If you are like me, you enjoy designer clothes and looking nice. The “names” last longer, carry a certain prestige, and, you generally get what you pay for. Cheap clothes look cheap and fade significantly after five or ten washes. If you are like me, you also have a limited budget. Student loans, rent, bills, car payments, and the necessities of life leave little room on a modest income for spending hundreds a month on clothes to look GQ fresh.
Having given up on department stores a long time ago, I spent some time trudging around designer fashion discounters like Ross, Marshalls, TJ Maxx, etc. Ross has completely gone to hell in the last five years – but I digress. I still like those places, but have lately discovered upscale consignment stores. If you can be seen shopping at Half Priced Books then you can be seen in a clothing consignment shop.
Seriously, these places are far superior to looking like one is performing community service in the Goodwill. Most only accept the nicest clothes and donate the rest. The benefit to you is that their selection of gently-used, high end-clothes, shoes, and accessories is usually nice. Two stores come to mind as the crème of the crop – Plato’s Closet and Uptown Cheapskate. Without detracting from Plato’s Closet; Uptown Cheapskate really shines.
The staff is great and there are some real finds if you look. The experience is also nice. Uptown makes you an offer on your clothes while you wait, or will call and email you when your offer is ready. They search your clothes on a computer system for a value range, and seem to offer you about a third of what they will sell them for. The pricing is very competitive, even a bit negotiable if you can find a stain you can live with on a must have item. I’ve found that each box or armful of old clothes I take them generates me about $40. Remember, though, my clothes are almost all designer or similar like Ralph Lauren, Banana Republic, Gap, Under Armour, etc. They won’t but cheap stuff or worn out, threadbare items. When they make you an offer, you can accept either cash or 1.25 times that in store credit. I suggest looking around while they prepare your offer.
So! This week, I dropped off a bunch of clothes at the Allen, Texas location. What I found while waiting was great! I call this collection my “Fall Crayons Collection ”ha ha – they are monochrome, interchangeable, and have crayon-like textures. Anyways, here is what I purchased:
- Lacoste grey sweater, made in France, slim fit, retail ≈ $130, Uptown $18.99
- Abercrombie and Fitch mountain baseball jacket ( button up, stretchy grey hoodie), retail $100, Uptown $23.99, reduced to $16.99 after I noticed a small stain
- J Crew beige whool sweater, retail ≈ $80, Uptown $13.99
- Gap sweater with arm bands, retail ≈ $75, Uptown $13.99
- Ralph Lauren blue label custom fit blue polo, retail ≈ $85, Uptown $23.99
- Banana Republic (not the outlet with the three little dots on the tag ) grid pattern with paisley overlay, slim fit, button-up shirt, retail $70, Uptown price, $12
- Cole Haan penny loafer, slip-on, dress shoes, retail $100-150, Uptown $47
- On the Byas color block pocket t, new with tags, at Pac Sun ≈ $20, Uptown $9.99
As you can see, this selection isn’t something for nothing, or a steel, but it is a good deal. My selection was in excellent condition – and in two cases brand new. All of this together would cost $500 – $600 at major retailers (even on sale), and at Uptown Cheapskate it was about $140. Not a bad deal when you subtract the $70 or so in store credit I received from my old clothes.
As an added bonus, the music is really cool – obscure electronicia and indie type stuff. Half the time, it isn’t even recognized by Shazam on my phone. Uptown Cheapskate, highly recommended!