Two DC Area Consignment Stores I Love

I wasn't sure if I could pull off the jean vest look, but this one was $9(!!!!) at Mustard Seed, so I figured I'd go with it!

Y’all know how much I love finding a good deal, and that doesn’t end when it comes to clothes. I know that shopping for secondhand pieces gives some people the heebie-jeebies, and I get that, but trust me when I say that the two stores I’m sharing here are perfectly clean and safe and have a great selection of pieces (and I actually brought a lot of them to Paris, coincidentally!). I’ve been shopping at both of them for years and have never once heard of a single issue with bedbugs, etc…because don’t get me wrong, I’m totally freaked out about things like that–when I bought my first piece of furniture on Craigslist I actually emailed the person asking if they had ever had bedbugs in their home! #embarrassing

Anyway. So first up is Mustard Seed, which is more of a low-key store in downtown Bethesda, super close to where I grew up. I started shopping there in MIDDLE SCHOOL and still go back when I can! Over the years I’ve loved introducing it to family friends with younger daughters and watching the store continue to grow (it’s still a staple in the area!). My high school BFF and I would meet up there over breaks in college, and I’ve sold tons of pieces there for the past…decade (wow, I feel old!). I most recently brought a bundle of clothes in this past June and made abut $60 on the spot. Like many other thrift/consignment stores, you get “paid” a slightly higher amount if you choose to apply your earnings to store credit. However, I was more interested in earning a little extra cash (and had just done a big shopping spree there a couple of weeks prior, ha!), so I didn’t feel the need to pick up anything new, even though it was a pretty good deal. Here’s the nitty gritty:

Price range: Items begin around $6 or so for a basic tank or tee and go up to about $60 or so for nicer products. I recently saw a pair of leather Tory Burch sandals for $45 (they were just a teeeeeny bit too big, so I sadly put them back on the shelf), and I’ve also scored Lululemon tanks for $12 or so (I’ve also spotted cropped pants for about $18!).

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I wasn’t sure if I could pull off the jean vest look, but this one was $9(!!!!) at Mustard Seed, so I figured I’d go with it!

Brands offered: In addition to Lulu and Tory Burch, as mentioned above, Mustard Seed also sells “mall brands” like Abercrombie and LOFT. There’s also always a few Lilly pieces and great accessories like statement necklaces and crossbody bags that are very inexpensive.

Selling details: Although I’m referring to Mustard Seed as a “consignment store,” sellers still get paid on the spot (a traditional consignment store would pay the seller after an item has been purchased). You DO need to schedule an appointment to sell at Mustard Seed (and you need to book online, way in advance, because they do fill up–I picked a day that I knew I had off from work so that I wouldn’t feel rushed if things got delayed, which they sometimes do). There’s also a fee if you’re a no show, so write that appointment date down on your calendar! There’s a limit of 25 items per appointment, so bring in the best of the best!

I got this black and white dress at Mustard Seed last summer and love it--I've worn it for dates, dressed it up for my friend's wedding welcome party, etc. It's a little short on me so not really work appropriate, but I still love it!
I got this black and white dress at Mustard Seed last summer and love it–I’ve worn it on dates, dressed it up for my friend’s wedding welcome party, etc. It’s a little short on me so not really work appropriate, but I still love it!

In short: Since you need to schedule your appointment pretty far out, I wouldn’t say that Mustard Seed is truly an “easy” way to make some fast cash post-closet cleanout…but if you don’t mind waiting a few weeks, you’ll definitely see a reward! I’d also say that Mustard Seed (while still selective) is a little less picky when it comes to the selling end, as they simply accept a wider range of brands. But don’t go in thinking they’ll accept everything you have to offer. As a buyer, it’s easy to spend $80-100 there because everything is so cheap that you just can’t stop yourself from stocking up on this and that! But you can definitely also walk out with a couple of good finds for $20 or less, which is awesome.

Next up is Reddz, which has locations in both Bethesda and Georgetown. Whenever I was home from college I’d always walk from Mustard Seed to Reddz before meeting people in downtown Bethesda!

Price range: Their prices are higher (items start at maybe $14/16 for a J.Crew button-up) and dresses average around $60, from what I’ve noticed. I don’t really pay attention to the items that are truly designer, ha!

