Monday, October 12, 2009


On to the next item that needs to be in every woman's closet...the skirt! Depending on your lifestyle, the type of skirt you will look for will vary. If you are in an office with a business dress code than, of course, you will want to look for a skirt that fits in that dress code. This will be a go to piece for you, so again think about your body type and make sure that whatever skirt you get fits right.

If you are a lucky enough woman to pull off a pencil skirt, go for it! This is a classic style that will last you for a long time. Black or grey or brown...go with a color that you love and feel comfortable with.

For those women blessed with curves, a great take on the pencil skirt is one that gives you a little more "wiggle" room. These 2 shown skirts keep similar lines to a pencil skirt with the forgiveness of an a-line with some fun feminine details.

If you don't have a business dress code or if you are a stay at home/work at home mom. The following skirts can be dressed both up or down. In the summer you can pair them with a cute tank and some flip flops and throw on a demin jacket when it gets cold and you have a cute outfit that can go from day to night. In the colder months, pair it with a long sleeve top or sweater and some boots and you are good to go.

And last but not least...the denim skirt. This is a classic look that when chosen correctly will last you for years to come.

The above skirts were found at Nordstom's, Overstock, the Gap and Target but remember we have a lovely selection of skirts at great prices every day and we'd love to help you find the right skirt to help you round out your wardrobe foundation!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Dress Pants

Next up, in our Swiss Army Knife of fashion, is the dress pant. Every woman should have one pair of dress pants that fits her like a dream. This is one piece, along with a great pair of jeans, that might take awhile to find and will definitely be worth spending the time shopping for.

A great fitting pair of dress pants can give you that extra boost of confidence in a job interview or first day on the new job, but they aren't just for business women. With a pretty blouse and some great heels, a pair of dress pants can fill in nicely for a day dress or the little black dress at a bridal shower, meeting his family for the first time, or hosting a women's event.

Dress pants don't necessary need to be black, brown or gray will work just as well. It just depends on what colors you are drawn to and what to build your wardrobe around.

No matter what your lifestyle a neutral color pair of dress pants NEEDS to be in your closet!

Forget diamonds, the right pair of pants are a woman's best friend. Well, maybe not! But they sure are a close second.

Day Dress

Up next is the Day Dress. Every woman needs to have a day dress in her fashion toolbox. This is the dress you'll turn to for the last minute baby/bridal shower, casual date night, dressy birthday get the picture . If you buy the right dress, it will be versatile enough to take you from summer to winter and still look seasonally appropriate AND best of all you won't get bored with it because you'll be able to accessorize it to completely change your look.

Eliminate that last minute rush out to the store "to find something to wear" by already having something great in your closet. So, again, take a moment or two to think about your lifestyle and what type of events you typically attend in any given year. What is the dress that you you always wish would just appear in your closet magically the night before an event? These are the things to keep in mind when hunting for all of your foundation pieces because these are the pieces that will fill in the gaps and make your wardrobe wearable again and again.

The following are a few examples of dresses that would look great in the summer with a pair of pretty sandles and light weight cardigan or denim jacket depending on the occasion. In the winter all you have to do is add a pair of tights and whatever boots/shoes are in season with a cardigan.

The last few have a subtle, neutral palette. Some women love pattern and that's great but for that "go to" dress, look for something more reserved so that you can get more wears out of it. Dress it up with a brightly colored belt or other accessories. The great thing about a dress like this really is it's multifunctionality; buy a dress that fits you well, you will get years of use out it.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Little Black Dress

The right foundation pieces in your wardrobe combine to form your own personal "Swiss Army Knife" of fashion. No matter what life throws at you, you will never be caught without the right "tool" for the situation. One of the best items any woman can have in her wardrobe toolbelt, is that proverbial "little black dress" or LBD.

The right LBD can take you from work Christmas party, to night on the town with your significant other, to any other social situation that calls for that little something extra.
Don't wait until the week before your event and then go running out to the mall to try and find something that fits. Who needs that kind of stress?! Take a couple minutes and think about what is realistic for you. What is your body type? What is your budget? What is your life like? The lower your budget, the longer you will need to look for something that is perfect for you.

It may seem overwhelming at first but look for
something that makes you feel pretty but isn't over embellished. You'll want to wear it over and over, so it should be something that can be worn with different types of jewelry and accessories. It would also be wise to stay away from satin - it wrinkles easily and may look too formal for most situations.

A great basic shape is a sheath or tank dress. It can transition easily from day to evening with a quick change of accessories. Change your shoes, trade out a blazer or cardigan for a pretty shawl, refresh your make up and you're ready for a night out!

