Fashion

Ten Commandments of Consigning

Consign of the times is certainly a play on words but the meaning is very real. We live in an age where material items are abundant and have a short life span with its original owner. Milliennial’s have very little attachment to holding on to “things.”

If you were raised with the value of buying quality, keeping your paperwork and taking care of your purchases, then consider yourself having a head start in the age of consignment. These traits will be secret weapons needed to keep up with the fast paced trading world. After being in the business for over eight years I feel I could write a book, but for now I will keep it simple and get back to the language we all understand — money.

Pradaclip:ConsignstoryimageFollow these the 10 Commandments of Consigning and you will increase your profits.

1. Consigning verses selling to a reseller: if you are willing to be patient and not looking for “instant cash payout,” then consigning is the way to go. Resellers buy cheap. Consignment businesses do their best to get you the highest yield on your item and share that profit with you.

2. Consignment shops like clothing items to be no more than two years old, designer vintage is always welcome. Best sellers are dresses, blouses and coats. Suits are an extremely hard item to sell as most modern women have moved to separates. If you paid $500 for a suit don’t expect it to bring the same price as a $500 dress. It all goes back to desirability and market.

3. Luxury handbags yield the highest return on investment. Keep your authenticity card, receipts, dust covers and any accessories that may have come with the bag. The more you have, the more it will yield.

4. If you paid good money for your goods, treat them with respect. “Bag on the floor, money no more.” You will never find my bag on the floor and if you do please stop to remind me that I am loosing money!

5. Store bags properly to keep their shape. Stuffing large zip lock bags or their dust covers with tissue paper is an easy solution and makes changing bags an easy process.

6. Use a quality conditioner, Coach makes a great one, to keep leather clean and conditioned Scratches can be covered using Meltonian Boot & Shoe polish.

7. Shoes do not have to be stored in boxes to keep their shape, but piling them on top of each other will certainly affect them. Many designer shoes come with replacement tips for the heels, keep them in a safe place to replace worn out tips. Gently worn shoes sell the best.

8. Fine jewelry and watches are great accessories in the world of consignment.

9. Buy less and choose well.

10. Don’t want to be bothered with consigning? No worries. There are Consign Concierge services coming to a city near you.

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What’s in your Bag?


What’s in your bag?

Pocketbook. Pair of glasses. Pack of gum.

A not-so-hidden message?

Absolutely.

For today’s woman, the bag is the new business card.

Just as an embossed logo on rich, thick cardstock suggests that you are a businessperson who pays attention to quality and details, a business card printed on a sheet of looseleaf paper at home conveys the opposite.

The handbag is a lady’s new way of letting other people know who they are dealing with whenever she walks into a room. It says a lot about you. And whether you are a label-conscious person or not, it’s the style of your bag, the cut of your bag, the quality of your bag — and even the color — that describes who you are.

Obviously, the quintessential bag for the quintessential lady is the Kelly bag by Hermes — so-called because of its affiliation with actress Grace Kelly, who epitomized elegance as the princess of Monaco. Keeping it in the Hermes family, the coveted Birkin bag (pictured above) was designed for English actress Jane Birkin. While this bag is designed to hold more, it remains structured, and if there is such a thing, this bag would be it. Despite its price — upward of $60,000 in some cases — the Birkin bag is infamously in high-demand, with a subculture devoted to tracking down the seemingly mythical status symbols. A recent study even found that Birkin bags have increased in value 14.2 percent a year — making them a better investment than gold.

Hermes Birkin

About those labels, ladies. Whether you chose to show them off also speaks volumes about you. Discerning women don’t need to read the label to spot a designer handbag, making the more subtle approach an understated assertion of power.

But labels aren’t the only message your handbag is sending. Carrying a Stella McCartney as you walk down a New York City sidewalk? Chances are you are vegan, or at least sensitive to not wearing animal skin, because the designer only manufactures items with vegan leather.

How bold are you? Do you venture away from the blacks and beiges, opting for a power red or pop of green? Walk into a meeting with a green Birkin, and what does that say? Fashion-forward minds are no doubt sent racing. How many Birkins does she have? If she’s got the green, she must have the earthtones covered. I wonder if she has a red one?

Style, shape and how you carry your bag also conveys personality. Is your handbag structured? Does it slouch? Do you sling it over your shoulder or carry it on your wrist?

So shoppers, remember: Every time you purchase a new handbag, you’re adding a line to your appearance resumé. You are setting your stage for who you are and where you’re going. You’re telling others who they are dealing with, and if that’s important to you, then you need to pay attention.

