@PlanetBrandee SUMMER POP QUIZ!

“Hint: This piece of clothing will keep you cool and comfortable this summer”

I’m back in New York City, the humidity is high, and somehow weather went from Octoberesque Spring chill to full on hail Mary HOT August temps! Is there even a remote chance of normal weather in New York City anymore?

With my AC on blast, I decided it’s time we have another POP QUIZ!

What do the author Nicole Richie, Actors Mary Kate, Rihanna and Angelina Jolie ALL have in common? Hint: It’s a universally flattering and all natural solution to riding the subway and being sweaty gross sad. Give up? It’s easy and breezy sundresses!

But before we rally a cry of “I don’t look good in floral, my arms are too fat for that” or the well known excuse “I lost my razor in the snowpacalypse of 2015.” Let’s take a quick look at the icons and inspirations leading women into their own blowy, gauzy realm of summertime fashion:

pic 2 sundressIcon #1 Nicole Richie

Nicole Richie may very well be the mother of all sundresses, particularly the gauzy maxi sect. She’s sported these straight through the Paris Hilton TV show days, all the way into motherhood and looked effortlessly comfy the whole time. It helps she’s incredibly petite, but as you’ll see, it’s not just the waif look that love the sundress aesthetic!

sundress pic 3Icon #2 Jill Scott

Oh yeah, you thought this was a boring, traditional recap? Not so my fashion loving friends. Another contender who rocks tribal prints on blousy sundresses with a new twist is the incredibly talented Miss Jill Scott! Headwraps make this look pop, and there are some fabulous ones to be found at the women empowering Fanm Djanm, someone I religiously follow on Instagram for colorful, strong inspiration. Expect to be DAZZLED by the crossover fashion eye candy.

pic 1 sundressIcon #3 Jessica Simpson

Ok, so I take it back, we WILL stay a little on the tradish’ side, but frankly, this girl lives in cowboy boots and sundresses, so it’s one of those things you HAVE to nod at when it comes to the norm. Rocking floral prints, cowboy hats and boots is a given when you’re ol’ school blonde ambition type. If you can’t hack the female warrior Turk gear, play it safe with leather lace ups and wavy, beach winded hair.

I’m off to a new adventure this weekend, and hope to see you rocking your own look, in a unique style too! So the next time you’re perusing the racks at Goodwill, take a minute and head to the dress section, you may very well find your inner Coachella or Mad Max summer babe waiting for you! Think you look better than Jessica? Rocking floral and combat boots in public? Stomping out a look we haven’t seen yet? Or just score an amazing #Goodwill find?! Let me know! And follow my fashion, food and travel treks on Twitter and Instagram @PlanetBrandee – till then, see you on the streets!! 


695_zpsc11abf6bWe invite you to join Goodwill at one or more of the 11 window sales planned at our stores this weekend.

Visit http://www.goodwillnynj.org/shop/goodwill-store-locations/all to map locations.

Window Sale 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


Friday, May 29

  • Bronx, 149th St – tickets 7:45 a.m.; starts 8:00 a.m.
  • Elmwood Park – tickets 8 a.m.; starts 9 a.m.
  • Harrison, NJ – tickets 8 a.m.; starts 9 a.m.
  • Livingston, Brooklyn – tickets 8 a.m.; starts 8:30 a.m.

Saturday, May 30

  • Binghamton – tickets 9 a.m.; starts 9 a.m.
  • Centereach – tickets 8:30 a.m.; starts 8:45 a.m.
  • Central Harlem, 5th Ave – starts 8:00 a.m.
  • Elmsford – tickets 8:30 a.m.; starts 9 a.m.
  • Fulton, Brooklyn – tickets 8:45 a.m.; starts 9 a.m.
  • Lake Ronkonkama – tickets 8:30 a.m.; starts 9 a.m.
  • Stuyvesant, 2nd Ave – tickets 8:45 a.m.; starts 9 a.m.
  • Vestal – tickets 9 a.m.; starts 9 a.m.
  • Washington Heights, 181st – starts 8 a.m.

