The Goodwill Insider: Black Friday Survival Guide

Black Friday Survival Guide Black Fri·day
noun
1. (in the US) the day after Thanksgiving, noted as the first day of traditional holiday shopping, during which crowds of consumers are drawn to special offers by retailers.

sur·viv·al
sərˈvīvəl/
noun
1. the state or fact of continuing to live or exist, typically in spite of an ordeal, or difficult circumstances, like long lines, crowded malls etc

Mayhem! Noise! Long lines! Slow walkers! Is this the zombie apocalypse? Nope, it’s just Black Friday!

We’ve all been there, and most swear to never do it again! But wait! Don’t head for the hills! Because it’s my duty as the sworn Goodwill Insider to school you on my “Black Friday Survival Guide!”. Let me show you how getting up and coming into Goodwill may just be a little better for you, the environment and your wallet, not to mention your sanity! Come with me, and avoid the madness of generic strip malls and overcrowded outlets. Let’s break the usual procrastinator’s move: waiting until the chaos of Christmas Eve and rushing out at the last minute! It’s going to be easier this year, because we’re going to get through this! Goodwill is bringing a breath of fresh air with some fantastic deals, and you can plan on avoiding the mall zombies by getting in on this survival packed action! Let’s get started on the simple steps to Black Friday Survival:

coffee with whip cream

1. Get coffee.

2. Drink said coffee.

3. Put on your most comfortable shopping shoes.

4. Shop Goodwill!

window sale sidewalk chalk art

Because starting at 2pm on Friday, they’ll be having a BIG 50% on apparel sale! I know, I said the same thing: “Have you lost your minds? 50% off?” But fear not, this is the REAL deal! And instead of the 3am wake-up calls that leave you drained by noon, and wishing Sheriff Rick could save you, opt to instead roll in at 2pm, relaxed and ready to rock the thrift shop! So let’s have visions of budgeted sugarplums dancing through our heads as we work our way down that checklist you’ve had crammed in the back of your bag for the last few weeks:

Fun vintage hat for your thrifting friend? Usually $16.99 now 50% off? Check!

100% silk tie for your co-worker who loves the dapper look? $9.99 now 50% off? Check!

Unique destash and knick-knacks for the hard-to-shop-for relative starting at $.99 now 50% off? Check!

Cashmere sweaters? 7 Jeans? All 50% off? Checkdoublecheck!

And if all that doesn’t sound like enough to get you ready to survive Black Friday, let’s remember that every year Goodwill also keeps 62 million pounds of unwanted goods out of landfills. So instead of giving Auntie Mame a generic made in China plastic trinket that will end up buried in the back of her broom closet, or worse, just thrown out, come into Goodwill and find her some cherised secondhand items, and better yet, present it all in a beautiful DIY wrapping paper with a handwritten note of thanks she’ll always remember!

Shop local and don’t fall for the zombied mall madness, keep your shopping unique, one of a kind and personal, just like yourself!

Join me next week as I show you some great post thrifting places to grab a free, festive holiday photo op AND take in some delicious foodie zen! Peppermint hot chocolate? Handmade spiced apple donuts? Christmas lights at every turn? Get ready for the photo op foodie tour of the holiday season!

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a delicious cup of coffee and my anti-holiday zombie gear on hand as we get ready to help you all find THE best gifts for your loved ones this season!

See you at the counter!

 –

Your purchases support the mission of Goodwill.
To learn how we serve the community, please read our industry blog Where The Goodwill Goes

Follow us on our Website Facebook Twitter Instagram

Happy Thanksgiving: Black Friday & Weekend Window Sales!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!
Today our stores are closed so that our employees may spend time with friends and family.  Tomorrow our stores will resume normal business hours and will kick off our weekend of Black Friday specials and window sales.

Friday 11/29: 2pm to closing – 50% off apparel
Saturday 11/30: 12pm to closing – 25% off wares
Sunday 12/1 all day – 35% off Christmas Items

General Rules:

  • Tickets are distributed to customers in line, first come-first serve 
  • Customers may enter the store in numerical order once the doors open to the public
  • Customers may purchase a limited number of window items, check each store for specific details
  • After selecting their window items, customers may shop for other items in the store, go back in line to purchase other window items or exit the store until it opens to the public
  • Check for specific store rules


New York City

23rd Street Store: Friday 11/29 sale 9 am
79th Street Store: Friday 11/29 sale 10 am
Fulton Store: Saturday 11/30 tickets 8:30 am; sale 9 am
Harlem Store: Saturday 11/30 sale 9 am
Livingston Store: Friday 11/29 tickets 8:30 am; sale 9 am
Steinway Store: Friday 11/29 tickets 8:15 am; sale 9 am

Long Island
Bellmore Store: Saturday 11/30 tickets 8:45 am; sale 9:00 am
East Northport Store: Saturday 11/30 tickets 8:30 am;  sale 8:45 am
Massapequa Store: Friday 11/29 tickets 8:45 am; sale 9 am

Hudson Valley
Wappingers Falls: Saturday 11/30 sale 8 am

Capital Region
Binghamton: Saturday 11/30 tickets 9 am; sale 9:30 am
Vestal: Saturday 11/30 tickets 9 am; sale 9:30 am

To find a Goodwill Store near you, click here.

