The Students Guide to Style
From an early age, I learned one thing: When you look great, you feel great. Going along with that premise, looking great doesn’t have to cost a lot of money.
Earlier this summer, I worked with a group of students from Queens Vocational & Technical Community School to find stylish yet sophisticated outfits at the Stuyvesant Square Goodwill Store. I called it less of a makeover and more of an educational shopping experience. The students: Steven, Mariyah, Kimberly and Jackie are all making huge steps both personally and professionally this summer. They wanted to find clothing that would reflect their achievements.
Watch Shaunya as she guides the high school students on a shopping field trip at Goodwill.
Nowadays, most teens head over to trendier fast fashion stores. But since the students participate in the Community School program operated by Goodwill NYNJ, we decided to hit the Stuyvesant Square store located at 1704 Second Avenue, “the mother of all Goodwill Thrifts.” This is what I call the Upper East Side Goodwill location because it carries a wide selection of barely worn clothing for everyone. Store Manager Alfredo has witnessed European luxury brands such as Gucci, Prada, and Louis Vuitton in the store on a regular basis.
Well, I didn’t see any Gucci on this day but, there was more than enough inventory to pull from for my model students. There was great career wear, outdoor concert outfits and special occasion looks. I wanted to articulate with the outfits the different but still fun activities each of my model students would be doing this summer.
Jackie, who is very stylish, is having a laid back summer. I noted the importance of looking great even when meeting up with friends. Can you remember your first summer job? Well, I was able to get nostalgic with Kimberly, who is working this summer. For Kimberly’s look we went for work friendly attire that screamed “take me seriously, but don’t be fooled, I’m young and I want to go out after work too!” Mariyah gave us a very stylized version of New York meets Coachella, with her rock star vibe. And lastly, Steven, who will probably run for president in two years or so, was actually receiving an award that evening. He came to the shoot ready and really didn’t need any help, these kids are very stylish.
Presenting your best self is first physical and then mental. It’s never too early to build a foundation for youth to know what, how and when to wear each outfit. Steven, Kimberly, Jackie and Mariyah made styling easy and the Stuyvesant Square Goodwill was like our own little candy store.
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.