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.

XOXO,

LUCIANN

*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!

BOOTIE-FUL!

It's funny to think that (especially when it's ninety degrees out!) we'll soon be transitioning our Colorado wardrobes to Fall!  While many other local retailers have been receiving their pre-Fall & Fall deliveries, we're usually the last to switch over our inventory.  Our shoppers are more "shop for now" instead of "shop for the future", which is great!  Needless to say, we're not selling cashmere sweaters when it's sweltering out....

We start saying ¡Adios! to Summer when the kiddos return to school in mid-August & the evenings start to get a little chillier.  With that comes along lighter transitional pieces:  cardigans, twill & leather jackets, blazers, long-sleeved blouses, felted hats & you know it - booties!  

Being in the consignment business, we have found that booties are the one accessory that every woman loves - our shoppers just go CRAZY for them!  Heeled or flat, leather or faux, studded or buckled, chunky or slim, they really are the perfect shoe to complete (almost) every look.  With a tee & jeans, sneakers often look too casual, but a chunky-heeled slim bootie is the perfect answer to making that combo dinner or date appropriate.  With a dress & blazer, pumps can many times feel too dressy, but adding a bootie dresses it down a bit - looking hot....not overdone.  

Beginning September 1st, we'll begin transitioning to Fall in our stores & this is prime time to bring your booties in to sell or to shop for them.  Mark your calendars & start going through your closets!  

Our predictions are that Fall 2017 is going to be full of booties, luxe scarves, quality sculpted hats (think Royal Stag), amazing designer basics (hello, anything from Cedar & Hyde!), the coolest denim & a drool-worth color palette of peachy-nude, mauve, burgundy, merlot, mushroom forest green, navy blue & of course charcoal grey!  Download our Fall color palette below to your phone & bring it with you when you shop!  

xoxo

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!

bottega.jpg

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, AuthenticateFirst.com.  

- Balenciaga
- Bottega Veneta
- Bruno Cucinelli
- Burberry
- Céline
- Chloé
Fendi
- 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!

xoxo