Consignment shops can provide cheap alternative to designer brands

Amber Kelly, Opinion Editor

New and gently used clothes fill Mirror Image Consignment. Consignment shops can provide the style teenagers are looking for secondhand. With designers like Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger and Steve Madden soaring in prices, teenagers can get the label without the heavy price tag.

“Here at Mirror Image we only take items that are current in style, either new or in like-new condition,” Mirror Image owner Debra Meek said. “I take items from size zero to 3XL, in current season. But there isn’t much call for business suits, intimate apparel or vintage items.”

Another reason consignment is popular has to do with the amount of money shoppers all across America save. According to dealnews, shoppers saved near $7 billion by consignment shopping in 2017.

A reintroduced trend to teens this year was the “Tommy Jeans” oversized pullover from Tommy Hilfiger. It retails for $129, but at a consignment shop it would cost $37. Or take the Gucci Horsebit Loafer for example, it normally costs $730 but at resale it would cost around $219.

Some students choose to shop consignment rather than wholesale because they enjoy having a more diverse style.

“I enjoy consignment because I prefer to have more of a unique style,” sophomore Lilly Thompson said. “I like that I don’t have basic style. Mine is very original and different.”

Senior Lindsey Smith grew up with second hand items, so by the time she started to shop, she wanted to do it through consignment.

“It’s cheap, so cheap,” Smith said. “I don’t have a regular job right now, so all my money is coming from random odd jobs I get. Babysitting every few weekends and house sitting for neighbors doesn’t give me all that much money, and I put half of it in the bank anyway, so I don’t have much to spend.”

Students can even find formal dresses at consignment shops.

“I found my prom dress at the consignment shop next to Lovie’s and got it for a dollar,” Smith said. “I had to alter it quite a bit,  but it was totally worth it. For one dollar and about two hours of hand done alterations, I was set for prom with a cute outfit.”

As the spring/summer season approaches, many students are looking for a change of wardrobe and consignment shops have items like shorts, skirts, tank tops, swimsuits and sandals. Mirror Image has a turnover of items every 60 days, so new items are added every two months, providing opportunities for teenagers to refresh their wardrobe.