Just like you wouldn’t hand someone a flimsy business card, don’t send someone the wrong message with the handbag you’re carrying.

xoxo Amy

Holy Chic

The latest styles to hit the streets are “HOLY”, you know the kind with holes that show just enough skin that makes you yell #Hallelujah. From prints to lace to sheer…the newest trend that’s changing the game in fashion is holes, grommet and dots creating an incredible illusion. Tattered boyfriends jeans lined with holes are becoming the most needed piece of clothing to perfect that effortless street style. Diane Von Furstenberg is creating adorable dresses with grommeted detail and the polka dot illusions with a stain finishes. Other designers such as Mulger, Alexander Wang, and Proenza Schouler are also digging the new trend, and it’s only a matter of time until the “Holy” effect takes the fashion scene by storm. My favorite right now is Self-Portrait. Goggle them and you will find out why!
Thanks for dropping in…until next blog…ARZ

 

Keeping up with the Clooneys: A Wedding in Couture

Iconic actor, George Clooney tied the knot with the beautiful human-rights lawyer, Amal Alamuddin in a private ceremony in Venice, Italy this month. If the long anticipated nuptials of Hollywood’s most eligible bachelor wasn’t enough to keep the tabloids busy, then leave it to Alamuddin, whose impeccable style and grace dominated the Italian city, and turned the fashion world upside down.

Alamuddin arrived with her famous fiance on Friday, looking glamorous in a retro, Dolce and Gabana black-and-white striped dress, paired with round glasses and a custom hat-box. It was later that very evening however, when she really stole the show.

The future Mrs. Clooney stepped out in a daringly red waterfall gown by Alexander McQueen, with a high-low hemming that showcased her beautifully long legs and tiny waist. Her dark hair and golden skin paired perfectly with the bold red hue, resulting in a look that is just breathtaking.

The following day, the beautiful bride turned heads and teared eyes as she walked down the aisle in a custom Oscar de la Renta gown. The ivory tone and delicate lace was a perfect combination of classic elegance and modern style, much like Alamuddin herself. In an interview with Vogue magazine the bride-to-be stated of the world-class designer, “I can’t imagine anyone more able than Oscar to capture this mood in a dress… Meeting him made the design process all the more magical, as he is so warm and such a gentleman.”

Alamuddin stepped out with newlywed Clooney the following day in a floral printed, Giambattista Valli dress, hot off the Spring 2015 runway. Nude wedges and a pair of Italian shades polished off the look, and she stunned on the arm of the always handsome Clooney, who wore a tailored suit and tie.

On Monday, the couple made their way to a Venetian courthouse  to sign the official marriage documents, and Alamuddin wore traditional white, but in the form of a clean cut, sophisticated, and absolutely marvelous pant suit designed by Stella McCartney. A cream clutch, matching heels and classic brimmed hat with matching trim

The power couple has been dominating fashion media outlets since relationship rumors started swirling last year. The celebrity influence and political power of the famous duo has us wondering, are the Clooney’s the next Camelot?

Alamuddin’s chique style and flawless beauty is reminiscent of a young Jackie-O, and we can’t help but notice Clooney’s similarities to actor-turned-president John F. Kennedy. This is certainly a couple to keep on the radar. Who knows, maybe one day we will see their glowing faces in the White House? #Alamuddin16

Kiss of Couture,
Amy xoxo

Not Your Mother’s Pearls

“We believe Valentino would agree, a vintage-less closet is a boring closet”

You are wandering through the aisles of Cartier, caressing the soft leather of a carefully crafted handbag, tousling diamond-studded jewelry and catching the light in their clear and brilliant faces, feeling the weight of an 18k gold necklace around your neck, and marveling at their beauty and masterpiece: It’s enough to make any woman feel like a movie star circa 1930. But you sense that something is missing.

Amy’s vintage accessories of choice, a classic red Hermes Birkin, a gucci belt. Totally chic & current topped off with a panama straw hat from JCrew.

This memory is tangible, and yet now as you hold a new pair of Tiffany’s in your hands, the quality does not seem to match that of your grandmother’s vintage set. This is a case that many women are finding to be true nowadays, and it begs the question, has jewelry lost some of its grandeur?

Evidence exists everywhere that new fashion accessories does not hold up to its early-era predecessors. Nightmares of tarnishing metals, loose stones and stiff leathers dominate fashion blogs. But even so, there is a desire and a necessity for the new, and a quality that can still be found from today’s leading jewelers.

The decision to go vintage or buy new is not one to be taken lightly. It takes a special person to wear a vintage piece; someone with confidence, style, and that timeless grace that vintage accessories just seem to emanate. You can’t be the person that let’s the jewelry wear you.

