“Instructions for living a life: Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.” ― Mary Oliver
On our mother-daughter Chicago trip we wanted to find some new places to shop beyond the usual Michigan Avenue fare. My sister researched online and found this, from Racked: The 38 Essential Shopping Experiences in Chicago, Winter 2013. The store that caught her eye was Luxury Garage Sale in the Old Town neighborhood. The boutique opened just last year, and sounded like a blend between a designer outlet store and a high-end consignment store. We knew we had to make a stop.
When we walked into the store, it was a small, intimate, little jewel box. The interior design and merchandising looked straight off the floor of a shop like DVF or Christian Louboutin. A glamorous, feminine wallpaper, gleaming mirrors, and fixtures all added to the elegance of the beautiful clothing and accessories. But most of all, the warm and welcoming staff made a big impression. One of the sales managers, Lauren, approached us immediately and was very helpful, but also let us browse at a leisurely pace.
We learned from Lauren that about one-third of their stuff was overstock from other stores and designers so was never worn and still had tags. The rest was consignment, but some of that may never have been worn, or was worn minimally – and you could tell. The clothes were absolutely impeccable. We couldn’t believe the pristine condition of the clothes, bags, and accessories. The owner of the store said they really try to reserve the most special and best quality pieces for the physical shop, and put anything less (though still good condition) on their website and ebay page to sell there.
I started out at a rack of dozens of beautiful blazers (I have a total weakness for blazers and jackets, owning no fewer than 15, I’m pretty sure). A bunch of them were brand new with tags still on them!
An hour later, we’d tried on Dior dresses, Stella McCartney gowns, Lanvin jackets, and vintage furs and jewelry. I was in heaven! Luxury Garage Sale had rock bottom prices on top-end designer goods. They also told me they give their consignors a top-of-the-market 65% cut of the sale price of their items. Makes me think I should have a closer look at what I could purge from my closet!
After much deliberation, and almost caving in and buying a gorgeous black Dior cocktail dress that I definitely didn’t need, I settled on two pieces. The first is a super sharp, modern cut black lapel-less blazer from Stella McCartney, new with tags for just $450. If you think that is expensive (I know it still is) just consider the original price of $1795. No, I didn’t forget a decimal. And no, I would never actually pay anything close to that for a blazer. BUT, the chance to snap one up at that price – did I mention it fit like a glove? Mom and sis agreed, I had to get it. I am sure it will be a staple in my work wardrobe for years to come.
The second piece was a fun silk chiffon tank from Parker, outfitted in delicate graphite and pewter tone bugle beads, sequins, etc. Perfect with jeans or black pants for a night out, alone or with a jacket draped over it.
And though I liked tons of other things, I reminded myself we were just getting started and the Stella jacket was already a splurge. I showed some discipline in the face of tons of temptation! (Did I mention the Miu Miu bag for under $700?) It’s a good thing I did, because then we walked a few doors down to Handle With Care and I tried on another blazer, this one silk, and in a shocking hot pink, by Parker.
I’ve been stalking the LGS website since returning home, because you never know what new items will come in, and now that I’ve discovered this gem there is no way I’ll wait ’til I return to Chicago to shop it again!