of celebration. This doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice comfort. Eileen Fisher has a great line of quality, comfortable pants that fit and don’t make you look like you’re about to make a run to the gym before hitting the grocery store before picking up the kids at daycare. Pair them with a silk blouse, plus velveteen blazer to add some shape, and you’re ready to roll (as in eat the bread).
3) Tunics. If you MUST wear leggings (we totally understand and stand by our sisters), then please pair them with a butt-covering tunic. Because, as Lululemon taught us, leggings are not pants. The tunic is a wonderful wardrobe piece that is quite versatile, depending on the material and cut. Be sure to buy the right size. The tunic is already designed to fit loosely, so you needn’t err on the side of caution with sizing. In fact, try a size smaller than you would normally wear.
4) Skirts. One of the most versatile pieces in your wardrobe, skirts are a great investment, as they can get a lot of mix-and-match action over a long period of time. As you know, there are many types and styles to choose from. They pair well with tights and pumps or boots; dress them up with a beaded, fancy cardigan; throw on a knit top and call it a day.
5) Accessorize. OK, this technically isn’t an outfit, but how you accessorize can either make your outfit the Las Vegas Strip (glamorous and sparkly) or Death Valley (dry and dull). Try different combinations of bangles, necklaces and earrings. Experiment with scarves: Colors, patterns, materials, lengths. They can really “up the auntie” at family gatherings. Remember, how you feel in your clothing is number one, but challenge your boundaries and see what kind of positive responses you’ll get.
Your look wouldn’t be complete without makeup. Join us December 19th from 1 – 4 pm in Lake Oswego for a holiday makeup demo with Jamie from Skull Sugar Cosmetics. She’ll show you some nifty industry tricks to spice up your gorgeous look. Stylist Holley Shepard and sterling silver sultan Mari-Faye Karambalas from Silpada will be at our Lake Oswego store Saturday, November 28th to help with all your styling needs, from head to toe. We look forward to seeing your fabulous self!
One of our Consigning Women recently visited Peru, where she learned about alpaca fiber. It’s warm, fuzzy, and not only non-allergenic, but a Peruvian textile staple. Did you know there are different grades of alpaca? This means you have to be careful about what you buy. If it’s advertised as genuine baby alpaca and it’s under $100, it’s probably not the real thing (unless you find a treasure in a consignment shop!). The two softest types to look for are: “Baby” and vicuña or, “Royal”. Sometimes vendors will try to pass off acrylic blends as alpaca, but if you do a side-by-side touch test, you can tell the difference. The baby or vicuña is very soft, perhaps even squishy when knitted. The acrylic will be somewhat soft, but not the same – it will have a flatter, cooler feel. Textiles made of this alpaca fiber will keep you warm and toasty (the animals are from the Andes Mountains, afterall!), and might be allergy-friendly, because they do not have lanolin like sheep’s wool. If you spot baby or Royal alpaca, be sure it’s from a trusted source! Please email us or post on our Facebook page your experiences with travel and textiles! We love to learn from each other.
Pictured: Luxury alpaca retailer Kuna at the Cusco, Peru airport.
Every month, we host a handful of fun events that celebrate women, style, and wine. Here are a few upcoming events. Can't make these? Check our Facebook event page for the latest info!
Book Club. Meets once a month on the fourth Thursday in Lake Oswego. September's book is "Pure & Simple" by Martin Meadows. Discuss ways to clear the clutter in your life and live a less complicated existence. October 22nd from 6:30 - 9:00 pm, discuss "Landfall" by Ellen Urbani. In this special Consigning Women Book Club, Ms. Urbani will be in attendance! We are very excited for you to meet her.
Silver & Style. Every fourth Saturday of the month in Lake Oswego (confirm on Facebook first!), meet stylist and personal shopper, Holley Shepard of Put Together. Holley offers free style advice, so bring in a hard-to-match item and she'll help you pair it with something from our store. Your style is not complete without a little silver! A Silpada representative teams up with Holley to find the perfect finishing touch - or find that last-minute hostess gift, party favor, or mother-in-law present.