Your purchases support the mission of Goodwill.
To learn how we serve the community, please read our industry blog Where The Goodwill Goes

Follow us on our Website Facebook Twitter Instagram

Goodwill Gems: Beat the Cold-Weather Blues

It’s time to get cozy. The frigid temps we’ve started experiencing this week aren’t going away anytime soon, so it’s time to bring out the thickest, warmest, and woolliest sweaters and accessories you’ve got.

This week’s fine – a darling knit scarf in a colorful stripe – is sure to bring a note of cheer to any winter day, no matter how drab. When looped over and in on itself, the stripes intersect in a way that makes this look almost like a plaid, but the subtler stripe is just as classic, and a bit easier to combine with other colors and patterns in your wardrobe. The warm knit fabric and long length of this scarf will ensure you stay toasty and warm, no matter how chilly the wind outside, and the lovely jade green color of the background, as well as the rich navy blue, golden brown, and coral colors of the stripes, are sure to flatter any complexion.

tan knit turtleneck sweater with green plaid scarfWarm up this week with a pretty and seriously practical find, like this week’s gem, pictured here.

Have fun. It’s one of the most important – yet often forgot – rules of fashion. Though it can be easy to get caught up in trends and wondering if we look as stylish and up-to-date as our peers, fashion is at its best when we don’t let ourselves get caught up in the nonsense, and just relax and enjoy it.

Case in point – this cute and cozy scarf. It’s obviously a casual piece, and especially with more relaxed, everyday items like it, there’s really no reason to stress about matching it perfectly with your outerwear or the outfit underneath, and sometimes it can even be more fun when you don’t. Above, it’s shown with a neutral, toffee-colored sweater, the two pieces look lovely together. But this piece really wakes up and looks even more fun when set alongside another print! It might seem a bit bold, but it’s certainly not boring, and mixing and matching different prints can be a fun and creative way to liven up an otherwise ho-hum winter wardrobe. Here, I’ve decided to pair it with an ensemble that’s still mostly neutral in color – the white tee underneath the dress clearly could be a suitable backdrop for absolutely anything, and the jumper itself (made of a warm wool fabric, of course) has a subtle plaid pattern in colors that are echoed in the scarf – a lovely blue and a pinky color very close to the scarf’s coral. If you’re feeling brave and want to try mixing patterns yourself this winter, go for it! Just stick to one rule – when combining prints, make sure you pair those that use similar color families, so that something similar repeats throughout the outfit and pulls the whole thing together.

plaid pattern dress with white long sleeve shirt underneathHave fun with your cold-weather wear and throw together a few different patterns for a bold, but not-too-eccentric ensemble.

Your purchases support the mission of Goodwill.
To learn how we serve the community, please read our industry blog Where The Goodwill Goes

Follow us on our Website Facebook Twitter Instagram

 

Guest Blogger Shaunya: Best Things to Buy at a Thrift Store

A true thrifter is one part super shopper, one part soldier and last part “frugalista.” To thrift well is to know that mass merchandisers and more traditional retailers will not always suffice when you are in search of a  specific item. I know that when I am in search for an inexpensive vintage sequin cocktail dress I should try the West 72nd Street Goodwill boutique than say, a mall store. But besides specific items, like vintage, thrift stores can be a wealth of so much more.  Here’s a list of some of the best things to buy thrift.

 

Costumes[1]Costumes
Halloween may have just passed but a good thrifter purchases costumes   for the following year.   It’s not hard to   find a full-on prepackaged costume that someone wore once and then donated at a thrift store. For the super crafty and creative,  a good walk thru of the racks can also provide a wishing well for  more fashion forward  costumes like  Twenties Flapper, Sixties Flower Child or Seventies Disco Diva. With a little digging through the racks and a lot of imagination, a thrift store could be the best source for a fun costume or theme related party.

 

Home Decor[1]Home Décor
I have hit the jackpot while thrifting: silverware, china, vases and framed artwork.  Usually you spot the item across the room or in the corner of your eye and like a kid in the candy store you rush over to claim it. Don’t be too quick to put something back because it’s not retail worthy. Vintage China is stunning and no one will detect if a tea cup is missing or a silverware set is lacking a butter knife, and a painting can be reframed very easily.  Some of the most stylish homes always have a nice touch of thrift in them.

