How Thrifting and $20 Can Resurrect a Dying Wardrobe


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: 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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Three Dress Styles That Flatter All Body Types

Peplum Shift and Wrap Dresses

Though it has not officially arrived yet, it feels like the busy summer season is already here, with proms, graduations and weddings in full force. Dress shopping for all of these special occasions doesn’t have to be stressful. I’ve picked out three silhouettes that work well for pretty much all body types.

1. Peplum
The peplum dress accentuates your figure. It slims down your waist and highlights your hips. Depending on your body size you can go for a mini-pep that won’t distract or overwhelm your frame or a bigger peplum to accentuate your frame.

2. Shift
The shape of this dress works on almost all body shapes. The relaxed fit along with the body skimming silhouette highlight and hide all the ride spots. This is a very popular dress style that you can find with long, short, cap or tank sleeves for whichever compliment you best.

3. Wrap
2014 marks the 40th Anniversary of the wrap dress known as the most figure-flattering dress created by designer Diane Von Furstenberg. This style looks good on all body types and does wonders to show off the female shape. You can’t go wrong with it!

What is your go-to special occasion dress style?

Don’t forget you can always visit your local Goodwill Store to shop for dresses!


Nicole Colon is a lifestyle blogger and designer from Long Island, NY, who is reinventing what it means to be “bad” by empowering women to discover their inner B.A.D. Girl and be Beautiful, Authentic and Determined. She provides her readers with tips, advice and fashion that aim to inspire them to get what they want out of life. Check out Nicole’s blog at

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Good(will) Sense: Your All-Weather Wardrobe

Do you know what your clothing’s really worth? We’re not talking about the price – we’re talking about the “cost per wear.” A Good Look’s Emme Bonilla explains how a new calculation can really clear up your wardrobe:

Think you can only wear a dress like this (Diane von Furstenburg for $, mind you) in the summertime? Think again.

In our last installment of Good(will) Sense, we discussed “cost-per-wear” and how getting your threads at your local Goodwill is a great way to stretch your dollar. Today, I want to mention another way to get the most out of your money by using your clothes throughout the varied seasons. Storage space is not exactly bountiful in New York real estate, so you have to get creative in how to wear that summery top in the mid-winter temps.

Take a look above –  that printed silk DVF dress was a TOTAL STEAL at $24.99 (it usually retails for $345). For the summertime, it’s perfect on its own, a cinched belt and sandals, but just because it’s getting colder doesn’t mean I’ll need to store it away. Here’s where the Good(will) Sense comes in…

Continue reading “Good(will) Sense: Your All-Weather Wardrobe”

Trend Watch Thrifting: Red Hot

Lipstick, cherry, tomato – any way you call it, we’re seeing red this season. GoodwillNyNj’s resident thrift expert Emme Bonilla has done her research at the local Goodwills, and she’s all fired up on how to make this work for you, your wardrobe and, best of all, your budget. This week’s Trend Watch Thrifting pick: red hot fashion!

Clockwise from top left: Michael Kors, Rodarte, Diane von Furstenberg, and Marchesa weren't shy about red! (Photos by

In Fall 2009, the fashion world trumpeted the red as the must-have hue for the season. Fall 2010 repeated its love for the bold color (scroll down to #5). In 2011… Well, you get the idea. Red is here to stay. And why not? It’s a vibrant shade that packs a punch. It commands attention and will always make a statement. Whether you dare to do head to toe or make it pop against neutrals, find your next red hot item at your local Goodwill

Continue reading “Trend Watch Thrifting: Red Hot”

Style Icon Interview: Fashion Writer Felicia Walker Benson

As a makeup expert, style/beauty writer and Goodwill fan, Felicia Walker Benson pours her heart and soul into her passion for all things fashion and beauty related. Felicia is Editor in Chief for the popular fashion-lifestyle blog ThisThatBeauty, as well as a Beauty Expert for, the New York Correspondent for The Makeup Girl and a contributing writer for and

Beauty Expert, Style/Beauty Blogger & GoodwillNyNj Style Icon, Felicia Walker Benson

We were recently lucky enough to chat with Felicia – and the combination of her sense of humor and her sense of fashion has us 100% convinced that this smart, stylish beauty is every bit the perfect GoodwillNyNj Style Icon.

We hope you enjoy Part One of GoodwillNyNj’s newest Style Icon Interview:

Hi Felicia! So how did you first get interested in the world of beauty and fashion?

I have been a card carrying beauty devotee for as far back as I can recall. Don’t most kids spend their allowance at the local beauty supply store? From hair care, to skin care, makeup, fragrance and everything in between…I’ve had an affinity for beauty ever since I was a wee lad.

With respect to fashion, I began working in a professional job fairly early on. At that time, my responsibilities and profile within the company were significant but my disposable income, ahem, was not. I had to get rather creative when it came to piecing together ensembles and fitting in with my corporate counterparts.

While I’ve always had a very strong sense of personal style and an eye for interpreting trends, working in an uber professional environment while still in college encouraged me to stretch my talents and work miracles on a shoe string budget!

What does “style” mean to you?

Statement piece accessories, the perfect LBD, and killer Louboutins are great, but that’s window draping — not style. Style is understanding who you are at your core and allowing that to resonate. While apparel is a component of style, it does not start and stop there. Style is reflected in how you carry yourself. Style is not defined by labels. In fact, the most important label, with respect to style, is label “YOU”. Personal style is a branding tool. It announces your aspirations and accomplishments!

Now, we asked our Facebook fans this, so it’s only fair we ask you, too: Who do you wish would donate their entire wardrobe to a Goodwill near you? (Supermodels, big sisters, rock stars, and politicos are all fair game…)

Oh jeez Louise! I would absolutely die a thousand deaths if Diane Von Furstenberg sent a trailer load of can’t-miss essentials to my local Goodwill. I would be rendered partially comatose if I walked into my local Goodwill and found a rack labeled “From The Set of Grey Gardens”. I would give a limb (any limb) if I were offered first dibs on Tracy Ellis Ross’ Goodwill donation (clothes from both her personal life and from the set of “Girlfriends). Tracy Ellis Ross actually comes with a bonus as I imagine her Goodwill stash would undoubtedly include frocks Momma Diana.  Jackie O is cliche but you can not deny her classic good taste. Lastly, Victoria Beckham would be my choice for aspirational wares.

What’s your favorite Goodwill find?

I recently snagged a rather saucy little silk Jersey geometric pattern Laundry dress for about $8. New, with tags!

Why do you shop at Goodwill?

Well, uh, you see, there’s this little thing called the “recession” right now so….
Seriously, I enjoy the thrill of the hunt! From time to time I afford myself the luxury of shopping non-sale items…some finds are too good to wait for a price reduction. However, I love shopping Goodwill because its like a “box of chocolates”. Other than a great deal, you honest to God never know what you’re going to get…and that thrills me to no end!

Have you ever donated to Goodwill?

Yes and often. After Mama ThisThatBeauty gets her cut the rest gets carted to my local Goodwill. Hello tax deduction!

Add to your must-read blog list & see how much more beautiful life can be!

Pretty inspiring, doncha think? Don’t forget to check in next week for Part Two of the interview. In the meantime, keep sharing your great finds and style tips with us onTwitter and Facebook – we love hearing from you!