Oh Style Encore, how do we love thee? Let the Thrifty Snicker count the ways! Your bright boutique of a store is an easy find off of Anderson Lane. Cheerful and knowledgeable sales staff is accessible without being pesky and you have the latest styles for the working woman up to size 3X. Plus you pay cash for our stylish castoffs!
Style Encore is a recent addition to the Austin thrift scene and what a welcome addition it is! Your Bargain Blogger has a heart big enough to embrace every thrift-minded college student and fashionable teenybopper around but let’s face it, the rest of us want a slice of the thrift store pie that’s just for us – and à la mode while you’re at it! Style Encore is a Minnesota-based franchise family that includes Plato’s Closet, Once Upon a Child, and Play It Again Sports but geared toward those of us whose ten-year high school reunion is in our rearview mirror. A collective high-five, high-kick in our Badgley Mischkas for Kristi Paul, the Austin store’s owner manager and fashion visionary for this new Austin entrée.
The store may be only a size medium but it makes maximum use of space and first-class fixtures for a super-size thrift experience. All the usual categories are amply represented: tops – both long and short sleeve – skirts, pants, jeans, shorts, dresses, formal wear and shoes. Then there are the two walls of handbags, along with belts, jewelry, scarves and hats. Much like the tracing the direction of the alphabet at the library, the Thriftstress gets confused about where the next size starts (does she go around to the other side of the rack or look behind her?) but easy-to-find labels state price, size AND brand. Combine that practice with Style Encore’s angle-hung pants and roomy dressing rooms and the Diva of Discount could just kiss any of the attentive sales staff!
And speaking of those paid princesses of the price-cut, The Snicker wants to give credit where it is due – Style Encore may have the nicest and most professionally trained sales staff in town. It seems as though there are always four or five standing by, which means you don’t have to chase someone down to get help or search for a cashier when you’re ready to cash out. Better still, these gals are unfailingly friendly, helpful when you want it, but not hovering as though you’re going to bolt with the boho bag at any moment. I’ve seen them take every stitch off a mannequin at a customer’s request and re-hang armloads of dressing room rejects in such as way as to make you think that you’ve helped them check something off their personal bucket list. The Thriftstress sincerely hopes that future cost-cutting measures won’t result in an employee reduction as abundant staff is unusual enough to place Style Encore far apart from its competitors.
Unsurprisingly, much of their time is spent ringing up sales because fabulous finds are everywhere! Style Encore buys clothes for cash directly from customer sellers – no consignment or donations. Most items are upscale department store – think J. Jill, Gap, Macy’s, Ann Taylor and the soon to be late and lamented, Coldwater Creek. One might find a few Catos and Targets mixed in but what you won’t find is anything tired, poor or yearning to be free. In fact, The Snicker’s latest acquisition is a happening NWT polished cotton skirt with lace trim…and if the tag says Kohl’s, well, who cares! Prices are well below what might be expected in this immaculate store – skirts are generally $8 to $15, and dresses $11 to $20. On a recent visit two baskets of fashion forward bangles took a good bit of time to peruse and all were priced at either $5 or $6. A lovely coral Coach bag was $70 and currently Style Encore is running a buy one accessory item and get a second one for half price steal deal. On her very first visit The Snicker scored a pair of $14 pumps, $15 Ann Taylor pants, and a $5.99 set of bangle bracelets.
Really, this place has more positives than an obstetrician’s waiting room! Shoes are ordered by size and placed at eye level, clothes are displayed by size and color, and special attention is given to those among us both fly and fluffy. The round rack immediately inside the door features an ever-changing fashion theme whether a specific designer or store or fashion element. On her most recent visit it was White House, Black Market, but previously seen has been St. John’s knits and everything Radiant Orchid – Pantone’s 2014 color of the year.
You can stop, shop and sell Monday through Saturday from 10 to 8 and on Sunday from noon to 5 – 2929 West Anderson Lane. If you’re bringing clothes to sell, it may take a few hours before they can be looked at so plan accordingly. There’s plenty of parking, all major credit cards are accepted and there are always special promotions – many of which feature designer handbags! Stay Styling my friends, by signing up for their email list (Style-encorenorthaustin.com) and liking them on FB. Questions? Give them a shout at 512.592.0886.
Turning our attention to another thrift emporium, alas, the rumors have been confirmed – The G Spot Thrift Shop storefront on South Congress across from St. Edwards is no more. FB messages haven’t been returned so no further information other than a lot of liquidating on eBay.
As much as it pains the Discount Diva to admit it, she doesn’t know everything thrift. What are your favorite places and best bargains?
Until the next find!
The Thrifty Snicker