Everyday Thrifting


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David Morgan, Yes, David is Here

A Good Look Contributor

 


 

Good news, dear gentlemen readers: we’ll be featuring a weekly column by GoodwillNyNj Style Icon David Morgan all about secondhand fashion for men. This week: optimizing your thrifting finds. Enjoy!

Each of these outfits contain one or more thrifted elements. How do you incorporate your Goodwill finds into your everyday wear?

Recently, I have begun maintaining a Flickr set of some of my daily outfits. Going through the few pictures I’ve posted so far, I’m surprised out how much of my clothes are from the Goodwill. I know I thift a lot, but certainly didn’t know it was that much. Everyday, at least some part of my outfit is thrifted, a testament to both the versatility and diversity of thrift store shopping.

Whatever the occasion, I guarantee that you can find a look within the thrift store. The most important tip I can offer in debunking any feeling of hesitancy is that:

  • Price does not determine style, and not even quality.

I have had pairs of pants worth hundreds of dollors rip after a few months, and I’ve had pants bought for dirt cheap last for years.

While I definitely appreciate the value of exceptional craftsmanship, and understand that some well-made clothes are truly worth the investment, you really cannot determine the quality of thrifted clothes based on price.

  • The hierarchical rules of fashion just do not apply at the thrift store.

Both high and low-end pieces have the same playing field and price point, which definitely puts the cash-strapped fashionisto at ease.

In short, if you are worried that thrifting will make you look cheap, I assure you it won’t. Dior coats share the same rack as high school varsity gear, and both are there for your wearing pleasure.

Each of these outfits contain one or more thrifted elements. How do you incorporate your Goodwill finds into your everyday wear?

If you are a thrifting pro, what high-end pieces have you stumbled upon at the thrift store? And how does thrifting influence your everyday style? Perhaps our examples will ease the worried minds of strict department store adherents 🙂

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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A Walking Theme

patternsGraphic prints, floral, animal, ladybugs, a cool print can make an ordinary piece of clothing become a conversational piece. It can also change your mood. A little leopard can make your inner temptress come out, pinstripes can make you feel powerful, and floral will make you feel happy.

The saying: “You are what you wear” has so much truth. In addition to what you wear, your clothes reflect your attitude. You don’t think so? Wear a sweatshirt and then try on a sequin top. The difference is obvious, in two ways:  How you face the world and of course how the world perceives you.

When talking to youth or people returning to the workforce, I always mention that what you wear should coincide with where you want to go. I will wear animal print or sequin for a night out with my friends, but something more subtle to interview for a front desk position sends the message that you are there for business and to be thought of as an authority figure in your position.

Whether it is the street, the office, or a temple of worship, we are all dressed for the occasion. Being aware of the themes for each occasion shows you are mature, focused and socially conscious.

What theme is the hardest for you to pull off?

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

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Slowly Stepping Into Spring

It seems like spring is still a bit hesitant about making her way here fully. While we’ve finally had a few gorgeous sunny days (thank goodness!), we’ve still had plenty more where a serious chill and gray, cloudy sky has made us question whether we can really already be halfway through the month of May.

But to put some pep into your step and brighten up your layered, in-between-season looks, it’s absolutely crucial to have a fabulous, fail-safe pair of flats on hand that will instantly add a bit of warm-weather cheer to all of your favorite pieces. The closed, just slightly pointed toe and soft suede fabric could easily be worn in spring or in fall, and will keep your feet from freezing when that unexpectedly cold breeze sweeps in. But the fun, bright yellow ankle strap really livens up these fab flats, and gives them just a pop of much-needed vibrancy and color – though their otherwise neutral tones of tan and brown ensure they will easily pair with any outfit.

two-tone suede flats

Perfect for that uncertain spring weather, these darling, two-tone suede flats are made for stepping out in all season long.

