Goodwill Gems: Ring in the New Year (Stylishly, Of Course)

Note: This week only, we’ll publish the Gems column on Tuesday instead of Wednesday, to help out in those New Year’s Eve fashion emergencies. Lauren’s column returns to AGoodLook on Wednesday, January 8. And don’t forget to keep your New Year’s Eve style rocking through 2014!

Celebrate the season in Goodwill fashion. New Year’s Eve, the biggest –and some would say– the most overrated party of the year is upon us! But don’t let high expectations for the holiday end up getting you down. Have fun with your festive fashions on “the big night” by relaxing about the whole thing and keeping potentially crazy expenses in check.

Lack of funds at the end of the holiday season doesn’t mean you have to settle for less than stellar New Year’s Eve fashions. Your local thrift will probably have tons of great dress selections, but after you’ve chosen the perfect focal point, you can accessorize it with some beautiful gems right from Goodwill, too, like this glittering crystal necklace. The deep ruby-red colored crystal in the center of the teardrop at the end of the piece is dramatic, and the perfect hue to beautifully complement any festive holiday dress. The clear rhinestones surrounding it and covering the whole length of the chain add extra sparkle and glam factor to this luxurious-looking bauble.

rhinestones and colored crystal necklaceFeel like a million bucks on New Year’s Eve, without spending a fortune, by shopping for glamorous-looking accessories made of less pricey items, like rhinestones and colored crystal instead of real gems.

Instead of going all out, just look like you did. This shimmering, divine necklace would make any lucky lady feel sophisticated and is just right for a special occasion like New Year’s Eve. The longer chain and teardrop shape of the final cluster of crystals makes it ideal for pairing with any dress that shows off your décolletage (in a classy way, of course). The blue dress pictured here (also a thrift store find, of course!), has a lovely and slightly unusual neckline that’s perfect for showing off a gorgeous piece like this one. The straps on either side seem to frame the chest, exactly where the necklace would fall, drawing everyone’s eyes right to your gorgeous, shimmering statement accessory.

flowing bright blue dressFor an easy but elegant New Year’s Eve look, trying pairing a stunning and sophisticated necklace like this one with a simple flowing dress in a beautiful bright hue, with a flattering neckline just made to show it off.

Lauren Haslett writes “Goodwill Gems,” our weekly column about everything accessories here in A Good Look. She is a lover of fabulous fashion, a trained chef and a writer.  Follow her on twitter.

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

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Guest Blogger Nicole: How to Stick to Your New Year Resolutions

How to keep your new year's resolution

The New Year is hours away and with that comes reflection and hope for change. How many times have you actually followed through with your goals for the New Year? The problem with resolutions and goals is that they are based on a future outcome, making it hard to picture them as a tangible and real result here in the present. Therefore, I am no longer setting goals, but rather setting daily standards that will allow me to start achieving success TODAY.

Here are 6 tips to get you focused and ready to dominate your life in the New Year:

1. Set a (1) daily standard for all areas of your life: Physical, mental, emotional, financial and your relationships.

2. Be realistic yet optimistic! Don’t push yourself to an extreme. You want to stop eating fast food? Why not start off by eliminating one food chain from your diet. Your Standard: “I will not eat at (write here the name of the fast food chain of your choice).”

3. Write it down. Putting your standards down on paper makes them feel real and concrete.

4. Think positive. Your thoughts create your world. If you fill your mind with negativity expect nothing but negativity to be your reality. Take every negative thought that may hinder you and reverse it to a positive one.

5. Share. Tell your friends and family about your new standards so they are aware and can help support you.

6. Be consistent. Consistency kills competition and if you want to see success you need to stick to what you started. Those standards you have now implemented will lead to positive results for you.

 january first start for change

Here are also a few examples of common new year resolutions that can be made into daily standards.

New Year Resolution: I am going to get a better paying job.
Your Standard: Every week I am going to apply to at least 3 job listings that I qualify for.

New Year Resolution: I am going to lose 20 pounds this year.
Your Standard: I am going to work out 3 days a week and/or I am going to eliminate soda and other sugary drinks from diet.

New Year Resolution: Pay off my credit card debt.
Your Standard: I am going to save $50 a week toward my bills.

Stick to your standards and watch your life change for the better!

What do you hope to achieve this year?

Happy New Year!

xo
Nicole

photos: http://www.health.com, http://www.theiowarepublican.com

Nicole Colon is a lifestyle blogger and designer from Long Island, NY, who is reinventing what it means to be “bad” by empowering women to discover their inner B.A.D. Girl and be Beautiful, Authentic and Determined. She provides her readers with tips, advice and fashion that aim to inspire them to get what they want out of life. Check out Nicole’s blog at www.stylemebad.com

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

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The Goodwill Insider: Live from Austin, Texas Part 1

GWaustin (2)Welcome! Join me as I travel to exciting new locales and share with you the tricks and tips of the Goodwill trade.

This and next week’s blog is being written on location from the sunny skies of Austin, Texas!