Stella & Dot. Felicia Sugarman Rosenthal brings us a stellar display of collectible jewelry that is always on-trend. She visits us on the third Saturday of the month in Lake Oswego. Sometimes she visits us in the Pearl, so be sure to check our Facebook page for the latest info.
Handbag Happy Hour. Every Friday afternoon from 4 pm - close, we offer 10% off handbags at our Pearl District store. Stop in and browse any time, but don't wait - what you see there today, might not be there tomorrow.
Diamond Diva Discount Days. On the first Tuesday of the month, anyone 60 years of age or older is eligible for 10% off at both stores! (Excludes discount racks and may not be combined with any other offer.)
Everyone loves a good pair of shoes, right? Congratulations to Kim Miller: She won a $50 gift card for shoes Consigning Women, just by posting a photo of her sweet canine companion! Be sure to follow us on our Facebook page to be notified of future contests. If you're on Instagram, follow us @ConsigningWomen!
Jill is an Oregon native, born in Newport and raised in Salem. Hitting the road, looking for adventure, she settled in Colorado, where she called Durango home for 10 years. Among her many accomplishments, Jill opened the world’s highest Harley Davidson store in Silverton, CO. She also worked as a merchandise manager for Ralph Lauren. (Come by our Pearl District store to see her artistry in action. How lucky are WE?) Now back in Oregon, she is able to spend more time with her two grandchildren, who are just adorable – she has some great photos of those munchkins!
So working among all the awesome handbags at Consigning Women, we had to ask: What is your favorite? She says, if she could have any handbag, it would be a Louis Vuitton hobo bag (but without the monogram). The music she has in heavy rotation includes Nickelback, Matchbox 20, and Eric Clapton. She recalls one of the best concerts she’s been to was when Eric Clapton and Van Morrison played. If she could go anywhere in the world, she says she would go backwards in time and be 20 again. Her favorite charity is Rose Haven. Her dog, Dubs, is a labradoodle named after her number-one college football team, University of Washington. Best advice? One that came to her naturally: “Your instinct is your best advice.”
We welcome you to stop by and meet Jill in person – we look forward to seeing you soon!
Could there be anything more environmentally-conscious than buying eco-friendly clothing? Yes – purchasing consigned eco-fashion! Here at Consigning Women, we believe in the sustainability of apparel, so we did a roundup of three “Ecouture” labels that adhere to green values.
1) Amour Vert was founded by Linda Balti and Christoph Frehsee and is based in San Francisco. At the heart of Amour Vert’s values is the sustainable practice of clothing manufacturing that is painstakingly incorporated in every step of the production process. From dyes to fabric washing to recycling fiber blends in local mills, your Amour Vert acquisition is a radical choice in minimizing environmental impact.
2) Mika Organic, based in New York City, is inspired by the Japanese designer’s travels to other lands and passion for integrating environmentally sound production practices that celebrate the animal kingdom. Each garment boasts organic materials (wool, hemp, cotton, linen) and tasteful animal themes. What’s refreshing to read on her website is the point she makes about how organic wasn’t even a term at one time. How to return to a state of organic being? Begin with examining what we consume, including clothing.
3) We would be remiss in not mentioning a local label: Flood Clothing. Designer Nicole Flood started her line of hats using repurposed fabric that otherwise would have ended up in a landfill. Founded in 2004 in Portland, Oregon, Flood Clothing now boasts a line of not just hats, but clothing, other accessories, and beautiful custom work. Nicole’s emphasis is on individuality and wearable self-expression: Each of us is unique and free to express one’s own creative soul, so why not with one sustainable garment at a time? We here at Consigning Women couldn’t agree more!
Tell us about your favorite environmentally-conscious designers!