The perfect complement to sweet, ladylike looks. These are definitely the kind of flats that a girl can wear day in and day out, whether you’re heading to work in a business casual ensemble or strolling about on the weekends in basics like jeans and a t-shirt. But because of their dainty, delicate styling, these sweet suede flats work especially well to finish off any pretty, polished, feminine look you might be itching to try out. They’d look especially darling with floral sundresses in an array of fun summer colors, and these shoes would look equally cute with any otherwise unexciting work wear that needs a little lift. Here, I’ve decided to pair them with a brilliant Kelly green skirt, a polka dotted blouse in slightly more faded blues and greens, to keep the whole look from getting too loud, and to keep it relatively relaxed and casual, I’ve topped the whole outfit of with trimly cut and tailored denim blazer – though if your work environment is a little more formal, you could easily finish it off with a slightly dressier jacket in a light summery linen that’s still idea for warmer weather. Whatever kind of look you choose, you’re sure to make it feel fully pulled together and oh-so-chic by anchoring it with these adorable, ladylike flats.

outfit

Wherever you go this spring and summer, go looking good – a prim, pretty pair of flats like these will make all your looks feel instantly pulled together and polished.

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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Heavenly Headpieces

Top off your looks with touch of class. With the start of spring and its many festive occasions – Cinco de Mayo, the Kentucky Derby, etc, etc – I guess I’ve had fabulous hats on the brain lately. Which is why this week’s find – a gorgeous gem spotted recently at my local Goodwill shop – is so totally fitting.

This topper is incredibly chic, but still has a funky edge. The classic, fedora-like style will never get old, and it’s flattering on almost any face shape. The neutral, always-fashionable color combo – a soft gray and cream – is natural, light, and summery looking, but the cool pattern of strips of larger and smaller diamonds woven into this seemingly simple accessory adds a seriously bold and adventurous feel to this darling (and daring!) hat.

stripe fedora like hat

Made to catch onlookers’ eyes all summer long, this light, woven straw hat will instantly liven up any standard sundress or otherwise run-of-the-mill summer ensemble.

Dress out of your comfort zone. At any time of year, but especially during the warm, more relaxed summer months, it can be easy to stick with what’s comfortable and get stuck in something of a style rut. But amazing and distinctive accessories, like this week’s seriously chic and out-of-the-box hat, make it incredibly easy to add some funky, effortlessly cool style to even the most basic of warm-weather outfits. For a laid-back but totally hip weekend ensemble, pair a head topper like this one with a pair of cut-off jean shorts, espadrilles, a white tee-shirt, and one bold, colorful piece of jewelry, like a statement necklace. For a slightly more dressed up, but equally fun, option, do what I’ve done here, and put it on as a finishing touch with more work appropriate (but still bright and colorful) pieces. I’ve chosen a classically shaped and curve-hugging pencil skirt in a vivid Kelly green, and – to keep the outfit vibrant and fun, but not too overwhelming – a light, flowing blouse in the same tone. A fun (but not too large or loud) animal print keeps the ensemble looking playful, not stuffy, and the super cute and slightly quirky hat makes a divine finishing touch.

black and Kelly green summer outfit

Don’t play it safe this summer! Play around with fun, vibrant, and brightly colored pieces in your wardrobe, and you can take an adorable hat like this anyone everywhere from the beach to the office.

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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Borrowed from the Boys

Sometimes, a little ambiguity makes an outfit just that much more interesting. Though it can be a lot of fun to dress up in super frilly, floral, feminine styles, it can feel just as exciting to mix in more structured, traditionally “masculine” feeling pieces, too – especially if your entire wardrobe is on the girlier side. A slightly more boyish, unexpected item can even work to accentuate your most feminine features, thanks to the added contrast.