If you are a pear shaped lady an a-line silhouette will look fabulous on you.

If you already have the basic sheath/tank dress and are looking for something else to add your fashion arsenal, look for something with a little more embellishing, a more playful cut or a more formal fabric (satin or lace).

Another great option is the wrap dress. It hides a multitude of flaws while giving an instantly pulled together look.
What happens if you find your perfect dress but there's something about it you don't like? The hem is too long or you don't like the neckline (it's too low cut). Don't be afraid to take it to a tailor and have him alter it to fit you. A pretty lace insert or a pretty camisole can remedy a low neckline and a hem is an easy fix. Remember that you are building a foundation that is going to last you for awhile so getting something you love will pay off in the end!

(These dresses can be found at but Renewed Expressions has great designers in stock all the time and our staff loves helping you find that perfect garment!)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Tim Gunn's 10 Essential Items Every Woman Needs

Have you ever looked in your closet and thought "ugh! I have nothing to wear!" or "I need to update my wardrobe but where to start?!"

Every woman has wardrobe dilemmas at some point in their lifetime but Tim Gunn of Lifetime's Project Runway and Tim Gunn's Guide to Style has come up with a list of "10 Essential Items Every Woman Needs" to help solve this basic problem.

It consists of:
  • Basic black dress
  • Trench coat
  • Classic dress pants
  • Classic white shirt
  • Skirt
  • Blazer
  • Day dress
  • Cashmere sweater
  • Jeans
  • A comfortable alternative to a sweatsuit

At first the list seems a little basic and boring. Spending the time to buy each of these items in a size that fits and flatters you will be worth the effort. Purchase high enough quality to last several years and then sprinkle it with some more fun, trendy pieces and you will end up with a wardrobe that looks fun and polished.

Over the next several weeks we'll take a look at each of these and how they might be useful for you no matter what your lifestyle and explore different options for taking the basic and making it match your personality and body type. We've already touched on trench coats...up next! The little black dress!

When looking for the basics, consignment stores are a great place to start. Renewed Expressions tags our quality items at about 35% of retail.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Trench Coats!

Every woman needs a light coat or jacket for those brisk fall days ahead. While the "it" jacket of the season comes and goes, a trench coat is a classic piece, that if chosen right can last you for years. It's so versatile, transitioning from an afternoon at your child's football game, with a pretty scarf, jeans and a tee; to giving you that extra bit of sophistication when heading to the office Monday morning.

There are so many great options out there that can truly suit every personality and body type. From belted to unbelted, classically clean lined to more soft and feminine there is a trench coat out there for you.

fall trench...

Sunday, August 23, 2009

30 years in Idaho

When Larry and I first moved to Idaho, I would have never believed that 30 years later I would be the proud owner of my own retail business a mere 2 miles away from our little starter home. And, yet, here I am, owner and manager of Renewed Expressions Consignment Boutique!

It’s been quite the journey to get here from there, that’s for sure. We were married in May of 1978 and moved to Idaho from Escondido, California in August of 1979. Larry was hired as a sixth grade teacher and I was hired at a small,local bank. Since that time we’ve lived in several different houses, raised and homeschooled our 3 (now married) children and experienced a few career changes –most recently, opening Renewed Expressions and Larry starting Sunset Signs and Graphics.

It has been 30 years full of ups and downs, as life tends to be, but we have been blessed to live here and experience this great community. We look forward to the next 30 and are thankful for our friends, family and customers. We wouldn't still be in business without you and we hope the experiences you have in our stores leave you feeling appreciated and valued.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Employee Spotlight

I feel truly blessed to have the most wonderful employees and I know that I can count on them to give you the best customer service so that your shopping experience is the best it can be. But there’s more to them than just the bright smiling faces that greet you when you come into Renewed Expressions, so every once in a while I’ll be sharing with a little more about them, starting with my first employee and long time friend, Monica Visser.

Monica has been with us since day one, when we opened our doors as a furniture consignment store and she was instrumental in helping us transition into clothing consignment. She is a delight to have at the store and is always willing to help our customers find that perfect outfit. Her warm smile and gentle demeanor keeps our customers asking where she is on her day off.

In addition to being great at helping our customers, it just so happens that she is one of our best customers! She always has her eye out for her favorite brands (Ann Taylor, Banana Republic & White House, Black Market) in neutral tones which highlight her lovely olive complexion.

