Consignment Shops on the North Shore

It’s springtime, and by now you’ve cleaned your closet and home to the hilt.

In doing so, you’ve realized two things: You want new stuff and need to get rid of your old stuff.

Think you need to break the bank at the mall? Or throw out items you’ve barely used? Think again.

Speckled across the North Shore are a handful of high-quality consignment shops where you can find that perfect knit for lunch at the club or a handbag for a night on the town.

Most consignment shops work like this: You bring in your gently or never-used items. When they’re purchased, the store keeps a share of the selling price, and you pocket the rest (the specifics vary by store; call first and check).

Also, you can shop for a cause. Many of these stores funnel funds back into your community to combat homelessness and even outfit youth sports teams.

And these aren’t your mother’s consignment shops. With brands ranging from Armani to Tory Burch, these stores offer chic on the cheap. Here’s a list of our favorites.

Fashionable finds:

Crowded Closet, Inc., Evanston
They take: Designer women’s clothing and accessories. You get: Current fashions from Armani, Lord & Taylor and Prada.
Why buy? An Evanston fixture for 35 years, the shop maintains second-generation customers and makes donations to Cathedral Shelter, a Chicago charity that benefits the homeless.

North Shore Exchange, Glencoe
They take: New or gently used designer clothing and home furnishing donations and consignments.
You get: Fabulous finds by Marc Jacobs, Burberry, Gucci, Chanel and more.
Why buy: One hundred percent of the profits go to local charities and nonprofits helping children and families in the community.

Davis-Miller Designer Consignment Salon, Winnetka
They take: High-end women’s fashion.
You get: Bottega Veneta leather shoulder bag, John Galliano cashmere cardigan and Tory Burch patent leather flats.
Why buy? Tell them you’re a Make It Better reader, and they’ll donate 5 percent of the item’s sale price to the Chicago Food Depository.

Designer Consigner, Glenview
They take: Designer dresses, suits, jeans, jewelry, belts and handbags.
You get: Selections from brands including Citizens of Humanity, St. John and 7 For All Mankind.
Why buy? Most items are marked down one-third to half-off the original price.

Full Circle, Glenview
They take: Accessories, antiques, art, china, crystal, furs and home décor,
You get: Judith Leiber purses, Juicy Couture accessories and St. John knits.
Why buy? 100 percent of the proceeds go to Sarah’s Circle, a Chicago-based organization that supports homeless women.

My Best Friend’s Closet, Highland Park
They take: Women’s designer clothing, accessories, Bar and Bat Mitzvah dresses.
You get: Top designer and boutique brands from Alice and Olivia to True Religion.
Why buy? Owner’s Susan Gerber and Gilat Zamost use recyclable bags and restored décor.

ReNew Family Consignment, Libertyville
They take: Sports equipment, home décor, children’s and women’s clothing.
You get: North Face outerwear, Sunlite Deluxe bicycle trailer, Brighton jewelry.
Why buy? Since opening their doors six months ago, Libertyville moms Erin Heard and Tricia Regan have helped more than 500 nonprofits, schools and teams raise thousands of dollars. If you like, you can select your favorite cause and they’ll receive the commission from your purchase or the items you consign.

Homey Housewares:

Village Treasure House, Northbrook
They take: Quality home furnishings.
You get: Royal Copenhagen Penguins, horn handled steak knives and a brown French-carved couch.
Why buy? Since opening in 1997, the organization has channeled nearly a million dollars to local causes.

WINGS Resale, Niles
They take: Furniture, home goods and clothing.
You get: A department store-like selection of a wide variety of items.
Why buy? WINGS funds housing for abused women and children.