September 3, 2003

Let's just say it: designer clothing is cool.

Paying for it on the other hand, not so much.

If, like many overworked, underpaid, label whores, you find yourself torn between a desire for finer threads and a less-than-accommodating bank account, it's time to dry your eyes, Angie. Someone's already got it covered.

Second Time Around has been the self-proclaimed “leading designer consignment clothing company in the New England area for over three decades.” Not only does this store house gorgeous gear at completely affordable prices, but there are three locations in Boston, Newton and Cambridge. So chances are there is probably one only a T stop or two away from you.

Here's how it works: People call up and make an appointment to bring in frocks that are “so last season” that they want to get rid of and make money on. After a staff member reviews the items, appropriate pieces are kept at the store on consignment. That means the original owner will receive 50 percent of sale proceeds on all items sold. The store gets the other half. It's a win-win-win. You free up closet space, you earn cashola, the store splits it.

Second Time Around differs from other consignment stores in that it only accepts designer merch - it can't be older than two years and it must be wearable for the current season. So you won't find a 1970s Bill Blass striped pique swimsuit in September. But you may find a sweet pair of Miss Sixty jeans for only $30. (They usually cost three times that!) Other designers you will find include Anthropologie, Bulldog, Calvin Klein, Dollhouse, Helmut Lang, Juicy Couture and Tocca.

If you don't have any designer duds to trade in, don't worry - you can still scour the aisles like the mad, brand-name slut you are. You may have to sift through some racks to find what you want, but it beats shelling out your paycheck and then worrying about how to pay rent the rest of the month. This way, your clothes leave looking fresh and that line that was forming between your eyebrows gets a rest, too. Angie, ain't it good to be alive?

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