A Good Look Is Moving…

Loyal Followers and Friends,

We’d like to make an announcement. Your favorite thrifty fashion blog – A Good Look – is moving from its current location over to our organization’s main website: www.goodwillnynj.org.

From now on, you can find the latest updates on great finds from local Goodwill shops, store sales announcements, and fashion and styling tips under the News & Events section of our website. Check back on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays for fresh content from Goodwill NYNJ’s A Good Look.

In today’s A Good Look, we talk about an awesome phenomenon sweeping the country — the #GoodwillDate ! Find the full post here in the News & Events section www.goodwillnynj.org.

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Part 4: LIVE! from Hollywood with @PlanetBrandee

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@PlanetBrandee Part 4: LIVE from Hollywood – Los Angeles, CA! A 4-Part Travel SeriesHollywood – Los Angeles, CA! A 4 Part Travel Series

Palm trees, a beach breeze and the sun on your skin, no Toto we’re not in NYC anymore, in fact, I’m LIVE from Hollywood, Los Angeles, USA for the final Part FOUR of this fabulous and fun series! For you new readers, that means I’m on location in L.A. and traveling the Pacific Coast Highway to find the best fashion, food, and fun the Golden Coast has to offer! Let’s GO!

Over the past few weeks we’ve had shopping adventure with the Goodwill staff in sunny Beverly Hills, and even a fantastic trip down the Pacific Coast Highway and adventures in the hills, so and this week we’re headed down the Hollywood Walk of Fame! Part 4 – A Star Studded Walk through Tinsel Town!

As a professional actress and filmmaker of many years, (both in NYC and here in LA, a story that requires an ENTIRELY separate blog post, lol!), one of my favorite things to do when visiting is to stroll the Walk of Fame. So grab a Spanish Latte with me and let’s learn a little as we go! According to sources, “The Walk of Fame runs 1.3 miles east to west on Hollywood Boulevard from Gower Street to La Brea Avenue, plus a short segment of Marshfield Way that runs diagonally between Hollywood and La Brea; and 0.4 miles north to south on Vine Street between Yucca Street and Sunset Boulevard.”

So it’s a jaunt, but we’re game! Also, according to a 2003 report by the market research firm NPO Plog Research, the Walk attracts about “10 million visitors annually — more than Sunset Strip, TCL Chinese Theatre, the Queen Mary, AND the Los Angeles County Museum of Art — and has played an important role in making tourism the largest industry in Los Angeles County.” With over 2,570 stars, it’s easy to see why! Glorious and glittering, these monuments are coral-pink terrazzo five-point stars rimmed with brass (not bronze, an oft-repeated inaccuracy) inlaid into a charcoal-colored terrazzo background.

 

Knowing that the stars, filmmakers, and performers of yesteryear walked these same grounds is always a surreal moment — so many dedicated professionals all sharing the same vision of storytelling is a reminder that what we do and share can last more than just the span of our own lives.

But it’s not all glitter here in the city of lights, plenty of gritty street corner antics, flashy tourism and “Maps to the Stars Houses” types of trek still exist. We won’t be going on any of those day trips this round, but I’ll keep it on the cheeseball to-do list for my next journey out here!

 

The crew and I know it’s our last night shooting here so we pop into Santa Monica for a quick brunch and a chat about our respective careers in film, travel, hosting, journalism, and multimedia both here in LA and back in New York City.

 

Exploring and finding the open road always makes us reflective and as we capture the sunset flashing off the Strip, we’re reminded to be grateful, not only for the experiences, but our work and community which grows with every new trip we make. It’s hard to believe, but the day has escaped us already, and as the sun starts going down, I jet to the airport feeling like I can already hear the engines revving up for my departure over the gridded and glittering West Coast. It was an amazing trip, and even as my engines point East again home, I have no doubt I’ll be back again soon.

Did you dig the star studded #travel we took through Hollywood and the Pacific Coast Highway? Do you thrift in L.A.? Where are your hot spots! Snap a pic and share it with me for a chance to be featured! And stay tuned for my next #travel #adventure which has me going to a new destination, but shhhh, that’s a secret for now!

Till then, follow my food, fun, and travel treks on Twitter and Instagram @PlanetBrandee and see you on the streets!

All-Weather Adorable Looks

It’s time to think about transitioning. With the recent spout of unseasonably warm weather we’ve had on and off over the past week or so, it’s pretty impossible not to start thinking about spring. SPRING!

