Clutter Hunter Online Film Festival

We have a Clutter Hunter winner – actually (and even better) we have several! To show off our contest champions, we thought we’d post a little Clutter Hunter Online Film Festival for your long weekend enjoyment. Here are all our contest submissions – and, the news you’ve all been waiting for: the names of our big winners! Just click the MORE button below and enjoy!

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Memorial Day Fun!: Donation Drives, DIY Workshops and Sales Galore

Whether you’re in the Big Apple city or Apple Pie country this Memorial Day, Goodwill’s got something for you! This weekend, we’re hosting a Donation Drive, a Sewing Workshop, an Online Film Festival and one big Memorial Day Sale. Here’s one Memorial Day line-up you’ll never forget!

Happy Memorial Day from all at GoodwillNyNj!

First off, there’s the big Clutter Hunter Donation Drive, complete with Make-Your-Own-Tote-Bag workshops led by the inspiring Bags for the People* and supported by the always rockin’ BurdaStyle. We’ll be giving sewing workshops and collecting your no-longer-needed clothes, books, electronics, etc from 1-4pm on Sunday, May 30th at the Chelsea Goodwill Store (103 W. 25th St b/t 6th Ave and 7th Ave). Come by and make a difference!

Then, there’s the culmination of our Clutter Hunter contest online: The Clutter Hunter Online Film Festival – perfect for all our amazing Goodwill fans outside the 5 boroughs. This Monday night, we’ll be posting a mini-film-festival of all our submitted Clutter Hunter videos. You’ll be able enjoy a little closet voyeurism without leaving home – does it get any better than that?

And finally, for town mouse and country mouse alike, there’s our big Memorial Day Sale on Monday, May 31 with 25% off EVERYTHING at all of our GoodwillNyNj stores. Enjoy!:

“Bags for the People is a non-profit organization that protects the environment by reducing plastic bag waste through reusable bag sewing workshops. During each workshop environmental education and community interaction is coupled with hands on creative expression, to not only facilitate the switch from throw-away to reusable, but to inspire positive action in life.”

Salute! Get Into Military Gear

Good news, dear gentlemen readers: we’ll be featuring a weekly column by GoodwillNyNj Style Icon David Morgan all about secondhand fashion for men. This week: bringing the military into your wardrobe. Enjoy!

Thrifted outfits incorporating military pieces.

With a brother in the Army and a very good friend in the Navy, I am definitely accustomed to, and have grown to love, military wear. I love the clean lines and crisp uniforms, the masculinity and durability of fatigues, and the rich colors of deep navy, clay brown and dark green (especially the green, which is probably my favorite color to wear).

One of my favorite teenage crafting moments was when I restyled one of my brother’s old Army BDU (Battle Dress Uniform) jackets. I tore it apart and gave it a slimmer fit, and distressed the sleeves and collar. Since I didn’t have a sewing machine at the time, I altered it by hand, a very long process but one that definitely payed off. I loved that jacket, though sadly it was lost in a future move to a new house. Nevertheless, the affection for military wear stayed, and I have fun incorporating it into my daily looks.

Military clothing is strong and rugged by nature, making them perfect items for men to search for in a Goodwill, and luckily, there is a lot of military clothing to be found!

Be sure to browse your t-shirt aisle for those great, basic army tees. They usually come in Green and Brown. They are just great to have around, and you might be surprised at how often you grab for them in the morning! They look cool with nearly anything.

An example of a great, thrifted army tee.

A lot of Goodwills have a uniform section, a great place to find a neat pair of formal military pants. These pants are great to keep in handy for unexpected job interviews or a last-minute fancy dinner. They usually last a very long time and maintain a clean crease. Be sure to pay attention to the care instructions though, as some are dry clean only.

Don’t overdo it. Wearing military pieces should not appear as if you are wearing a costume. Be sure to tone down your military finds with items from your own closet. Unless you are in the military, I wouldn’t recommend dressing up in head-to-toe combat gear.

I also love flightsuits (shown in the first image), and have been lucky to find a few on my thrifting excursions. When worn, I’m so surprised at how bohemian they look, especially with a simple pair of sandals. While this is a strong look, pairing it with a bunch of fun accessories tones it down considerably. I also took a brown flightsuit and cut and hemmed the top portion then added a simple drawstring for a cool pair of scarecrow-esque pants. I love them!

I added a piece of thrifted fabric as a tie for my altered military pants. I love how the colors compliment each other!

The next time you are in the Goodwill, get your “Top Gun” on and try a few military looks. Experiment with cool combinations, like your favorite jeans with an army tee or a pair of combat boots, or a cool BDU Jacket with a pair of grey, blue or purple khaki shorts. Army-chic (or Navy or Air-force) never goes out of style.

Now tell me: What is your favorite military clothing or accessory? How do you incorporate them into your daily look?

The Clutter Hunters Contest!

The Clutter Hunter Contest is heating up – but there’s still time to enter before the deadline this Friday night. Clean your closet & win a $50 gift certificate to Goodwill! Come check out the competition and get in on the GoodwillNyNj Clutter Hunter action over at A Good Look by GoodwillNyNj’s on Facebook.

