Let the Sunshine In!

Summer is in full swing. Though it may be getting uber hot and muggy, now that we’re officially halfway through the season, that doesn’t mean you can’t still look great and appropriate for the humid, end-of-July weather.

And no matter how many times I say it, I think it bears repeating once again – there’s nothing more summery than a vibrant, sunshiny pop of bold yellow to instantly brighten up any summer ensemble. This week’s gorgeous Goodwill gem is a pretty pair of retro, round-toed heels in a beautiful, deep buttery yellow color, and they will surely add an immediate lift to any summer wardrobe staples. The rounded toe and thicker heel still look lovely and feminine, but make these high-heeled beauties far more comfortable for walking than a pair of pointy stilettos. And did I mention that fabulous color?! I can’t emphasize enough how flattering this deep yellow is on nearly every skin tone, or how it really, truly goes with absolutely every other color in the (fashion) rainbow.

buttery yellow pumps

An adorably feminine and yet bold pair of brilliantly colored heels like these is just what every stylish gal needs in her wardrobe for the summer (and even to start transitioning into fall).

The eternal conundrum: comfort versus suitable style. To me, there’s nothing more perfect for beating the summer heat in style than clothing and accessories in bright pops of color and loose, flowing fits. Light, airy clothing is key to keeping cool while still looking ladylike and appropriate for a variety of settings – if you can’t be at the beach all the time (and most of us, unfortunately, cannot), just stripping down to next to nothing isn’t really an option.  Larger pieces in lighter fabrics that don’t cling too much to the body are a great way to stay cool, but still keep yourself relatively covered up (and allowed into public places). For a casual night out, you could easily pop these on with a pair of tailored shorts and a favorite tank or tee, just to jazz up an otherwise basic or constantly worn look. But here, I’ve gone for a more office-appropriate look – it can be absolutely miserable to dress for work in the midst of summer – and chosen a few other pieces in contrasting but still vibrant colors, to keep the look summery, happy, and fun, but still allow those vivid yellow heels to seriously pop. The bright pink of the skirt (and in the heart on the loose-fitting tee) is the perfect complement to that sunshine yellow – both warm tones, the two colors work well together and don’t fight each for onlookers’ attention, and yet are still different enough to really allow the other to totally stand out.

vibrant pink

These simply stunning, sunshine-colored heels are cute, comfy, and absolutely scream summer. They’ll look beautiful with an array of warm-weather colors, like the vibrant pink in the outfit pictured here, but will also work well for you when you start throwing your fall wardrobe staples back into the mix, as they will look divine with reds, browns, grays, and more subdued hues, too.

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

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Rowr! The Power of Animal Prints

Like an animal. They may feel a bit brash and bold – especially if you’re used to choosing more demure colors and fabrics – but a pop of vibrant color and a saucy animal print are the easiest way to add a little stylish sass to even the most understated of outfits.

This week’s Goodwill gem is really one to go gaga over – neon hues and a snakeskin print might seem like way too much on one bag, but here, it actually works perfectly somehow. The bright pink and blue strips of color of broken up with a little classic black and white, which keeps the color from screaming out at you and becoming overwhelming. The snakeskin pattern, with all color interspersed throughout, starts to look somewhat abstract. The classic rectangular clutch shape and simple gold clasp add a hint of old-world class to this otherwise very modern piece.

technicolor animal print clutch
Bold this bag definitely is, but why shy away from a serious fashion statement? Brilliant contrasting colors and a playful animal print mean this is one accessory that’s sure to make you stand out in a crowd.

Play with a bevvy of beautiful styles. Putting together one ensemble doesn’t mean you have to stick to one specific style throughout. Since my fabulous new clutch is so modern and daring, I’ve chosen slightly more modest pieces to complete my look. A simple, stretchy, straight black pant is a piece that can anchor any outfit, and makes an especially good backdrop for anything really bright or bold. On top, a light, cropped, lacey top in an unassuming shade of cream contrasts nicely with the black and makes for a pretty, classic, all-around flattering ensemble that a girl could wear absolutely anywhere – but next to the ladylike lace and traditionally feminine feel of the rest of the outfit, my new snakeskin clutch really pops!

black and creme lace outfit
Contrast is the key to any truly attention-grabbing ensemble. Here, I’ve paired the edgier accessory piece – my glamorous new clutch – with a really classic but flattering outfit in black and cream to create a really polished, pretty, but still fun and interesting look.

