How to Shop Second-Hand Gifts Like a Boss (Part II of II)

Well here we are friends: Hanukkah’s passed, it’s just days ‘til Christmas, and if you have, say, a life, some things have slipped through the cracks. To combat the gift-giving aspects of your predicament, here’s the best tip I’ve got:

What: Anything lululemon

*Where: Trusted Upscale Brick and Mortar Consignment Stores (at this point it’s too late to order online)

SHOP IT LIKE A BOSS: Go for signature (new with tags) leggings - it’s what put them on the map. If this feels too intimate, grab a fun layering piece or accessory -- an infinity scarf, a loose fitting tank, tee or hoodie -- in good condition. You can always have staff help you with your final selection: there’s usually an expert on-hand to assist and they tend to be very good at what they do.

Photo Courtesy of Common Threads in Denver.

Photo Courtesy of Common Threads in Denver.



*We love Common Threads in Denver and BoulderReal Deal Collection in Santa Fe, June in Minneapolis, Luxury Garage Sale in Chicago and online great: The Real Real. We’re always looking to expand our book of national recommendations, let us know about your favorite stores across the country and around the world!

How to Shop Second-Hand Gifts Like a Boss (Part I of II)

Trips to the mall for perfect gifts are a buzz kill, friends! Here’s an expert guide to the sublime, second-hand alternative to traditional holiday shopping:

WHAT: Estate Jewelry
*WHERE: Reputable High End Consignment Stores (Brick and Mortar or Online)

SHOP IT LIKE A BOSS: Look for heritage lines like Hermès, Cartier, Tiffany & Co, David Yurman and (YES!) JCrew --the Jenna Lyons years. I also love (stamped) sterling bangles to-be-stacked or cool, cool Native American pieces a la Georgia O’Keefe. Be sure everything is in good vintage condition before gifting (things can and should look a little worn; prongs should be tight, clasps and closures in good working condition, and no stones should be loose or missing). Don’t be afraid to spring for the perfect piece that requires minor repair, just ask around for an expert jeweler/goldsmith and give yourself at least a week’s lead time. In Denver, I like The Art of Gold (ask for Heather). Give everything a good shine up at home (Bed Bath and Beyond has amazing products) and place in simple muslin jewelry bags and plain brown card board jewelry boxes (from any large craft store).

Photo Courtesy of Common Threads in Denver.

Photo Courtesy of Common Threads in Denver.

Photo Courtesy of Common Threads in Denver.

Photo Courtesy of Common Threads in Denver.

WHAT: Designer Handbags and Wallets
*WHERE: Reputable High End Consignment Stores (Brick and Mortar or Online)

SHOP IT LIKE A BOSS:  Focus on classic luxury: I think the best gifts are from Louis Vuitton, Goyard, Bottega Veneta, YSL, Henry Beguelin, Balenciaga, Proenza Schouler, Loewe, Chloe, and (the big guns) Hermès and Chanel. Seek styles unrelated to specific seasons (unless requested), and only purchase bags that have been authenticated or come with original proof of purchase (most consignment shops like Common Threads provide this service and/or information). Inspect the bag carefully: consider the trim, lining, interior and exterior pockets, and closures, and give it a good smell. Nothing need be perfect, but everything should be neat, clean and in working condition. Always ask for the dust bag (many high end consigned bags come with the originals, and they are divine to have). At home, wipe the bag gently with a damp cloth inside and out to remove dust; stuff to give the shape a little encouragement. You can keep the bag stuffed to wrap, or remove stuffing after letting it sit for 48 hours or so. Place the bag in its duster, or simply place it in a plain brown card board gift box lined loads of tissue paper.

Photo Courtesy of Common Threads in Denver.

Photo Courtesy of Common Threads in Denver.

Photo Courtesy of Common Threads in Denver.

Photo Courtesy of Common Threads in Denver.

WHAT: The Ultimate Gift for a Shopper
*WHERE: Reputable High End Consignment Stores (Brick and Mortar or Online)

SHOP IT LIKE A BOSS: Contact your favorite local consignment store (in Denver and Boulder that means Common Threads) and ask about gift cards. Most of us have and are thrilled to provide them! Place in a small box and prepare for squeals of delight.

Photo Courtesy of Common Threads in Denver.

Photo Courtesy of Common Threads in Denver.



*We love Common Threads in Denver and Boulder, Real Deal Collection in Santa Fe, June in Minneapolis, Luxury Garage Sale in Chicago and online great: The Real Real. We’re always looking to expand our book of national recommendations, let us know about your favorite stores across the country and around the world!

The Holiday Edit: Go Bold or Go Home

Lights up on a woman dreaming of silk, fur and sartorial twists on holiday dressing. She is cold. She is tired. She is running late for the next big thing.  

Nursing heavily spiked egg-nog, she surveys her closet and looks at her phone. Cringes. “The best laid plans…” she thinks, shaking her head.  Feeling like she’s drunk dialing an ex, the woman reaches for her LBD. A quiet surrender. How did it come to this???

