Natalie Rebuck is the style siren behind the exquisite style site Exquisitus Fashion. An architect in Manhattan, Natalie came to NYC from Indiana and was floored by this city’s fashion. Natalie set out to develop her own signature style, saving her dollars while splurging on creativity. Of course, it wasn’t long before she became one of Goodwill’s biggest fans. We’re delighted to return the favor, honor fab fashion and name Natalie as our newest GoodwillNyNj Style Icon!
We hope you enjoy reading Natalie’s musings on the NYNJ thrift scene, fashion blogging and style sighting as much as we had hearing them. Enjoy!
How did you first get interested in thrifting? Were you raised to reimagine fashion as a youngin’ or did this passion come later in life?
I moved from Indiana to New York City after architecture school. I went to parties, bars, dinner, etc. Practically everywhere I found New Yorkers with amazing clothing. As a sweet Midwestern girl their clothes seemed so far out of my reach for various reasons. Also one of my biggest pet peeves is seeing someone wearing the same thing as me while walking down the street…
I developed a style over the years including as a kiddo by buying fun vintage clothing and getting creative with my outfits. My mom also has always collected antiques and vintage wares. Exquisitus shows the results of my style and what has developed with little money and lots of taste! As an architect and designer I have found fashion as a great creative outlet for me. Exquisitus is Latin for sought after, exquisite, excellent, fine, delicate.
How would you describe your own personal style?
Fun….It’s so important for me to have fun. I like to stand out in a crowd. I love for people to say “I love your outfit….where did you get it?” and me saying well it was only a couple dollars from the Goodwill!
What role does your budget play in shaping your own personal style?
Budget was a huge defining role in shaping my style. I couldn’t afford fabulous designer ware so I looked to the past and gently used goods. Now I just enjoy a great find!
What does “style” mean to you?
Style is an individual term. Style tends to define how you live your daily life. I think for me my style reflects my personality, mood, and what I am thinking.
Where do you find your fashion inspiration today?
Today there are so many places to find inspiration. Strangely I do look at fashion today to see how it fits into my life but I tend to watch old movies for inspiration. I watched Valley of the Dolls the other day. So many great outfits in movie archives!!
We know you’re based in New York City, and so are we! What do you think defines NY/NJ style?
I think NY/NJ style tends to have an anything goes type of attitude. I really believe you can wear anything at all. You may get a few odd looks from strangers (but they tend to be tourists). I think it’s all about being comfortable in your own skin and showing it off with your outfit!
Do you think a New York & Northern New Jersey Goodwill would be any different than another city or state’s Goodwill? If so, how? If not, why not?
I know it’s slightly different in other state’s Goodwill because I am originally from Indiana and still frequent the stores there as well as anytime I land in a different city if I can. New Yorkers really value their vintage items so its a little harder to find those items in NYC.
When you go thrift shopping, what do you always try to keep in mind – and keep an eye out for?
I tend to keep my eye out for things that look older than 10 years especially for certain patterns that are historic to certain eras. I also use my hands to feel for certain textures. At first it was tricky to move through so much stock but now I can do it pretty quickly!
Do you have a favorite Goodwill? Have you found any Goodwills to be especially stocked with prime finds?
I tend to travel around to different Goodwills. Although if you aren’t able to travel to across country, I love the store on East 23rd Street in Manhattan. It’s in Thrift Store Row [23rd Street between Third and Second Avenues] and I always walk away with some great finds. This past Sunday I ended up with 3 vintage dresses, 2 belts, and 2 great skirts…. Stay tuned to see what they look like!