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Where Have All The Clothes Gone?


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By Trisha Himmler

From Macklemore to my dad (whose wool sweaters should be the envy of every hipster this side of the Mississippi), everyone loves thrift shopping. But the other side of the thrifting world is how those clothes, furniture, and home-décor items get there in the first place: consignment. Whether you’re doing a little spring cleaning or merely have a growing disdain with your wardrobe, selling old belongings can be incredibly rewarding.

 

Surrounded by old-school trends and an ever-present need to feel green, consignment stores speak to our frugal side with their wallet-friendly pricing and unique merchandise. Since my fashion and preferences for home décor are like any checkbook-balancing woman out there and could be labeled “eclectic,” the majority of my wardrobe and furniture are a homey hodgepodge of new, gently used and antique finds—I’m a huge supporter of local consignment stores. Whether you’re looking for something unique to add to your collection, have something specific in mind or just want to save money, Boulder County won’t let you down.

 

Children’s Consignment

Despite a lack of children of my own, I do have a vivacious pair of nephews who—like all children around the world—love presents. Both Teenie Greenies in Westminster and Childish Things in Boulder appeared to have a wide array of clean, gently used items and posted hours that included my Saturday shopping spree. Unfortunately, upon arriving at Teenie Greenies, I was greeted with the same empty storefront fate as Your Little Ones Locker in Dacono.

 

Childish Things

I walked up to find kids’ bikes and outdoor fun littering (in an organized fashion) the sidewalk by the door. The store possesses a wonderful array of current, cute clothing choices in a mix of sizes, styles, and colors. What’s more, the store also has a selection of toys (including new Melissa & Doug finds) and has an array of women’s clothing for moms without time to make a second stop for themselves. I eyed an entertaining array of sidewalk chalk and pedal-less balance bikes for my nephews.

 

Adult Consignment

Among the jumble of hip youth chains like Plato’s Closet lies a multitude of vintage and modern consignment stores. To judge them, I took a sampling of some brand-name clothes into each store. Rags Consignment, Fabulous Finds, and Rockin’ Robin’s all hold items for a number of weeks and then, if sold, the customer receives a percentage of the profits. Generally, this percentage is 40% cash or 50% store credit.

 

Rags Consignment

One of the larger consignment clothing stores around, this location offers an amazing array of styles, brands and sizes. However, the prices can get a bit high on racks with “higher end” brands. Offering a variety of cute accessories and fashionable dresses, the store was bustling with shoppers. While everyone was smiling and enjoying their bargain hunting, the employees weren’t used to explaining their process to newcomers. Rags accepted two of the items I brought in—a sturdy cardigan and blue and pink coattail shirt—yet when I arrived at the table to complete the transaction, they didn’t explain much until I prodded. Even so, the wardrobe additions in the store (including a dazzling chunky necklace and lightweight brown scarf) were many—if I had more funds, I would’ve left with a much lighter wallet.

Cleanliness/Organization: 5/5

Value: 4/5

Ease of Experience: 3/5

Overall: 4/5

 

Rockin’ Robin’s

Similar to Rags, Rockin’ Robin’s follows the strictly consignment policy but with a focus on “retro and resale.” I expecting a cluttered room filled with dusty, well-loved (if slightly moth-eaten) dresses—in reality, Rockin’ Robin’s is only a third retro and two-thirds resale, all bundled up in an organized package and sorted by clothing type. Accompanied by catchy old school jukebox music, I fell in love with a flowing Free People skirt and well priced gold earrings.

Value: 4/5

Cleanliness/Organization: 4/5

Ease of Experience: 3/5

Overall: 4/5

 

Hip Resale

A smaller shop near Childish Things, this consigner presents a different way to consign, offering cash instantly for clothes and a portion of the sale if the item sells. Like Rags, Hip found favor with only a few of my offerings, and for three items they offered $11 up front. They were extremely helpful to a first-time consigner and even handed me a quick reference card explaining guidelines for what they accepted. They chose their consigned goods well—I fell in love with a pair of sturdy, adorable boots and numerous dresses from Free People to J. Crew.

Value: 4/5

Cleanliness/Organization: 4/5

Ease of Experience: 4/5

Overall: 4/5

 

Fabulous Finds

If you’re looking for a blend of clothing and furniture consignment, Longmont’s Fabulous Finds sets itself apart with a blend of furniture, décor and bountiful racks of clothing. While some of the clothing may be on the conservative side, the prices are comparable to Hip Resale and Rags. On the furniture side, the selection is certainly on the tastefully expensive side, but an adorable metal big-shaped planter and large turquoise vase had me longing for a larger patio.

Value: 3/5

Cleanliness/Organization: 4/5

Ease of Experience: 3/5

Overall: 3/5

 

Furniture Consignment

Macklemore hasn’t yet written a catchy song for the elusive but oft-treasured finds that can appear in a furniture and home décor consignment store. This is the perfect choice for unique, well-made pieces to accent that cozy den or renovated kitchen.

 

Clutter Consignment

Mere blocks from the bustling Pearl St. Mall is a well organized (if slightly pricey) store with all manner of treasures. Filled to the brim, Clutter plays host to beautiful kitchen tables and chairs, amazingly comfortable sofas and armchairs and countless gorgeous pillows, lamps and other home accents. A brass mixing bowl and hand-painted lamp caught my eye, but I’ll have to come back to find every gem.

Value: 3/5

Cleanliness/Organization: 5/5

Ease of Experience: 4/5

Overall: 4/5

 

Tables to Teacups

This flea-market-style consignment store looked like the myriad of lovingly run-down antique malls in small-town Wisconsin that made up so many of my college excursions. Inside, little “rooms” divide the warehouse-esque interior into a jigsaw puzzle of dividers separating all manner of furniture, antiques and thousands of other random treasures. It takes a bit of a wandering soul to appreciate so much chaos, but the price tags and sheer variety made up for it. I ended up purchasing an amusing birthday card and an antique early 1900s brass bed frame (which happened to be on sale). After strapping a 6-foot headboard to the top of my subcompact and a white-knuckled, painstaking drive home in the rain, I’m happy to say that the furniture consignment finds will not leave anyone wanting.

Value: 5/5

Cleanliness/Organization: 2/5

Ease of Experience: 4/5

Overall: 4/5

 

After touring countless consignment stores in Boulder County, it’s clear that local consignment shops are thriving. No matter your budget or style, there’s a consignment store that will fit your tastes and leave you wanting more. Be it fashion, furniture or unique gifts, these local gems will have you satisfied and looking forward to your next shopping trip.

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