A Quartet of Shops Make Cherry Creek Consignment Central This Spring

The center mannequin at Kouture Consignment wears a dress by Alexander McQueen.EXPAND
The center mannequin at Kouture Consignment wears a dress by Alexander McQueen.
Photo by Mauricio O. Rocha

Spring is finally here for good — which means it's time to update your wardrobe. If you don't have much cash, head for Cherry Creek North — yes, chic Cherry Creek North — where four consignment shops are located within a few blocks of each other. As a result, this area has cornered the market for thrifty fashion; it's a destination where men and women alike can find designer clothing, outerwear, shoes, jewelry and bags at bargain prices.  We caught up with staffers at all four shops to find out what's on trend this season and how to keep a wardrobe looking fresh without breaking the bank. 

Kouture Consignment has a boutique atmosphere.EXPAND
Kouture Consignment has a boutique atmosphere.
Photo by Mauricio O. Rocha

4) Kouture Consignment
300 Josephine Street

Westword: What inspired you to open the shop last May — and what inspires it now?

Janice Smith: I was initially inspired to open Kouture Consignment after successfully selling items on eBay for about five years. I discovered more and more women began to shop with me. The idea to open a consignment store began there. We continue to be inspired by the great and interesting women who consign their incredible items with us weekly. Our goal is to give our customers the boutique experience at consignment prices.

Do you sell womenswear or menswear or both?

Right now we only sell women’s clothing due to space restrictions.

What is a staple piece of clothing that you think everyone should have in their wardrobe?

A staple piece of clothing that everyone should have in their closet is a really good pair of jeans that are comfortable and that flatter your body. A great pair of jeans can easily be dressed down or up, no matter the occasion. Another staple piece would be some nice, plain, black or white tops. When you wear more simple pieces, such as a plain top and jeans, then you can really have fun with the accessorizing, incorporating colorful shoes or handbags and bold jewelry.

How do you keep your wardrobe fresh?

In order to keep your wardrobe fresh, it is important to establish a one-year rule. This means that at least once every year you should go through your closet asking yourself, “Do I still love this?” “Is this still current?” and “Is it still flattering to my body?” You should also check for any pieces that still have tags — because if you haven’t worn it by now, you probably won’t ever wear it. Finally, a lot of us get stuck in only buying black pieces or clothing lacking any sort of color. To keep your style fresh, you should work to incorporate some more color into your wardrobe by paying attention to the season.

What do you think will be a hot fashion trend for spring/summer 2015? 

The hot new fashion trends we are seeing this spring/summer season bring back a lot of old favorites. Culotte pants as well as flair jeans are making a huge comeback, especially denim with patchwork. We are also seeing a lot of fringe this season — whether it be fringed clothing, boots or even handbags. Sporty minimalism is becoming a highly popular trend, along with platform shoes. Finally, gladiator sandals are dominating this season, with almost every major shoe designer coming out with some sort of a gladiator shoe design.

What is your favorite accessory? 

My favorite accessory would have to be sunglasses and handbags. Even if you are not feeling your cutest and wearing a very plain outfit, you can always throw on a great pair of sunglasses and handbag and instantly revamp your look.

Is there anything else you'd like to add? 

We really strive to move away from the stereotype that is associated with consignment stores. We work daily to come up with new and creative ideas to create the boutique experience. Additionally, we try to make the shopping experience fun for our customers by hosting monthly in-store events, which is a really fun way to get new ladies in the store shopping. We will bring in some sort of guest who we will generally relate to the season or holiday, as well as setting up little appetizers and some cocktails. We also have planned and executed full fashion shows. Our most recent news is that we are now working with a wardrobe stylist who comes to us to pull clothing for photo shoots and video shoots. 

For more information on Kouture Consignment, click here.

Rags Consignments finds include a pair of Jimmy Choo high heels.EXPAND
Rags Consignments finds include a pair of Jimmy Choo high heels.
Photo by Mauricio O. Rocha

3) Rags Consignments
201 University Boulevard

Westword: What inspired the shop — and what inspires it now?

Cristina Cavalier (Rags Denver area manager): Twenty years ago Margaret Miner opened the first Rags Consignments in Boulder because she saw a market in her and her friends that wasn't being met. They all had great clothes in great condition that weren't being worn anymore, so she set up shop in her basement, invited her friends to come shop and consign, and the rest is history. Today, Rags is inspired by fashion and the women who wear them. Trends are ever-changing, while staple pieces hang on for years and we do our best to bring in clothes what women want to be wearing today at a price that makes sense for their budget.

Do you sell womenswear or menswear or both?

We only women's clothing, accessories, shoes and purses.

What is a staple piece of clothing that you think everyone should have in their wardrobe?

A pair of dark-rinse skinny jeans, a plain white tank top, a chambray button-up, a black leather or vegan jacket, and a sleek pair of sunglasses.

How do you keep your wardrobe fresh?

If you don't feel confident while wearing an item, consign it — no matter how much you love it. The same thing goes with buying. My motto is "If in doubt, leave it out." Go through your wardrobe at the beginning of each season. If you didn't wear it last year, put it in the front to wear within the first two weeks of the current season. If you don't wear it in that time frame, consign it. Take the time to change out of your nice clothes when doing dirty work, and treat stains in a timely manner so you don't lose your favorite shirt to an oil splatter. Read the care labels on garments and follow them! Add pieces to your wardrobe that will work for many looks, not just one. Keeping clothing wrinkle-free helps my wardrobe look and feel fresh. I like to buy, gently wear, then reconsign items the next year or later that season. It allows me the flexibility to experiment with new looks and pieces, while never accumulating too much. I think that less to choose from for an outfit helps keep me sane and puts a fresh spin on the staple and unique pieces that I hold on to for years.

