October 17th, 2018
On My Mind

Renting & Resale: Luxury Shopping Options

Last fall I posted on vintage and resale shopping excursions with my daughter. She is all-about sustainability and recycling and loves finding one-of-a-kind items. For me, it’s great for scoring something unique and sating my doubles obsession.  But, when I shop for a serious investment piece I buy new and wear over the long haul.

Many women today don’t think this way. They rent high-priced clothes and accessories, wear for a few weeks, then trade-in for other luxury items. I understand the economics behind renting and the appeal of constantly having something “new”, but it’s completely counter to my buy-and-hold mindset. However, the renting trend gave me an idea — my friend and I each have an iconic handbag that we never carry so I suggested that we swap for a few weeks. I’m excited to test-drive a bag that I’ve always coveted but was never sure I’d want to own.

That said, recycling is definitely my thing — I give items I no longer wear to my daughters and friends so they can enjoy them. I sold a number of accessories this summer and the little money I made was not as rewarding as gifting.


What's New


Belted leather biker jacket

Jil Sander

Gathered Knit Midi Dress


Cropped leather jacket


Triple Francois 18kt gold vermeil earrings


Jimmy Leather Puffer Jacket


Le 57 quilted leather shoulder bag


Belted wool blazer


Blade velvet slingback pumps


Silvia silk-twill scarf


Logo-embellished leather loafers


Crocheted Cotton-Blend Midi Skirt


Braided leather bangle


Delcie tie-detailed ramie midi dress


Gate knotted leather slippers


Postcard fringed crocheted straw bucket hat


Santos de Cartier metal shield sunglasses

  • Preston, I’m right there with you – when it comes to significant wardrobe items, I would never dream of renting in (or renting out) clothing or accessories. If an item has turned out to be a mistake, or if I no longer enjoy an expensive purchase, I immediately think of my daughter, sister, and know plenty of enthusiastic young women, all of whom would be pleased to receive and view it as a nice surprise. And it really feels wonderful to ‘gift’ things.

    PaulaOctober 18th, 2018  2:43 AM

  • Do you have a favorite site on which to sell items?

    StephanieOctober 18th, 2018  9:59 AM

  • I only sold once, to The Real Real, and it was very easy. They do all the work for you.

    PrestonOctober 18th, 2018  10:08 AM

  • This is a fabulous idea, Preston, and passing on our investment purchases to our daughters and nieces is the best way we have to demonstrate the concept of investment dressing to them. I grew up with the expression “the ladies from Boston don’t buy their hats, they have their hats,” but the idea of owning for the long term seems to have disappeared with the ladies from Boston. I get much more joy from seeing my nieces make my investment pieces their own than I do from a check from the consignment store.

    LindaOctober 18th, 2018  2:26 PM

  • I’m from Boston, probably explains a lot 😉

    PrestonOctober 18th, 2018  2:42 PM

  • I love these thoughtful posts. So tired of the sites that just push product “sell, sell, sell, sell, sell.” Can’t imagine renting, either.

    NinaOctober 18th, 2018  3:07 PM

  • I too prefer to buy for the long haul and it has me thinking about my average spend on clothes per season. I have never tallied it up, but I wonder if you proceed with a per season price range in mind and stick to it!

    StephanieOctober 18th, 2018  5:43 PM

  • Surely with the environmental problems that we as the human race are facing, renting is the way forward. Excessive consumption is what is leading to the destruction of our planet.

    Claude RemainsOctober 18th, 2018  5:52 PM

  • Preston–I love this, both the idea of investment pieces with timeless appeal and sharing unused items with others. I find the pushing of trends that will be dated and “out” in under a season, as well as the addition to disposable fast fashion to be frightening. The environmental and social detriment of fast fashion is something that everyone should be aware of, from massive pollution to poor working conditions for the garment makers. I would rather save for an iconic piece that I will use for decades than buy cheap imitations that will fall apart after 3 wears or uses. Bravo and keep these great posts coming!

    LeslieOctober 18th, 2018  6:12 PM

  • Putting on my economics hat, I think my only issue here is the idea that these pieces are investments any more than a house is an investment. I suppose if you bought a house or a Birkin back when they were priced somewhat reasonably, then yes, they have increased in value today to the point that they could be seen as investments. But, if you are paying 20,000 dollars for a bag today, I would wager that you are unlikely to see much more price growth from these already astronomical heights. Especially since the era of cheap money is coming to an end…

    TropicalistOctober 18th, 2018  7:45 PM

  • I have only sold to a consignment store once and do enjoy passing things along to sisters/daughters as often as I can. Lately I’ve been letting my oldest daughter take it to a donation centre for me, she gets a discount coupon, buys real vintage and sells it on from a booth at the art market she manages. Circle of life.
    Oh and I shop The RealReal.

