Ottawa’s Best Kept Fashion Secret
Consignment stores, or C-shops, are experiencing a heyday lately. While technically second-hand clothing stores, their merchandise is very gently worn and sometimes not worn at all and still boasting original price tags. The fashions at C-shops are more current and high-quality, and you’re more likely to happen upon a brand name. Also, instead of relying on donations, the shop pays a percentage of the profit, if sold, to the original owner.
The Clothes Secret, a family-run women’s consignment boutique located in the heart of old Ottawa South, is one of the city’s most beloved C-shops. They sell a wide range of women’s clothing items, from pants and blouses to coats to footwear and accessories.
Owner Valerie MacIntosh possesses years of experience in the consignment business. Her daughters are the models for the photoshoots done at the beginning of each season, showcasing the store’s best pieces and outfit ideas.
Beyond simply selling clothing, the store hosts after-hours fashion workshops to learn new style trends and update your look. And it gets even better. For a more personalized shopping experience, call prior to your visit and a staff member will pull items matching your requirements. This can save you time and frustration if you are someone who is easily overwhelmed by the vast shop collection.
The Clothes Secret is an establishment that gives back to the community. It is supportive of the local charities Empathy House of Recovery and Lowertown Good Neighbours Community House.
Extremely well-stocked and housing generously-sized change rooms, the Clothes Secret is ripe with high fashion finds and knowledgeable and friendly staff to assist you in your shopping. They do not sell merchandise that is older than three years, so you can be assured the trends are not outdated.
Encountering names like Ralph Lauren, Diane von Furstenburg, BCBG and Kate Spade are not uncommon. Not surprisingly then, the prices you are met with will most likely not be as cheap as at a general used clothing store. However, the Clothes Secret carries sizes 2 through 22, meaning most body types will be met with a multitude of choices.
I was most impressed by their selection of jackets, coats and pants. A favorite find of mine was a silver sequined jacket—perfect for a night out—from Zara for only thirty dollars. While this price is not particularly low, it is a considerable savings to what one would pay for the item in-store.
A careful look through their shoe collection uncovered chic lace-up boots that are so on-trend for fall! And then there was a pair of casual, intricately designed loafers—also hot this year. If jewelry is your game, this is the place to be. You will be met with a number of stunningly pretty pearl necklaces and detail-laden bangles to amp up your next party outfit.
To keep tabs on what recently received premium merchandise the Clothes Secret has available, ‘like’ their Facebook page. The store also regularly holds awesome discount events, such as a recent week-long 70 per cent off sale.
If you have a closet full of unworn clothes in excellent condition, consider consigning with the Clothes Secret. For more details on what consignment entails, check out their website.