833 W. 36th St., 410-534-9999.
Great for: Funky finds for you or a friend.
Details: This row-house boutique on The Avenue has a mix of vintage, new apparel, and reworked vintage with pieces by local artists. The curated racks of affordable vintage goods for girls and guys are hip and funky, yet totally wearable. Unique accessories and home décor make this a good spot for gifts, too.
Editor’s Pick: A floral print ’70s pleated dress, $23.
1316 Light St., 443-869-6379.
Great for: Saving on designer pieces.
Details: When you walk into this classy Federal Hill boutique with its upscale vibe, it simply doesn’t feel like you’re in a resale shop. Here you’ll find Louboutins, Gucci bags, and a wall of designer jeans. Every item is handpicked by the store’s owner and looks brand new.
Editor’s Pick: Like-new Tory Burch Bryce clogs with a wooden sole and burnt-orange leather upper, $75.
Debois Textiles, Inc.
1835 Washington Blvd., 410-837-8081.
Great for: Vintage finds and super-cheap bargains.
Details: Just south of Pigtown, this textile warehouse isn’t where you’d expect to find a vintage treasure trove. Debois’s Boulevard Boutique is a hidden gem with quality finds from the ’60s to the ’80s for men and women of all sizes. And thrifty shoppers can score pieces for well under $10 by digging through boxes in the warehouse.
Editor’s Pick: A green and white Lilly Pulitzer sundress, circa 1960, $50.
1926 Fleet St., 410-276-0817.
Great for: Stocking up on basics.
Details: This small store is packed with racks of women’s clothing, shoes, accessories, and jewelry. With labels ranging from Forever XXI to Marc Jacobs, you’ll find something special if you enjoy the hunt.
Editor’s Pick: Black and brown woven-leather Cole Haan loafers, $38.
3649 Falls Road, 410-243-0789.
Great for: Scoring wearable vintage finds.
Details: In an old church just off The Avenue, this spacious boutique is one of the few offering vintage and small-label styles for men and women. You’ll find graphic tees, button-downs, and flannel for him and chunky sweaters, airy ’90s dresses, and well-styled jeans for her. Accessories, jewelry, and local art round out the mix.
Editor’s Pick: A pair of vintage cognac leather Sebago Campsides, $15.
602 S. Broadway, 410-675-2449.
Great for: Adding whimsy to your wardrobe.
Details: Across from the Broadway Market, this long, narrow shop is stuffed to the brim with vintage and costume clothing. Gatsby-esque flapper dresses hang from the walls, racks of large-collar polyester button-downs look dance-floor ready, and sequined dresses sparkle on the racks. Amid the costume wear, you’ll also find quality vintage pieces.
Editor’s Pick: A Mad Men-style metallic brocade shift dress with beaded collar, $40.
La Chic Boutique
5614 Newbury St., 443-869-2247.
Great for: A timeless mink fur coat, either vintage or a newer coat made with female pelts for a lighter, slimmer silhouette.
Details: The Mt. Washington staple carries the fashions of Tory Burch, Roberto Cavalli, and high-end Parisian boutiques, all barely worn or with tags still intact. Clients can create a “wish list” and be notified when a certain designer or style hits the racks. Additionally, owner Mary Anne Barker redesigns furniture and creates custom wreaths and ornaments for clients.
Editor’s Pick: Travel in style with a vintage Louis Vuitton suitcase, $3,000.
Little Lamb Consignments
5002 Lawndale Ave., 410-433-9086.
Great for: Gently used baby and children’s clothing from designers such as Polo Ralph Lauren and Lilly Pulitzer.
Details: This one-stop shop will equip a mother with everything she needs to clothe her child, from everyday wear to special-occasion outfits to school uniforms and Halloween costumes. While browsing the racks, you can also find consigned books, strollers, changing tables, and more.
Editor’s Pick: A cozy green Mini Boden coat with toggle clasps and a hood, $75.
Great for: Modern-style vintage finds for work or going out.
Details: Based in Federal Hill, this vintage boutique sells online at poshretro.com. From a silk ’90s LBD for date night to skirts and blouses for the office, these brand-name items won’t break the bank.
Editor’s Pick: Mode Specialé brand brown-leather, blazer-style jacket, $35.
5002 Lawndale Ave., 410-323-2140.
Great for: Preppy, tailored apparel and accessories that would earn a front-row seat at Fashion Week.
