Crafting as a Form of Healing: This Week on Inside the Prop Closet

Last week, I unexpectedly fell in love with making tassels. They’re so easy to make – all you need is yarn, a thick, rectangular piece of something to wrap the yarn around, an embroidery needle and scissors. They look so charming on so many things: pillows, keychains and, in my case, apartment walls.

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Style Evolutions: This Week on Inside the Prop Closet

The Uniform

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My style has gone through a few evolutions in the past, but none as drastic as this year’s change. Maybe it was because I took a leap of faith in January, leaving a full-time job to start life as a freelance entrepreneur. Maybe it was because I was going to the gym regularly, and my old clothes fit me differently. Or maybe it was a combination of both.

Regardless of the reason, earlier this year I donated a large portion of my wardrobe to various thrift stores and primarily opted for three basic pieces, instead: white T-shirts, jeans and boots. It’s classic, it’s simple, it’s utilitarian — everything about this uniform fits where I am right now.

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Up until this point, I was obsessed with color and patterns. My closet was one eclectic gumbo, which fit the creative nature of my life. But things change, sometimes suddenly. I’m still wildly creative, but more streamlined, pointed, minimal. Creative entrepreneurship requires a focus that I’m still grasping. And that focus isn’t just limited to office hours — everything in my life needs to speak to it.

But I’ve always been one to unabashedly wear my genuine personality on my sleeves. I’m still doing that, and could never give that up. It just so happens that right now, thrift store shopping trips often end up with a few T-shirts and vintage jeans. Tomorrow, it could be different. Who knows? That’s the great thing about fashion: It’s as fluid as you let it.

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072115_SelfieDavid Leon Morgan is a Bronx-based creative storyteller and crafter. He loves to crochet, sing extremely loudly in the shower and help others share their story in creative ways. Learn more about him and his work at http://davidleonmorgan.com

 

 

 

 

When you #ShopGoodwill , not only will you look good, you’ll feel good, too! Your purchases support Goodwill’s programs and services. Head here to find GoodwillNYNJ store locations near you!

 

Playing Dress-Up: This Week From Inside the Prop Closet with David

Farmer David

For a few years now, I’ve been on a journey to drastically reduce the amount of clothes I own. I actually dream of wearing a simple “uniform” most days: a white T-shirt, blue jeans and black boots. It’s my interpretation of the Steve Jobs/Mark Zuckerberg style of dressing, which is an extremely smart way to make life just a little less complicated.

Still, in spite of my uniform goals, there are a few things that I don’t want to part with just yet. One of those things are my brown farmer overalls.

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I purchased them in a Maryland thrift store a while ago. They were originally pants, but now, after years of use, they’re paint-splattered shorts. They’ve got a very simple design — no buckles or snaps or buttons, just simple ties to keep them up — but they stand out amid the hard concrete, brick and steel of the New York City streets.

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My retirement dream is to own a sheep farm — far, far away from bustling city life. I’ll be able to make my own yarn! These overalls remind me of that dream, and affirm the beauty of thrift stores.

Thrift store shopping allows you to find pieces that speak to past, present and future lives. Who says that adults can’t play dress-up? Until I hear otherwise, I’ll stay in my own magical, imaginative little worlds, and continue dreaming of future ones.

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Photos by Alan Escoto; photo edits by David Leon Morgan.

 

When you #ShopGoodwill , not only will you look good, you’ll feel good, too! Your purchases support Goodwill’s programs and services. Head here to find GoodwillNYNJ store locations near you!

 

072115_Selfie

David Leon Morgan is a Bronx-based creative storyteller and crafter. He loves to crochet, sing extremely loudly in the shower and help others share their story in creative ways. Learn more about him and his work at http://davidleonmorgan.com 

An Officer and a Gentleman…

An Officer and a Gentleman…

… Is always ship shape wherever he may land. Our featured veteran and Good Look Guy for this month is Jonathan Cruz. Jonathan is a former Marine who gravitated to the hospitality industry through Goodwill’s Operation Good Jobs since his conduct and comportment were both becoming to the military and mainland.

Jonathan’s spit and polish are evident in his knack for assembling crisp, casual complements which are always stylish and sensible options.  The Marriot East Side Hotel lauds Jonathan’s superlative social skills that have made him a Guest Services star and beloved night shift colleague. By day, this New York native actively pursues his true love – auditioning for acting and singing parts. And as evident with such great genes filling the perfect pair of jeans, we may expect to see even more of him on the silver screen.

For now, this gifted thespian is thrilled with his full-time roles as a doting father to his family in the Dominican Republic, a trusted employee, and a recognized Indie actor. Give a hand to this protagonist who is as gracious to guests as he is engaging to audiences. Whatever the call, Jonathan has chosen versatile performers that suit every part he may play.

Black and blue and way below budget yet a cut above, Jonathan demonstrates yet another talent, finding the very best we have to offer at half price! Every dude loves duds that do active duty for the fewest possible dollars as we know that some men will even (gasp!) hardly ever shop!

