Saving in Style Vol. 3

By Amy Power | Photos by Amanda Whitegiver
June 13, 2018

A glance at the Save the Dates on my refrigerator reminds me that I have six weddings, eight bridal/baby showers, and three graduations to attend this spring/summer. Many of these events are with the same circle of people, and I don’t want to recycle the same looks again and again and again. That certainly makes for boring photos and memory books.  I also don’t want to blow my clothing budget on formal and semi-formal dresses I may only wear once or twice. Until recently, it never would have occurred to me to try consignment shopping for these events. I think on some level, I couldn’t separate the concept from trips to Goodwill my friend, Molly, dragged me on in high school. Molly relished the thrill of the hunt, where as I balked at arduous task of sorting through the sheer bulk of unorganized textile flotsam and jetsam. When Amanda and I first learned of the local consignment shop, Village Style in Freeport, ME, earlier this year, visions of matronly mumus danced through my head along with smelly tweed and stretched out denim. I may have given Amanda the, “do we have to?” face.

But, I was so wrong! I’ve come to realize those images and memories are inaccurate and absolutely not the case, especially at Village Style. Village Style is more boutique than anything else, with thoughtfully arranged sections that are easy to browse. Shelly, the owner of the shop, is highly selective with her inventory, and it shows. Many items are new with tags, all are in pristine condition, and there’s a sizeable selection of designer brands to boot.  Shopping consignment for my many events wouldn’t have crossed my mind at the beginning of this year, but Amanda, who has always enjoyed a good consignment shop, and Shelly have won me over.

It’s true that the downside to consignment shopping is that you may fall in love with something, and find yourself unable to bring it home if the size is wrong. Shelly can’t run upstairs and grab it for you in another, but I have the same problem when shopping clearance and sale items, as well. Plus, an important thing to remember is that if you’re only spending $10-$30 on a practically new dress, that leaves a lot of room in the budget for alterations to ensure a perfect fit (Shelly has a good seamstress on speed dial to help you out in that department, too). One of the many advantages of shopping at Village Style, is the sheer versatility of inventory. When Amanda and I came into the shop and discussed our mission of conquering event season, whilst saving in style, Shelly began pulling dresses left and right. I literally tried on no less than 35 items that fit. Clearly not every piece was flattering or to my taste, but I dare you to go into any retail shop and find as many options. I was able to find things inside and outside of my comfort zone, and really play around with color, cut, and style (check out the IG stories to sneak a peek of some of the great dresses we tried, but didn’t end up featuring).

Today, we chose to focus on two looks that would function well for day time events, such as a graduation, shower, or less formal wedding. Shelly has so many great black and white choices in both dresses and accessories at the moment, we thought it would be fun to highlight that aesthetic.

Look One

Outfit Details

Dress: Ivory/black polka-dot dress (Amy guess: $50-$75) VS price: $24
Belt: Akris leather belt (Amy Guess $100-$175) VS price: $40
Shoes: BCBG black leather perforated pumps  (Retails for: $80-100) VS price: $22
Hat: Bijoux Terner straw hat  (Retails for: $49) VS price: $14
Earrings: J. Jill silver hoops   (Retails for: $29) VS price: $8

TOTAL: $108

First up we paired this deep ivory and black polka-dot dress ($24) with an Akris leather belt ($40). The polka dot dress has a very gentle pleat and a slightly blousy top, so the belt really helped add definition to my waist and tied in nicely with the black hat ($14), along with the black BCBG pumps ($22) and the J.Jill silver hoops ($8). Overall this look feels very classic, like a modern day take on a 40’s style. When in doubt, you can never go wrong with a classic choice! Excuse me while I channel my inner Audrey…

Look Two

Outfit Details

Dress: Max Studio B&W dress (Amy Guess $50-$75) VS price: $10
Shoes: Ralph Lauren peep toe espadrille (Retails for: $69-89)  VS price: $24
Hat: Bijoux Terner straw hat  (Retails for: $49) VS price: $14
Wristlet: Silver wristlet/wallet (Amy Guess $35)  VS price: $12
Earrings: J. Jill silver hoops  (Retails for: $29) VSprice: $8
Watch: Skagen white ceramic watch [SOLD]  (Retails for: $100-195) VS price: $32

TOTAL: $100

For the second look, we styled this blousy Max Studio dress in a black and white print with a Ralph Lauren peep toe espadrille ($24). This casual shoe helps make the dress more day appropriate (and the espadrilles are definitely easier to walk through grass in), while the Bijoux Terner Straw Hat helps keep the sun off your skin through a long graduation ceremony. We thought the Skagen white ceramic watch ($32) would be a nice compliment to our black and white theme, and the silver wristlet is the perfect size for carrying along your smaller necessities. We added it up, and conservatively this outfit could have cost us $332, but the whole thing is available at Village Style for $100. We also used the same hat and earrings for both event looks, making the cost per wear even lower. Combined, $186 for two full looks. Wow! Talk about saving in style.


This page is sponsored by Village Style.