She is married to her best friend, Brian and has two married children and two beautiful grandchildren. When not out hunting for treasures in resale shops, Monica loves to spend time gardening or hiking with friends and family. She also loves to read and cook and, as those who know her can attest, she is quite good at it, additionally, she is a fine hostess. She was happy to share a favorite recipe for Pumpkin Bread! Could it really be that fall will be arriving soon?

Pumpkin Bread: Makes 2 loaves

3 1/2 C. Unbleached flour
1 1/2 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Nutmeg
2 tsp. Cinnamon
2/3 C. Water
2 C. Canned Pumpkin
2 tsp. Baking Soda
4 Eggs
3 C. Sugar
1 C. Vegetable Oil
2 C. Chocolate Chips

Mix dry ingredients in large bowl. In separate bowl, combine wet ingredients. Add wet ingredients to dry. Mix thoroughly, and add chocolate chips. Pour into greased and floured, standard size bread pans. Bake at 325 degrees for 1-1 1/2 hours. The bread is done when toothpick comes out clean. This bread freezes well.

Thanks, Monica, for being a faithful friend and wonderful employee!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Funny Fashions Friday

We love so many of the trends that are out right now but we thought on Fridays it might be fun to show you some trends we might caution you to avoid.

Even if you have the legs of a super model, these shoes will make you look stumpy.

We know that cupcakes are huge right now but please don't go out looking like one!

It's true that ultra feminine retro dresses are in, but this one has WAY too much going on.

Please avoid wearing garments with the head of anything printed on it.

And finally if it has a cutesy kitty, hearts and a ball of far far away.

Happy Friday, everyone!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Heels = Flip Flops of the Fall

Despite the heat, we've got fall on the mind around here. We are gearing up for our big fall makeover and clothing sneek peek and that got us thinking about fall shoes. Just like summer sandals a pretty heel can add just the right bit of snazz to a fall outfit without being too over the top.

Shoes are such a great way to experiment with colors, patterns and textures. Some people wouldn't feel comfortable wearing a bold red top but how about a red peep toe with a pair of black slacks?

For many women the classic Mary Jane is a favorite. Add a fun fresh color and a heel and you have a shoe that is classic and trendy!

It's always fun to experiment with different colors and textures. Soft pale turquoise combined with faux alligator is sophisticated yet unexpected!

Here's a roundy toe/pointy toe hybrid that would be pretty during the day or night!

Of course, there's always room for the go-to neutral colors like black and brown but how about grey? Especially with a twisty detail, a pair of heels like these could become a wardrobe staple.

Next time you are shoe shopping try on some shoes that are a little outside of your comfort zone. You might be surprised at what you find out you like!

The shoes from this post can be found at but don't forget that Renewed Expressions consigns many high end name brand shoes every day for much much less! See you soon!

Monday, July 27, 2009

We love our customers and they love us back!

We love our customers and strive to put our heart into making Renewed Expressions a place where women love to shop so it always makes us feel good inside to know that we are succeeding in our mission. Recently one of our wonderful customers, Mindi Wilhelm, came into the store for the first time since we switched to clothing and she took the time to write about her experience. Thank you so much, Mindi!


Recently, Abby and I drove to Meridian to check out a consignment store that has been around for years, Renewed Expressions. I don’t usually drive to Meridian for anything since I live in Boise, and most of Meridian is the new revised version of whatever is in Boise. However, since no one has managed to franchise women’s consignment clothing stores, we decided to take the time to check out R.E., 1835 W. Cherry Lane.

Most women’s consignment stores cater to the under 30 crowd. Good examples of this in Boise are the Lux and the Repeat Boutique. I visited R.E. many years ago when it first opened because I know Kathy Reitz, the owner, and we were looking for furniture for our new business. Back then, I seem to remember that it was all about furniture. However, Abby’s voice teacher, Deanna Pond, kept telling us about the great deals that she was getting on clothes and shoes at R.E.

Deanna recently completed her Master’s, and is under consideration for a national award for her thesis. She is not under 30, and she dresses business casual. She likes clean lines and classy things, but what she appreciated most about R.E. is their selection of adult woman sizes, their quality labels and brands. She told us, “I don’t feel bad about paying $20 for a high end label dress. They are always in great shape.” She also told us that she likes, “to just go there and look because their taste is really fine.” The clincher: “They have fun jewelry. They really do.”

This was enough to get us to drive all the way to Meridian.

