Boston is by no means the fashion capital of the world, unless your world is overwhelmingly populated by The North Face jackets and UGG boots. Despite this fact, we do have our fair share of hidden gems when it comes to retail — particularly with secondhand boutiques. For all you fashion-lovers who can appreciate the thrill of the hunt, who would prefer to don vintage Versace to your average department store brand, and who don’t mind digging around a bit for the sake of your ever-growing wardrobe, here is a compilation of some of the best consignment shops worth exploring in our area.
Second Time Around
If you are looking for a consignment shop where you can find high-end designer brands and fashion-savvy staffers, Second Time Around should be your first stop. When it comes to upscale resale, this Newton-born consignment company succeeds at delivering top-notch style with affordable prices. Second Time Around accepts designer clothing and accessories in mint condition and resells them. They generally only accept articles of clothing which are seasonally appropriate and no older than two years. Stopping by this chic shopping destination is a must, whether you are searching for timeless staples or current trends — expect to spot classic pieces by Burberry and Chanel, as well as trendy bags and shoes by Kate Spade and Tori Burch. Second Time Around has brought style, value, and quality to the Boston area since 1973, and with 11 Massachusetts locations, it shouldn’t be difficult to find a store near you.
176 Newbury St. Boston, MA 617-247-3504 http://www.secondtimearound.net/
Wish List Consignment
Wish List Consignment is essentially a goldmine of vintage clothing for women and men, jewelry, and furniture. Whether you’re seeking out a party dress from the ‘20s or an elegant gown from the ‘50s, Wish List has got you covered. The shop is extremely well-organized and chockfull of designer names from Dooney and Bourke to Alexander McQueen. If you are looking to consign, owner Gretchen Gold accepts items ranging from the 1900s to the 1980s. According to Gold, what sets Wish List apart from other consignment shops is her access to the vintage inventory. “You just can’t find many of the items I can source,” she said. “I work with collectors and have access to vintage clothing that has been buried in their collection for over 40 years.” Located by the Hanover Mall, Wish List may be a bit of a troop if you’re unfamiliar with the South Shore. However, considering their unbeatable collection of vintage apparel, they are definitely worth the trip.
1775 Washington St. Hanover, MA 781-829-9474 http://www.wishlistconsign.com/
A fan-favorite among college students, Buffalo Exchange is the place to go when looking for bargain deals on eye-catching styles. Conveniently located in Allston and Somerville, they carry an impressive collection of new and “recycled” garments. Inventory can be a mixed bag ranging from designer names and vintage gems to current basics. About 80 percent of their inventory is bought locally, and most items average at about $15. Buffalo Exchange isn’t your typical consignment shop; unlike most consignment shops, which pay you only after your items are resold, Buffalo Exchange will pay you cash on the spot or trade with you for the clothing you bring in. This is a great place to stop by if you’re looking to add something unique and possibly hipster-esque to your wardrobe. Buffalo Exchange earns extra brownie points for being fashion-forward and environmentally friendly for the past 40 years. Check out their fashion blog and Instagram to stay up-to-date on their inventory.
180 Harvard Ave. Boston, MA 617-779-7901 http://buffaloexchangefashion.com/
Located in the heart of the Back Bay, The Closet is a high-end consignment shop fittingly known for its motto, “gently worn and gently priced.” It’s not at all unlikely to find labels like Marc Jacobs, Diane von Furstenberg, and Prada gracing the racks of this local hotspot, and the longer an item has been on display, the greater the sale discount you’ll tend to get. “We receive hundreds of pieces a day during our busiest times,” said store manager Cassie Knight. “We like to think we have something for anyone that loves fashion.” Considering the A+ inventory available at The Closet, the prices are generally quite reasonable, ranging from $20 to $1,000. Come here expecting the ultimate consignment experience, including a bit of digging around for the vintage treasures you just have to add to your own closet at home. Having been open for 36 years now, The Closet is one of the oldest operating stores on Newbury Street.
175 Newbury St. Boston, MA 617-536-1919 http://blog.closetboston.com/