Goodwill Gems: Mad for Bags!

Bags, Bags, Bags!

I am firmly of the belief that a fashionable lady can never (NEVER!) have too many handbags — which anyone who has followed this blog for any length of time is probably already very well aware of by now. But, in the spirit of spring cleaning — Goodwill NYNJ has a fabulous donation drive happening with Uber on Saturday, 5/21, if any of you all are in a similar spot! — and finally, finally getting my space in order, I am trying to pare down my pretty substantial accessory collection and only keep the items I really, truly need.

But of course, as soon as I resolved to not buy another item for at least a month, I spotted this beauty this Goodwill NYNJ’s Livingston St. store in Brooklyn!

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I mean, COME ON! A real-deal Marc Jacobs bag and it was marked at only $25! What a steal! It was in great shape (as you can clearly see) and also just happened to be in a palette of mixed neutrals — which, as you also know if you’ve been following this blog at all over the past few years, is pretty much everything I love.

Obviously, I could not say no.

But, I’m justifying this fabulous purchase by getting rid of other things I already own and don’t wear as much — and I can feel good about doing that now, because this beautiful bag is going to go with absolutely everything.

With a cute white tee and cool black shades (my go-to summer combo!)? Check.

 

With a sleek, chic floral sundress, just right for a fancy summer night out? Check.

 

With a too-cool-for-school look like this combo of trendy poncho, old sneakers and lacey mini? Check.

 

Basically, there’s nothing this fabulous bag wouldn’t complement or look incredibly awesome with. And that’s the whole point right? Clean out your closets of all the things you don’t use just sitting there, collecting dust — if you’re in the five boroughs, I highly recommend taking advantage of our Uber promo and getting a FREE donation pickup this Saturday, 5/21! Then, buy fewer, but way more beautiful things (like this gorgeous thrifted purse!) that you’ll love for years and wear again, and again … and again.

 

When you #ShopGoodwill , not only will you look good, you’ll feel good, too! Because your purchases support Goodwill’s programs and services, and 92 cents of every dollar earned supports our mission. Head here to find GoodwillNYNJ store locations near you!

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Lauren (aka Lo) has been a devoted thrifter and deal-finder since moving to NYC in 2009, and loves to write about all things fashion and food. Follow Lauren’s stylish and delicious adventures on Twitter @lauren_haslett and on Instagram @molassesandmayhem.

Goodwill Gems: Spring Bling!

A Very Glam Way to Step Into the Spring Season

YOU GUYS!!! It seems that spring is finally, seriously, REALLY here — for real this time! After a brief tease with sunshine and nice weather a couple of months ago and then cold, cold, COLD, we’re finally seeing some sunshine and warmer temps once again. 

 

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To celebrate the arrival (finally!) of truly beautiful spring weather, I’m going all out this week with my accessorizing! Can you tell? I found some serious bling at GoodwillNYNJ‘s Livingston Street store in Brooklyn last week and I am SO excited to wear it out!

This gorgeous and spectacularly sparkly piece caught my eye right when I was walking up to the register to check out (all the jewelry is in the case up front, if you’re not familiar with this location). I was actually attending a very special fashion show event for Goodwill Week 2016 (which was oodles of fun!) and, of course, had to do a little shopping after the show while the store was still open. I instantly spotted a few things I just couldn’t live without and was running to the register to prevent myself from doing anymore damage to my bank account (not my closet, clearly!), when I saw this out of the corner of my eye … whoops. But how could I say no to this incredibly awesome find!?

 

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It’s a little heavy-duty for everyday wear, but this is the kind of necklace you can really rock on a night out with girlfriends or on a date night with your sweetie. Made up of striking silver chains, the basic metallic links are embedded with two rows of pretty rhinestones in different sizes for an extra, eye-catching touch of detail. It’s shimmery and will easily catch the light, whether you’re out during the daytime or at night in your fave club, bar or restaurant. But since it’s all silver with nearly clear, grayish stones of a similar hue, it’s not too loud or garish — just classy as can be!