Details: The Roland Park store gives runway styles a second life with designers such as Prada, Fendi, and Christian Louboutin. Merchandise is carefully selected to provide a more comfortable shopping experience, rather than searching through an enormous quantity of clothing.
Editor’s Pick: Hermès Grand Apparat scarf, $200.
9131 Reisterstown Rd., Owings Mills, 410-581-9780.
Great for: Top-tier designer fashions that will make you feel good about your shopaholic tendencies.
Details: Staffed mainly by volunteers, Ruth’s Closet donates all proceeds to House of Ruth Maryland, which aids victims of intimate-partner violence. Pay it forward by purchasing high-end items, including Stuart Weitzman, Escada, and Jimmy Choo, at a bargain price.
Editor’s Pick: A true classic——a vintage black quilted-leather Chanel handbag——will never go out of style, $495.
Ten Car Pile Up
511 York Rd., Towson, 410-832-5246.
Great for: Vintage pieces deconstructed and redesigned for the creatively stylish.
Details: Founder Shane Gullivan accepts consigned vintage pieces and gives them a facelift with the help of his sewing machine, resulting in one-of-a-kind, handcrafted clothing.
Editor’s Pick: A Gatsby-themed ensemble with a white tuxedo jacket and vintage boater hat (prices vary).
Several locations, including 1830 York Rd., Timonium, 410-560-5890.
Great for: Any variety of denim, with a huge selection including American Eagle, Gap, and premium labels like Seven for Mankind and Citizens of Humanity.
Details: Emily Schramm and Nancy Kline, the mother-daughter team behind the Timonium, Rockville, and Salisbury Uptown Cheapskate locations, carry everything from
J. Crew to H&M. Although it caters largely to teens and young women, the store also boasts an impressive men’s collection.
Editor’s Pick: A Michael Kors hobo bag in gunmetal with silver chain details, $99.
Wear It’s At
49 Main St., Reisterstown, 410-526-2003.
Great for: Boutique-worthy fashion at a bargain price, as well as personal styling assistance from owner Stephanie Torrible and her knowledgeable staff.
Details: The consignment store in historic Reisterstown carries high-end brands ranging from AllSaints to Tory Burch to Christian Dior and Givenchy, providing a budget-friendly selection of on-trend designer apparel, shoes, and accessories. Items that don’t make the racks are donated to Suited to Succeed and Cinderella’s Closet.
Editor’s Pick: The Christian Dior asymmetrical cheetah print dress, $475.
4002 Roland Ave., 410-235-4140.
Great for: Classing up your work wardrobe.
Details: The first room of designer goods——think Chanel bags, J Brand jeans, Calvin Klein suits——leads to three more meticulously organized rooms with casual and formal clothes, accessories, and shoes. Don’t forget to check the dates on the tags——prices go down the longer an item’s around and new stock arrives daily.
Editor’s Pick: A 3.1 Phillip Lim khaki trench with yellow-trim buttons.
813 N. Charles St., 410-539-2817.
Great for: Costume and quirky thrift shopping.
Details: Just north of the Washington Monument, above a barbershop, this store is packed floor-to-ceiling with men’s and women’s fashions. While you won’t find designer brands here, you will find plenty of funky pieces——we’re talking sequined fanny packs, ’80s prom dresses, and neon wigs.
Editor’s Pick: A perfectly worn-in, black-leather biker jacket, $60.
What I Will Buy
Mary Anne Barker, owner of La Chic Boutique in Mt. Washington, gives her tips for consignors.
Seasonableness is generally my rule of thumb for buying. However, I always take [a few select] items that are “all season,” as people who vacation [in the winter] to the Islands cannot find summer items in high-end department stores.
Stick with either today’s fashions (within the last year) or truly vintage (before the 1970s).
Tags Equal Value.
I tell every consignor to bring in their items with the original tags——people like to purchase an item with the original tag on it. As a shop owner, it also saves us time researching the original price of the item in order to put a “good selling” price on it.
Prep Your Clothes.
Remember these rules to maximize your chance of success:
• Always clean • Always on hangers
• Barely worn • Preferably with original tags • No tears
• No missing buttons • No damages
If you were bored with your items, you could sell it at a consignment shop instead of dumping it somewhere else. The idea of “a person’s junk is another person’s gift” is very true.