Brands offered: Reddz carries higher-end brands and always has a huge rack of Lululemon gear. They haven’t accepted any of my LOFT items recently, and I’d say the most similar brand they sell is J.Crew, but otherwise their clothing is more designer. The Bethesda store would sometimes make a “Lilly rack” in the summer but I haven’t seen that in Georgetown.

This J.Crew sweatshirt from Reddz has a built-in Peter Pan collar (it's black, but you can kind of see it in the photo) and black sleeves. It was perfect for one of the chillier days in Paris!
This J.Crew sweatshirt from Reddz has a built-in Peter Pan collar (it’s black, but you can kind of see it in the photo) and black sleeves. It was perfect for one of the chillier days in Paris!

Selling details: What’s great about Reddz is that you can walk in as a seller without any appointment, and you’ll be paid cash on the spot (again, you will receive “more” if you choose to do the store credit). In my experience, Reddz has been more selective in accepting items and they start buying for the next season pretty far in advance (I think they were already looking for fall clothing in July). You do have to fill out a form with your info every time you sell clothing, but this isn’t much of a hassle and is worth it if you’d like to get rid of your stuff like…NOW.

In short: If you need a dress for an event like a wedding or interview, this is a good option. Think Rent the Runway prices, but you get to keep the dress and try it on early in advance, which is always helpful!

Do you have any favorite thrift stores in the DMV? I’ll keep coming back to these two no matter what, but I’m always looking to sample new places. In Philly I sometimes popped in to Buffalo Exchange, but the only one they have in DC is a bit farther downtown…RIP the Georgetown location!

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End of Summer Steals

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One silver lining to summer being on its way out? Lots of end of season sales. Now is the time to finally pull the trigger on those lust-list items that you couldn’t fully justify back when they were full price (for me, it was this tote, which I discovered via Carly’s blog and know I’ll use during these last few warm days/really whenever I travel somewhere sunny during the year!).

A few other faves? This sunhat, a couple of gorgeous pairs of sandals (one and two), an off-the-shoulder dress, funky earrings, and a classic striped beach towel.

Does anyone have any fun Labor Day plans to look forward to? I know it’s still weeks away, but this summer is absolutely flying. I’ll be in town relaxing, blogging, and working–I’ve taken a part-time job at an accessories boutique in Georgetown and am still learning the ropes, but it’s been a fun time so far. I also have a Houzz feature due the Tuesday after Labor Day, so I’ll be plugging away at that over the long weekend, too!

Hope everyone enjoys another lovely August weekend. I’ll be back next week with several new posts!

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Small Space Inspiration

Apartment Therapy
Apartment Therapy

After yesterday’s post, I’m still thinking about these gorgeous small spaces but also am lusting over a leopard stool like the one I spotted while viewing this recently-published Apartment Therapy tour. I’ve tried to find a similar version online but haven’t had any luck. I suppose you could reupholster a footstool with cute fabric and get a similar look, though. Anyway, in my browsing, I came across this ottoman from…Macy’s of all places! It’s on sale at the moment, and I bet you could scour for an extra coupon or two to get an even better discount. While I’m not a fan of tons of animal print mixed together, I think a statement piece like this one would be gorgeous in an otherwise simple room. So naturally, inspired by the stool and the small space home tour linked above, I began browsing for other items that would look adorable in a tiny but sophisticated space.

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Leopard stool//gold mirror//blush pillow//figure art//gold lamp

And actually, putting this collage together made me think of Chloe Livingston’s aesthetic, pictured below. I’ve followed Chloe on Instagram for several years now, and I absolutely love her style–plus, she’s also amazing at making small spaces look like a million bucks! If you don’t follow her, go check out her profile…now! I guarantee you’ll be inspired.

Chloe Livingston
Chloe Livingston
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Living Simply

I’m feeling the minimalism trend lately. I’m writing a couple of articles at work about living with less, and I seriously come each day home inspired to do just that! Not to mention, after seeing a few small space tours that I absolutely love, I’m now feeling extra motivated to part with unnecessary furniture/accessories and embrace small space living for good.

Look 1:

Shannon Crain
Shannon Crain

I’ve already shared this gorgeous space, but I had to come back to it because it’s just TOO good. This is closest to my current space, featuring lots of blue, lucite, and chinoiserie!

