The New Consignment: AMH Style

I wander through the store, browsing a wide assortment of clothing and accessories – an airy black Halston Heritage blouse, a cute cropped Marc by Marc Jacobs jacket, chic Michael Michael Kors wedges. Surprisingly, this is no upscale department store – this is consignment, the new consignment.

I am in AMH Style, an Ottawa consignment boutique that opened in May of this year on Wellington Street in the Westboro Village area. Far from the stigma of used clothing stores, Alison Hughes, owner of AMH Style, spends a great deal of time and effort ensuring only the best items hit the shelves.

Hughes explains that customers can book an appointment, where she will go through their items and choose only pieces that look current and trendy. “We’re very picky about what we put out. It must look new. If it’s not in line with current trends, we don’t carry it,” she says.

Hughes keeps the pieces in store for three months, and sellers keep 40% of the profits. The status of their items can be easily monitored on an online account, accessible through the store’s website. If someone picks up their piece, they can choose to take their profits in the form of cash, or store credit.

Personally, I’d go for the credit – this place is full of lust-worthy finds.

She describes the clothing and accessories at AMH Style as mainstream and trendy, with a host of brand names up for grabs – including those unavailable in Canada, such as J Crew. Some of their clothing even comes in with store tags, as they often get end of season merchandise and last-item shipments from major retailers, and sell them at only 40% of the original retail price.

The store generally maintains a price range of approximately $5 to $200 – including designer pieces, like the Halston Heritage blouse I’ve been eyeing for $160. Other standouts include a Coach purse for $170, Michael Michael Kors wedges for $58, and a great pair of LAMB shorts that just arrived.

This is not the kind of place where you have to spend hours picking through hundreds of items. With the amount of pre-selection done by Hughes and her team, everything in store is worth looking at. This includes a fantastic Ralph Lauren jacket that would act as a perfect transition piece to move your summer prints into fall.

So what does Hughes say to those who balk at consignment? “If a girlfriend of yours gave you a sweater, would you say no thank you?”

Well, no. Especially if said sweater is anything like what Hughes has in store. But then again, I’ve been a consignment addict since I was able to drive.

Hughes goes on to point out that reusing clothing in consignment is a perfect way to contribute to the green movement. Whether your closet make-over is the result of weight loss, weight gain, or simply the need for a change, putting your pieces up for consignment is a great way to recycle fashion while earning a few extra bucks.

Still doubtful? Well, I’ll leave you with last words from Hughes herself, “if you don’t like consignment, come see us. We’ll change your mind!”

Visit AMH Style at 1440 Wellington Street, at the corner of Wellington and Island Park Dr, or check them out at