Fashion and lifestyle trends change like the scenery in New York City. This week that scenery is changing to cactus, terracotta, friendly faces and a hot cup of Mozart’s Mocha special in hand as I’m reporting live from Austin, TX Goodwill’s with some fun tips from this eclectic and colorful locale!

Home of SXSW, Austin City Limits and “keeping it weird”, this booming hotspot is showing us that being dressed up doesn’t have to mean following the herd. Locals are rocking layered and unfinished looks with ease. Everything from tie dyed Woodstock tee’s to Dia De Los Muertos printed dressed are on display. Carefully curated but not overdone is key!

This laid back but comfortable classic Austin look is the flip side of pretentious, approachable and not trying too hard, something NYC could take a note from (I’m looking at you Manhattan). With bright pops of regional colors, deep magenta’s, vibrant burnt oranges, beautiful Mexican and sunset hued textiles, even in December it feels like a desert vacation. Intricate details are the touch, with notes like this gorgeous handwoven bag. Eschewing hipster skinny jeans I see locals loving dark, flared leg denim, leather boots to toughen the vintage apparel edges and keep it real.

Having met the fantastic staff at Austin’s premiere Goodwill on hip and happening Lake Austin, Jason, the store manager and staff shared local hot spots and eateries that I’ll be featuring in next weeks blog with a whirlwind recap of this fabulous travel odyssey!

Till then I’ll be enjoying my holiday vacation abroad, as you should too! So get off the computer and go spend some fun times thrifting and catching up with those you love!

And hey, if a great pair of cowboy boots come along for the ride too, you can thank me later!

Have a fantastic New Years and see you in 2014!

Brandee visits Austin Texas

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

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New Year’s Eve & Day Hours + Window Sales

New Year's at midnight

HOLIDAY HOURS FOR NEW YEAR’S
New Year’s Eve: Closing at 6 pm
New Year’s Day: Open 11 am to 6 pm

windowsaleheaderGeneral 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 12/27 sale 9 am
72nd Street Store: Saturday 12/28 sale 9 am
79th Street Store: Friday 12/27 sale 10 am
Bronx Store: Friday 12/27 tickets 7:45 am; sale 8 am
Chelsea Store: Friday 12/27 tickets 8:45 am; sale 9 am
Fulton Store: Saturday 12/28 tickets 8:30 am; sale 9 am
Greenwich Village Store: Saturday 12/28 tickets 8:50 am; sale 9 am
Harlem Store: Saturday 12/28 sale 9 am
Livingston Store: Saturday 12/28 tickets 8:30 am; sale 9 am
Steinway Store: Friday 12/27 tickets 8:15 am; sale 9 am
Stuyvesant Store: Saturday 12/28 sale 9:30 am

Long Island
Bellmore Store: Saturday 12/28 tickets 8:45 am; sale 9 am
Massapequa Store: Friday 12/27 tickets 8:45 am; sale 9 am

Capital Region
Vestal: Saturday 12/28 sale 10 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

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Goodwill Gems: Have a Very Classy Holiday

Add an air of sophistication to your holiday. Christmas (if you’re celebrating) and the all-important New Year’s Eve are just around the corner, which means plenty of festive parties on the calendar during the week ahead. If you’ve not yet found the perfect party ensemble or are stressing about how to take some of your everyday staples and make them into something worthy of a celebration, then not to fear – Goodwill, as always, has got you covered.

As fun as it can be to get all fancy and dressed up for a spectacular holiday shindig, it does seem a bit over-the-top to shell out tons of money on a new party dress you’ll wear once, especially if you’ve also recently been buying lots of gifts for your friends and loved ones. So save some dough and still pull together an elegant look with some fabulous thrift store finds, like these darling heels recently spotted at my local Goodwill shop. They’re black, so they’ll easily go with absolutely dressed up look you have in mind, and the lacy, sparkly overlay is totally appropriate for a festive holiday gathering.

sparkle black peep-toe heelsStep out to all your holiday gatherings this season in  a pair of supremely sophisticated black sparkling heels, like this one, stumbled across at a Queens Goodwill store.

Charm them with something classic. Obviously, since these heels are black, lacy, and sparkly – a trifecta of festiveness, really – you could wear them with basically everything. Try a well-fitting pair of jeans, a tee, and a chic blazer for a more casual affair. Or, for a fancier party, consider a look like the one I’ve selected here – a classic, curve hugging little black dress never goes out of style, so you can easily deck this out with the sparkling heels, glam tights, and pretty jewels for a holiday party, or go with simpler accessories for a more everyday look, appropriate for dinner on the town or, with a jacket on top, even for the office.

sweetheart neckline black dressThis holiday season, choose economical accessories, like these dazzling shoes found at Goodwill, with a simple, classic, but chic black dress than can be worn again and again after the Christmas parties and New Year’s Eve fêtes have ended.

Lauren Haslett writes “Goodwill Gems,” our weekly column about everything accessories here in A Good Look. She is a lover of fabulous fashion, a trained chef and a writer.  Follow her on twitter.

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

 

The Goodwill Insider: Holidays – Donating and Being Grateful for What We’ve Got

black pashmina drapped on mannequinA black pashmina. The woman had it in her hands along with some trinkets from housewares, but her hands were running through the frilled ends of the black pashmina. She remarked how lovely it was and what a wonderful gift it would be for her young daughter.