Look 2:

One Kings Lane
One Kings Lane

If you’re an avid blog reader, you’ve likely seen snapshots of Amy’s home on other sites, but it has also inspired me a ton. I love how “grown up” and curated her space looks–nothing is out of place or unnecessary.

Look 3:

Apartment Therapy
Apartment Therapy

Lastly, I came across this Apartment Therapy tour a few days ago and am so glad I did. I love the sophisticated, feminine look that’s present here (and in the other two apartments I’ve mentioned above). There’s something about having just the right amount of details and personality in a space that really motivates me to pare down my belongings and pick out a few favorites to feature. Honestly, can you believe this studio is less than 200 square feet? It’s practically the size of a two-person dorm room, and we all know how cramped those felt!

Have you been inspired by small spaces lately? I have lots of prints and accessories that I love to showcase, but picking out a few special pieces and saying goodbye to the rest sure can look good!

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Window Shopping: TJ Maxx

Welcome to part 2 of my new “window shopping” series!

Love it or hate it, but you have to admit that TJ Maxx has some pretty cute clothes. I mean, if you looked at half the styles below, you’d probably assume they were from Nordstrom or Loft when in reality, they’re all $30 or less (but as you can tell, most are $15 or less, which is even better).

While not everyone loves bell sleeves and ruffles, these are all great purchases if you’re on the fence about the trend or just want some causal summer tops that don’t necessarily need to last past this season. They also make great going out shirts as the weather gets cooler–does anyone else struggle with what to wear to the bar after it gets too cold for just a tank top? 

While TJ Maxx charges for shipping for orders under $89, you could either order a bunch of pieces and then return any unwanted items to your local store (super easy) or sign up for their email list and get free shipping on your first order. If you’re already on their email list, stay tuned because free shipping is offered pretty frequently. If only you could order items and pick them up at a store nearby, but we all know that the nature of these places basically revolves around the concept of going, going, gone! While I’ve found that this is somewhat true for the website (items won’t be online forever), the turnover isn’t necessarily as quick as you may expect (meaning you probably have between 1 and 2 weeks to order one of these shirts before they disappear!).

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Window Shopping: The Nordstrom Sale

I thought this would be a fun new series to write whenever inspiration strikes. I love checking my favorite clothing and home goods websites for new arrivals, but I don’t always share things with you all unless I end up ordering them! So here comes my “window shopping” series–where I’ll feature a few of the exciting new (or new-to-me) products on my radar…maybe this will also stop me from pulling the trigger on an item right away…

What kind of blogger would I be if I didn’t touch on the #NSale (aka the Nordstrom sale) at all?! But in reality, I don’t think I’m going to be purchasing anything this year! I have more than enough clothing for fall and didn’t see anything I had to have. There was one raincoat that I thought was adorable, but it was sold out before the sale opened to the public (sad, but I already have a great raincoat, so it was probably a sign to say “no”). However, just because I won’t be purchasing anything (seriously, I think this is the first time I’ve EVER said this in general, let alone about a sale, haha), I can still browse to my heart’s content. So if you have some cash burning a hole in your pocket and just don’t know what to choose, hopefully the guide below will come in handy!

My shoe picks: 

Stocking up on some Tory Burch is basically a given if you’re going to shop the sale–everyone is obsessing over the riding boots! But since fall is still a ways away, it doesn’t hurt to stock up on some cute summer basics. My friend Allison was rocking the Sam Edelman sandals in Cape Cod and she said they’re actually pretty comfy!

My bag picks: 

Everyone has been loving the BP scalloped tote for the past year or so, and it’s exciting to see it on sale for half its usual price! But let’s be real, all of the bags I’ve featured on here kind of have the same look–and I think they’re all perfect options for work. I have a similar tote that I sometimes bring to the office but have also found useful for travel (sans laptop). A sturdy, solid color bag really never goes out of style!

My “other” picks: 

The great thing about the #NSale is that there’s truly a huge range of items. Also, don’t forget to scroll through the home section! I noticed a few bloggers seemed surprised by the number of home items for sale, but there’s truly been a great selection each year (trust me, that’s the section I care the most about, haha)! Last year, I snagged one of the famous Jonathan Adler zebra trays in blue and I absolutely love it. I didn’t see them this year, but I think many of my picks here are just as cute!

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A DC Print I Love

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I got a lot of great feedback about my DC print post awhile back, but I just came across another one and wanted to share! Serena Martin does the prettiest watercolors, and I may need to add her DC map to my gallery wall!