This holiday season, we invite you to subvert this story with Four Ways to Inspire Your Inner Wintour:

One Thing Vintage: add a single, unique vintage piece (a Lanvin necklace circa 1972, a mink stole, a brocade Dries jacket from seasons ago) and throw it over classics you own (a slip dress, a crisp white button down and a black pencil skirt, skinny trousers, or 501s). Keep the face bare. Add a red lip. Brava!

vintage fur image.jpg

Winter Floral: take (or find) a ‘90’s inspired floral dress (think Anna Sui or Reformation), add black opaque tights, a formal shoe (I love a dressed up Mary Janes), rhinestone jewels and/or a bit of fur or consider a floral maxi skirt with a metallic beaded top or simple black or white tee, and accessorize as above. Finish with loads of eyeliner and a nude or berry lip. Done.

WInter Floral.jpg

Goth for Days: if you must rely on the LBD (and let’s face it, there are days…), go ALL THE WAY and pair it with black tights, black heels, black moto jacket, a black velvet beret, black mani, and sunglasses at night. Finish with a top knot or a sleek low bun, naked or smoky eye, and vampy lipstick. C’est bon.

Goth For Days.jpg

Unexpected Twists: when all else fails, do one unexpected thing. Throw a field jacket over a gold lame dress, break out a Canadian Tuxedo and load your arms with too many gold bangles, wear a smoking jacket or a men’s tuxedo shirt as a dress with seamed black hosiery. Why not?

One Unexpected Thing 3 (Tux).jpg



PS: You can shop these looks at Common Threads Boulder and Common Threads Denver (specifics referenced are available in store now).

An Ode to Fashion Bloggery: The New Weekly

It’s easy to tear down the internet: the irony of use is palpable. Although it provides mind-blowing access to people and perspectives, studies show time logged online leads to more group-think and less empathy; more comparison and less meaningful connection to all walks of life. AND YET: there is unimaginable opportunity to learn, to share, and to engage. In our world, that means disrupting staid concepts of fashion, closet and wardrobe virtually and virally.

Before ushering in our new Weekly Blog (our focus: lives lived fiercely and fashionably with sustainable sensibility), we pause and pay due respect to our lineage. Here, an ode to Five Favorite Fashion Blogs (may we someday join them in the annals of Fashion Bloggery).

1.  The Classicist: Wardrobe Icons by Laura Fantacci:

2.  The Subversive: Man Repeller by Leandra Medine:

3.  The Realist: The Frugality by Alex Stedman:

4.  Timeless Inspiration: Advanced Style by Ari Seth Cohen:

5.  The European Flair(ist): The Fashion Guitar by Charlotte Groeneveld:  

Join us each Thursday for our Weekly beginning next week; meantime, enjoy the spoils of our passion. Kiss, kiss - enjoy!


Autumn Love.

There is a crispness in the air.  Leaves on the trees are starting to change color.  The sunsets are arriving earlier & the farmers markets booths are overflowing with squash, apples & sunflowers.  AND, just like clockwork, pumpkin is starting to show up in, well, pretty much everything.  Here in Colorado, the change of season is certainly upon us & boy, do we love change!

In the consignment world, Fall is our BUSIEST time of year.  It's kind of like how the holiday season is for "typical" retail stores - crazy, hectic & fun all at once!  At the end of Summer, everyone heads to their closet or storage area to put away their lightweight wardrobe & bring out their transitional pieces.  It's at that very same time that we get absolutely flooded with consignment.  (The exact thing happens when there's a rainy day or even after a weekend - our stores are busy the following day because consignors had the time to go through their closets.)  

At the beginning of September, both of our stores began accepting Fall consignment!  But, we always seem to get the question:  What exactly does Fall entail?  To us, it is the season of transition between hot & cold that is full of layers, thicker fabrics & texture, texture, texture!  

We're extra-choosy this time of year because there is SO MUCH coming in, so here are a few specifics we are looking for & what to look for in your own closet. 

1. Current styles.  We have a rule of thumb:  if it wasn't in a full-priced store within the past two years, we're going to pass.  We have such limited retail space & really love the idea of shopping in a highly curated space.  If you shop our stores, you know that we keep our store inventory current, but tend to steer clear of "mall brands".  We select unique brands, designer labels & boutique styles to sell, so there is absolutely no digging for gems - you are surrounded by them!

2. Outerwear.  Thick twill, classic denim, military-esque & yummy leather jackets in modern shapes & like-new condition.  

3. Blazers.  While we are transitioning into cooler weather, this staple is one that can pull a casual outfit together in an instant!  We are always looking for wonderfully tailored pieces in gorgeous fabrics, such as wool suiting, velvet (so hot right now!) & thick knits for a more casual feel. 

