Lucky Finds at Avalon Exchange

April 17, 2011 § Leave a comment

I am a huge lover of consignment stores and vintage shops and pretty much anything that will sell me something gorgeous and used-to-be-well-loved for a drastic discount. It combines my two loves of bargain shopping and the idea of treasure hunting, and I don’t even have to get dirty with mud and be at risk of malaria or flying poisoned arrows. But I still feel a little bit like Indiana Jones.

Wayne and I spent our Saturday morning eating at Pamela’s for brunch and shopping around Squirrel Hill. Wayne and I wandered (okay, let’s be honest, there was no wandering; in actuality, there was a drive by followed by a mental record player scratching noise when I saw there was a consignment store and a lot jumping up and down on my part, yelling, “I want to go to there! I want to go to there!”) into Avalon Exchange, an used clothing store that offers on-the-spot 30% cash or 45% store credit for used clothes, shoes, and accessories. There are stringent policies that the items be current for the season, laundered and undamaged, and not have “low-end” labels, which I guess is Old Navy, Forever 21, and H&M? On display behind the cashier was a large whiteboard with two lists: items the store is particularly interested in buying and items the store can no longer take for the season. The store was pretty large, relative to other independent consignment stores, and it seemed well-organized with racks and racks of clothes for men on the left side and women on the right side. While Wayne wandered off into the men’s section and slowly made his way to the shoe section in the back, I stayed up front and browsed through the costume jewelry, especially the rings, trying on several large statement rings on all my fingers. I loved the selection of clothing and accessories offered and walked around with several items as I kept searching for more.

I walked out with a mustard yellow, leather Lauren Merkin clutch that I found buried in a pile of clutches. My eyes lit up when I saw the signature pleated details. This clutch was love the moment I saw it because I adore mustard yellow, and the leather is soft and beautifully textured with the wear that comes from having had many great adventures but not too many, yet. The clutch felt like hidden treasure at $20.

I dragged Wayne back into the store, a second time, on our way back to the car just because I wanted to get some shots of the store. But I ended up buying a lovely white, cotton sheath dress with a boat neckline and an A-line skirt. I bought it because I loved the repeating print of these drawings of Parisian ladies enjoying their day around the Eiffel Tower. And I found a braided leather bracelet for Wayne that he loved–finally, an accessory he’s willing to wear for more than a couple hours!

I don’t think I have been this lucky when shopping at a consignment store before. Have I mentioned that I love Pittsburgh?


Avalon Exchange
5858 Forbes Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15217
(412) 421-2911


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