For those who think used clothing stores smell and look like Saver’s, be prepared for something entirely different. R.E. is clean, well-lit, thoughtfully decorated, clearly organized, and it has friendly, helpful sales people. The roomy curtained dressing rooms and the professional displays almost made us forget that everything was second hand, but the prices reminded us. This store seems to merit a different designation than consignment; it is more like a gently-used boutique.

Abby loves to shop, and I do not. If I were rich, I would pay Abby to do my clothes shopping for me. Soon after we entered the store, Abby scolded me for hurrying through and not truly ‘experiencing’ R.E. I do not believe that she missed a single rack, counter, shelf or display. Women who like to shop like Abby should schedule at least 90 minutes for their initial visit. To me, shopping is more like The Hunt. Find it, try it on, stand in front of the mirror, buy it and bag it. Done. Both of us really enjoyed the store, but for different reasons. In the end, it was all about finding what we were after.

Abby was drawn to the shoes because she sells shoes at the Mall, and she was impressed with the quality and selection. She chose a very attractive navy blue and white sundress, $10, and some white Steve Madden wedges, also for $10. According to Abby, the wedges are normally $80-90. I found a great deal on a size 14 black A-line skirt and a coordinating Worthington top for a total of $26. Deanna was right about the sizes and quality.

Before we left the store, we talked with Kathy about her upcoming events, including “Back to School” shopping (July 26), and “Fall Clothing Unveiling”(Sept. 13). I have to admit though, that even being a non-shopper that there is one event that I do not want to miss at R.E.: Super Bowl Sunday. Evidently, the store fills with women who are equally uninterested in the game, and Kathy provides hors d’oeuvres at various times throughout the day.

Like Borders, R.E. has an email registry for devoted shoppers to take advantage of special sales. However, just mentioning the sale will get the same discount as actually bringing in a printout of the ad. I like that. Why doesn’t Borders do that?

For more info check out their website:

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Time Flies When You're Having Fun!

I cannot believe how fast summer is flying by!

With all the barbeques, camping and family fun that fills the summer, isn't it amazing how quickly the time passes!? It is already the middle of July, with August and back to school just around the corner! Before you know it the weather will be getting cooler and it will be time to pack away the summer clothes until next year.

Speaking of which, if you have some summer items you’ve been thinking about bringing in, please call us to set up an appointment as soon as you can (208.855.2800). Renewed Expressions will only be carrying summer clothes until September 15th. We are going to have a 50% off summer blow out sale beginning September 5th, and running until September 12th. Then we’ll bring out all of our wonderful fall consignments. So the sooner you get your summer items into us, the longer they will have to run at full price!

Join us Sunday, July 26th from 12-5, for our Back to School Preview. We are not usually open on Sunday, but will be for this special event.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Now Selling Accessories for You and Your Home!

About this time every year, I head off to the National Association of Resale and Thrift Shops Annual Conference. This year it was in Phoenix. WHOA! It was hot!! But in spite of the heat I had a great time. It’s always great to get away and bounce ideas around with other people doing the same thing that I do. I always come back super energized and full of great ideas for the store (plus a suitcase full of super cute jewelry that should be priced and in the store soon!!)

This year I came back with the idea to reintroduce home goods at the store. In case you didn’t know, Renewed Expressions got its start as a furniture consignment store. We had a great time with the furniture but after about a year of pushing large furniture around by ourselves we decided that clothing might be more our pace. We are so glad we did because we’ve had so much fun with it! But we’ve missed having our fun home accessories around and this conference reinforced the idea that we should bring them back. So we are but we won’t be doing them on consignment. Instead we’ll be buying them outright.

I bet this has got you thinking about some things you have tucked away in the closet! Perhaps you’ve recently redecorated a room and don’t have the room or desire to store away those items well, we’d love to have a look at them. Especially if they have a Pottery Barn, Pier One or Anthropologie feel to them. Please send a photo of your item(s) to renewedexpressions(at)gmail(dot)com and we’ll let you know if it is something we’re interested in.

We can’t wait to see the treasures that you have hidden away just waiting to earn you a little extra spending money!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Summer is here!

Summer seems to finally arrived here in the beautiful treasure valley. It sure seemed to have dragged it’s feet in getting here but now it’s time for backyard bbq’s, long evening strolls with your sweetie and all of the other fun activities that come with the warmer weather.

After such a long time stuffed inside shoes and socks toes long to be free! And lucky for us, there are some really cute flips flops out there this year (and in the store too!)

The great thing about shoes is that they are a fun and safe way to make a fashion statement. A pedicure and a pair of cute sandals will give any outfit a little bit of something extra that can put a spring in your step!