Even though we’ve had a comparatively mild winter, I’m way more than ready to start thinking about warmer temps, sunshine, and lighter layers. And that’s why I was so pleasantly surprised to stumble across gorgeous leather booties this weekend at an NYC-area Goodwill store!

These little boots are everything you need to move between your heavy, woolen winter wardrobe and lighter spring pieces with ease. The shorter, ankle-boot style means they’re easy to wear with both pants and skirts or dresses, so you can pair these pretty shoes with whatever kind of layers you’re in the mood to wear– or whatever feels seasonable appropriate at that particular moment in time, be it a big, bulky sweater or airy, flowery dress. The substantial leather material and short, practical heel make these the kind of boots you can walk all over town in, whether the sun is shining or the wind and rain are coming at you hard.

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These gorgeous grayish-blue booties are the perfect shoes for in-between season weather and will carry you through the transition to spring in style!

But boots like these should be an essential piece in every girl’s fall/spring wardrobe. For those times of year when the weather is totally unpredictable and could change at any moment, these booties are absolutely perfect.

And what better way to wear these versatile ankle boots than with an equally versatile ensemble like the one I’ve got on here? These are items from my winter wardrobe, but since the sweater is a little lighter in weight and texture than some of my more heavy-duty options, it’s a sweater I can easily wear into the start of the spring season, when chilly winds and rain keep it from feeling too wonderfully warm and nice outside. Some soft gray pants will also protect me from an early spring chill, but looks lovely against the stone-colored booties and complement the vibrant purple of the top.

It’s a practical look that will keep me comfortable in the ever-changing weather at this time of year, but still look cute and polished when finished off with my pretty new booties!

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Super versatile booties, like the ones spotted this week at a local Goodwill thrift shop, are a great way to help you stretch your seasonal wardrobes! Pair them with heavier winter pieces or lighter spring layers for a variety of looks to take you through all seasons.

@PlanetBrandee Part 3

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@PlanetBrandee Part 3: LIVE from Hollywood – Los Angeles, CA! A 4 Part Travel Series

Palm trees, a beach breeze and the sun on your skin … no Toto we’re not in NYC anymore. In fact, I’m LIVE from Hollywood, Los Angeles, USA for Part THREE of this fabulous and fun series! For you, new readers, that means I’m on location in L.A. and traveling the Pacific Coast Highway to find the best fashion, food, and fun the Golden Coast has to offer! Let’s GO!

So, last week we had a fun shopping adventure with the Goodwill staff in sunny Beverly Hills, and this week, we’re headed down the scenic Pacific Highway and into the Canyons! But before we get our resting “The Hills” face on, let’s find out more about this beautiful location.

Hurray for Hollywood: Part 3 – Pacific Coast Highway Roadtrip!

brandee-photo-2_feb19The Pacific Coast Highway has long been on my bucket list and this past week I had a chance to scratch it off as I drove its incredible length! A bit of background on this amazing place: The Pacific Coast Highway, also known as State Route 1 (SR 1), is a major north-south state highway that runs along most of the Pacific coastline of the U.S. state of California. According to our bestie friend Wik, “Highway 1 has several portions designated as either Pacific Coast Highway (PCH), Cabrillo Highway, Shoreline Highway, or Coast Highway. Its southern terminus is at Interstate 5 (I-5) near Dana Point in Orange County and its northern terminus is at U.S. Highway 101 (US 101) near Leggett in Mendocino County.” It’s worth noting too that Highway 1 also at times runs concurrently with US 101, most notably through a 54-mile (87 km) stretch in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, and across the Golden Gate Bridge — all amazing sites to see!

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It’s easy to see why this location has inspired so many adventures! The highway is famous for running along some of the most beautiful coastlines in the USA, leading to its designation as an “All-American Road.” In addition to providing a scenic route to numerous attractions along the coast, the route also serves as a major thoroughfare in the Greater Los Angeles Area, the San Francisco Bay Area, and several other coastal urban areas.

Now that we’ve brushed up on our travel stats, let’s drop the convertible top and ride!

First up: Eats, naturally. You can’t go shopping on an empty stomach! So we settle down in a spot with full view of the water and surfers and watch the spectacular show that is Mother Nature. Waves crash down below us and we raise sparkling fresh ginger mocktails to celebrate the open road!

