I bet you already know that the right accessories can add personality to simple classic pieces, highlight your natural coloring and make you look radiant, and turn an ordinary outfit into a fabulous one.
But shopping for accessories isn’t always at the top of your priority list….however the summer is a great time to explore some unusual shopping sources for new accessories. Accessories, great ones, can be discovered in all kinds of places. Here are some resources you may not have thought of before as well as a quick guide about the pluses and minuses involved. Hint: not all return policies are equal.
Antique Markets and Flea Markets
If you’re into vintage pieces, find out where and when the flea markets are held in your area. Precious jeweled pieces, costume jewelry, and antique jewelry awaits your discerning eye. From expensive to affordable, your favorite piece is somewhere in one of those booths. Sometimes the hunt is as much fun as wearing the piece itself.
Plus: You’ll find choices from many eras and often many different countries. There’s much more variety than any boutique could possibly carry. If you love vintage, this is a great place to score pieces for your collection.
Minus: These treasures may come with broken clasps or missing jewels so inspect them carefully. Realize you are buying it “as is” and repairs will add to the expense. Or be willing to wear it with its imperfections and added character.
Also try a very special on-line resource….Carole is one of the world’s authorities on vintage costume jewelry and her collection is truly awe inspiring! (I’ve seen it in-person)
Craft Fairs, Street Fairs
Community fairs and festivities really blossom in spring and summer months when they can be outdoors. Fall and winter fairs are also favorites. If you go, plan to make a day out of it. Bring a friend and enjoy the live music, the good food, and of course don’t forget to check out the accessory vendors. If you’re the creative type, you’ll surely find many artsy booths with choices that might be right for you.
Plus: You may discover an artist that really suits your style. You can look forward to adding to your collection next year when they do the same street fair.
Minus: You buy it, you own it, and you’re most likely never taking it back or exchanging it if you have second thoughts once you’re home. Many artists travel from fair to fair. Be sure to pick up their card in case you run into any troubles. But don’t expect easy return policies.
Do you have one in your town that you pass by on your way to get groceries or drop off dry cleaning? Instead of walking by, pop in and explore. Your next pair of to-die-for earrings might be just inside the case waiting for you. Consignment stores known for their high-end inventory can have designer pieces at a reasonable price. Better yet, consign the jewelry you no longer wear while picking up that piece you have your eye on.
Plus: Someone else’s mistake can be your treasure at a great price.
Minus: All sales are final unless you work something out with the storeowner although this isn’t likely. If you decide you don’t like it as much as you thought you did, you can consider selling it back and taking the loss. Items are sold “as is” so check them carefully as you will need to pay for any repairs.
Summer time is the perfect time for travel shopping! The free time between snorkeling excursions or city tours can be the perfect time to browse the local markets or shopping areas for a couple of new pieces to add to your accessory collection. Choose wisely as you want to make sure the piece is well crafted and also matches your style.
Plus: The pieces bring back great memories when you wear them. The price can be more favorable in some faraway places.
Minus: What seemed like a good idea in Hawaii may not translate as well once you’re back home. A cheaply made necklace you buy on the street or on the beach may not have a long life span. Accept those limitations or don’t purchase.
There are great accessory items to be found in hospital gift shops, spa service salons, hair salons and even car wash establishments that have gift stores.
Plus: If you’re waiting around and have time to browse, you can find some treasures that you might have overlooked in your normal shopping patterns.
Minus: The return policies are not good. These places may completely switch their merchandise around so if you fall in love with one artist’s work, you may not find it again if you go back there to look for more.
Trunk shows in department stores
If there are designers you really like, ask the person at the jewelry counter if they do periodic trunk shows and get on the list to be called. If you’re already a fan of that artist, you’ll see so much more merchandise on the days of the trunk show.
Plus: You know you love what that artist has to offer so seeing a large portion of their inventory is a treat. You get to meet the designer in person and have a conversation with them. They may be able to help you choose an item, which adds sentimental value to the piece.
Minus: You need to be available the specific day the jeweler has a trunk show and may need to travel a bit to attend.
This crafty and artsy website is great for shopping online (www.etsy.com). You can find very unique work and discover up-and-coming artists who put a lot of thought and labor into their work. You can find very different types of pieces to fit your style while shopping comfortably on your couch.
Plus: You may discover reasonably priced pieces and learn about the artist who made them. If you like one-of-a-kind pieces, this is a good source.
Minus: You can’t try it on. If it doesn’t fit you right, you may be out of luck depending on the artist’s return policy. If you like crafty pieces, going to craft fairs might be better for you because you can try things on.
Great styles, affordable prices and a fun way to shop with your friends, by hosting a jewelry trunk show….it’s also a great way to try on lots of different styles of jewelry. Plus you can also shop on-line at www.stelladot.com/coriburchell
Warning: If the way you’ve been purchasing accessories isn’t working for you, STOP! Nearly all of these resources demand on-the-spot decision-making. This style of shopping isn’t for everybody. You may be better suited to having my help on your accessory shopping trips.
Make an appointment with me and I’ll help you see what’s not working with the pieces you already own and I’ll explain why. Sometimes people score great finds but don’t know how to put it together with other accessories or clothing items. That’s my expertise so I’ll help make it right for you. Contact me today!