The Boston Herald, Friday, December 23, 1994

Fashion Second-hand clothing can help holiday budgets and still be . . . A cut above


STEPPING OUT: Aveen, left, wears a St. Jon outfit while Morgan tries on an Adrienne Vittadini ensemble.

Holiday shopping doesn’t have to mean lugging a Santa sack full of cash. Nor must it mean doing without a new holiday wardrobe yourself.

You and those on your gift list can be hip without your being broke, if you check out second-hand clothing stores this season.

"We actually mix 50 percent of our merchandise with brand-new clothing," said Jeff Casler, owner of Second Time Around on Newbury Street, in Harvard Square and Newton. "We are like Filene's Basement in that we sell stuff that you can find in other stores but at half the price."

And reasonable prices don't mean poor quality.

"The way we operate is that we are really strict on the clothes we take in. They can't be more than 3 years old, they can't have stains or rips and they have to be high-end designer labels like - Armani, Calvin Klein and Donna Karan," said Casler.

BUNDLED UP: Jeff models a shearling coat.

Not all second-hand stores can promise such competitive labels but the choices

are nonetheless impressive.

"Right now we have all new holiday stuff at a reasonable price . . . velvety slip dresses for $35, and longer velvet dresses for $60 - that's the most expensive," said Emma Lockwood, manager of Black and Blues, 89 Holland St., Somerville. "We also have holiday earrings, silver rings . . . little bags good for the holidays. The only thing that you might be able to tell is worn are the leather jackets, but people like them that way."

Amelia Alvarado, a salesperson at Twice is Nice on Newbury Street, said she sells merchandise that may appeal to the college crowd.

"We have second-hand and new clothes too . . . jeans, overalls, shirts, skirts, belts, vests. We have mostly casual clothes, more for a student," Alvarado said.

So shoppers should make like Santa this Christmas and check things twice.

"You never know what you are going to find when you come in here. When they walk in the store a lot of people ask us, `Are these new clothing?,' " said Casler. "A lot of people aren't aware of second-hand clothing stores, but once you get them in the door - they're hooked."


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