Recycling Secrets of Socialites

Socialites and fashionistas on the Upper East Side don't just recycle their bottles and newspapers.

They also recycle their pricey designer threads.  After all, you just cannot be photographed in the same Chanel twice (insert eye roll here).   

To clean out their closets to make room for new stuff, they often take clothes to nearby consignment shops.  

That means the rest of us can find (relative) bargains on these high-end pieces.  We're not talking "cheap" here - just much less expensive than the original high three- and four-figure price tags.

If you know me, you know that my definition of "shopping" for designer clothes is generally browsing - not buying - so it's been fun to get the inside scoop from the owners and managers of these shops.

Designer resale differs from the charity thrift stores that also populate the neighborhood.  There, you might find a designer needle in the haystack - but it's a very large haystack of a lot of other stuff.  The shops described here pretty much exclusively carry higher-end designer and contemporary pieces.  

This is the second in a series (see last week's post) highlighting these resale shops.  Follow us and stay tuned for more in the weeks to come!

Matiell, 163 East 87th Street

This little gem is tucked away between a dry cleaner and old firehouse between Lexington and Third Avenues. Matiell is a much smaller shop than Michael's Consignment, which I wrote about last week, but the caliber of labels is on par with any other designer resale shop in the neighborhood. 

In fact, I saw lots of Chanel, Armani, Reed Krakoff and other pieces - with the original tags and prices still attached. 

I also combed through a rack of gorgeous dresses in which Prabal Gurung, Stella McCartney, Victoria Beckham and other hot designers were well-represented.

I was especially drawn to the colorful array of Hermès scarves (sorry - no Birkin bags!) - several of which are also shown on their web site at  They ranged from $250 to $350 - not cheap - but if these are your thing, that's a fraction of the typical price.  If you're looking for specific patterns, Michael's Consignment has an amazing Hermès scarf selection as well.

I would have loved to walk out in these metallic Missoni platforms - but sadly, they were about two sizes too small.

Happy shopping!