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The Baltimore Sun

Couture Upscale Consign, Fort Lauderdale

Wow factor: Get your designer fix at this 2,000-square-foot, freestanding consignment boutique that offers new and gently worn head-to-toe couture. Co-owner Sandra Weddle estimates there are about 350 labels bearing the names of top designers, from Gucci to (Emilio) Pucci and everything in between. The big payoff? Fancy frocks at a fraction of their original price. "In bad times, you need a bargain. In good times, you like a bargain," she said. "That's what we try to do here in the store. People want to dress nice. We make it affordable." There are clearance racks, and layaway plans are available. The shop gets 60 percent of each sale. The rest goes to the consigner, said Tomas Weddle, a former chemical engineer-turned-entrepreneur. Background: The Honduran-born couple traded couches for Chanel after shutting their Deerfield Beach furniture store in 2003. They opened the consignment boutique four years ago. "I love fashion and, since I grew up in the industry, this is something I feel comfortable doing," said Sandra Weddle, whose family owns retail stores in Honduras. "It's my forte." What's inside: The pair put their fashion sensibilities to work filling the two-room boutique with an ever-evolving array of clothing and accessories. For women, there's everything from glittering evening gowns, paired with sky-high pumps and evening bag, to office-suitable dresses and casual wear such as jeans, tees, sandals and sunglasses. There's stuff for guys, too, though the Weddles are always on the lookout for more menswear. Everything's considered, as long as it's clean and comes with designer creed. To avoid fakes, they look for markings such as hologram stickers and serial numbers. Editor's picks for the ladies: Dolce & Gabbana turquoise jeans ($97, originally $229); Badgley Mischka black evening gown ($246, originally $1,700); Escada black sequin pants ($79, originally $378); St. John jacket-and-skirt set ($330.50, originally $800); Lillie Rubin black leather jacket with crystal buttons ($79, originally $349); Juicy Couture sweat pants ($59, originally $90). For men: Short-sleeved Burberry yellow plaid button-up shirt ($61, originally $400); Versace wheat-colored jeans ($49, originally $300). From the clearance racks: Vivienne Tam black dress with white floral embroidery (size 2, $20, originally $234); Nanette Lepore pink/brown plaid dress (size 6, $40, originally $430). Accessories & shoes: During a recent visit, the shop's large collection included a 1980s Gucci ivory leather purse with bamboo handles ($300, originally $600-$700); a new with tags Judith Leiber evening bag with crystals ($1,498, originally $2,768); Chanel gold chain belt ($339, originally $850); hot-pink patent Louis Vuitton wallet ($299, originally $570); Christian Louboutin black pumps with signature red soles (size 6, $259, originally $700); and never-worn Ed Hardy flip-flops (size 8, $35, originally $69). — Beth Feinstein-Bartl Do you know of a Divine Find, a local shop or boutique with an especially distinct flair? Send info to mderose@SunSentinel.com. Couture Upscale Consign Address: 2939 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale Hours: 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday Owners: Sandra and Tomas Weddle Contact: coutureupscaleconsign.com, 954-565-4348 Amy Beth Bennett/Sun Sentinel
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