One of the things we love most about our customers and consignors is the conversations we have with you. For example, one of our recent consignors turned us on to the Konmari Method of closet organization. Have you heard of it? Neither had we. It’s a Japanese-inspired decluttering approach by author and professional organizer Marie Kondo. The method is much more involved than we describe, but the approach begins with putting all your clothes in a pile. The next step is to identify items that bring you joy. When you’re putting remaining clothing back into your drawers and shelves, fold them into uniform, rectangular shapes to ensure a streamlined display. This video shows how to fold pants:
But getting back to the “joy” part: We really like this fundamental concept. It applies not just to the wardrobe you’re reorganizing, but other areas of your life. “Does it bring me joy?”. Think about that for a minute. How many people, places, things are in your life that don’t bring you joy? Might be time for a purge. And if you have designer handbags, clothing and accessories that don’t bring you joy anymore, maybe it’s time to consign them so someone else may derive joy from them. We look forward to seeing you in Lake Oswego and the Pearl!
With the changing of the seasons comes a sense of renewal and opportunities for a new start in life. The same goes for your seasonal wardrobe transition. Here at Consigning Women, we are frequently asked, “What are you guys taking right now?”. We thought we’d break down some details to help you decide what to put in the consignment group versus the donation group.
1) When did you buy it? If it is more than 3 years old, chances are, it might already show signs of being out of date. It’s possible the cut, the fabric, or even the color will not be in demand. While we would love to sell 100% of everyone’s items, we aim to please our shoppers, too, who are looking for current styles.
2) Are there flaws or signs of wear? We notice that jersey fabrics that have gone through the wash even a few times have a tendency to look slightly faded or even pilled. Pilling can also occur on the hip where you favor wearing your handbag. Check seams for where there might be splitting. Frayed hems on pants and jeans are also signs of wear. Check to see all buttons, snaps, hooks and eyes are sewn securely.
3) What brand is it? We don’t say this to be snobby, we say this because that is usually an indicator of a garment’s quality and sometimes people just prefer a specific brand. When checking your labels and wondering what we’ll accept, think anything Banana Republic and Ann Taylor to Tory Burch, Nanette Lepore, Nordstrom, and on up to luxury designers like Chanel, Louis Vuitton, and the like. If you’ve recently traveled overseas and have some clothing souvenirs you’d like us to consign for you, we are happy to take a look at anything you couldn’t normally acquire here in the Portland/Lake Oswego area.
4) Is it for the current season? We have what shoppers are seeking now. For example, we are now taking your white linen items (which would not be consignable in January!), shorts, sandals and colorful tops. We accept premium denim year-round.
5) Is it clean? This is a very basic consideration for consigning and donating. Please launder all garments. No matter what. Really.
All other items should be set aside for the next season or donated to your local charity (remember to make sure things are clean first!). We look forward to seeing you in the store. You don’t need an appointment to consign with us, but if it’s late in the day, please arrive no later than 30 minutes prior to closing. If it’s more convenient for us to come to you, please call us to discuss our free Closet Concierge service. Happy consigning!
Grace is a California girl who relocated to Oregon, and in her pursuit of the perfect consignment shop, found Consigning Women. She has been a Sales Associate and shopper here for many years! She grew up in San Francisco, went to college in Southern California, and moved to Lake Oswego 16 years ago. The last songs on her playlist are from Crosby, Still, Nash, & Young. Don’t be surprised if you see her body surfing to these tunes, too – she adores the ocean and never tires of the water’s recreational possibilities! On the topic of handbags, she loves several different brands, but her crowning consignment acquisition would be to own an Hermès Birkin (“a girl can dream”!). Speaking of life aspirations, Grace tells me she is determined to “continue to stay on the path I was destined to travel, making sure I am being the best self that I can be; perhaps leaving this world a little better than when I found it, no matter how small my contribution may be.” Let Grace contribute to your style path by shopping with her at our Lake Oswego store or Fridays and Mondays at Consigning Women Handbags in the Pearl!