Next up is a selection of mind-blowing seafood — and this seafood straight from the coast really can’t be topped! Swordfish — yes! Fresh ahi — absolutely! Crème brûlée and a Lavazza espresso for the road? Don’t mind if I do! Listening to the ocean tides and sipping a buzzy beverage always gets the spirits high! A quick filming segment down on the beach and now we’re off!

 

The crew and I all opt to visit the divine canyons that loom above the highway, specifically for some thrifted vintage finds! Although Goodwill Beverly Hills had a lot to offer last week, our first stop at Hidden Treasures is a dive right into fabulous!

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Time Out L.A. says “Once you get past the dinosaur and pirates guarding the entrance, youll be privy to what appears to be the contents of a kooky grandmothers attic—think: varsity jackets, military uniforms, 80s graphic tees, Nordic sweaters, antique sleepwear and Halloween costumes all year round.” Our personal search revealed Instagram-worthy kimonos, floor-length 1960s velvet frocks and blazing neon mini skirts. Bring your wallet and your creative unicorn soul, because the prices and the selection will have you here for hours!

Wait, wait a sec: Is it closing time? HOW! I can hardly believe the sun is going DOWN already?!

Our trunk is at max cap now with fun frocks and they’re kicking us out, LOL, but we’re still looking forward to next week’s final west coast Hollywood adventure!

Do you thrift in L.A.? Where are your hot spots! Snap a pic and share it with me for a chance to be featured in this 4-part travel series! And stay tuned for the final Part 4 of my @PlanetBrandee adventures, where I’ll be coming to you LIVE from HOLLYWOOD, Los Angeles! Brace for sun, surf, starlets and tons of thrifting on the Golden Coast!

Till then, follow my food, fun and travel treks on Twitter and Instagram @PlanetBrandee – till then, see you on the streets!

MRS. T’S CLOSET: Celebrating Black History Month

I am proud to be a part of the African-American culture. In honor of February, National Black History Month, I look forward to participating in the many celebrations that are planned in our area. African-American culture and history is rich and diverse, and often speaks through our food, music, dance, customs, hairstyles and clothing.

Thinking of the motherland, I included here two of my favorite casual, African-inspired outfits. I found them both while thrifting! I also found an amazing, handmade African carving. You can see it hanging on my wall in the pictures below.

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Thrifting is fun, however, here’s an important tip when encountering something that may have historical or cultural significance, like African clothing:

Be careful to appreciate the culture it comes from, and aim to respect the item’s true intent.

A lot of history is woven in African clothing. Many pieces, including the symbols and colors chosen for it, play a key part in the traditions and customs they originate from. When I find something with meaning that I love, I strive to better understand its value and history before wearing or decorating with it. Admittedly, I still have a lot to learn.

Unexpected treasures await you, so keep having fun while thrifting, but remember to appreciate the wealth of history you may discover too.

 

@PlanetBrandee Part 2: LIVE from Hollywood

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Los Angeles, CA: 4-Part Travel Series

Palm trees, a beach breeze, and the sun on my skin, no Toto, we’re not in New York City anymore. In fact, I’m LIVE from Hollywood, Los Angeles, USA! I’m here to find the best fashion, food and fun the Golden Coast can dish out for my new 4 part travel series. So let’s fling off our East Coast puffer coats and jump right in!

Last week we laid the groundwork for a shopping adventure in sunny Beverly Hills. So, this week we’re brushing off our thrifted red bottoms and going shopping in the HILLS!

But before we hit the walkway of the stars, let’s take a look at how this iconic place came to be.

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Hurray for Hollywood: Part 2 – Beverly Hills

Beverly Hills, a city in Los Angeles County, California, United States, is surrounded by the cities of Los Angeles and West Hollywood. According to the great annals of history, this swank star-studded locale was originally a Spanish ranch where lima beans were grown. Beverly Hills was incorporated in 1914 by a group of investors who had failed to find oil, but found water instead and eventually decided to develop it into a town. Sometimes referred to as “90210“, one of its primary ZIP codes, it is home to many actors and celebrities. The city includes the Rodeo Drive shopping district and naturally, a fab Goodwill!