 

Holiday Items[1]Holiday Items
Only a fool pays full price for holiday items. You step into any thrift store and there are year round holiday themed items. Wreaths, lights, baskets, Menorahs and even ugly Christmas sweaters are bountiful at thrift stores. My local Goodwill sells holiday items at the same time as Wal-Mart and Target and one would be a fool to not go thrift before full on retail for a laughing blinking reindeer.

 

Books[1]Books
People still read books and not always nooks. Many  still want to fill their bookshelves with original copies of literary classics or catch a great deal on a book they couldn’t imagine paying retail price.  I know someone who loves the illustrations of old gardening and botany books, so I keep an eye out for them whenever I’m in my favorite thrift store. I’ve found the style and society imagery from the 1950’s and 60’s that I love at the Bellmore Goodwill in Long Island.  Book dealers, book worms and bibliophiles do well by thrifting.

 

Accessories[1]Accessories
For me fashion comes first when it comes to thrifting. I go to the clothing racks before any other section. Clothing can be very intimidating especially thrifted clothing where there are many different sizes and styles from a vast array of retailers old and new.  Your best bet and some of the best items in my wardrobe are thrifted accessories. Costume jewelry and bags are amazing scores when thrifted. This past July, I popped into the 72nd Street Goodwill and found a clutch that I wore to a celebrity filled affair at the Hamptons. I received tons of compliments for it. The clutch was a smash and it cost me $5. Thrifted accessories next to designer statement bags, it couldn’t get any better.

The key to thrifting is to know that age-old adage: one person’s trash is another person’s treasure and that thrifting is searching for a diamond in the rough minus the retail markup.    

Your purchases support the mission of Goodwill.
To learn how we serve the community, please read our industry blog Where The Goodwill Goes

The Goodwill Insider: Tweed

I’m not going to lie; I have a closet FULL of it and most of it from Goodwill. From Alice+Olivia tweed shorts, originally $198.00, scored for $14.99, to a beautiful vintage jacket for only $19.99, wearing tweed makes you feel like you’re having high tea, riding galloping steeds off to the hunt, or having a walk on role in Downtown Abbey, even if you’re just hailing a cab or grocery shopping. Life just looks cooler in tweed. It’s prep without the pretension, and flattering across the board for all shapes and sizes.

TweedRun2

The easiest ways to work this late fall and winter fabric into your cold weather wardrobe is usually as outerwear. For women, there are the standby classic tweed pants, go high waisted and wide legged to instantly invoke the hot runway trend of cool androgyny. Add some pearls and glam up Old Hollywood style ala Katherine Hepburn. Or wear a tweed blazer as a sports coat, and then layer under with a delicate herringbone cashmere sweater and bright tartan scarf for an All American look. Personally, I prefer tweed shorts with cozy, ribbed winter tights, and a nice pair of well worn in buttery leather riding boots under a trench. Think: Less Sherlock Holmes, more sophisticated UK adventure!

The versatility with tweed is that it’s dressy, but at the same time, outdoorsy. Originally created for 19th Century elite and later adapted into classic winter wear, you can pair it with a Mad Men inspired woolen pencil skirt, or a simple crisp white dress shirt/bowtie combo which I love wearing and both look finished.  Or even better, take your tweed and add some worn in jeans and a nice pair of motorcycle boots to toughen the edges.

MyHarleyBoots

These black leather Harley Davidson motorcycle boots pictured were only $24.99 and look stellar with a dark chocolate turtleneck and tweed combo. If you’re aiming for workplace appropriate, make things fun with chunky knit sweaters over a tweed dress or statement necklaces topping a tweed blazer with a pop of color in a silk chemise peeking out from beneath.

And as many of you will be going abroad this Thanksgiving to visit family and friends, I can’t fail to mention, tweed is a travel WIN!

MyHaartmanLuggageThis vintage Hartmaan Tweed Luggage was only $29.99 and whether I’m boarding a train or flying home for the holidays it still looks better than my old option of throwing everything in a book bag at the last minute. Tweed when you travel is the height of class, not to mention, it feels a little more mysterious when the door opens to your family and you set down that delicious luggage and peel off your gloves looking like you’re returning from a grand voyage abroad, even if it’s just from a Greyhound bus station. Think: Less sweatpants on a plane and more tweed jackets on a train!

And lastly, if all this tweed talk sounds too intimidating, and head to toe huntress/hunter isn’t your bag of Earl Grey tea, try dipping your toes in with a smaller, seasonal appropriate piece like a tweed pageboy cap, pocket square, tweed bowtie or a nice pair of tweed socks peeking under some leather oxfords for the gents. Tweed is an equal opportunity dresser, so the guys have a chance to get on board with this fun too!