Case in point: these cool, edgy little booties, which I was lucky enough to stumble upon this week at my local Goodwill shop. The light taupe color is ideal for spring – it’s a welcome break from winter’s practical and prevalent, but also darker and drearier hues, like blacks and grays. And because it’s still a neutral, this tone lightens up spring looks but still easily mixes with just about anything in your wardrobe, from boldly printed dresses and jumpers to favorite jeans and tees. And because they’re also flat, these beautiful booties are also comfortable enough to wear around town all day, every day – whether you’re heading to the office or planning to walk around and explore your city – or anywhere else you might find yourself.

taupe edgy booties

These cute ankle boots may be reminiscent of menswear, but the almost eyelet-like scalloped detail and soft, taupe color give these edgy shoes just enough feminine flair.

Cool, casual fun. Taking a cue from men’s fashion doesn’t mean your ensembles have to be totally lacking in any pretty, girly qualities, or that you can’t still look totally put together, even in a more casual ensemble. Though you could certainly throw these darling boots on with a super flirty, feminine piece, like a brightly colored floral sundress, to give it a cool edge, they look equally adorable when paired with a really relaxed outfit choice, like what I’ve picked here. The slim, stretchy trousers would easily fit right into these booties, though they’re only ankle height, and let my new footwear take center stage. And a classic collared shirt in a breezy chambray fabric, topped with a cozy, three-quarter-sleeve sweater for added warmth and texture, is a great way to finish off this comfy, but still totally cool, menswear-inspired outfit. Some simple silver jewelry adds a feminine, but still subtle, touch that brings all of these go-to wardrobe staples together.

men's fashion for women

Go all out and borrow your whole look from the boys – you’re sure to come up with an ensemble that’s classic, simple, and totally chic, especially if it’s finished off with a pair of well-tailored, wear-everywhere ankle boots like these.

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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Style Icons

Present day, bestowing the title of Best Dressed or Style Icon gets thrown around way to freely. Usually upon celebrities with an unlimited budget and a stylist who creates those looks. Let’s not forget they receive tons of designer’s clothing for free. Or you also have the Social Media Style Icons, folks made popular via the internet, whether it’s street style blog or Instagram. The formula for an internet style star is very different from celebrities. It is a combination of fast fashion, thrift and vintage store finds and if they have a huge following maybe a few gifted items from designers. I’ll give credit to the Social Media folks being more organic in their style than a majority of stars but, there are a few bold face names that are a rare hybrid of both digital style star and also known as a true celebrity.

Tracee Ellis Ross

Tracee Ellis Ross was a staple on my television screen on Monday nights for over six years as the goofy, crafty, lawyer Joan Clayton on Girlfriends. Too many Joan and Tracee are one, as Tracee’s personal style crept into her on camera wardrobe many times. As the daughter of the infamous Diana Ross, Tracee has noted that she knew her love for clothes and fashion very early on. She inherited a love for statement pieces and of course she is heir apparent to the museum like wardrobe of the divine Miss Ross. But Tracee is just cool and like myself, she mixes smaller brands with vintage and every outfit no matter how effortless is in all actuality well-planned and thought out which comes from her stage as a fashion editor for New York magazine and the now defunct Mirabella magazine. Even when she’s seen in Prada and other high end European labels, it comes across more as a great piece than a snobby expensive purchase. There are no mistakes with Tracee Ellis Ross and I love calling her a style icon.

 

Solange Knowles

Another young lady from a celebrity family with great style is Solange Knowles, Beyoncé’s younger sister. You are probably hiding under a rock if you haven’t noticed Solange meteoric rise to style star. With a love for bold patterns and prints, her style can’t be labeled exactly. Some times Solange, like Tracee, channels her inner Supreme but not as glam as her pop-star sister. The hair is a perfectly coiffed Afro, rather than lengthy locks. The gowns are long but less form fitting, the fabrics shiny but not beaded. Solange is not the anti-Beyoncé but her style is opposite of her famous sister. Combining new designers with J. Crew and a twist of urban garb, Solange gives you polished quirky hipster with a twist of Black exploitation cool.

Both of these ladies are slightly under the radar and may not be style stalked as much as Miley Cyrus or any of the Kardashians but they have fans and followers, including me. Solange Knowles and Tracee Ellis Ross are pretty much the only two on my list whose closet I’d like to raid.