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

Latest Where The Goodwill Goes Post:
Say Hello to Goodwill’s Newest Program: Community Habitation!

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Mid-Summer’s Most Perfect Hues

Some colors just scream summer. And while you choose to wear them at any time of year, a vibrant, beautiful blue and warm, buttery soft yellow are two colors that just look even more gorgeously radiant on anyone and everyone during the summer months.

This week’s find is a totally sweet, ultra summery tote in just that shade of beautiful, buttery, mellow yellow. The ladylike and classic shape is simple and structured, and will ensure you look superbly polished whenever you’re caught carrying it – but the soft and creamy color is smooth and relaxed, and just right for the summer season’s laid-back vibe. The slight curve to the shape on top keeps it from looking too, too stodgy or uptight and gives this cleanly designed bag a decidedly feminine edge.

summer tote in mellow yellow

Classic, for sure, but boring this bag is not. It’s beautifully cool composition, luscious yellow color and uncluttered design make this an accessory worth carrying for years to come.

Play with complementary summer shades. Yellow – reminiscent of sunshine and sandy beaches – certainly shouts “summer!” (yes, I think the exclamation point is entirely necessary), but it’s not the only hue that’s ideal for the warm weather season. The cool blue of ocean waves and clear summer skies is the perfect shade to counter and complement yellow’s warmth. To play against the voluptuous sunny yellow of my fabulous new bag, I’m pairing it here with a darling knee-length pleated skirt in a vivid blue pattern. The pattern contains just a small amount of black in the pattern’s outline, so I’ve chosen a simple, spare black tank to top off this look, ensuring nothing up top fights with the beautiful print on the bottom – and the stark black also makes a gorgeous background for the bright purse, forcing it to stand out and shine, though it’s not the brightest shade of yellow out there. The whole ensemble will come together simply and prettily with a basic pair of sandals to ground it (and if you have a yellow pair to match the bag, even better!).

cool and summery outfit

One gorgeous, summery accessory is all you need to build a lovely look around. If you have a piece you love – like this week’s find, my darling sunshine-colored bag – then choose basic or classic pieces from your wardrobe that will easily complement it or sit happily in the background, allowing it to truly stand out and grab oodles of approving attention.

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

Latest Where The Goodwill Goes Post:
New Summer Intern Explores the Mission of Goodwill

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Goodwill Gems: The Warm Wool Tuckaway Tote

What’s good this winter? According to our correspondent Lauren, the answer is anything cozy – especially accessories, especially from her local Goodwill. Last week, a lush grey scarf caught her eye; this week, it’s all about the handbag. Take a look and enjoy the continuation of cozy with this week’s Goodwill Gem: The Warm Wool Tuckaway Tote.

A medium-sized bag in classic black is made more fun and casual (not to mention cozy) when made out of great-to-touch materials.

Who says your accessories can’t be as comfy as your clothes? We’ve established that sweater weather is definitely upon us – as is fleece weather, legwarmer weather, earmuff weather, etc. It is really starting to feel like winter here in the Greater New York and Northern New Jersey area, which means everyone is layering up in the softest, warmest, comfiest pieces they can find.

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Goodwill Gems: the Super Sunny Fit-All Tote

It’s about time for a dose of sunshine. In the grays of winter, and in the weeks following the storm, it’s important we keep our spirits up. While it won’t save the world, a big burst of cheerful color certainly can’t hurt.

Our Lauren hit the Goodwill circuit with one thought in mind: SUN. She certainly found her ray of light – and so can you. Don’t forget we’re still offering $50 shopping credits to those affected by the storm ($50 for each family member) good for any item, including durable, sturdy, useful finds like this week’s Goodwill Gem: the Super Sunny Fit-All Tote.

