Four Reasons Why Thrifting Rocks


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Shaunya Hartley, VintageShaun

A Good Look Contributor


 

149393651In a recent television segment I did for CT Style, a lifestyle show, we spoke about using thrift stores to revitalize our wardrobes. Yes, thrift stores can be your source for great items both day and night wear. We have discussed this topic quite often, but what exactly makes a thrift store better than a traditional retailer?

Pricing

Thrift stores are for the financially thrifty. Whether you have a fixed income or just a penny pincher, shopping at thrift stores are great ways to save money within all budgets.

Variety

Rarely can you go to your local mall and find, furniture, an evening gown, vintage and contemporary within the same location. The variety in a thrift store is what makes it an urban adventure.

Social and Environmental Responsibility

Textiles are huge pollutants to air, land and water. When we buy new clothes rather than previously owned clothing, we create a larger carbon foot print. In addition to the plights to the environment, lots of clothing is made in sweatshops abroad with extreme conditions. By upcycling and shopping at thrift stores, we no longer participate in the socially irresponsible spending habits of clothing manufacturers.

Your Money Goes to a Great Cause

Purchases at your local Goodwill help to empower individuals with disabilities to become active in the labor force. You can empower individuals with the strength of non-disabled people and save taxes, helping yourself by increasing resources in your community. When was the last time you knew that your purchase went to a good cause?

My segment dealt with fashion and fun but as I have come to truly understand the fashion industry and the thrifting world, I try to promote thrifting over traditional consumerism. I want my purchases to have a purpose.

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.

You may also read her blog: www.vintageshaun.com or follow her on Twitter @vintageshaun

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

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How Thrifting and $20 Can Resurrect a Dying Wardrobe


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Shaunya Hartley, VintageShaun

A Good Look Contributor

 


 

 

thrifting to make the old new again

Iconic designer Diane von Furstenberg is quoted as saying “so when your eyes are swollen and you are bloated and you have your period, and you don’t know what to wear, you open your closet and you go for your friend.” And like old friends, your closet should be a retrospect of good times. But sometimes we can grow tired of our closet and we look to purge, which isn’t a bad thing but sometimes we just need to reconnect and add a little spice to our closet of old friends. One of the best ways I’ve found to add life to my wardrobe without really breaking the bank is to head to my favorite thrift store and look for pieces to resurrect my wardrobe.

When you head to that thrift store, hit the accessories section. Narrow it down to jewelry, scarves and belts. Those three can kick up any and everything, a white button down, a little black dress or your favorite coat. With jewelry go for necklaces and brooches. For scarves, go for those you can wrap around your head or neck and with belts think not only ones to  place in  your pants loops but one that can be thrown over a coat a dress or a jacket. 

Now imagine taking a sweater you’ve had for ages, put that chunky necklace on top and see how quickly it will smile back at you. Pull out that blazer that you always wear to interviews; place a brooch on it once you land your dream job. That handbag that is sturdy and faithful, tie that graphic scarf on the handle, pull that go to little black dress out and cinch your waist with a belt.  Here’s another tip, cap your budget at $20, therefore you can really narrow down what you need and think about what you have at home. A big budget is great but a cap makes you more creative and more resourceful.

Think of your thrift store as a place to go for new friends and once you find some items introduce them to your old friends back in your closet at home and wear them like a well-connected networking party. 

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.

You may also read her blog: www.vintageshaun.com or follow her on Twitter @vintageshaun

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

 

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Why I’ve been MIA from Thrifting

Why I’ve been MIA from Thrifting


I’m about to make a confession: I haven’t thrifted in about four months! That is, oh so rare to me. Even most recently, with the Columbus Day holiday and tons of thrift store having sales, I didn’t get around to it. Is it thrift fatigue, have I maxed out on vintage or is something deeper or darker? What could it be that has curved my love of thrift? I thought long and hard and here are a few reasons.

My Wardrobe is Maxed Out

I looked around my closet the other day and can honestly tell you that I will always have something to wear. Like for any and every occasion – I’m covered! Thrifting has allowed me to collect gowns for that Oscar Party of my dreams or outfits for great special occasions. I’ve got scene stealers that lead to epic visions as well as just cute tops for brunch with friends. If someone tells me they don’t have anything to wear, I go into my vault of clothing and throw them a few options. “Here’s a solution,” I’ll say.

Waiting on the Big Thrill

That’s it, I’m waiting on the next big thrill thrift. The big thrill is the thrifted item that is so amazing you have to tell everyone as soon as you get it. It’s the sequin trench coat, the mythical Chanel jacket you found in a bin for $5, the cashmere cape or the velvet gown from a mysterious French dressmaker. I’ve thrifted so much and in so many places that I am starting to buy some of the same things. I forget I already own it or amazed that there is more than one of something. In the words of BB King, “maybe the thrill is gone?”

Timing is Everything

Me and my credit cards hibernate in the warmer months. Summer and spring clothes get equal attention, but living in NY makes me not the hugest fan of shopping when it’s hot and humid. I love coats and sweaters and jackets, I’m a fall baby. I forget about shopping on June and July.

