Thrifting ain’t easy: Second Chic, Buffalo’s best consignment shop
Published: Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Updated: Monday, November 5, 2012 20:11
One of Buffalo’s greatest fashion treasures is tucked away on Elmwood Avenue.
Across the street from Lexington Co-op, behind Sole Restaurant, within the D’Avolio building – Second Chic is literally a hidden Queen City gem.
The consignment store is must for any day of Elmwood shopping and the perfect place to get your vintage clothes fix. Its consistently solid vintage finds are what really makes it one of Buffalo’s best consignment shops – it’s also Elmwood’s only vintage store.
The store carries contemporary pieces as well.
Second Chic takes all the work out of thrift-store shopping because it’s nota thrift store – the shop pays patrons for their clothing.
As a consignment shop, the store handpicks everything it carries; clothes aren’t donated like at a thrift store. Vanessa Ron, the shop’s 26-year-old owner, proudly said “we’re very picky.” Ron’s keen eye for fashion makes shopping easy for any fashionista.
While sometimes I’m the mood to hunt through AMVETS’ endless racks of the elderly Buffalo community’s hand-me-downs, it’s nice to have a place like Second Chic to go to.
At the end of an AMVETS shopping trip, I will have scoured through 30 racks of tattered and stained items to maybe walk away with one or two decent vintage picks. It’s a multiple-hour, painstaking process. At Second Chic, I’m emptying my pockets after 15 minutes because I’m in love with everything.
Right now, Second Chic is loaded with fabulous vintages coats, some great furs, high-end denim and a completely re-merchandized men’s department.
While the shop is my favorite vintage destination – half the store is contemporary. From Burberry and G-Star to BCBG – Second Chic has a variety of items and prices. While I have snagged a ’90s romper for $15, I’ve also been tempted by a gorgeous ’60s era dress with a $100 price tag.
Its men’s section, while smaller than the women’s, is a rare commodity amongst other stores of its type. The men’s racks were just restocked with 65 new pieces, but Ron fears she will have to discontinue her men’s department if men’s sales don’t improve after the winter.
Consignment shops have a connotation of being only for women, but Ron has pulled some amazing male items. Right now, I love all the Stacy Adams oxfords she has out. Ron is really pushing for the men’s section and I am, too.
Come on, boys – visit the shop and get your dapper on.
The store crams a lot of fashion into a small space, but it’s well organized – the right half of the store is allotted for vintage, and the left is for contemporary pieces.
The store even has a community feeling, according to Ron.
"We have a number of consigners that deal with us that do primarily vintage,” Ron explained. “I think it makes the store more of like a community-based organization, essentially like a co-op.”
A consignor selling clothes through the shop is basically part of the shop because they get a portion of what sells.
It’s the same concept as well-known second-hand shops like Plato’s Closet. But Second Chic is on another level because of the high quality of its merchandise and the general close-knit feel you get shopping within the Elmwood community.
From modern boutique brands to turn-of-the century pieces, Second Chic has a little bit of it all and has been helping Buffalo stay well dressed for the past two and a half years.
You can also checkout Second Chic’s styling in this year’s Cause of Mass Appeal on Nov. 10 – an Elmwood fashion show that will showcase multiple Elmwood boutiques.