TweedRunSo from the streets to the stables, get inspired! Enjoy creating your own looks with this versatile and comfortable material and share the results! Post pictures of your #tweedspiration on Instagram or share your pics on our Twitter feed @GoodwillNYNJ.

Join me next week for an “On The Streets Holiday Preview”, with pictures of fashion forward customers on the streets of New York City, fun ideas on DIY, thrifting the perfect holiday wear and avoiding a holly jolly meltdown with time saving tips and tricks of the Goodwill trade.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, all this tweed talk has me craving a scone or two, so it’s cheers till next time!

Brandee, the manager of Goodwill’s 72nd Street boutique, is also a writer, performance artist, thrift fashion and DIY enthusiast. Brandee’s projects have been featured in   Bill Cunningham’s New York Times style column, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week and INC. Magazine. She loves French-press coffee and lives the designer thrift lifestyle bursting onto the fashion forward streets of the New York City she calls home.

Your purchases support the mission of Goodwill.
To learn how we serve the community, please read our industry blog Where The Goodwill Goes

Friday and Saturday Window Sales: Nov 22-23

General Rules:

  • Tickets are distributed to customers in line, first come-first serve 
  • Customers may enter the store in numerical order once the doors open to the public
  • Customers may purchase a limited number of window items, check each store for specific details
  • After selecting their window items, customers may shop for other items in the store, go back in line to purchase other window items or exit the store until it opens to the public
  • Check for specific store rules


New York City

79th Street Store: Friday 11/22 sale 10 am
Chelsea Store: Friday 11/22 tickets 8:45 am; sale 10 am
East Harlem Store: Saturday 11/23 tickets 8:15 am; sale 8:30 am
Fulton Store: Saturday 11/23 tickets 8:30 am; sale 9 am
Greenwich Village Store: Saturday 11/23 tickets 8:50 am; sale 9 am
Harlem Store: Saturday 11/23 sale 9 am
Livingston Store: Friday 11/22 tickets 8:30 am; sale 9 am
Rockaway Store: Saturday 11/23 tickets 9 am; sale 9:30 am
Steinway Store: Friday 11/22 tickets 8:15 am; sale 9 am
Stuyvesant Store: Saturday 11/23 sale 9:30 am

Long Island
Bellmore Store: Saturday 11/23 tickets 8:45 am; sale 9:00 am
Centereach Store: Saturday 11/23 tickets 8:30 am; sale 8:45 am

East Northport Store: Friday 11/22 tickets 6:45 pm;  sale 7 pm
Massapequa Store: Friday 11/22 tickets 8:45 am; sale 9 am

Northern New Jersey
Harrison Store: Saturday 11/23 sale 9:30 am
Springfield Store: Saturday 11/23 tickets 9 am; sale 9:30 am

To find a Goodwill Store near you, click here.

Your purchases support the mission of Goodwill.
To learn how we serve the community, please read our industry blog Where The Goodwill Goes

Goodwill Gems: Enjoy Summer All-Year Round

Vibrant and fresh. Bring a burst of summer brightness and fun into your wardrobe, no matter the time of year. The turning of the seasons can mean a growing mass of drab, muted colors, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still spice things up a bit with your accessories.

A vivid orangey-red bracelet, like this cuff made entirely out of zippers, found recently at my local Goodwill thrift shop, is a colorful and slightly edgy piece that’s perfect for adding a bit of punch to any look. The gold metal of the zippers adds a bright, glittering flash of sparkle, without being too gaudy or dressy, as something covered in gems would be. It’s casual, while still being fun, flirty, and even a bit funky.

bangle This one-of-a-kind bangle, made entirely out of red and gold zippers, is a cool and totally on-trend accessory that will instantly invigorate any wardrobe.

A go-to casual piece. Though this brilliant bangle would look lovely with any number of breezy sundresses during the warmer months, a lively accessory like this one would look just as divine with cozier, cold-weather outfits. Here, I’ve paired it with a favorite pair of slim, soft, gray pants perfect for fall or winter, and a simple cream-colored tank and lace tee shirt on top that’s ideal for layering. This ensemble can easily be finished off with a basic, neutral cardigan for warmth. A bracelet like this one would easily brighten up any other sweater you might have in your collection – but to best show off this beauty, pop it on with a three-quarter-length sleeve. And to create an ensemble that’s entirely up on this season’s trends, pair the sweater with a fabulous skirt in an edgier fabric, like faux leather or suede, and some warm, textured tights.

layered lookA vibrant, colorful bracelet like this one, made of a rather unexpected everyday material, is the perfect piece to liven up almost any cool-weather outfit, including this sweet layered look.

Your purchases support the mission of Goodwill.
To learn how we serve the community, please read our industry blog Where The Goodwill Goes