There are those who merely want to buy clothes and those who crave a heady shopping experience. Once Is Not Enough caters to the latter with a dizzying selection of high-end labels including Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, Prada, Valentino and the much treasured shoes of Manolo Blahnik ("every woman should own a pair," gushes owner Inga Guen).
The shop is considerably more expensive than most consignment stores, but for the remarkable quality of items it carries, it is a relative steal. Most pieces range from $200 to $600. A Judith Lieber crystal-encrusted evening bag that originally cost $4,000 goes for $1,000 here. Luxurious fur coats (from Saks Fifth Avenue, for example) are sold up to 75 percent off their retail value.
Aside from its unique, upscale selection, what truly sets the shop apart is Guen's dedication to giving her customers individualized attention. Whether you are shopping for a single piece or rehauling your entire look, she offers brutally honest commentary on what fits you best. Guen even goes so far as refusing to allow customers to buy pieces she feels do not look good on them. And based on her devoted clientele who call her to express their gratitude, her critical eye for fashion is much appreciated.
Once Is Not Enough does carry larger sizes and has fitting rooms. Appointments are preferred if you are consigning your clothing. Clients receive 10 to 20 percent of the original value of items when they are sold, depending on the items.
-- Caroline Bermudez