I love the colors (especially the cherry blossoms), and she even includes District Taco! Side note: I actually JUST tried District Taco for the first time the other week and don’t know what took me so long! If you go, be sure to get chips and queso along with whatever else you order. 😉

I think this print would look super cute near my Laduree postcard (they give ’em out for free at the Georgetown location).

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Hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!

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3 Home Pieces You’ll See Everywhere

You know when there are those home items that you just see EVERYWHERE? Moroccan poufs, that classic black and white rug from West Elm, and the like. Below, I’ve rounded up some of these “classics” and where you’ve seen ’em so that you can get some inspiration. Hey, they say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!

Gold World Market tray: Versatile and affordable (it’s only $30!), this tray would look gorgeous on a dresser, coffee table, or bar cart! I’ve had mine since living in Philly and it’s a purchase I don’t regret one bit because it’s held up so well.

Where you’ll see it…

Jessica Sturdy’s living room tour:

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Lauren Nelson’s (old) bedroom tour:

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sarah

The classic pouf: It’s a must for any design-obsessed lady. Poufs can be expensive, but they’re so worth it. Use one as an extra seat, a foot rest, or just to add a bohemian touch. I personally have this one and love it.

Where you’ll see it…

Danielle Moss’s home tour:

danielle
amanda

The campaign dresser: It’s a timeless piece but can be extremely difficult to find at an affordable price point! I personally love the white painted ones, but navy campaign pieces are also lust-worthy.

Where you’ll see it…

My home tour:

sarah 1
campaign
shannon
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Little Blue Dress

So, if you can’t already tell, I’m a little obsessed with this blue patterned dress I own and pretty much wear everywhere. I seriously have WAY too many pictures in it, which is sort of embarrassing but just goes to show how well it’s held up over the past three years. I originally bought it for a rehearsal dinner in the summer of 2014, but it’s worked perfectly for much more casual events, dates, brunches, nights out, you name it. Oh, and the best part? If I’m remembering correctly, it was only $20. The worst part? I have NO idea where it’s from, since I remember passing a random store in SoHo and leaving with the dress after only a few minutes. But still, best $20 ever spent, am I right? (Also, these are just SOME of the pictures of me in it…#yikes).

With my friend Ashley, Summer 2016
With my friend Ashley, Summer 2016

 

A night out in the city, Summer 2014
A night out in the city, Summer 2014

 

At a going away party for my friend who was joining the Peace Corps, Summer 2014
At a going away party for my friend who was joining the Peace Corps, Summer 2014

 

Before the rehearsal dinner, Summer 2014
Before the rehearsal dinner, Summer 2014

 

At brunch in Philly, Summer 2016
At brunch in Philly, Summer 2016

What I love about this dress is its flattering cut. I have pretty wide hips, so I like that the material is a bit flowy while still being tight up top. Otherwise, shift dresses generally fit me the best, and I’m pretty picky about what I will and won’t wear (hence why I’ve worn the same dress everywhere for the past three years…oops).

So, help a girl out…if you know of other equally cute dresses with a flattering cut (and preferably a fun pattern–this girl LOVES a good pattern), let me know. If only I could somehow find that little boutique in NYC and buy five more dresses in every single color…but that probably won’t happen!

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The Cutest Totes for Travel and Beyond

It seems like every website I turn to these days has the most adorable tote bags. Don’t get me wrong, I have more than enough at home, but who can resist these perfect options? Many of them would be great for travel (I actually purchased this one for my trip to Paris in August, but I’m thinking it will also make a fabulous work tote). I’ve rounded up some of my affordable faves…let me know if you decide to purchase any!

Also, on another note: I’m lusting over the famous Cult Gaia bag. Does anyone own one? I keep seeing them everywhere and have been itching to pull the trigger but just don’t know how practical they really are…if you have and love one, let me know in the comments!

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This option from Sole Society is so preppy and cheery and looks like it can store a ton!

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This would make an adorable work or school bag and has such a classic look.

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The tote I picked up for Paris! Can’t wait for it to arrive.

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Another adorable striped option that is LESS THAN $15!

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I was also looking at this tote for Paris and love the pattern.

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I’ve spotted this fun summer tote on a few other blogs and love the pom pom details.

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