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Column| Discover consignment stores in downtown Kirkland

In this fickle economy, more shoppers have discovered the financial benefits and fun of shopping at consignment stores. Whether you’re looking for that special-occasion garment and can’t (or don’t want to) pay department store prices, or if you simply crave guiltless retail therapy, check out Kirkland’s consignment stores. Whatever you’re looking for, you’ll likely find it … and more.

In boutique-like ambiances, consignment stores offer gently used, and often new, women’s and/or men’s clothing, shoes, and accessories. Store merchandise consists of “consigned” items from individuals who, for various reasons, wish to sell them. In addition to top-quality condition, proprietors typically require consigned pieces be up-to-date, or classic, timeless styles.

Shopping at Kirkland’s consignment stores can be rewarding, fun, and easy since they’re all within two to three blocks of each other. A short walk gets you to your next treasure hunt. What you won’t find in one store, you will find in another.

Kirkland consignment stores, overall, specialize in high quality apparel; however, each features a unique segment or flair in the world of fashion.

• Ragamoffyn’s, at 132 Park Lane, features women’s high-end and designer apparel, shoes, and accessories to match. An entire room is dedicated to designer names such as Escada, Gucci, St. John, Channel, and Prada where prices are 70 to 90 percent below their original, retail prices. You will also enjoy its exclusive Red Carpet Fashion show every second Thursday of the month, during Kirkland’s art walk, from 6:30-8 p.m.

• Champaign Taste, at 147 Park Lane, also specializes in a wide variety of high quality women’s clothing and accessories. It is especially known for its large selection of spectacular wedding gowns, many of them new, and luxury evening gowns - all at fabulous prices.

• Serendipity, at 117 Lake Street, focuses more on hip and trendy, youthful styles. New and custom-made accessories complement its upbeat fashions.

• Absolutely Fabulous, at 200 Central Avenue, consigns a wide variety of excellent women’s and men’s wear, shoes, and accessories. It features both new and gently used items, some with designer names.

• Seven Taylors, at 205 Main Street, specializes exclusively in men’s consigned clothing. It’s a unique find for men’s suits, coats, sweaters, and accessories. You should also know the proprietor is one of the area’s best in custom tailoring and alterations for men and women.

• Linda Lu’s, on Lake Street, is the newest consignment boutique in Kirkland. It features a wide variety of women’s apparel from whimsical, youthful styles to a more conservative taste. It is also beginning to consign men’s clothing.

• If it’s furniture you’re looking for, you will find a treasure chest of high quality home furnishings, art, and accessories at Blooming Home Consignment, 702 Market Street, a bit outside the downtown area. Here, you can furnish your entire home, or pick up select pieces to compliment your living environment.

If you haven’t already, take a day to discover consignment shopping in downtown Kirkland. Parking is free until 5 p.m. at the corner of Lake Street and Central, and many great restaurants surround the area. It’s a shopping day you won’t forget, one worthy of repeated visits.

Kathryn Paulson is a 25-year resident of Kirkland. She has enjoyed 15 years of residential real estate sales and freelance writing. Contact Kathryn at 206.713.2658 or e-mail kmpaulson@msn.com

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