Resale Heaven : It’s time to clean out those closets. You can pocket some cash while freshening up the wardrobe.

Out with the old, in with the new. This New Year’s thought could well apply to our closets: These next few weeks are the perfect time to clear out all that old stuff that’s taking up valuable space. If you’re wondering how to make room for those new duds and get some extra cash in return, the answer is consignment stores. We have some good ones in the San Fernando Valley.

But first comes the horrendous chore of clearing out the old. Several years ago a friend and I put together a list of reasons to discard a garment. It worked for us, and perhaps it will help you.

1. Never worn in last year.

2. Unbecoming color.


3. Needs altering--and has for ages.

4. Also owned by a friend who’s a model/actor.

5. Too dazzling to be forgotten before next event.

6. So classic it’s boring.


7. Vivid reminder of a dismal experience.

8. Portrays image you’re trying to forget.

9. Acquires wrinkles on sight.

10. Always a compromise.

Once you’ve chosen the castoffs, take the good stuff--those items with no stains or rips, and no more than 3 years old--and check out the consignment stores.

At Laura’s Designer Resale Boutique, open for a little over a year, the consignment deal is a 50-50 split. On a recent visit, I discovered some very upscale deals. A full-length flesh-colored Bob Mackie gown with gold beading was owned by a high-profile actress and originally cost $6,000. With no signs of wear, the price is now $489 at Laura’s.

Two Romeo Gigli garments apparently were never worn, since they still had the original price tags. One, a stunning pleated gold evening top, was $890 new, but is now marked $198. The matching skirt was $98, instead of its original retail price of $800. Both pieces would fit a Size 6 to 8. A Calvin Klein two-piece crepe suit (Size 14) would make a believer out of any sharp shopper: This $1,800 outfit is now $298.

It’s not all haute couture at Laura’s. There are plenty of Liz Claibornes and Carol Littles with the same wonderful price cuts. One Liz Claiborne cream wool suit (Size 10) selling originally for $258 was $48. The tags on a red Carol Little pantsuit reflect $198, but the price is now $48.


The general price range of handbags is usually $18 to $20, but owner Laura Goschin fell heir to an upscale retailer’s close-outs that were tagged $300 to $500. She is selling them for $48.

Geri Cook’s Bargains column runs every Friday in Valley Life! Questions about shopping may be sent to her, in care of Valley Life!, Los Angeles Times, 20000 Prairie St., Chatsworth, CA 91311. Letters will not be answered individually, but topics of general interest will be discussed in future columns. Geri Cook can be heard from 9 to 10 a.m. Saturdays on KIEV 870-AM.

Where to Shop

What: Laura’s Designer Resale Boutique.

Location: 12426 Ventura Blvd., Studio City.

Hours: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

Cards: MasterCard, Visa, American Express.

Call: (818) 752-2835.