Take the mope out of winter and inject bright, fun energy with a colorful bag, like this slouchy yellow purse, found at my local Goodwill store.

Oh Winter. All blacks and whites and browns and grays. Practical, to be sure, but all that neutral winter wear gets boring. Here on the East coast, it’s only just beginning. We won’t see springtime temps and sunshine until March – and that’s a long, long time to be, meh, neutral.


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Goodwill Gems: The Staycation Vacation Find

Remember Summer Vacation, a time full of family trips to far off places? Even if 2012 was more staycation than vacation, filling your closet with exotic finds can be a great way to feel worldly. This week, our Lauren trades Italy for her local Goodwill, and makes out with a molta bella handbag perfect for Fall at a piccolo price (and let’s not even mention the airfare she saved…). Here it is, this week’s Goodwill Gem: The Staycation Vacation Find.

Made in Italy and discovered in Goodwill – all for $7.99. That’s what I call a Goodwill Gem!

Where can you find a chic bag that sports a “Made in Italy” label without a sky-high price tag? Only at your local Goodwill, of course!

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Goodwill Gems: The Perfect Straw Tote

We’re feeling the Fever – Spring Fever, that is! With gorgeous weather, flower buds and sunshine in mind, our Lauren Haslett practically floated to her local Goodwill to see what Spring has sprung. The resulting treasure is this week’s Goodwill Gem…: the Perfect Straw Tote.

Thanks to its two-tone color scheme and mixed materials, this ever-classic straw bag looks positively modern!

Hello, spring! When the skies are this blue, I want to spend all day under them; don’t you? So what better way to embrace the new season than by grabbing a new-to-you bag sturdy enough to take you everywhere under the sun?

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Leap for Joy (& Shoes & Handbags): The Goodwill Leap Year Sale

Wondering what to do with that extra calendar day this year? Come spend it at Goodwill and save big! In honor of leap year (and Spring fun in general), all shoes and handbags are 30% off on Wednesday, February 29.

Here’s a little secret too: come back between March 1-31 for our new socks and new underwear special. Get them at 5 for $1 or 25 cents each.

To find your nearest Goodwill, visit http://www.goodwillnynj.org/findgoodwill.aspx. And if you haven’t donated to Goodwill recently, now would be a great time. The more donations we get, the more for everyone to buy, and the more funding for our programs and services to keep changing lives. Happy Leap Year, all!

Goodwill Gem: The Bigger-Than-You-Think Bag

We may be busy calculate the huge show of votes for our Goodwill Halloween Contest (thank you!), but we know you all are already on your way into November fashion. To help ease you into a new season of winter wonder, our Lauren Haslett hit the Goodwill trail to find an accessory that could tackle whatever came her way, from everyday work to holiday parties. What did she find? This week’s Goodwill Gem: the Bigger-Than-You-Think Bag.

Casual, stylish, and big enough to stow everything you'd need to hibernate... I mean, hit the town.

Sometimes good things come in small packages. (Like diamonds. Hint hint, Santa.) But sometimes, bigger really is better, especially when it comes to choosing the perfect bag to get you through the city’s snowy, slushy, wet winter weather. And lucky for you and me, the ultimate in winter bags showed up at my local Goodwill just in time.

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Goodwill Gems: the Slouchy-Serious Work-Play Purse

It’s still hot as Hades, but tell that to back-to-school season. That’s right – it’s time to start prepping your wardrobe for fall. To stay ahead of the times, GoodwillNyNj’s Lauren Haslett took a trip to Goodwill to find a Gem equal parts business and casual. The result? Success!: the Slouchy-Serious Work-Play Purse.

This charming, practical tote is ideal for the upcoming season & your stylin' transition into it!

Lucky me – it turns out secondhand stores are the perfect place to look for in-between-seasons pieces. Maybe it’s because there’s such a large array of accessories (key style elements to signalling a seasonal transition), or maybe because I can afford them all – either way, I can’t complain! Proof of the Goodwill goodness:

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