The Fastest Way Ever to Jazz Up Easy, Breezy Summer Whites

It’s It’s officially summer! Now that we’ve passed Memorial Day, that means the season of warmth, sunshine, and relaxation is really, finally here. And I don’t know about you guys, but after a very long, dismal winter, I could not be more excited to bring out my sunblock, swimsuits, and big beach hats. Summer accessories are so cool and easy to wear, they look fabulous on just about anyone. But if you feel like really amping up your wardrobe and going a bit bolder this season, I’ve got just the thing for you.

To me, the summer season is all about cool, flowy blouses and dresses, especially when they come in a nice, bright shade of white. But all on its own, all that white can seem a bit boring after awhile—it needs just a small injection of vibrant, colorful fun to feel fresh each and every time you wear it. And luckily, with so many awesome Goodwill thrift shops around the city, it’s easy to find what you’re looking for without dropping a lot of cash. This week’s find is a fabulous pair of bright, gorgeously printed high heels that will look lovely against summer’s classic whites. The abstract pattern in a vibrant sky blue, red, tan, gray, and white isn’t so loud that it will distract from the overall look or feel too brash or loud, but it’s bold enough that it will certainly draw some eyes your way. The ruched detailing over the top of the foot adds a touch of femininity to these shoes, which aside from having a sexy, skinny heel on the back end, aren’t all that girly. And though the heel is thin, it’s not so tall as to make these heels impossible to walk in, and the rounded toe adds and element of comfort that makes these shoes suitable for everyday wear.

The perfect summer wardrobe refresh calls for lots of gorgeous, glowing whites and a few funky, vibrant accessories to liven them up and make them feel fresh and new every time you wear them.

Laid-back luxury. There’s no piece of clothing that says, “perfect for summer” more loudly and clearly than a light, white top or sundress in an airy, silky fabric. And when paired with my fantastically patterned, colorful new heels, there really isn’t a better ensemble for all those warm, sunshiny summer days ahead. Here, I’ve picked a comfy pair of slightly slouchy, cropped jeans and, to contrast with the ultra-casual bottoms, a white long-sleeved top in a super light, silky summer fabric that’s just a little more sophisticated. Intersected with one other small piece in a bold neon yellow (that belt is also a Goodwill find!), and finished off with my fabulous new shoes, this outfit has just enough color, boldness, and sass to draw some positive attention, without going overboard and while still feeling appropriate for the season.

Play up the ease and fun of the summer season in all of your looks over the next few months, by throwing pops of brilliant, eye-catching color into otherwise basic (but well put together) outfits made up of classic denim and cool summer whites.

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.

@PlanetBrandee, LIVE from Florida! (Part 3)

PArt 3 title image

Reconnecting with friends, riding motorbikes, and Thrift shopping at Daytona!

The waves are crashing, the salty air is refreshing, and the heat of the sun is beaming down on my shoulders like the embrace of an old friend. I’m nestled in a grove of palm trees overlooking the ocean and am enjoying my final days here under the blue skies of Florida. Yes, it’s hard to believe this fantastic trip is already winding down, but after such a freewheeling wanderlust adventure, it’s time to head back to New York City.

Today though, I’ll have a motorcycle ride along the shores of Daytona and another jaunt through local shops searching for some kitschy finds and souvenirs to take home to friends and family.

First stop: Nova Street Goodwill

Naturally, THE place for vintage and kitsch has been, and always will be for me, Goodwill. With the help of friendly employees, (thanks Elizabeth M!), I found a wedding platter perfect for repurposing and a silver tray set for the tea table I’ll have at an upcoming event. The housewares section here was off the wall amazing. It was a treasure trove with tons of kitsch, from velvetesque Elvis-inspired memorabilia to a shag throw that I WISH I had enough room to tow through TSA. BIG thanks to the sweet staff who made Nova Street Goodwill one of my fave shopping experiences to date!

