I was recently visiting my family out of state. One day my mom took me and my sister to a furniture consignment shop. We often visited this shop when I lived closer because we knew the owner and loved her style. But this time, the shop was different - it had doubled in size and the owner now offers clothing, shoes, jewelry, etc. I started trying on clothing - like a crazy woman, (note: I have not officially entered a fitting room and tried on an article of clothing more than four times since 1999), and amassing an enormous pile of "keepers" in my dressing room. My mother graciously footed the bill resulting from my insane, unrestrained behavior, and I came home with a ton of new clothing for a fiftieth of the original price.
I immediately fell in LOVE with consignment shops. (Why didn't anyone tell me about them???)
I found one (with google) less than two miles from my home. I dropped in today, searching for a specific item. It was a lovely, tempting, adorable, inspiring, satisfying, invigorating, and fun experience. I found just what I was hoping to find - but much better - for much, much less than I would have paid for the same item new. (I know this for sure, because the store owner showed me a picture of the item in its Original Designer's Spring Catalog... oh yes.) I should probably never return. But I know I will. Maybe tomorrow. And I'll get a sitter for my kids. And go alone. And take my sweet time.
It's so, so much more fun to shop when the prices are actually reasonable - or at least somewhat within reach.