Inventory Low

No one really likes to clean out their closet during the summer. I know I don’t want to, so usually inventory is blah. Maybe a scattering of things, but the big ticket items, the humdingers like coats etc. those usually come out in the fall. And then they just keep coming until around Memorial Day.

There you have it, my analysis of why I’ve been MIA from my local Goodwill.

I do know that this weekend maybe will be the day to get some thrifting done. It’s after a holiday so stores should be less crowded, many have stored their clothing and done closet purges, and the air is super crisp. It’s the perfect storm and the perfect time to start thrifting.

GUEST BLOGGER SHAUNYA: The Students Guide to Style

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.

Group of young fashion people calling on the phones
Group of young fashion people calling on the phones

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.

You may also read her blog: www.vintageshaun.com or follow her on Twitter @vintageshaun

Your purchases support the mission of Goodwill.
To learn how we serve the community, please read our industry blog Where The Goodwill Goes

GUEST BLOGGER SHAUNYA: Are you in a summer style rut?

At the beginning of Summer I get all excited about my maxi dresses, the gingham, eyelet and linen, and my shorts; oh I love a good pair of shorts. Summer is shorter than a pair of daisy dukes and winter is long, brutal, and never ending in New York. So enjoying warm weather fashion can conjure nostalgia of previous warm and steamy nights. I’m not being provocative, due to humidity and conservation of energy, my apartment is usually warm and steamy.

Every year, right around Memorial Day, I open up my vaults and purge my spring and summer fashions and start to create lovable outfits and reminisce of stylish summer nights.  All goes well and I let those long days take over. Then right around mid-July, I get hit with a summer style rut.

It hits you suddenly, but you knew it was inevitable. You’ve done laundry weekly, you realized some things were either too casual or to dressy. Then the humidity hits and no matter what you wear, by end of day you come off as a sweaty drenched walking towel.  You walk down the street and see all the cute outfits, and start to feel like your striped maxi from three seasons ago just isn’t cutting it.  It’s not that you are flawed or that your clothes suck, it’s more that you are seeing more than you want.

When you pound the pavement in this concrete jungle, you see so many stylish people. Naturally, you get street style envy. Suddenly, that floral print shirt you hugged in May looks like a rather sad bouquet that hasn’t been watered. Your dark denim doesn’t compare to the cool ripped jeans that girl wears on the L train.

So what’s a person in a style rut to do? Do you run and get every trend you see? That will leave you bankrupt and style corrupt, YES, style corrupt. Just because you like a trend so much, it doesn’t mean it is for you. I appreciate the independent style some people sport. Do we have to jump on every stylish trend we see? No.

There is a solution for those stuck in a style rut: Thrift for your trend. It will make your pockets happy and your insatiable style you quest.

My now favorite Goodwill located on the Upper East Side takes care of all of my style spazz outs. I will pop in on a quest for leather culottes because my favorite magazine told me to get them. Gingham print dresses that channel my inner picnic table, I may run across but deep down, I know I’ll locate something, fun and frugal and will help my style drought and keep my wallet not on empty.

Styleruts hit us in January and July, that’s when the stores start putting new merchandise on the floor, retailers know what they are doing. Don’t fall fully prey to the surge of Christmas in July fashion traps, stay calm, go thrift or reinvent your already overflowing wardrobe. Styleruts are normal for stylish people.

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.

You may also read her blog: www.vintageshaun.com or follow her on Twitter @vintageshaun

Your purchases support the mission of Goodwill.
To learn how we serve the community, please read our industry blog Where The Goodwill Goes

GUEST BLOGGER SHAUNYA: Hats Off or On?

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Hats get a really bad wrap. It is assumed if you are wearing one, you are having a bad hair day or you are channeling your inner old lady. Hats have become an accessory of necessity and anyone wearing a fun topper is considered eccentric or even worse, a show-off.

Now, let’s get this correct, a cap is one thing a great hat is a work of art. Some of your best hats can be found at your local Goodwill store.

My grandfather was a “hat man”, a long forgotten generation. He also was bald for the entire time I knew him. Wearing a hat was not only a sophisticated accessory, but a way to cover up his lack of hair. He wore traditional hats such as Fedoras, Tribys and Homburgs. And come summertime, he wore a version of the Panama or a straw version of a Fedora. Grandpa was cool; he kept himself sharp an in character.

My summer hat style is an obnoxious broad rim summer hat when I’m on the beach but, on rainy days I throw on a linen fedora that many love. My best hats are “thrifted”, found at local Goodwill’s casted away by family members who don’t understand the treasure and personality a great hat can give you.

Honestly, a hat can make you stand out in a room full of bare heads and can also give you a little pop on a bad hair day.
Whether for religious reasons or a take on personal style, a great hat can be the best way to top off a great outfit.

What’s your hat style?

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.

You may also read her blog: www.vintageshaun.com or follow her on Twitter @vintageshaun

Your purchases support the mission of Goodwill.
To learn how we serve the community, please read our industry blog Where The Goodwill Goes

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.