Become friends with sales associates: Funny story about the jacket I’m wearing in these photos. You’ve undoubtedly seen it a million times here on This Time Tomorrow. I picked it up years ago at one of my favorite shops in San Francisco, Jeremy’s, which used to receive all the leftover current season items from department stores, and heavily discount them. Since I made a regular Saturday habit of swinging by, I quickly became friends with one sales associate in particular, Ryan, who actually held this McQ leather jacket for me the minute it came in, because he “had a feeling I would want it.”
Similarly, I live pretty close to the Bookmarc store on Bleecker (Marc Jacobs book store), where they sell, in addition to amazing coffee table art books, some really hard to find Olympia Le-Tan clutches. I’m a fanatic when it comes to her clutches — and I’ve accumulated my fair share of them at this point. I’ve never paid full price for any of them though. And once I discovered the Book Marc store regularly did clean outs of their inventory, I immediately gave my email to one of the associates to notify me the next time they went on serious sale. He’s honored his word since.
Enlist a trusted cobbler or leather reworker: The reality with anything coming from a consignment site or store is this: it’s used. It’s been in someone else’s life, getting some much deserved love, so you have to set your expectations accordingly. Personally, I’m not overly fussed by a few nicks or scrapes here and there (particularly on a bag), because it’s inevitable, I’m about to do the same to it. When purchasing, take note of the conditions listed, zoom in on pictures, and when in doubt, use the chat feature to talk it over with someone from their team.
Next, when your new baby arrives, don’t underestimate what a cobbler or leather reworker can do! I’ve taken numerous pairs of heels in to have them look practically brand new when they come back — sometimes it just takes a good polish or resoling to do the trick. Same with bags.
Estate sales: I don’t get to do this as often anymore, but estate sales are just the best for those diamonds in the rough moments. Whenever I head upstate, I always set aside a little time to map out some potential estate sales to hit up along the way, in hopes there’s a meaty jewelry or clothing collection to be had. My good friend, Jillian, of Sweet & Spark, actually does just this for her brand, listing and selling some of the amazing costume and designer pieces she finds along the way — these Chanel earrings being her most recent score. The minute she posted on Instagram she was selling them, I pounced. And I have to say — I’m SO over the moon about them.
We have a few upstate excursion plans and a Montreal road trip in the works — so I’ll keep you all posted if we manage to sneak in some shopping along the way.
And that does it! My tried and true approach to finding those unique designer pieces, without having to fork over full price. Any tips you’d like to add?