Who are your style icons and why?

photos: ynaija.com, supernaturallady.blogspot.com

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

Latest Where The Goodwill Goes Post:
Participants of Goodwill at HorseAbility Stride Towards the Future

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New Month, New Style Inspiration

April is upon us! Though it might seem like Mother Nature is playing an April fool’s joke on us pretty much constantly so far this “Spring,” we’re already done with March and starting a new month – a new month where sunshine and warmer weather are sure to finally make an appearance.

Because I just can’t wait any longer to pull out truly spring-worthy looks, even if it is still a bit nippy outside, this week I’ve snagged a pair of snazzy, brightly colored flats from my local Goodwill shop. The soft, textured cotton fabric is stretchy and comfortable – a perfect shoe to start off the season with, as they will mold to the wearer’s feet pretty easily without too much pain and suffering (unfortunately, all flats are not created equal in that regard). The rainbow of hues and funky pattern that decorates these darling shoes also couldn’t be more right for spring, and will easily complement almost any other items in your wardrobe – whether black, white, or anywhere in between.

colorful fabric flats

A sweet and bold pair of brilliantly colored flats like these is just what every stylish gal needs in her wardrobe come springtime.

A trip to fantasy land. Though it may not really be warm enough out yet for sundresses and shorts, I can’t help but dream this week – this winter has just been way too terrible and long, and there’s no harm in letting your mind wander off and fantasize about the near future, just a little bit. Fun, funky flats and a pretty, flirty little dress are a natural pairing, and here, I’ve put together that classic combo in a way that you can be sure will never, ever go out of style. Since the shoes are a bit bolder, with their quirky, geometrically inspired print, I’ve chosen a dress in a solid hue that will look stunning next to the bright colors in my chosen footwear. A simple (and importantly, neutral) cardigan tops off this look and keeps all the vibrant colors from looking too loud, while also keeping me warm during those still very real bouts of windy, chilly spring weather.

bright sundress with cardigan

These simply stunning little flats are easy to wear with everything from jeans and a white t-shirt to much more feminine styles – but here, I think they look just right with a classically cut and brightly colored sundress, creating a posh and put together ensemble that’s ideal for spring’s warmer days.

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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New Year, New Style Resolutions

Every January 1, most of us resolve to do a bit better than the year before. We resolve to treat ourselves better, take care of ourselves better. We resolve to get in shape and finally find our signature look. This year, don’t let yourself fall right off the resolution wagon.

This week’s gem is a darling little handbag that’s perfect for toting absolutely anywhere, and which is sure to brighten any bitingly cold winter days with its sunny yellow pattern. The distinctive gray-and-yellow color scheme and leather strap that loops over the top of the bag from back to front makes this accessory one that’s sure to stand out. The simple silver button closure and damask-style pattern is highly sophisticated and will easily elevate any look, from the super casual to a fancier ensemble.

gray purse with yellow details and leather strapThis too-cute bag is just the right size for holding your daily essentials, and still small enough to be a comfortable choice for a night out.

A new year calls for new style goals. Aim high in 2014, and focus on pulling together a fun but polished look that will impress anyone, inside or outside of the office. This chic bag is the perfect starting point for a year full of fashionable and effortlessly sophisticated outfits. Use it to add a pop of pattern and color to a bold office look like the one pictured here – the bright skirt is an equally vivid and flattering hue on almost any woman, no matter her skin tone, eye color, or hair color. The black and white top balances out the bright bottoms, so the overall look doesn’t become too garish or loud, but as the neutrally colored cardigan has a lovely floral pattern to it, the ensemble still looks modern, fun, and fresh. A sweet and lovely bag like this one is all a lady would need to immediately and perfectly accent this vibrant, colorful look and bring the entire outfit together. It’s just as easy to wear, however, with a classic, casual look. For a more relaxed, weekend-appropriate get-up, toss on a pair slouchy, cuffed, boyfriend jeans, a loose, comfy white tee, and tailored blazer for a cool but still polished everyday outfit.

bright purple skirt black tank and print cardiganA colorful, patterned bag might seem like difficult accessory to pair with many items in your wardrobe, but when it comes in a classic, simple shape with chic, modern styling, you’ll find it seems to add a bit of sophistication and subtle glamour to almost any outfit you can think to put together.