Second Stop: The shores of Daytona

I’m taking another motorcycle ride with friends along the shoreline and enjoying the exhilarating feeling of wind whipping my hair, a bookbag full of thrifted goodies and the joy of spending time with great people. High-fives, spirited conversations about life, and long bear hugs wrap-up what could be the sweetest trip I’ve taken in a long time. Although travel is an adventure, and new places are fun, staying connected with friends, old and new, is really what makes my treks so incredible. For me, it’s not just about the things we acquire or the new things we instagram, it’s about re-connecting and finding value in small, truthful and simple things in life.

Final destination: Flying back to NYC

As I board my plane, that all too familiar sense of nostalgia for a place I’ve come back to after so many years sets in. Having lived in Florida many moons ago, it was a bitter sweet hello and goodbye and it makes me reflect. I don’t know if there’s a name for this emotion, but it’s like saying goodbye to someone you know you’ll see again, even if it takes a long while. I do know that I have a massive takeaway though. From diving into blue ocean waters to dining on delicious seafood and shopping like a madman, this has been SUCH an excellent adventure!

After we taxi, my plane begins ascending. Below me, I see strips of sand and I know, maybe sooner than later, I’ll be back to the Seminole state for another dance under its sun.

There’s much waiting for me back in Manhattan, a new video series, a website launch and even an colorful and utterly mind blowing rooftop engagement party, (shhhh-that’s STILL for another blog!), so get ready because in June it’s all systems go and you don’t want to miss it! Stay tuned for my next blog where we discover some seriously fun adventures! Follow my treks on Twitter and Instagram @PlanetBrandee – till then, see you on the streets!

Storewide Memorial Day Sale – Monday, May 25

memorial_day_atgoodwillStorewide Memorial Day Sale – Monday, May 25
Get 35% off when you shop at Goodwill on Memorial Day next Monday. Applies to all stores except the Van Dam outlet.
For store locations, visit our website at http://www.goodwillnynj.org/shop/goodwill-store-locations/all.
Twelve Stores Hold Window Sales This Weekend

Window Sale 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
Friday, May 22
* 79th Street – tickets 8 a.m.; starts 9 a.m.
* Bronx, 149th St – tickets 7:45 a.m.; starts 8 a.m.
* Centereach – tickets 8:30 a.m.; starts 8:45 a.m.
* Chelsea, 25th St – tickets 8:45 a.m.; starts 9 a.m.
Saturday, May 23
* East Harlem, 3rd Ave – tickets 8:15 a.m.; starts 8:30 a.m.
* Fulton, Brooklyn – tickets 8:45 a.m.; starts 9 a.m.
* Greenwich Village, 8th St – tickets 8:15 a.m.; starts 8:30 a.m.
* Lake Ronkonkoma – tickets 8:30 a.m.; starts 9 a.m.
* Massapequa – tickets 7:45 a.m.; starts 8 a.m.
* Paramus – tickets 8:30 a.m.; starts 8:30 a.m.
* Rockaway, NJ – tickets 8:30 a.m.; starts 9 a.m.
* Springfield – tickets 8:30 a.m.; starts 8:30 a.m.

Are You Giving Shade?

Whether you call them shades, stunnas or hater-blockers, sunglasses are a must-have summer accessory. Sunglasses give a cool, posh and glamorous factor to whoever wears them, from little kids, celebrities to grandmas. Sunglasses give you an air of mystery an aloofness that is irreplaceable.

Sunglasses are one of the most democratic accessories you can purchase as they have both a superficial and practical use. Your favorite thrift store sells a cornucopia of sunglasses, from vintage to contemporary. They allow you to time-travel within various decades and style icons to match your mood as well as face. There have been notable celebrities who wear sunglasses, below are some of the most iconic.

Jackie Onassis
The former first lady was huge on maintaining her privacy but at the same time, she created the East Coast poshness and the lady who lunches but wants to stay low-key about how outings. Known for her oversized frames, that actually brought more attention than drew away from., Jackie Onassis knew all about blocking the paparazzi out.
John Lennon
Imagine a world without the iconic images of the late great John Lennon in his round metal frames, that made the former Beatle a stylized version of himself. The image of those hippie expressive frames still live on.
Anna Wintour
The Devil Wears Shades because this fashionista never takes her shades off. The Vogue editrix uses shades as a form of emotional armor as well as an accessory. Whatever her personal choice she looks great.

