Goodwill Gems: The Skinny on Summer

Hope you enjoyed your Summer Solstice last night! With all these late summer nights, it’s key to have a fail-proof, add-to-anything piece that keeps you looking pulled together. With that goal in mind, our fearless columnist Lauren Haslett roamed her NY & NJ Goodwills until she found the perfect gem: a waist-nipping belt that’d take any outfit up a notch in one quick buckle. Take a look:

This class-with-an-edge leather belt is exactly the kind of easy, all-purpose piece you just have to have for summer – and all year round!

Belts are an essential in every girl’s wardrobe. Whether you’re throwing one on over a loose-fitting tunic to add shape and accentuate your feminine curves, or actually just using one to hold up a pair of jeans, a belt is an accessory that can be both utilitarian and fashion-forward at once. The perfect thing for nearly anything you get yourself into this summer…

There are tons of great belts out there to accent your summer wardrobe, but with such a huge array of choices, it’s important to focus on getting those all-important pieces that look great with anything – pieces you really can’t live without. This wide tan leather belt I happened across recently at a local area Goodwill is definitely one of those. The light brown color and classic leather material make it the ideal item to top off almost any summer look.  The double buckle in the front makes a fashion statement without being too blingy or over-the-top (again, making it easy to match up with any number of styles or ensembles).

So how to style this gem? Great news: it’s all good. You can’t screw up this classic, go-with-everything accessory, but there are some pieces it will go with even better than others. For example, the width of this belt makes it perfect for cinching you in around the ribcage (every gal’s smallest part), and so best for showing off your womanly figure (or helping you create one, if you feel you’re lacking curves).

This fab belt adds extra definition around the waist (and a little sex appeal) to this basic cotton tee. Paired with skinny black jeans and tan leather booties, and you're prepped for indie concerts, outdoor art shows or summer night strolls in seconds flat.

This piece is a great topper to any loose-fitting dresses, tunics or high-waisted bottoms you might already have in your closet. Try it over a lightweight sundress (maybe something vintage…), and you’ll immediately tailor your new-to-you gown. Or… if you’re feel like playing the part of the ultimate fashionista for a day, try it with a simple white tee, then add a pair of wide-legged, high-waisted trousers in a flowing fabric, like a silk or a chiffon. Now that would be perfect for those long summer nights…

What Goodwill gem have you found lately – and how do you plan to wear it? Tell me about it in the comments here, share a photo on our Facebook page or send @GoodwillNyNj a tweet. I love seeing your style, so keep us posted! Stay classy, New York & New Jersey!

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