So enough with the nerd facts. Let’s step into the Goodwill in Beverly Hills.
Goodwill Beverly Hills: Located at 7919 Beverly Blvd Los Angeles, CA this Goodwill store has a LOT to offer. Looking through the racks, the first thing we spy is a Stop Staring dress for only $12.99! This is a HUGE steal as Stop Staring runs quite a bit more, so it is definitely coming home with us! Next up, a #vintage score: A mint, 1980’s snakeskin belt.  AND, right next to a gorgeous dotted calfskin belt straight from Madewell’s line. This is a longer belt and looks great tucked under our new bat wing linen dress. SUPER score!

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And lastly, a BIG thanks to Goodwill Beverly Hills manager Devante, for taking time to chat about vintage. The store looked great and the racks were divine! If it weren’t for the extra baggage fee I’d be paying, believe me, a LOT more would be coming back to NYC!

Our shopping bags are full and as we drive down the Pacific Coast Highway, so are our hearts! So looking forward to next week’s adventure!

Do you thrift in L.A.? Where are your hot spots? Snap a pica and share it with me for a chance to be featured in this 4 part travel series! And stay tuned for Part 3 of my @PlanetBrandee adventures, where I’ll be coming to you LIVE from HOLLYWOOD, Los Angeles! Brace for sun, surf, starlets and tons of thrifting on the Golden Coast!

Till then, follow my food, fun and travel treks on Twitter and Instagram @PlanetBrandee – till then, see you on the streets!

The Kind of Jewelry Every Girl Needs to Own

Tried-and-true turquoise. There’s a reason turquoise jewelry keeps coming back, year after year, decade after decade. It never goes out of style because it looks gorgeous with basically everything – dressed up or down, wearing an off-the-wall pattern or a super-chic, all-black look, you’re guaranteed to look fabulous when you embellish your favorite ensembles with a bit of turquoise.

That’s why I was so excited to find this week’s gem in my local Goodwill thrift recently. This bold turquoise statement necklace is definitely for the girl who likes to make an entrance – but shouldn’t we all let ourselves be that girl from time to time? If you’re ready to purchase a daring accessory that you can still pair with classic pieces in your wardrobe, this eye-catching necklace is just right for you. The unusually shaped pieces and larger strand make this a truly eye-catching and extraordinary item, but the classic turquoise color makes it just as easy to wear with almost anything much-loved pieces you already own.

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Take classic and chic to a whole new level with this bold, brave accessory that manages to blend aspects of both timeless and modern jewelry for a truly one-of-a-kind find.

Don’t shy away from other bold pieces. Though you can certainly use a cool, funky piece like this one to dress up something super simple like a basic white tee – and it would look fantastic with one – don’t feel like you have to stick to only solid-colored clothes when looking for items to pair this accessory with. A necklace like this one – a fresh, playful take on an old classic, turquoise – can also be used alongside other equally funky, bright, and attention-grabbing outfits, like the striking black-and-white ensemble I’ve put together here. The vivid turquoise color of the necklace is sure to stand out against a form-fitting black sweater, but on the bottom, a fun skirt in a big, black-and-white houndstooth print brings another element with plenty of sassy confidence and visual interest.

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Don’t shy away from more funky, bright or bold wardrobe pieces! While a fresh piece of turquoise jewelry like this week’s find is a great way to jazz up simple items of clothing, it’s also a great way to add a fun element to creative outfits featuring a mix of fearless prints, colors and patterns.

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

 

@PlanetBrandee Part 1: LIVE from Hollywood

Los Angeles, CA: 4-Part Travel Series

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Palm trees, a beach breeze, and the sun on my skin, no Toto, we’re not in New York City anymore. in fact, I’m LIVE from Hollywood, Los Angeles, USA! I’m here to find the best fashion, food and fun the Golden Coast can dish out for my new 4 part travel series. So let’s fling off our East Coast puffer coats and jump right in!

Last month I highlighted the brilliant work of TED/Google Talks featured and world renowned organizer Marie Kondo who encourages us to only keep those items which “Spark Joy!”

This month I’ll continue doing just that – by searching high and low for the colorful, bright and exciting pieces that only California can offer. All while bringing a little west is best punch to our thrifting closets. But first, here’s a little history on my new locale.

Hurray for Hollywood: Part I.