4. Scarves.  But not just any ol' scarf.  We look for season appropriate colors, luxurious textiles (think cashmere, wool, silk or modal) & current prints.  Brands we love include: Faliero Sarti, Chan Luu, Avant Toi & Matta.  

5. Texture.  Beautifully-knit oversized sweaters, delicious cashmere (always a great seller), fringe, frays, distressed denim, natural leather, studs, tweed & interesting woven pieces...  We love it all!

6. Layers.  Great basics that translate to multiple seasons so we can get more milage out of them, chunky "grandpa" cardigans (or any cardigan for that matter!), leggings to wear with tunics or dresses & ponchos that can be worn for either a sweater or outerwear look.  

7. Boots & Booties.  We did an entire blog post about this, which you can read HERE.  We sell booties like mad & taller boots are close to follow!  Colorado women really do LOVE their boots & with good reason too - they are a true transitional piece that can practically be worn year-round.  Best selling brands include: Fiorentini + Baker, Rachel Comey, Rag & Bone, Prada, No. 6, Stuart Weitzman, Freebird & Frye.  

When going through your own closet, be sure to keep those heavier-weight garments (& holiday party pieces!) for your Winter consignment drop-off.  Chunky knit hats & scarves, winter boots (Sorel, Ugg, etc), thick puffer coats, ski & snowboard clothing, wool coats, turtleneck sweaters & anything that has bling or sparkles that would be great for holiday!  

We look forward to seeing you soon!  Happy consigning & shopping!


Photo from our Fall photoshoot, courtesy of Noelle Ireland Photography.

Photo from our Fall photoshoot, courtesy of Noelle Ireland Photography.


One of the most in-demand design labels in our stores, Raquel Allegra, is certainly not like the masses. The fabrics, finishes & shapes are completely unique & totally sought after - for good reason! Known for gorgeous "grown-up" tie-dyed pieces, distressed (some are even deconstructed) tees, as well as fine silk & cashmere, everything is hand-wrapped, tied & dyed to artisan perfection.  

Growing up in California with artist parents, she was exposed to finely-crafted goods all of her life. Reflecting on that, her company manufactures the majority of her line (which really turned the corner to more womenswear pieces in 2009) in Los Angeles. We LOVE that!  

Photo by Noelle Ireland Photography for Common Threads Boulder.

Photo by Noelle Ireland Photography for Common Threads Boulder.

One of our favorite local boutiques, MAX, happens to be hosting Raquel Allegra trunk shows at their Denver & Boulder locations this week! The designer will be there to meet & answer any questions about her collection. How lucky are we?!

264 Detroit Street
Thursday, May 25th
10AM-6PM (cocktails from 6-8PM)

1177 Walnut Street
Friday, May 26th

Luxurious Bags We All Love!

Oh yes.  Those coveted brands that we are crazy about:  Louis Vuitton, Chloé, Gucci, Prada, Stella McCartney...  They show a certain status, but also an appreciation of design, construction & attention to detail, as well as a love of fine materials.  Finding the perfect one for you & your wardrobe can take a bit of time, but when you do find it, snag it!  A well-made bag can bring an outfit together in an instant & step it up to another caliber.

We get many luxurious bags into our stores & they never seem to last long.  That's for a reason.  Yes, they are certainly investment pieces, but finding them in amazing condition second-hand is so much easier on your wallet as many retail for $800+ new!  Because of the fine craftsmanship, they will last you through the seasons, making them well worth their cost.  If you are looking for a particular brand, style or color, we have Wishlists at both our Boulder & Denver locations.  All you need to do is call, email or stop in & we can add you to the list!


Over the past few years, we've (unfortunately) noticed that there are more & more faux designer bags being produced & purchased by online sellers & shoppers.  At Common Threads, we pride ourselves in carrying ONLY authentic designer pieces & this will never EVER change.  With the growing amount of issues we've had around replicas & wanna-be bags, we now have an authentication policy in place (& it has been for over a year now).  Any bag with the below brands MUST be accompanied by an original receipt (authentication cards cannot be accepted as they too can be replicated).  If you do not have your original receipt, many times it can be re-printed for you by the store of purchase.  Also, for a small charge, bags can be authenticated by our trusted online resource,  

- Balenciaga
- Bottega Veneta
- Bruno Cucinelli
- Burberry
- Céline
- Chloé
- Gucci
- Hermés
- Louis Vuitton
- Marni
- Miu Miu
- Prada
- Stella McCartney
* Other luxury brands may be subject to authentication requirements!

If you are shopping for designer bags online, ALWAYS purchase from a trusted seller.  Know the product & brand that you shopping for:  brand spelling, origin (where it's produced), styles, colors & price points are things to be conscious of.  If an offer seems too good to be true....well, you know the answer.

We want you to feel comfortable & happy while shopping with us, whether it's for an investment bag or anything else!  Always feel free to ask any of our associates questions about the products we carry or put in a special request for your dream piece.  Hey, once you put it out there to the universe, you just never know what will happen!