Fashion and the Phoenix . . . from Ashes to Amazing
By Amanda McDanel –
“In a good shoe, I wear a size six, but a seven feels so good, I buy a size eight.” Like Dolly Parton in Steel Magnolias, I believe in a similar shoe philosophy, which is exactly why my size 7 tiger stripe wedges presented a problem. After our first night on the town together, I had to end our relationship by storing them in the depths of my closet.
Like a dirty secret, the darkest part of my closet is reserved for my 1996 prom dress and other things that one day will either 1) come back into style in a decade where I can still wear them or 2) be sold on Ebay. Sadly, this pile has accumulated over time and my disgruntled husband has demanded his closet space back. So one Sunday I was frantically trying to find good homes for all of my preloved fashion outcasts when I stumbled upon The Loft.
Located at MP 4 in Kitty Hawk, the Loft, is an upscale consignment boutique that sells designer clothing, shoes, and accessories as well as furniture and home décor items. Customers can consign items by appointment and receive 40% commission on clothing and 50% on furniture. I met with Angela Brown, the clothing specialist, who turned my pile of too small, too long, and too “not me” into a promise of a future paycheck. Overall, it was a pretty painless process and I felt good knowing that my tiger wedges would roar another day. Just on someone else’s feet.
While there, I browsed the store and found some unique finds including an amazing yellow microfiber armchair for $125 that was in perfect condition and just begging for someone to curl up with a book on a rainy day.
A hand-finished bed was dressed up in linens and strewn with several dresses—a scene that reminded me of digging through my roommate’s closet in college because her dresses always seemed hipper and more novel than my own. In the pile was a fabulous eggplant colored French Connection tunic, a lace trimmed blouson top that would be adorable paired with leggings, and a sleek black “Friday night” dress, all for under $30 apiece and they didn’t smell like college bar smoke. Talk about bang for your buck.
Victoria Vinson, owner of Vivi’s Five & Dime in Kitty Hawk, offers another avenue for getting the most bang for your buck. After managing Hotline Pink for many years, “Vivi” has opened a retro chic store containing one of a kind items including vintage linens, knick knacks and collectables. Focusing on unique items, she has everything from retro designer jeans to vintage 1970s prints to penny candy. On an old 1950s enamel table, Vivi even has glass bottles of Coca Cola with a pack of peanuts for sale to capture that old five and dime spirit.
While she does not accept consignment items per se, she is always on the lookout to purchase interesting items to add to her selection. After admiring the Marushka seagull print on display, I mentioned that I had a similar print hanging in my hallway at home. The very same print that causes the daily eyeroll from my husband that is followed by the comment “My parents had these hanging all over our house growing up in the 1970s.” To which I reply, “Well, your parents had very good taste, and good taste never goes out of style.”
After casually asking her if she would be interested in it, she chirps a resounding “Sure!” which I’m sure my husband can hear ringing through the air three miles away.
Whether you are trying to find a good home for some preloved items and make a little cash on the side or score a fabulous deal on a one of a kind find, the Outer Banks is now brimming with options for you to reduce, reuse and “upcycle” in this lackluster economy. Now that my husband has his closet back, I think it is about time for mama to get a new pair of shoes. Preloved and size 8, of course.