16 10 2009

matobjonce upon a time, it felt like the high-enders were taking over and exchange street was becoming a shopping void for anyone who wasn’t a tourist or making 6-figures. but as the economy began to change, and people started chopping the luxury goods out of their budgets, many of the fancy-pants boutiques were no longer able to support the super-high boom-days old port rents. betsy’s and spoil-me-rotten moved away, amaryllis closed, simply chic shut down… and suddenly, the hottest block in town was mostly vacant. admittedly, the best of the best did manage to stick around (bliss is constant, black parrot is phenomenal, and zane took the old amaryllis space…), but in marched the replacements- discount and consignment stores. it’s a little weird now, but i’m into it. i’m a crazy clothes whore, so consignment is on of my favorite places both to buy and to sell. in the last year or so, it seems like consignment establishments have been cropping up all over the place.

1. second time around started on fore street- but moved into the simply chic space, leaving its annex behind. their quality overall is pretty good, and they tend to have some good high-end designer jazz at reasonably reasonable prices.

2. find just popped up on free street a few months ago. so recently that it’s unfindable on the web. it’s kind of the black parrot of consignment stores. the space is beautiful, spare, and 90% of what they have is modern and pretty interesting. they also have a really good selection of jeans.

3. encore is super duper pricey (too pricey really), but their jewelry selection is jaw dropping, and it’s the best place in town to find vintage hats and shoes.

4. however, the king of them all (in my opinion at the very least) is material objects. they’ve been open forever (and bizarrely don’t have a website), and have the most well rounded selection in town with the best prices, and best amount of turnover. they also have a really solid collection of vintage (evening dresses for under $30!), and some newer stuff in the front of the store from brands with good design and low prices. anyway, this is where i consign.

5. for those of ya’ll living outside the immediate peninsula area, i also really love forget-me-nots in falmouth (they have a lot of incredible super-high-end stuff and really amazing handbags), and estilo in brunswick (great prices, casual everyday wear selection)

recently, after a 30 lb. weight gain that wasn’t quite as transient as i had hoped, i decided to get rid of a lot of my skinny clothes because they were taking up my space and making me depressed. i believe strongly with consignment that you have to be mentally prepared for the worst. just because you drop off $500 worth of clothes, doesn’t mean you’re going to get $250 in return. i’ve gotten $20 before. but today, i got $140 (i was expecting $80 at the very best)!

i’ve been consigning a long time, and the key is knowing the clientele/stock of the store, and choosing things to consign that are currently in style,  unique, in good shape (preferably unworn looking), and if you can get some vintage in there, that’s good too.

realistically, it might not stay there for long, but i have currently nestled my hoard safely into my saving’s account. progress!



2 responses

10 05 2010
the cold shoulder. « broke 207

[…] 7 months ago (when this blog was just a wee baby), i wrote a little post about my deep love for consignment shops in the portland area. well, during that short time, yet another one has cropped up in the cavity where high-end old port […]

3 11 2010
portland’s greatest hits. « broke 207

[…] material objects: first of all, we are extremely lucky that there are a lot of great consignment shops in this town, especially now that shit is going down with the economy. but material objects is the […]

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