1) Hooded Cardigan. Ok, so we’d go with just a cardigan, too. But based on how temperamental Mother Nature has been, it’s very handy to layer and protect that hairdo at the same time. Hot in the sun and cool in the shade? That’s the Pacific Northwest for you! If you have a hood, it can give you an extra protective layer for light, spontaneous sprinklings.
2) Vest. A marvelous layering piece that is ultra convertible. There are so many different styles available, too. The thinner version for going to the gym, the puffy version if you need a little extra warmth, or a more formal, fitted style as an added dimension to your ensemble. Don’t be afraid to experiment!
3) Ankle boots. All kinds of boots will work and are stylistically relevant, but the ankle boots are especially on-trend this season. They work well with pegged skinny jeans or leggings. If they have a bit of a heel, they’ll give you a boost and a nice finish to your overall profile.
4) Lightweight Jacket. This could mean a water-resistant parka – seek the kind that has shape and interesting details, but doesn’t make you look like you’re about to hit a trail in the Gorge (useful, yes, but stylish Northwest ladies, you can do better!). Or, a blazer, which adds a smart professionalism to your denim-and-ankle-boots outfit.
5) Scarf. We can never have too many scarves. One of the most versatile and useful accessories, always stash your scarf either around your neck where it usually belongs, or in your handbag, for when the change in weather beckons protection. Scarves always add a decorative, colorful, finishing touch.
6) Handbag. We would be remiss in not mentioning a fabulous handbag as a spring style essential. With the changing of the season comes a changing of your most beloved accessory. Have you tried a different color than the usual black? My dark green handbag always gets compliments, because it stands out from the norm. You can always default to your comfort zone, but we encourage you try a brown, red, or green (or any brighter colors) to see how it changes your outlook on your wardrobe.
7) Jewelry. OK, we admit – jewelry is not just for spring, because it’s an important staple all year ‘round! It provides a little flash, something extra, and allows you to make as grand a statement as you wish! We carry a whole range of fine to costume jewelry and host Patty Weightman of Silpada Designs and Michelle Tunnell of Vivi Jewelry (formerly Cookie Lee) once a month. Check our Facebook page for the next jewelry event.
Check Consigning Women first to see if we have what you’re looking for. We accept consignments at our locations in the Pearl and Lake Oswego, so please refer to our consignment guidelines when spring-cleaning your closet!
Consigning Women holds a monthly style event at our Lake Oswego store, where stylist Holley Shepard of Put Together and Patty Weightman of Silpada Designs team up to fulfill your fashion desires. Meet these stylish “solopreneurs” this Saturday, February 14th, from 1 – 4 pm to see how their fashion sense and perspective can bring something different to your wardrobe. If you have a special occasion coming up, have a lonely item you love but can’t seem to match, or just want to spice up your closet and get ready for spring, now is a great time to stop in and see what all the hype is about!
And speaking of spring, Consigning Women will begin accepting spring consignments on Saturday, too. Bring us your lighter sweaters, light jackets, premium denim, and of course, boots. (Save your furs, heavy wool sweaters and jackets, and wintry accessories for September!). So, onto spring trends. A good place to start is what the color palette is for the season.
How do we know? The Pantone video below is a discussion by Lee Eiseman of Pantone Color Institute® (the global design industry standard for color trends and standards). She discusses the color trends for spring 2015 and how fashion designers have translated them into clothing and what the inspiration was for the color palette. Which one is your favorite?
We also put together a collage of items from Burberry, Louis Vuitton, and Pantone directly, just to stimulate your fashion imagination.
See you Saturday!
Angel waltzed into our lives like most women at Consigning Women do: She was looking for something to match a clothing item she already owned and was looking for a good deal. She was excited to be able to shop for the perfect thing just before the holidays in a neighborhood boutique. She declared, “They don’t let me out very often, you know!” Our ladies helped her with some pants options (she chose the leopard-print Not Your Daughter’s Jeans), which then meant she needed appropriate shoes. We showed her a pair of ankle boots with glittery heels that give a little “flash” where you least expect it. As you can see in the photo, she was quite excited with them! Then she chose a practical, stylish leather crossbody handbag that completed her mission.