What do you think will be a hot fashion trend for spring/summer 2015?

I feel like mainstream fashion has been in a bit of a slump in regards to trends. Floppy hats, long vests and over-shirts with long skirts, booties with dresses have all been en vogue for a few years now, and I continue to see them as this spring season emerges. It's this "festival" look that the youth and twenty-somethings are still holding on to, combined with a '70s/'80s Daisy Duke pair of shorts and crop-top vibe. I've also noticed the retro vibe, like Lily Pulitzer: white eyelet, brightcolored flats and metallics. 

What is your favorite accessory?

Any one of my unique belts. I love rocking a tucked-in shirt to show off my chosen belt for the day. I think it turns any outfit into a more pulled-together look, accentuates my hourglass figure and adds the missing link to any denim and tee look. I also am in love with Mary Bulick's handmade, large gold and silver hoop earrings. We sell them at our Boulder store and they finish off any outfit: dressed up or down, warm or cold weather.

Anything else you'd like to add?

Always shop second-hand first for any specific wardrobe needs you have. Whether it's an interview outfit, wedding guest attire or your new favorite jeans, you'll be able to find what you're looking for if you commit to checking out a few consignment stores. Plus, Rags now has three amazing stores to shop — two in Denver and our flagship store in Boulder, which is huge! Our staff is always ready to help you find that gem of an item hidden in the racks.

Click here for more information on Rags Consignments. 

Andrea wears a dress by Louis Vuitton and shoes by Zac Posen, all from Echo Consignment.
Andrea wears a dress by Louis Vuitton and shoes by Zac Posen, all from Echo Consignment.
Photo courtesy of Echo Consignment

2) Echo Consignment
2615 East Third Avenue

Westword: What inspired you to open the shop in May 2013, and what inspires it now?

Carina Saskia: The shop is inspired by great clients and beautiful clothing design.

Do you sell womenswear or menswear or both?

I carry womenswear only because of space constraints. 

How do you keep your wardrobe fresh?

Other than a great closet and functional hangers, a little editing now and then is essential.

What is a staple piece of clothing that you think everyone should have in their wardrobe?

Anything by Chanel. 

What do you think will be a hot fashion trend for spring/summer 2015? 

I don't really focus on trends, but I love individuality and a kind heart. 

What is your favorite accessory? 

My favorite accessories are sunglasses and a positive attitude.

For more information on Echo Consignment, click here. 

A mannequin styled by Erica Duke at Déjà Blue.EXPAND
A mannequin styled by Erica Duke at Déjà Blue.
Photo by Mauricio O. Rocha

1) Déjà Blue Boutique
303 University Boulevard

Westword: What inspired Goodwill to open Déjà Blue in March 2012, and what inspires it now?

Vanessa Clark (senior director of marketing for Goodwill Industries of Denver): For Goodwill, everything we do is about our community programs. We realized that we could provide more services in our local community if we leveraged some of our higher-end and brand-name donations. By gathering some of our high-end goods at Déjà Blue, shoppers could still find amazing high-end items at very affordable prices. Honestly, today our inspiration is the same, except we probably get even more donations that fit this location because our loyal Déjà Blue shoppers know it’s here and tell their friends.

Do you sell womenswear or menswear or both?

Déjà Blue sells both men’s and womenswear.

What is a staple piece of clothing that you think everyone should have in their wardrobe?

To me a great pair of jeans and a classic white button-down shirt are essential wardrobe pieces. Denim jeans and white are always in style, no matter the current trends. It’s also a blank canvas that can be dressed up with a necklace and heels, made functional for winter with knee-high boots, or look beachy and summery with sandals and a great bag.

How do you keep your wardrobe fresh?

People don’t always realize you don’t need a wardrobe full of designer clothes to look chic. We tell our customers to consider combining their closets with a few high-end designer classic staples — boots, jackets, dresses, bags — then to sprinkle in a few of the latest trends of each new season that can mix in well with your current wardrobe. Always, always throw anything out that you haven’t worn in a year, and fill your closet with only the items you look best in. It can be super-affordable if you do it all at Goodwill, which taps into a lot of designer expertise to help our shoppers, so I try to follow the rule above. Donate things to Goodwill that are not fitting quite right or don’t match your current style, and sprinkle in some trend-forward looks of the day. Always keep some classics that will never go out of style.

What do you think will be a hot fashion trend for spring/summer 2015?

How we merchandise our stores is a very important part of our retail experience. We research the trends every season so we can put together looks that fit what’s in style to help our shoppers find clothes that are current and trendy. So we know what’s hot: aquamarine, scuba blue, toasted almond and strawberry ice are just a few of Pantone’s cool colors for spring. Suede is making a comeback in cool pastels for spring, and menswear-influenced clothing for women — like button-down shirts — are on the racks. You’ll also find shirt-dresses and jumpsuits are back for spring and summer.

What is your favorite accessory?

To be honest, if you were going to spend more money on just one thing, I’d say go for a statement piece of jewelry. My favorite is a statement necklace. A great chunky necklace is instantly noticeable and makes a big first impression.

Anything else you'd like to add?

I guess one of my biggest tips is keep going back to Déjà Blue regularly. We change out our merchandise so frequently that you might miss an incredible deal by waiting a day, especially as we transition into a new season.

To find out more about Déjà Blue, click here. 


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