Here’s how you can score a designer find at Clothes Mentor for way less than you’ll pay at the mall

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At Clothes Mentor and Plato’s Closet, shoppers of all ages and sizes are scoring fabulous deals on the latest fashions and accessories. Find out how you can grab a seasonal find—for less. (Photography by Benjamin Margalit/Margalit Studio)

By Patricia Nugent

For decades, the shopping scene in North Olmsted could only be described with a four-letter word: m-a-l-l. But thanks to several up-and-coming upscale resale stores—Clothes Mentor and Plato’s Closet—shoppers are hitting the rethink button on the local fashion landscape.

“Women today are looking for the hottest styles at the best value, and we offer that along with a fabulous shopping experience,” says Maury Rose, who has spent his career in the resale industry.

“Who doesn’t want to look great head to toe, yet pay a fraction of the prices they’d spend at a mall?”

With the reduce, reuse, recycle movement, people are looking for outlets to turn their slightly worn items into “new” ones. In addition to the styles, the biggest thing destination resale shops offers is that if you wish to turn in your slightly pre-enjoyed clothes, handbags, jewelry, shoes or accessories, they pay you cash—on the spot.

It takes about 10-15 minutes for the staff to evaluate the cash value of your clothing. Most ladies shop while they wait and already have new outfits or purses picked out by the time they get cash in hand.

Clothes Mentor: Revving up Fashion-Forward

Located within a shopping center on Lorain Road, Clothes Mentor helps busy women put the “fab” back in their fabulous summer and fall wardrobes, from professional ladies to soccer moms and everyone in between.

“We know most of our loyal shoppers by name, and many of them come in at least once a week as the clothes change so often,” says manager Andrea Ritter, who has worked here since the store opened eight years ago and is often the first friendly face to greet shoppers walking through the door.

“Our atmosphere is chic and boutique-y, and we love working with people to match an outfit to their taste, or an outfit to a special occasion.”

At up to 70 percent off mall prices, the charming resale store offers shorts, skirts, dresses, jeans, pants, shirts, shoes, belts, scarves, sunglasses, hats and an extensive jewelry department. Don’t miss the chunky signature necklaces from J. Crew and Kate Spade.

These ladies stay ahead of the trends and are absolute wizards at styling an outfit that will look fabulous on each individual.

Top name brands such as Ann Taylor, BCBG, Chico’s and Michael Kors come in sizes 0-3X and are artfully arranged to make the shopping experience more fun.

Handbags, Handbags, Handbags
The shop has also earned quite a reputation as a haven for handbags. A department of kiosks filled with designer handbags from all the big names come in every oh-so-chic style and color: messengers, hobos, cross-bodies, clutches and totes as well as adorable wallets and keychains.

“Women really let their personality shine with their handbag,” says Andrea. “Our selection allows them to find the perfect-fit bag, whether it’s a sleek beaded evening clutch or chunky, hoop-handled design. Logomania is always in style, and we’ve got the logos featured on this fall’s fashion runways, like Tory Burch, Fendi, Louis, Chanel, Gucci, YSL, Coach and more.”

In addition to a kaleidoscope of vibrant colors on the scene heading into fall, she reports they are selling lots of floral-patterned purses, and also animal prints, plaid, paisley and patterned styles.

Plato’s Closet: Dressing Today’s Youth
For teens and young adults—both guys and gals—Plato’s Closet, located on Great Northern Boulevard, features clothing in sizes 0-26, along with footwear, designer handbags and gorgeous accessories.

“From Abercrombie & Fitch to American Eagle and H&M, we offer everything guys and gals would need to be on-trend head to toe,” says manager Vicky Alderman, who has worked at the ultra-hip store for the past decade.

Shoppers enjoy club jams pumping in the background, funky décor, luxurious dressing rooms and themed departments that make shopping a breeze, from “athleisure” wear to “boho chic” to “farm girl” denim, guys’ jeans and sections devoted to the trendiest brands (think PINK). For the guys, they offer an extensive variety of jeans and casual wear, as well as sunglasses and shoes.

“Heading into back-to-school season, jeans—especially distressed and high-waisted styles—are super popular,” says Vicky.

“Handbags and shoes are always big sellers for us. At any given time on the floor, you can find a nice variety of gently used and like-new designer names. And boot season is just starting to pick up, too.”

Want to see the hottest looks on the floor today? Visit Facebook or Instagram, where the team posts throughout the day.

Clothes Mentor is located at 25373 Lorain Road, in North Olmsted. The phone number is 440-617-6013, and site is Be sure to find them on Facebook. Hours are Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Sunday, noon to 6 p.m. Plato’s Closet is located at 4608 Great Northern Boulevard in North Olmsted. The phone number is 440-801-9088 and site is Be sure to check their Facebook page too. Hours are Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Sunday, noon to 6 p.m. Both stores offer loyalty incentive programs.