I recognized it instantly, because it was mine.

I had just donated to the Goodwill store myself, only an hour ago. You see, there’s a story here. This specific black pashmina, an unwanted Christmas gift rebuffed by a too picky “that’s not what I want” friend, had been with me for 2 and half years. I had taken it back, after swearing to only give gift cards to her from then on. I kept it neatly folded on a shelf in my room. Christmas came and went, along with New Years, then Valentine’s Day, then spring with its decidedly un-pashmina weather. And each time I had glanced to look up to my shelf, perhaps relaxing with a cup of coffee in hand, I’d feel the ping of a guilty pang. It was still there, unused, waiting for its turn to be worn, like some kind of sad and forgotten fashion orphan.

Then this morning, before I came to work at Goodwill, I found myself rummaging through the closet thinking “WHY do I had so much STUFF?” I rescued the black pashmina off my shelf, in one of those “this room will be clean!” caffeine fueled a.m. moments we all have on occasion. Then it hit me: donate. I threw the black pashmina into a plastic bag, alongside vintage dresses that no longer fit. Hey! don’t judge me, have you ever eaten a cronut? I rest my case. I also got rid of some of the ugliest Holiday Sweaters you’ve ever seen in hopes someone would make use of them.

The black pashmina sat with me on the rush hour subway, hustled through Port Authority in my jumbled plastic bag, sandwiched with me between sleepy eyed commuters. It narrowly dodged a spilled coffee, walked down the street with me, and finally, through the door, and into a blue bin marked “donations.” And now, a woman with a wide smile was taking it away.

For many, donating is an act – no matter how small – of letting go. Maybe for you it was the dress you wore on your first date or those jeans you wore through high school and you swore you’d hold on to, thinking “maybe size 2 in my 30’s IS possible.” In my case, it was a black pashmina from a disappointing Holiday from long ago. But, as this woman’s eyes sparkled, there was a sense of being thankful. Thankful I had let go of something. In less than an hour’s time, another person had taken it to a new home to a daughter, who no doubt would wear it with love.

This end of holiday season, instead of a tutorial on place settings or how to wear layers, I encourage you to do the same. Be grateful for the things you have and share that spirit of giving, either by donating your stuff to Goodwill or volunteering locally. Or be the lucky lady who snagged my New Kids on the Block Christmas sweater. Listen: the sweater needs batteries, but it still lights up. So trust me, you scored big time!

Get that holiday spirit kicked into high gear with a closet clean out, and while you’re at it, stop by Goodwill’s blog this Friday when I tackle the fun stuff in a “Post New Years Eve Closet bootcamp!” Till then, see you at the counter!

photo credit: http://www.worldmarket.com

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

Follow us on our Website Facebook Twitter Instagram

 

 

 

 

Guest Blogger Shaunya: Ugly Is The New Cool

Starting in the 80’s, an unusual trend swept over the country between Thanksgiving and Christmas. This coincided with the typical Holiday parties, both at work and among friends. Zealots, who really wanted you to know they were into the holiday spirit, wore a highly decorated Christmas sweater. These people, most often women, also decked everything and everyone in their homes with seasonal Santa themed knickknacks and bedazzled their lawns with so many lights that people could see them from miles away. The sweaters appeared to be an extension of their homes and lawns. These jolly patrons take their holiday cards seriously too.

Well, I’m happy to report that this trend is well and alive in 2013! And we now turn to these Holiday mavens for inspiration while we search eBay and trove the racks at our local Goodwill for a specific item we come to now refer to as the Ugly Christmas Sweater.

Parties are themed around them, local thrift stores can’t keep them in stock, and social media news feeds are fueled with the witty epic of holiday tacky. Throwing style out of the window for one day and channeling your inner tacky geek all in search of making ugly cool for a family photo or a geeky gathering is what it’s all about. The rules are pretty open, but the uglier the better. Some go for vintage looks, from the golden era, usually the early 1980s. Others have a more DIY approach, channeling their inner crafter and working from a blank canvas they put a glue gun plus tinsel to use.

I scored my sweater, seen below, in my local Brooklyn Goodwill over a year ago. Although my grandmother was very puzzled, she saw the humor in it. In the necessary Ugly Christmas Sweater fabric, acrylic, my red, green and white cardigan symbolizes all things Christmas.

I’ve already started my hunt for next year. I want something with lights and definitely three dimensional. How does that sound?

photo credits: Shaunya Hartley, www.uglychristmassweater.com

Native New Yorker Shaunya is the owner and curator of VintageShaun, a collection of vintage clothing with a contemporary vision that has been featured in NBC’s The Today Show. She is a longtime Goodwill fan and style expert. Last May, Shaunya collaborated in Goodwill’s Spring Fling the Excess, our Earth Day/spring cleaning promotion. Most recently, she styled models for Goodwill Suits You, a fashion show to mark October, National Disability Employment Awareness month.

You may also read her blog: www.vintageshaun.com or follow her on Twitter @vintageshaun

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

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