In A Good Look‘s new video series The Clutter Hunters: Hunting Down Goodwill Donations One Closet at a Time, our host Sasha fearlessly tackles good closets gone bad using only her organizing know-how and her basic DSLR digital camera. This week’s focus? The New You Closet!

Rich is one of those few amazing people who decided to make weight loss his New Year's Resolution - and actually achieved his goal. Congratulations! Now let's tackle that baggy clothes closet!

Rich is a working actor and events planner here in NYC, and appearance has always been a part of his job. Looking to up his game and snag bigger roles, Rich decided last December that it was time to slim down and tone up through a healthy diet and exercise. Five months later? He’s practically Adonis – but his closet is some kind of Hades.

Here, our host Sasha takes on the too-big wardrobe, finding which clothes fit Rich’s healthy new look and which clothes are better off going to Goodwill.

But what about the $50, you ask? Well – it’s yours for the taking!:

Submit your own Clutter Hunting video using a DSLR, Flip, webcam, or cell phone by 11:59pm EST on Friday, May 28th and you could win a $50 or $25 Goodwill gift certificate!

To participate, post your movie’s link on our Facebook Fan Page showing us what you’ll be donating from your closet. You’d better hurry, too – the first 10 video submissions posted on our Facebook Fan Page win a $5 Goodwill gift certificate! Good luck!

*All 12 of the Clutter Hunters’ gift certificates will be awarded on Sunday, May 30th. These gift certificates are valid for use only at the Goodwill Chelsea Store in Manhattan from May 30, 2010 through June 30, 2010. More details will be posted on A Good Look as the date nears.

Goodwill and BurdaStyle: Boutique You

We love shopping, but we hate needless waste. Solution? This week’s GoodwillNyNj/BurdaStyle Boutique You pick: the Charlie Reusable Grocery Bag!

This little tote can make a huge impact. Just think how many plastic shopping bags you could save in a year alone!

Secondhand fashion is the perfect way to create your own signature style without hurting the planet, but what about those plastic shopping bags? Be a real Eco Champion & make your own out of reused thirfted fabric! BurdaStyle shows how with this nifty little pattern.

And if bobbins and spindles sound like whosiewwatsits to you, be sure to join us and Bags for the People for a Make-You-Own Tote Bag workshop during our Clutter Hunter Donation Drive this Sunday from 1pm-4pm at the Goodwill Chelsea store (103 W 25th Street between 6th & 7th Aves.) – hope to see you there, Eco Champions!

The Clutter Hunter Donation Drive!

This Sunday we’re having a big Donation Drive at the Goodwill Chelsea from 1pm-4pm this Sunday, May 30th to celebrate our Clutter Hunter Contest! This is the perfect time to drop off all those no-longer-needed items (clothes, books, dvds, electronics, shoes) you’ve been stumbling over for far too long. Tackle that clutter – and come join us Sunday!

As an added perk, we’ll have the amazing non-profit Bags for the People leading a Make-Your-Own Reusable Tote Bag Workshop. How cool is that? Come on by to celebrate reusability, giving back and smart shopping all in one!

(Many thanks to all at Bags for the People, BurdaStyle, and the Craft and Hobby Association for all your great help & ideas!)

Everyday Thrifting

Good news, dear gentlemen readers: we’ll be featuring a weekly column by GoodwillNyNj Style Icon David Morgan all about secondhand fashion for men. This week: optimizing your thrifting finds. Enjoy!

Each of these outfits contain one or more thrifted elements. How do you incorporate your Goodwill finds into your everyday wear?

Recently, I have begun maintaining a Flickr set of some of my daily outfits. Going through the few pictures I’ve posted so far, I’m surprised out how much of my clothes are from the Goodwill. I know I thift a lot, but certainly didn’t know it was that much. Everyday, at least some part of my outfit is thrifted, a testament to both the versatility and diversity of thrift store shopping.

Whatever the occasion, I guarantee that you can find a look within the thrift store. The most important tip I can offer in debunking any feeling of hesitancy is that:

  • Price does not determine style, and not even quality.

I have had pairs of pants worth hundreds of dollors rip after a few months, and I’ve had pants bought for dirt cheap last for years.

While I definitely appreciate the value of exceptional craftsmanship, and understand that some well-made clothes are truly worth the investment, you really cannot determine the quality of thrifted clothes based on price.

  • The hierarchical rules of fashion just do not apply at the thrift store.

Both high and low-end pieces have the same playing field and price point, which definitely puts the cash-strapped fashionisto at ease.

In short, if you are worried that thrifting will make you look cheap, I assure you it won’t. Dior coats share the same rack as high school varsity gear, and both are there for your wearing pleasure.

Each of these outfits contain one or more thrifted elements. How do you incorporate your Goodwill finds into your everyday wear?

If you are a thrifting pro, what high-end pieces have you stumbled upon at the thrift store? And how does thrifting influence your everyday style? Perhaps our examples will ease the worried minds of strict department store adherents 🙂