 

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You could easily sport this pretty accessory with a flowy, fabulous cocktail dress and heels for a fancier occasion. But here, I’ve opted to pair it with an ensemble I’d typically wear on a night out on the town with friends — something cute, comfy and easy to dance in!

On the bottom (though I know it’s a little hard to see here), I’ve got some saucy faux-leather leggings that look fantastic with boots, heels or flats, which makes them the perfect pant for pretty much any evening out in the city. On top, some loose-fitting, flowy layered tanks — a plain white one underneath and a lighter, gauzy coral one on top (which, btw, was thrifted from the same Goodwill store!).

And it’s really that easy — a slightly funky, edgier pant, a pretty, brightly colored top, and my glitzy new necklace, and I’m ready for a fun and exciting night out in the absolutely lovely, balmy spring weather!

 

When you #ShopGoodwill , not only will you look good, you’ll feel good, too! Because your purchases support Goodwill’s programs and services, and 92 cents of every dollar earned supports our mission. Head here to find GoodwillNYNJ store locations near you!

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Lauren (aka Lo) has been a devoted thrifter and deal-finder since moving to NYC in 2009, and loves to write about all things fashion and food. Follow Lauren’s stylish and delicious adventures on Twitter @lauren_haslett and on Instagram @molassesandmayhem.

 

Lauren’s Goodwill Gems – Say Hello to Spring!

It’s Time to Get In a Spring State of Mind!

Spring is in the air … well, sort of. We’ve been teased by a few days of warmer temperatures and a hint of sunshine, and now it’s hard to think about anything else. Soon, it’s gonna be spring. SO SOON!

There’s nothing more wonderfully uplifting and smile-inducing than the first hints of spring after a long winter. By the time mid-March rolls around, we’re all way more than ready to say hello to a new season – and with it, a new, lighter wardrobe.

This week’s fabulous find is a sweet pair of bejeweled flats – they’re a super cute, mod way to bring in the new season! These trendy fabric slip-ons are light and easy to wear – just the right fit for warmer weather. And the big, bold, clear gems are a fun way to add a little sparkle and sass to an otherwise simple and casual shoe.

 

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Looking for the right way to welcome the spring season? Look no further! These fantastic little flats are light, lovely, and walk a fun line between sporty and super feminine.

 

Being girly doesn’t have to mean heels. If you’re anything like me, you think high heels look awesome … on other people. Fabulously fashionable ladies walk the streets of NYC and other cities every day in crazy-high stilettos, strutting down the concrete sidewalk like it’s no big thing. But as much as I can appreciate how good a high heel looks on other ladies, I can’t always bring myself to wear them (hardly ever, if I’m really honest with you all here). So, a good pair of pretty flats is completely essential – especially in spring, when the weather is constantly changing!

So, what to pair with this polished-yet-casual pair of shoes? Honestly, another reason these are so great is because you can make them work just about any outfit this season. They’re cool and trendy, but not so wild that they won’t easily mesh with outfits you already own, like a pair of cropped jeans and classic white button up, or with a fun floral skirt and slouchy tee

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Polished but fun, feminine yet comfy and cool? You can have everything you want in a new spring shoe if you pick up a pair like this week’s Goodwill gem. They’ll go with everything in your wardrobe (promise!).

Here, I’ve chosen to pair my posh new flats with an outfit that’s insanely easy to wear no matter the time of year – if it’s warm enough, this ¾-sleeve blouse and soft gray slim-cut trouser can be worn on their own, but you could easily pop a blazer on top for an extra layer of warmth. The glitzy gray flats found at my local Goodwill take this ensemble to the next level – their feminine detail and shiny flair give this otherwise simple spring outfit an added burst of character.

Check back in with me here on A Good Look every other Monday for more thrifty accessory finds, fun styling ideas and gorgeous Goodwill gems!