    SueMOctober 18th, 2018  9:50 PM

  • I am with you on buying carefully and thinking of cost per wear. However, at the very least, if today’s world rents rather than buy large amounts of cheap items that they wear a handful of times, it’s so much better for the environment.

    MMSOctober 19th, 2018  3:49 AM

  • I agree that renting will help the environment.

    PrestonOctober 19th, 2018  6:12 AM

  • I took clothing to a consignment shop years ago after a large weight loss. I also sold a number of designer bags, nothing at the level of a Birkin. Problem is, neither daughter-in-law is interested in such things! My granddaughter is 13…into sports…I will save jewelry for her. I already gave her 2 very small diamond earrings for her Bat Mitzvah. Clothing now gets donated…some never worn, but hopefully the organization can realize more profit from that! Down to a smaller collection of bags, most of which get used.

    bisbeeOctober 19th, 2018  8:45 AM

  • When my daughter was going to a different wedding every weekend – she did rent her dresses and I think it was a great idea. It would have been ridiculously expensive and wasteful to keep purchasing black tie and cocktail dresses. As far as selling to consignment sights, I don’t find anything shameful about it at all. I offer things to my daughter at times, if she doesn’t want it – off it goes. My friends don’t need or want my cast offs, and I have made a fairly large amount of money on things that I either grew tired of, or were mistakes in the first place.

    KathyOctober 19th, 2018  9:42 AM

  • I hate buying evening wear because I rarely need it and feels like a waste of money — renting would be a good solution. I have an upcoming ball and will look around at what’s available. To be continued.

    PrestonOctober 19th, 2018  2:45 PM

  • As much as I try to buy pieces I’ll enjoy forever, we all make mistakes. A large Chloe bag that seemed a like a great buy at the time was insanely heavy and hurt my shoulders, so I sold it a few years later on The Real Real and hopefully someone else still treasures it. And I’ve found some great buys on Vestiaire Collective – a virtually brand new Celine belt bag that looked like it had never been used that I got it for a steal compared to retail. I’m so hard on bags – after a few weeks they look “used” anyway – so Vestiaire is the first place I look when I’m looking for something. When it’s a special occasion it’s nice to buy something new (like a watch I got for my 10th Anniversary) but I think these luxury retail sites are great – and they are certainly much better for the environment, let alone my Amex.

    catherineOctober 20th, 2018  4:26 PM

  • Your site and your refreshing, practical opinions are such a welcome respite from the hard sell of so many blogs/instagram accounts. Thank you for being such an oasis of excellent taste, great style and rational thinking. (PS – I prefer gifting to selling as well.)

    LizaOctober 21st, 2018  7:49 PM

  • Thank you

    PrestonOctober 21st, 2018  8:04 PM

  • My daughter has been aggressively selling a lot of . . . get ready for it – Lulu Lemon! – online and making an absolute killing! We have been laughing out loud at how seasons-old, previously worn & possibly sweated in, lycra ‘gym clothes’ are selling like hotcakes! The power of branding. She ended up with a glut of Lulu after a short stint working at a store. With the discount enticing her, she over-bought (contrary to my advice). Anyway, she’s successfully turning it into cash now, and having fun using the proceeds for her current wardrobe needs. : ))

    PaulaOctober 23rd, 2018  12:41 AM

  • Preston, this post is so timely. I grew up wearing a uniform from pre-k through middle school, so my mom rarely made fast fashion purchases. Shoes and coats were almost always new, except for my handbags which I inherited from my grandmother. It really shaped my perspective of how to spend and then to pass down when I wasn’t using it anymore.

    Speaking of which, I’m cleaning out my closet and remembered you said you gave away/sold a few of your Chanel pieces. I thought I’d never do that, but I had to come to the realization that I wasn’t using them anymore. It’s better to pass them on than store them in the closet forever.

    LeslieOctober 26th, 2018  5:43 AM

  • Perhaps having worn a school uniform is part of my shopping mindset, too, and may explain why I’m so focused on coats, handbags and shoes… You’re right, 4 years ago I gifted all of my Chanel bags, save one, and my Hermes Trims, which I never wore. In a weird way, I think my friends liked receiving them because it was a very personal gesture. Even though these women already had great handbags, they still carry the ones I gave them. And, I know they’ll pass them on at some point to be enjoyed by even more folks.

    PrestonOctober 26th, 2018  6:06 AM


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