Benny and the Jets singer was all about the over the top glammed out shades that were part of a costume. If you are as bold and brave as Sir John, go for it and get your glam on.

@PlanetBrandee LIVE from Florida Part 2


The fun continues in Florida – more delicious eats, shopping and beach!

I’m writing part 2 of my Florida adventure live from the rocking and rolling deck of a beautiful wooden sailboat off the coast of Miami. The wind is whipping my hair and a cool drink is in hand. With only one week in on this month long voyage, I couldn’t be happier!

Last week we visited the sun-drenched beaches of Daytona and the family fun city of Orlando, ate incredible meals out on the water, and met some really great people. This week, we’ll be trekking to the neon light riddled Miami Beach area in search of some new food, fun and thrifting excitement.

Founded on July 28, 1896, Miami was officially incorporated as a city with a population of just over 300 by Henry Flagler, a renowned railroad tycoon with a vested interest in its location. Now, modern day Miami boasts a population of over 400,000 people, and is the largest metropolitan area in the Southeastern United States. From the re-appearance of iconic Cuban cigars, to festive Caribbean music and fresh art adorning the streets and hotels, it’s easy to see this culturally diverse city has lots to offer.

First stop, fuel up: Loading up on delicious caffeine delirium at Panther Coffee

Panther is a Miami-based coffee roaster, specializing in the small-batch roasting of coffee beans, i.e.: a cup strong enough to get this New Yorker’s adventure started. It’s also well known for its colorful yellow and diamond exterior, which boasts some pretty hip artwork. After chatting about the days plans to scope out the other Southern Goodwills and vintage stores, we packed up and headed out. Of course tipping generously because that mural and the staff were both well worth the trek.

Second stop, load up: The designer storefronts of Miami Beach

With Hispanics making up over 60% of Miami’s population, you can see that strong cultural influence everywhere in fashion. From floral Spanish style day dresses, to caftans and hot pant capris, Miami’s fashion scene runs the gamut. Last week, we chose some vintage inspiration, this time we’re going 80’s re-run and funky. After walking the entire strip we came away with some fresh gear, including a body con sequin dress.

Third stop, score BIG: Goodwill of Miami

When you think Miami, it’s most likely Crockett and Tubbs on a speedboat. The shoulder padded 80’s or even Robin William’s turn in The Birdcage chanting Madonna, Madonna, but there’s so much more here! From historic Spanish missions to local music and the arts, it’s a beautiful mix. Not to mention, you’d be surprised at how frequently you see thrift stores here. As a consummate shopper, I am here to tell you the NYC stores need to watch out because Miami’s art direction and window styling is ON POINT! From haute inspired mannequins to colorful motifs and excellent organized housewares, we came around with WAY too many bags to count. I found a stunning Fenton milk knob cake plate; perfect for the fall event I’m planning, as well as a set of vintage books and a neon set of bangles, all for under $22. SCORE is an understatement here! It feels something like this.

Last stop: Back to the beach, naturally!

The sun is going down and it’s hard to believe another day has gone by. We’ve wandered back to the boat, Goodwill bags in hand. Although we debated on a sunset strip trek into the noise and mayhem of neon-lit Miami nightlife, we opted to stay in, float on the water and sip chilled cucumber water under the stars.

Oh, but I recline in my sequin dress. After all, it IS Miami, and a girl can Birdcage-dream, can’t she?

There’s SO much to soak in here, so get ready because over the next month I’ll be highlighting some great eats, numerous Goodwill spots all over Florida where you can find THE best thrifting to take home. We’ll also be seeing the gorgeousness of this Seminole state, from the majestic Everglades, to red hot Miami and historic Cape Canaveral, it’s all happening right here! Stay tuned for my next blog where we discover some seriously fun adventures! Follow my treks on Twitter and Instagram @PlanetBrandee – till then, see you on the beach!