Black semi turtle neck sweater – Louie (Italian brand): $4.99
Light blue long sleeve button down – Stafford: $4.99
Blue Jeans – Lee Dungarees: $7.49
Black dress pants – DKNY: $ 7.99
For both of the outfits the total is $25.46

Goodwill’s Operation: GoodJobs provides a holistic integration of career services with family and financial strengthening services. The program serves U.S. veterans (including National Guard and reserves) and their families.

For more information about Operations: GoodJobs or if your company would like to partner with Goodwill, please contact anewton@goodwillnynj.org

How Goodwill Got Me Going

Fashionable Writers

JFEDERICO_HEADSHOTMy name is Joseph Federico, and I used to work for Goodwill of Greater New York and Northern New Jersey. I am a writer by trade, but for over a year, I worked as a donation associate, sorter, and up at the register, where all the action took place. Goodwill was my home. Not only was it a defining experience for me, as I learned tolerance and acceptance, but something else happened. I realized that shopping on a budget was possible!

Most of you may know that when you start off as a writer, it’s seen more as a hobby than a way of life, and earning money from this trade could be a bit trying. Countless donations came in to Goodwill on a daily basis. Some of the men’s clothing donations included brands such as Izod, Brook’s Brothers, and Old Navy. When working on the sales floor, I would organize the clothing, then go through the garments that I wanted to own, oh so badly! “Jackpot,” I thought. My wardrobe would be forever changed. But of course I had to observe the strict Goodwill employee purchase rule: No items may be bought by staff until they have been on the store floor for 24 hours.

When Christmastime came around, and we received gift cards for in-shopping experiences, I went hog wild! My fashionable radar directed me to the men’s section. I picked out dress pants of different pleats and colors, button down shirts, and vests.

One of the vests I purchased was an Alexander Julian piece; it was made of 100% wool. The colors were grey with a navy blue stripe outlining its shape. I had originally worn this piece to interviews with a pair of slacks or dark denim jeans, a solid color shirt, a funky tie, brown or black dress shoes. I still wear the vest to this day when I’m meeting with clients or heading to a book signing. The funny thing is, this timeless piece only cost me $11.99!

Wool Vest from Goodwill NYNJ
Alexander Julian Vest

 

The button-down, 100% cotton String Theory shirts I bought for $7.99 and a Structure piece at $9.99. That was over 3 years ago, and they still look great! Seeing that they do have a pattern on them, I usually pair them with a solid, cream-colored tie, khaki pants, funky socks, and brown shoes.

Some other things I purchased were accessories and jewelry. One of my favorite pieces, that I still wear today, is a silver-plated ring. It’s masculine looking, almost like a piece of medieval armor. You know Writers, even our hands have to look good!

silver plated ring from Goodwill
silver plated ring from Goodwill

As you can see, I didn’t break the bank, even when I was on a tight budget. The time came for me to leave the great working environment that Goodwill provided, and pursue my dreams of becoming a full-time writer.

Now I own a small vanity publishing company; we help first time authors create a name for themselves. I may shop at other clothing companies, but I’ll never forget my humble beginnings, and the creative outfits that came off the racks at Goodwill.

Joseph Federico has 10+ years experience in the editorial and writing field, and extensive background in marketing. He is a published author (IMAGES OF AMERICA: GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP) and owner of Anchors to Dusk Publishing, LLC (anchorstoduskpublishling.com.) He is currently working on several book projects, including a project spotlighting the American shopping village of Historic Smithville (release early 2015.) Instagram: Anchors4Authors and Twitter: Anchors2DuskPub

For any style questions or to say hello, email Joseph Federico at joseph@anchorstoduskpublishing.com.

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The Return of David Morgan & the 90s

It’s been quite a while since David Morgan of DavidLeonMorgan has posted for us, but we’re delighted to report he’s back and better than ever – just like the 1990s, style fans. Take a look and see this fashionable thrift fan’s take on the rise of pseudo-retro 90s chic:

What’s new in fashion? A few decades past. David Morgan takes on 90s style in this week’s A Good Look for Men.

I’m having a major Nineties moment, 1992-1995 to be exact. En Vogue, Bell Biv Devoe, D’Angelo and Bobby McFerrin have been blasting in my iPod lately, and earth tones, oversized shirts and colorful sweaters have been my wardrobe staples. I’ve even been telling my barber to cut my hair into a modern-day high-top fade. I just can’t seem to help myself.

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A Look Back: The Goodwill Favorites

Sometimes it’s hard to say goodbye, even if you know something’s going to a better place. Our amazing donators out there know what we’re talking about. But if you don’t set something free, how can it find its perfect new home? Well, our columnist David Morgan is setting off on his own and we’ll miss him very much. However, he’s not leaving us empty-handed. Here is his post on his best all-time Goodwill ensembles. Hope you enjoy!

Blogger, singer, crafter, miscellaneous fashion muse, & GoodwillNyNj Style Icon David Morgan

Today will mark my last post with in the “Good Look for Men” series with A Good Look by GoodwillNyNj. What an experience this has been! I have really enjoyed sharing my style and thrifting advice with you, and hope you enjoyed being a part of my ever-evolving fashion journey. For this very last post, I though it would be fun to look at back at my top 5 favorite looks. They are in no particular order, but these are the ones that I particularly had the most fun sharing with you all.
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