You must also consider your investment. Is this a piece, new or old, that will only grow more valuable and significant with time? Or are you in the market for something a little less time sensitive? When considering these things, it is important to remember that no matter what, you should always pick what makes you feel most beautiful. Diamonds are, after all, a girls best friend.

Mixing modern pieces with antiques creates interest and layers of warmth to interior design.

 

 

The vintage vs. new debate doesn’t just apply to accessories and jewelry. Your home too, is a great space to experiment with vintage styles, because even though buying new pieces off of the showroom floor can be exhilarating, a simple addition of vintage furniture pieces can really add character to a space and make for a great conversation starter.

Kiss of Couture,
Amy xoxo

Weather the Winter Whites

A sampling of our accessories to pair with this look

Labor Day has come and gone, but the question still stands:

Is it safe to wear white?

The answer is an overwhelming YES! Winter white is all the rage this holiday season, and we are here to tell you how to break all the rules with this timeless look.

First things first; don’t be afraid of those elusive white jeans! Whether you opt for the skinny leg, the boot cut, or the trendy trouser fit, you really can’t go wrong with the white jean this season.

To give it a classy, anytime-wear update, we suggest layering this look with a cozy and fashionable cable-knit vest. This fabric is as timeless as the little black dress, and will keep you warm and Oxford chic all season long.

Want to bump it up a notch? Go for the sleek and flattering fit of the shearling fur vest, with a soft lining and bold collar.

Brave the elements all winter and add some flare to this ensemble with some stylish  lug-sole savvy boots, always a great choice for jazzing up those wicked cool winter-whites. Be daring with the stiletto heel in your favorite shade of tanned leather to offset the dramatic hue and you will be sure to receive compliments at your next outing.

Finally, don’t forget to accessorize! Make a statement with a thick scarf and over-sized rings, shop Colibri Collections for beautiful and trendy alligator cuffs, python clutches with dazzling mineral stones. They can be found online at http://www.couture-closets.com

 Give the people something to talk about, and let them know where you scored this fashionable look: Couture Closets, for all your style needs, A to Z.

~Kiss of Couture,
Amy xoxo

Sorry, Wrong Number

” I’m a size 6.”

Guess what? Maybe not.

The fashion industry, as well as clothing, shoes and accessories, is one of my greatest passions. A portion of that, is being able to provide that to you. My staff and I really love what we do.

One of the greatest tools for change lies within the sizes of clothing.Gone are the days of being a size 12 … 8 … 2. Designers today are often creating styles using a different sizing scale, one that American designers are starting to follow as well. Subsequently, at Couture Closets, a luxury consignment shop, we offer a wide selection of custom design that have been altered. In addition, all of our pieces on our website are featured with exact measurements, so that you know precisely what the fit will be. Bearing that in mind, we offer these three words of wisdom.

‘TRY. IT. ON.’

We have two beautiful dressing rooms that often reveal some new ideas and transformations. You know your body better than anyone. As you are shopping, you will see something you REALLY love, but then you put it back because ‘no … it’s not my size.’ Please. Take it off the rack and, all together now: ‘TRY. IT. ON!’ Quite often, I have seen guests come out of the dressing room, wearing an absolutely beautifully sized garment. SURPRISE! It fits; looks absolutely fabulous; and opens up your mind to variety. Finally! You have ‘moved out of your box’, and have the opportunity to increase your wardrobe.

Shoes are often the same way. If you love a pair but they could perhaps a half-size larger, or smaller than what you would usually wear, try them on. They just might be JUST RIGHT! However, if they feel too small, or too large, it depends on a few factors. There are a number of accessories that can make shoes fit and feel more comfortable! I ordered a pair of shoes online, that upon arrival, were a little too snug. Off to Sarge’s for a good week of stretching (give your shoes that are being stretched at least 8-10 days), and they fit great.

Hopefully, this will give you the ability to augment the joys of shopping! Come visit us at our brick and mortar store front at 192 E. Main in Spartanburg, or browse our online shop to find the right fit for you. If you have any questions, please call us! (864) 582-8272

~Kiss of Couture,
Amy xoxo

New York Fashion Week 2014

Amy in Carmen Marc Valvo Spring 2013 at his office in NYC

The biggest names in high-fashion have descended upon the Big Apple, ready to send their Spring collections down the catwalk at the highly anticipated, 2014 Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week. A frenzy of strappy sandals, bold prints, and mermaid gowns dominated the runway as famous designers debuted their take on what’s in and what’s out this season. Here are a few highlights from some of our favorite collections:

Donna Karan: The DKNY designer debuted a collection laden with cinched-waisted crop tops, heavy belts, and pops of color. With a transition to evening wear, Karen showed off flattering and romantic mermaid gowns and skirts, paired with bold, tops and plunging necklines. This line is the definition of sexy and sophisticated.

