Rip-Off: A Consignment Shopping Horror Story

1204822533I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m a sucker for designer threads at cut-rate prices. So when my editor asked me to scope out the goods available at online consignment shop My Girlfriend’s Closet last month (created by Revere native Nichole Addario Di Modica), I was psyched. The concept is, in theory, a solid idea: For a small fee, you can upload overpriced but underloved pieces taking up prime real estate in the walk-in–and, in turn, open the door to thousands of new possibilities.

Paying homage to the mantra “one person’s trash is another person’s treasure,” registered users post their seasonal leftovers with a photo, price, and description, then wait for a taker to pounce. Major clotheshounds with even more to unload can open up a “boutique.” And best of all–they can also peruse other’s rejects to restock and revamp.

After clicking through a mostly tired selection from the usual fashion orphans (Bebe, French Connection, Express), I eventually snagged a colorful peasant skirt by French designer In Love by Carling ($45) from the “Site Store.” After receiving an enthusiastic email from Di Modica herself requesting a shipping address, I waited patiently for my little bundle of spring to arrive, and after five days, it finally did. I brought it upstairs and tried it on. I spun around in the mirror. And I gasped in horror as I noticed the 5-inch wide gaping hole dangling right above my backside.

So I sent a note back to Di Modica, who kindly offered to either pay for a tailor…or take it back. I chose the latter. In this case, the writing on the wall was as big as the tear in my new skirt.

It’s unfortunate, really. Trading second hand sifting for second hand surfing fits my busy life quite comfortably. But for Bostonista at least, this one-stop consignment shop just didn’t make the, um, cut.