As she was checking out, our conversation revealed that Angel is not only retired military (United States Air Force), but she has her Ph.D. and is an author. She wrote her memoir, “Angel’s Truck Stop,” a story about her being the first woman to manage an Officers Club in Thailand during the Vietnam War. The book ranges from funny, poignant, reflective and even raucous at times. To quote her, “It’s about sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll.”
So many of our servicemen and –women have served in Vietnam and each has a story to share. So what makes Angel’s story so special? Find out on January 15 at 6 pm, when Angel will give a talk and book signing at our Lake Oswego store.
Theresa says that finding her job at Consigning Women in 2010 was the very best thing that has happened to her. She loves the challenge when a customer comes into the boutique and needs to shop for a special event. She asks what the customer has in mind, and that’s when her knowledge about the store’s inventory, brands, and fashion come into play. She says that asking questions helps her get to know the customer in the quickest way possible so she can give her best recommendations on what to try on. She loves suggesting all parts of the outfit: Shoes, jewelry, and of course, handbags. The most rewarding part of it all is when the customer leaves with a huge smile on her face because got what she was hoping to find.
Customer service is Theresa’s number one priority. She first got her start in retail working for JC Penney in the 1970s while in college, selling men’s suits. She will always remember what an elderly gentleman told her, “You are so good at what you do, you could sell ice to the Eskimos!” She has never forgotten the compliment. Theresa also works another job, so even though she is extremely busy, she still finds time to relax by playing casino apps on her new iPad. She also notes that while she is very picky, she is still on the look-out for someone special, and is open to suggestions! Ladies, come say hi to Theresa in Lake Oswego and see what magic she can work on your wardrobe!
What to wear this holiday season…We might cause bit of an uproar, but our advice? Anything you want. That’s right – your personal style is a reflection of who you are and who you want to be. So, as your style counselors, we here at Consigning Women fully support whatever look you are going for. If it’s a short, sparkly dress adorned with plumage, we say, “Yes!”. If it’s a long, taffeta gown for the benefit gala, we say, “Go for it!”. It doesn’t matter what your age is, shorter dresses suit all kinds – it’s your attitude that’s going to make or break it. All of the elements of your holiday gear should include:
1) A dress. Dressy tuxedo pants are acceptable, if you want a more androgynous look. But the main thing is that you are showing how you honor special occasions, so wow with something out of your ordinary.
2) Special-occasion shoes. Heels are always a fun look, but if you can’t or don’t wear heels, consider metallic flats. Some shoes with a platform alleviate the height factor and don’t make you feel wobbly. Always best to try on!
3) Clutch. The clutch is an important element of your overall ensemble. You can use it to blend in with the rest of your look, or you can choose one with “pop” for a surprise. It must coordinate with the rest!
4) Jewelry. The final touches of your indoor party fabulousness are your jewels. Do they complement or distract? Are they competing with other elements or boosting the glamour factor? When you look in the mirror, do you add one more piece or take one away? That’s up to you, of course!
5) Coat. Now that you have your fabulous frock and accessorized from head to toe, the last thing you want to do is cover it up with some Goretex shell. That is not appropriate. Tasteful evening outerwear for the holidays include velvet dressing, wool coats or capes, and fur.
Are you ready to party? Let us know how we can help! We are consigning party dresses and glamorous goods right now!
We know the holiday shopping season is stressful enough without getting bombarded by offers from all directions. That’s why we invite you to take a moment and think about the impact your shopping habits have on your local community. The Small Business Administration defines a small business as having 500 or fewer employees. Here at Consigning Women, we employ fewer than 10. All of your purchases go back into the local economy: The women who consign get a cut, we pay our employees who are local residents, and we can stay put since we pay our rent on time.