Laurens Goodwill Gems: Chain, Chain, Chain

Chain, Chain, Chain

Think you have to wear lots of glitz and glitter to look like a lady? It’s an idea that’s ingrained into us all from a pretty early age, but the truth is, if you want to look like a classy, polished, adult lady, lots of glitter and sequins can sometimes have the opposite effect – go overboard and you can end up looking like a middle school nightmare rather than the glamorous woman you’d hoped.
An easy solution to that terrible problem? Forgo the glitter once in awhile – not always, but once in awhile – and sport a simpler kind of bangle that still looks cool and trendy, and will definitely not get you mistaken for an overdressed tween. Basic chain jewelry has been making a comeback recently and I’m so on board with this new fad – it’s unpretentious and easy to pull off, but also somehow stunning. And luckily, my local thrift has had an abundance of gorgeous chains on display lately, so I was able to spot a couple of great options to go with just about any kind of outfit. A simple silver strand, with just one long piece made up of shiny links strung together, is so easy to wear it really should be a staple in any girl’s wardrobe – you can literally throw this necklace on with absolutely anything you own. On the right, a more complicated, layered piece in a darker brass metal is equally fun to wear and will pair well with dressier looks.

Two stylish options from one basic accessory idea – chains are an impactful way to add a bit of subtle glam to any outfit, and there are so many ways to do it, you’re sure to find an option that suits your own personal style and existing wardrobe pieces – and your budget!
Two stylish options from one basic accessory idea – chains are an impactful way to add a bit of subtle glam to any outfit, and there are so many ways to do it, you’re sure to find an option that suits your own personal style and existing wardrobe pieces – and your budget!

Dress them up or down – you really can’t lose. I always love an accessory that it’s impossible to wear in any “wrong” way – not that you can really wear anything wrongly as long as you wear it with attitude – which is one reason I was so excited when I spotted these chain necklaces at my local Goodwill recently. And just to show you how easy these metal chain necklaces are to wear, I’ve chosen two outfits to pair them with this week – two dresses, one more casual but still work-appropriate, the other a little fancier and fit for more formal occasions. The essentially neutral metal materials of the accessories mean either chain would really pair just fine with either ensemble. But in my mind, the long, simple silver chain would look just perfect with the gray knit dress, while the bronze layered chain would look divine with the turquoise dress – the layers are ideally suited to sit right in the v-neck. With some black tights and ankle booties or heels and a messy up-do, both of these looks are ready to impress in a flash!

Looking gorgeous and classy doesn’t always have to mean lots of sparkle and sequins. Try a new – and very posh approach – but pairing minimalist metal chain necklaces with your favorite dresses.
Looking gorgeous and classy doesn’t always have to mean lots of sparkle and sequins. Try a new – and very posh approach – but pairing minimalist metal chain necklaces with your favorite dresses.

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

Goodwill Gems – High-Fashion Summer Footwear

It’s somehow almost July. It still feels like summer has just started—and also like we’re barreling toward the end of it (and sunshine and vacation) way too quickly. So now is the time to really make the most of the season. When you have a beautiful day off but, for whatever crazy reason, aren’t headed to the beach, then it’s time to dress in fun, funky, comfy, and colorful clothes that just scream summer.

But how do you dress your feet when you’ve got on a light, airy, lovely summer ensemble that’s neither super dressy nor totally casual, but falls somewhere in between? Do yourself a favor and skip the flip-flops. Instead, go for some gorgeous grown-up shoes that will make any semi-casual and cute summer outfit look instantly classier. This week’s amazing Goodwill find is a pair of pretty peep toes that’s great for dressing up absolutely any summer outfit—and also perfect for transition from summer into fall (but let’s not think about that too much now). The simple chic styling, classic leather upper, and black-and-grey two-tone color combo is so chic, I can guarantee you’ll get compliments on them as soon as you step out the door. The thick heel is comfier than a stiletto—so you can actually walk around and enjoy your nice summer day in them—and the very practical ankle strap will keep them firmly in place

Just can’t decide what shoes to wear with all your favorite summer wardrobe pieces? Ditch the cheap sandals and pop on these stunning peep-toed heels instead!