Did you know the name “Hollywood” was actually a phrase that was coined by H. J. Whitley, a successful land developer, who is also known as the original Father of Hollywood? In fact, Whitely bought 500 acres from E. C. Hurd, a local resident. The name itself was born via Daeida Wilcox, a friend of Hurd’s wife. She adopted the slang name “Hollywood” from her neighbor, Ivar Weid, who lived in the area then known as “Holly Canyon.” That land development eventually gave rise to what we now know as the modern Hollywood region. And you thought it was just a name!

So enough with facts, let’s fuel up and hit the star studded streets! I’ve wrapped up in a vintage floral kimono dress and a pair of Jeffrey Campbell wedge heels, so we’re rocking!

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One of my favorite places to springboard into fun in L.A., is the ever popular Urth Cafe located in West Hollywood. More than once we’ve spotted a celeb or too ducking in for the super popular green tea lattes and killer omelets. Bring your shades, mine were vintage Ray Bans, and be prepared to be seen, most likely by TMZ or a few of the other paparazzi’s who tend to hang out Tele shooting lens in hand outside. Christian Bale AND Mariah Carey wuz here kids! I mean LOOK at my latte – divine!

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planetbrandeeYES! Touchdown in L.A. straight to @urth_cafe giving me #Cali green tea latte realness! Ps: check out the evolutionarily chain in my design! #coffeeart #coffee #coffeeaddict #foodie #travel #california #californiaadventure #hollywood #westcoast #adventure #dogoodfeelgood #planetbrandee #love #friends #fun #iphoneonly #explore #manmakecoffee

Now that we’ve loaded up on caffeine, we’re itching for a go at Thrifting. Today we’re going to make the list we plan to visit over the next 4 weeks our top hot spots:

Goodwill Beverly Hills: we’ve heard good and bad, but we’re about to be the judge of this up and coming thrift and donation heavy location in the heart of Beverly Hills.

Hidden Treasures: Located in beautiful Toping Canyon, I’m super stoked to visit this vintage thrifting gem and find myself and Iris worthy garment.

Flea Market Finds: Nothing is quite a thrilling as the flea market hunt, so join me as we whip through LA and surrounding areas to visit the best of the best.

And finally: The incredibly scenic Pacific Coast Highway. I’ll be going full circle down the PCH and landing back in WEHO to round off this spectacular adventure! So be sure to keep your eyes peeled West Coasters, @PlanetBrandee is on the move.

Do you thrift in L.A.? Where are your hot spots! Snap a pic and share it with me for a chance to be featured in this 4 part travel series. And stay tuned for February’s @PlanetBrandee adventures, where I’ll be coming to you LIVE from HOLLYWOOD, Los Angeles! Brace for sun, surf, starlets and tons of thrifting on the Golden Coast!

Till then, follow my food, fun and travel treks on Twitter and Instagram @PlanetBrandee – till then, see you on the streets!

MRS. T’S CLOSET: STEPS TO PURGE YOUR CLOSET

What’s Mrs. T’s Process Of Elimination?

I remember becoming overwhelmed, anxious and abruptly rushing to my favorite thrift store without checking my closet first when I needed an outfit for a particular event. It could be a business, formal, casual, or something as simple as exercise attire.

Finally, those days are over. Thrifting should be a joy never a chore.

Here’s the process I’m using this year to eliminate or purge what I no longer need in my closet.

  1. I check my yearly planner to come up with the type of clothing I will need this year, included festive formal events, business meetings, upcoming workshops and classes. Events with my family as well as church and social activities. And of course, vacation, other trips, and my daily exercise routine.
  2. I surveyed my closet and inspect the clothing I received as gifts. I ask myself:

Is this a good look for me? Did I wear this at all last year? Do I really need it? Does this really fit? Is it the right color or style for me? Do I have too much of one item? Does it compliment my wardrobe?

If the answer was NO, it has to GO!

  1. I try on clothing, making sure my clothes meet this year’s plan. This helps me discover that fabrics mixed with spandex and polyester works best for me. So I purged all wool and even some 100% cotton clothing.

I purged thirty pieces of clothing and I’m looking forward to donating them to Goodwill. This was a rewarding and successful process of elimination!

I enjoy learning from my thrifting experiences and sharing them with you.  I hope yours will always be full of “joy not a chore”. As we enter February, we’re reminded that this is Black History month. Stayed tuned! In two weeks, I’ll show you my favorite African-inspired clothing, which I’ve found in my Thrifting adventures.

From my heart to yours, Ms. T.