This year, Consigning Women Handbags in Portland's Pearl District is joining forces with “Little Boxes”<<<link, which promotes local, small businesses during the biggest shopping days following Thanksgiving: Black Friday (November 28) and Small Business Saturday (November 29). Download the Little Boxes app or pick up a passport and shop your way through town (with discounts and chances to win awesome prizes like a trip to Hawaii!), all while maximizing your support for the local economy! Here’s a video on how it works:
We will offer 20% off your purchase (excluding already-reduced merchandise) and extend our offer to include the Sunday after Thanksgiving. So if your girlfriend, sister, or mom has been ogling a new wallet or handbag, consider us first. If you need new jewelry for a holiday party, check us out. If Thanksgiving left you feeling a little stuffed, come try on some new, flattering clothing – the last thing you need is to be uncomfortable around the in-laws!
We know that the “Big Box” department stores also employ people from our community, but sales proceeds often benefit others elsewhere. We also know there will always be a need for dovetailing with bigger stores, but this holiday season, please consider stopping into Consigning Women before you go to the mall. Gift certificates are always a great stocking stuffer, too – and always fit!
We think of the quilted handbags with signature braided chain straps, the tweed suits adorned with gold buttons and finished with pearls, and of course, the classic perfume, No. 5. You might be familiar with Coco Chanel, the orphan from France who grew her empire into an astounding foundation of fashion that continues to be mimicked to this day – but not without a setback. As World War II broke out, the economy plummeted, and with it, businesses. Coco Chanel shuttered her doors and waited out the war in Paris. It wasn’t until 1953 when she re-launched her line, taking three seasons for her to re-gain notoriety. She died in 1971. Karl Lagerfeld took the helm of the design house in the early 1980s. Drawing upon the Chanel archives, he re-imagined the feminine lines of the 60s, reintroduced the jersey fabric she originally incorporated in her designs, and remained true to the signature details, including the interlocked “C” logo. If you are a fan of Chanel, we invite you to consign with us, or shop our online store and enter "Chanel" in the search field. The inventory always changes, so check back often!
Ogaenia (pronounced “Oh-gain-ya”) has been a part of the Consigning Women team for nearly 5 years. She said she was walking her dog one day, passed by a new store, stopped in, and recognizing she had never worked in a clothing store before, told them, “I have to work here! Are you hiring?” They said, "Maybe...". She ran home, printed her resume, brought it back, met with Stephanie, and the rest is history! The things that bring her the most inspiration at her job are building relationships with her team mates and customers. She strives to expand her knowledge so that she can be the best resource she can be to Consigning Women’s customers. The most memorable moment she experienced at the store:
“Well I would have said the day a consignor brought in the most amazing Cinderella dress I had ever seen and wishing I could wear it. But today I would revise that to say, this past Saturday, when the power went out while we had customers and the team worked as if nothing had happened.”
Her advice to women in retail careers? Customer service. “Customer service is everything – to have a fun day at work you have to provide a fun, friendly, and courteous environment. I chat it up with most everyone that walks through the door. I think everyone likes to have their 'Cheers' moment, whether their name is Norm or Norma.”
One of the most influential books she’s read while finishing her BFA (she was researching the quilts of Gees Bend, Alabama) was Betty Friedan’s, “The Feminine Mystique.” Her favorite quote is: “The only way for a woman, as for a man, to find herself, to know herself as person, is by creative work of her own.”
Her favorite handbag line is Louis Vuitton. “What else is there?”, she says.
Other fun facts: “After the .com bust, I found myself in an identity crisis, so I went back to school and got a BFA with a focus on Sculpture. So of course I took up welding – and found I love to set fire to metal. I also found solace in folding copper and began folding copper cranes.”
Thank you for sharing, Ogaenia! We love the diversity and range of backgrounds each of our Consigning Women bring to the shop. Please stop in and say hi to her Saturdays at our LO Store and Sundays at our Pearl store.