No wrong options. These classic, classy heels are full of style, but they’re also in a pretty neutral color palette, so they’re easy to pair with all of summer’s bright colors—whether you like loud, in-your-face neon tones or softer, subtler pastels, these shoes will absolutely stunning alongside your favorite pieces. Here, I’ve chosen a top with some of those really vibrant neon colors, but paired them with a loose black pant, so the whole ensemble doesn’t come off looking brash.  These shoes—with their touch of black underneath but slightly lighter top leather layer—will stand out a bit from the black pant, but won’t fight with the lively neon hues in the top.

There’s no better finishing touch for a fantastically light, loose, fun summer outfit than a stunning pair of high-heeled shoes that show off just enough skin.
There’s no better-finishing touch for a fantastically light, loose, fun summer outfit than a stunning pair of high-heeled shoes that show off just enough skin.

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

Sashay Into Summer Travel Season

It Suddenly feels like summer is almost here! Green leaves and grass are all around us and flowers are bursting into bloom—the cold weather feels (finally) officially behind us, and that means that summer, with its longer, warmer days and vacation time are just around the corner.

And to prepare for a season full of both longer treks and weekend trips to more relaxing locals outside the big city, I’ve started the hunt for the perfect carryall bag. It’s a tall order, but luckily, at my local Goodwill thrift, I recently came across a bag that’s just right for all of my summer traveling needs.

This bag is ideal because it’s large enough to hold plenty of clothes, accessories, and even some extra shoes—easily enough space for a week’s worth of supplies—but because this piece’s style makes it easy to throw right over a shoulder and bolt out the door, it would also be a great bag for a weekend getaway (plus, leave a little extra room for souvenirs and gifts to take back home). The rich, cognac-colored faux leather exterior looks chic without being too expensive, and it’s durable—it will hold up well to being tossed around on buses, trains, or planes without getting easily scuffed or damaged. The styling looks something like an old-fashioned satchel, and the interior has both a large main compartment and a few smaller pockets around the sides, making it easy to organize everything—it’s classic and practical and also totally fashionable (and you all know how much I love that combination).

Get ready for summer road trips and spontaneous weekend getaways by selecting the perfect travel bag right now—something like this gorgeous, classically styled satchel with plenty of room for all of your go-to travel gear.
Get ready for summer road trips and spontaneous weekend getaways by selecting the perfect travel bag right now—something like this gorgeous, classically styled satchel with plenty of room for all of your go-to travel gear.

An easy-going ensemble. Nobody wants to be uncomfortable when they travel, but I also don’t want to show up to a new destination looking like I’ve just rolled out of bed. So, comfy and chic travel wear is a must, but certainly not the easiest kind of outfit to throw together. That’s why I almost always go for one of two looks—in the winter, it’s cozy fleece leggings topped with a longish tunic or sweater and my favorite pair of boots. But for summer travel, I often choose a long, flowing dress, like the one pictured here. Going with a maxi length dress means this outfit is incredibly comfortable and will keep me cool, no matter where I’m traveling; shorter dresses can be difficult to deal with when you’re toting luggage, backpacks, etc (no one wants to be constantly shifting around and tugging at a dress to keep it properly in place). But a longer length means that worry is pretty much nonexistent, and while the vibrant tropical print definitely gives this dress a relaxed, laid-back feel, it’s still chic and feminine enough to look appropriate, no matter what part of the world I’m arriving into.

For an easy, comfortable, and still-sophisticated travel ensemble, choose a flowing, airy maxi dress, a favorite pair of sandals, and tote that just won’t quit, like the one spotted this week at my local Goodwill shop.
For an easy, comfortable, and still-sophisticated travel ensemble, choose a flowing, airy maxi dress, a favorite pair of sandals, and tote that just won’t quit, like the one spotted this week at my local Goodwill shop.

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 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!!