Clothes Call: Where to Consign Gently Used Evening Gowns

Question: Do you know consignment places on the North Shore that take ball gowns? – Sandi Hollander

Dear Sandi: Yes, and no. Two North Shore shops accept evening gowns, but with strings attached. Here are two options for you, plus details on two Chicago shops that accept gowns.

Luxury Garage Sale, 1658 N. Wells St., Chicago, 312-291-9126

This is the place to consign high-end gowns, as long as they’re lightly worn or new and designer, along the lines of Oscar de la Renta, J. Mendel, Chanel, Valentino, Christian Dior, Marchesa and Halston. Clients can email photos of gowns to the store, which offers pickup service as well as prepaid shipping labels for clients to send items to the store. Consignors get 60 percent of the sales price, or can opt for a 70 percent in-store credit. Gowns are sold at the LGS’s two stores (they have a shop in Dallas as well as Chicago), online and in traveling pop-up shops.

North Shore Exchange, 372 Hazel Ave., Glencoe, 847-835-0026

The shop, which donates all proceeds to charity and which readers named Make It Better’s best resale shop of 2015, doesn’t accept a lot of evening wear, says manager Missy Brownson. “There’s not demand for them and we don’t have room for them,” she says. Dresses must be no more than five years old, have a designer or upscale label, and be in pristine condition. Consigners also have to be able to deal with the selling price.

“We know people have spent a couple of thousand dollars [on a gown], and our retail is a couple hundred,” Brownson says.

The consignment period is 75 days. The consignor receives half the sale price, minus a $3 per month check fee (that’s the cost of writing the consignment check).

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North Shore Exchange accepts some, but not many, evening gowns. The store is small and the demand isn’t there, says manager Missy Brownson. (Photo by Sheilah Burnham.)

My Best Friend’s Closet, 1780 Green Bay Road, Highland Park, 847-681-0002

Owner Gilat Zamost does not accept floor-length gowns for the sale floor, though she sometimes will sell them online. “There are exceptions to everything,” Zamost says. Everything in the store is two years old or younger, in perfect condition and has a designer label. Zamost will accept cocktail dresses that can be worn to formal events. Designers she accepts are on the level of Prada, Gucci, Kay Unger, Chanel, Akris Punto and Armani. Merchandise stays on the floor for 90 days, and the consignor receives 40 percent of the sales price.

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A shopper at My Best Friend’s Closet, Highland Park. Owner Gilat Zamost is choosy about the evening wear she accepts on consignment.

Le Thrift, 1821 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago, 312-912-9676

The shop has accepted and sold gowns by Carmen Marc Valvo, Valentino, Anna Sui, Tahari, Chanel, Helmut Lang, Escada and St. John. “We are careful with what we take in,” says owner Christine Sanderson. Items must be recent; if vintage, “it has to be trending with what women would wear today,” she says. If you have a designer haul, call: If you’ve got sellable dresses, Sanderson will pick them up at your home, gratis. Consignors get half the sale price, and the consignment period is 90 days. Sale spots include the store, located in Chicago’s West Town neighborhood, as well as Le Thrift shops on online sites eBay and Tradesy.

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Le Thrift, Chicago, accepts designer-label gowns; if you have five or more, they’ll pick them up from your house. (Photo by Dennis Elliot.)

Have a fashion question for Clothes Call columnist Lisa Bertagnoli? Email her at [email protected]