Stephanie & Peter recently attended the Dove Lewis "Boutiques Unleashed" fundraiser at the Portland Art Museum. Consigning Women was a sponsor of the event. Gucci Sparkman walked the catwalk along with other models showing off fashions from area boutiques, including Consigning Women! Included here are: Penelope the skunk, Bunny the rabbit, Taser, T.T. the Devon Rex, Rojo the llama, and Napoleon the alpaca. The auction was run by pro auctioneer, Johnna Wells of Benefit Auctions 360. (We loved how she incorporated the event’s color, green, in her evening wear!) Please enjoy these “barkstage” and catwalk photos (by Anna from OrderOrder.net)!
A lot is happening this fall at Consigning Women! Just in October, we are hosting our fabulous free monthly styling event with Holley Shepard of Put Together and Patty Weightman of Silpada Silver. These are wonderful opportunities to multi-task your styling opportunity: Build a wardrobe and accessorize with artisan sterling silver treasures.
Speaking of treasures, O’Pearl Brands is holding a trunk show at our Pearl District store on Thursday, October 16th. This exquisite jewelry line was recently featured on the runways of Portland Fashion Week.
Consigning Women is a proud sponsor of the Dove Lews / Dove Adore "Boutiques Unleashed" fundraiser at the Portland Art Museum, October 17th. Gucci will walk the runway as a model!
Our friend, Felicia, from Stella & Dot will showcase her fall favorites on Saturday, October 25th. Sales proceeds will benefit the Noreen Fraser Foundation, an organization dedicated to breast cancer awareness and prevention.
Michelle Tunnell from Cookie Lee offers tasty, embellished treats (in the form of rings and things) on Thursday, October 30th in Lake Oswego.
Looking forward to November, we will have a trunk show on Saturday, Nov. 1 with local designers House of Dubard. Then, on November 9th, we will attend the Portland Fashion & Style awards.
Please check our Facebook page for times and updates to the events. Of course, since we mentioned multi-tasking, remember to bring your items for consignment (especially those handbags and Louis Vuitton in particular!) whenever you visit us.
How do you wear a scarf? I know that seems like a simple question, but there are many ways to do it. It depends on what type of fabric the scarf is and how you would like to accessorize. The Hermès silk scarf has been a steadfast icon for accessory lovers. (We have a lovely consigned collection in our online store and in our shop in Portland’s Pearl District.) We also found some really handy cue cards from Hermès online. Here’s just a taste:
Download the Hermès scarf-tying guide here!
We also love this video that shows 25 ways to tie a scarf in 5 minutes. If you haven’t seen this before, it is a must!
Meet Marcy! Marcy attributes her love of resale to her grandmother, a yard sale aficionado, who taught her the value of found treasures and the art of collecting them. She developed her fashion and merchandising sense at a very early age: First, with coordinating costumes at talent shows as an elementary school student, and then as a teenager, working at a local boutique in Corvallis, Oregon. She was a part of her high school dance team where she assisted the coach in designing and selecting costumes for competitions. She attended Oregon State University where she took on the challenge of making “Grass Seed Technology” seem fashionable – at least in the book-display sense. She continued on a retail path after obtaining her Bachelors of Science degree in Psychology. At Dillard’s, she worked in the Ralph Lauren department and loved the opportunity to create displays with unusual props, understanding that these elements evoked surprise and intrigue. Marcy has also worked at Sunset Magazine, also an influence on her visual merchandising expertise.
In terms of advice for women in retail careers, Marcy says it best herself: “I would recommend that they first get to know their customer; focusing on their needs, wants, desires and, most of all, listening to them. Making a person feel as though you care enough to give them your full attention lays a foundation for positve working relationships. It is also important to get to know your coworkers and work as a team not as competitive entities. Customers can tell right away whether or not a business is healthy by the interactions of staff members. Staying on top of what is current is important – and fun! I like to watch Project Runway, read fashion magazines and blogs, and research trends on both a local and worldwide level.”
Please introduce yourself to Marcy. While you’re here, you might want to ask her about France, Disneyland, and Cinetopia and what they mean to her.