 

Carmen Marc Valvo revealed his take on Spring ’15 with flirty  sheer fabrics, bold prints, and sexy strapless tops. This line covers all the 50 shades of grey; colors that were very popular at the year’s Fashion Week.

The highly anticipated  Alexander Wang show did not disappoint. This collection, which Wang claims is “inspired by tennis-shoes” is funky, flirty, and fashionable. The high-waisted, tailored trousers, and wildly-printed tops are great for work and social hour. Pair this playful look with a cute clutch and some strappy sandals and you are ready for the evening!

Trends to Love and Trends to Hang Up:

IN: High Waisted- let the midriff show! This fun and flirty style made a comeback last Spring and is here to stay, but with a more updated, refined look. Bring this trendy look up to fashion code with a higher fit and a bold belt to accentuate the waist!

OUT: Asymmetry- This look is SO 2013. This Spring is all about the tailored look, with clean necklines and hemmed drapings. Go strapless or opt for the plunging neckline instead, and you’ll be the eye of envy at the next soiree.

IN: Tweed- Where vintage Chanel and modern fashion meet. It’s a beautiful thing…So get those form fitting tweed blazers and pencil skirts to the dry-cleaners ASAP, or update your wardrobe with some new takes on this classic design. Vintage or modern, there’s no way to go wrong with this look.

Bohemian Rhapsody

The return of summer signals the return of one of my favorite looks: Bohemian Chic! Warm weather for me means sunny days, Farah Fawcett hair, and getting to wear fun, creative outfits. I love the bohemian look because it’s all about being comfortable. It’s not often that you can look great while feeling totally relaxed in your clothes.
Boho chic combines loose, breezy clothing with light, neutral colors. Some of my favorites for this “village-inspired” look are printed maxi dresses, large floppy hats and oversized tunics. You can easily convert lace pieces and items with beading as well. Throw in a bag with the same trademark name and you’ve got it!

#Bohemian #Style like the the colors of the shirt and the bag is nice

I sent this cause it reminded me of something your mom would like

I’m all about being original and creating an outfit that no one else has, and this can be done with jewelry… jewelry… and more jewelry! True bohemians know that layering is essential and we can mimic this by adding on funky odds and ends we find in our own jewelry boxes.
Bangles, natural stone rings and long necklaces make for the perfect boho pieces. And when in doubt… add some more! When it comes to this trend, there is no such thing as overdoing it!

Channel your inner artist by sculpting a look that is unique and fun, but most of all comfortable.

Layered Boho Necklaces | Bohemian Jewelry

“There is no “it-bag”. The “it-bag” is the one that fits.” -ARZ

Let’s face it ladies, the “It-Bag” is a myth.  There is no one certain bag that will be perfect for everyone.  It’s impossible for everybody to like the same shape, same color and same design.  And who wants that?  I like my accessories to showcase my individuality! And unless your budget is over-flowing to allow for all the “It-Bags” you may want to read this in detail!

Though there isn’t one bag for everyone, the neutral tone is a trend that is universal.  A neutral bag isn’t based on its color, though it is a huge reason people purchase them.  The beauty of these bags is in their versatility, how they fit into your lifestyle.  A neutral bag should be able to transition into a season or a situation.  It may be a structured black bag, a metallic satchel, a basic signature Louis Vuitton signature piece, or a simple straw tote.  Any of these examples would fit with almost any outfit.  Below are some of my favorites!

This Celine has everything you need; Structure, style and the perfect neutral color.  Snakeskins are great go-tofor neutral & über chic approach

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Metallics are a great way to still make a statement with your accessories while keeping with the neutral trend. Silver, gold, bronze or gunmetal are all winners!

Louis Vuitton has had the right idea from the beginning.  Their signature color is traditional, yet classic. Stay away from knock-offs!

Essential handbags to have in your closet…

  • clutch

  • structured tote

  • cross-body

  • shoulder bag

  • a hobo (if you like larger bags!)

 

Your bag doesn’t have to have a label to have a value!  If you can’t afford designer bags, buy good ones with great structure and quality.  I only ask that you not support the knock-off designer labels.  A handbag doesn’t have to be wildly expensive to be the perfect bag for you.  Make neutral purchases wisely, because if its good one, you’ll only need one!

A Kiss of Couture,

Amy R Zimmer