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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Goodwill Gems: Beat the Cold-Weather Blues

It’s time to get cozy. The frigid temps we’ve started experiencing this week aren’t going away anytime soon, so it’s time to bring out the thickest, warmest, and woolliest sweaters and accessories you’ve got.

This week’s fine – a darling knit scarf in a colorful stripe – is sure to bring a note of cheer to any winter day, no matter how drab. When looped over and in on itself, the stripes intersect in a way that makes this look almost like a plaid, but the subtler stripe is just as classic, and a bit easier to combine with other colors and patterns in your wardrobe. The warm knit fabric and long length of this scarf will ensure you stay toasty and warm, no matter how chilly the wind outside, and the lovely jade green color of the background, as well as the rich navy blue, golden brown, and coral colors of the stripes, are sure to flatter any complexion.

tan knit turtleneck sweater with green plaid scarfWarm up this week with a pretty and seriously practical find, like this week’s gem, pictured here.

Have fun. It’s one of the most important – yet often forgot – rules of fashion. Though it can be easy to get caught up in trends and wondering if we look as stylish and up-to-date as our peers, fashion is at its best when we don’t let ourselves get caught up in the nonsense, and just relax and enjoy it.

Case in point – this cute and cozy scarf. It’s obviously a casual piece, and especially with more relaxed, everyday items like it, there’s really no reason to stress about matching it perfectly with your outerwear or the outfit underneath, and sometimes it can even be more fun when you don’t. Above, it’s shown with a neutral, toffee-colored sweater, the two pieces look lovely together. But this piece really wakes up and looks even more fun when set alongside another print! It might seem a bit bold, but it’s certainly not boring, and mixing and matching different prints can be a fun and creative way to liven up an otherwise ho-hum winter wardrobe. Here, I’ve decided to pair it with an ensemble that’s still mostly neutral in color – the white tee underneath the dress clearly could be a suitable backdrop for absolutely anything, and the jumper itself (made of a warm wool fabric, of course) has a subtle plaid pattern in colors that are echoed in the scarf – a lovely blue and a pinky color very close to the scarf’s coral. If you’re feeling brave and want to try mixing patterns yourself this winter, go for it! Just stick to one rule – when combining prints, make sure you pair those that use similar color families, so that something similar repeats throughout the outfit and pulls the whole thing together.

plaid pattern dress with white long sleeve shirt underneathHave fun with your cold-weather wear and throw together a few different patterns for a bold, but not-too-eccentric ensemble.

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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Goodwill Gems: Easy, Artsy Chic

scarf

Looking cool doesn’t have to be hard.

With a stylish scarf like this one, found this week at my local Goodwill store, you can easily add a bit of pizzazz to any look, dressy or casual. It’s covered in a variety of pretty patterns, all in cool blues, greens, purples, grays and blacks that are absolutely the ideal color palate for the cooler months. A mix of geometric, more modern prints and larger, floral designs, this scarf’s patterns could look jumbled, but instead flow together in a way that gives this piece an almost quirky, but still cool, look. Aside from warming you up and keeping out the freezing cold winter air, an effortlessly beautiful and artistically inspired accessory like this scarf can easily be thrown on in an instant to change the entire feel of an outfit.

This picture-perfect scarf printed in an array of artistic motifs, all done in cool, soothing colors that are just right for pairing with all your fall and winter attire.

 

weekend chic

Weekend chic is actually unbelievably easy to pull together.

An easy way to amp up a casual look or to add a bit of funky flair to a more tailored, work-friendly look, a scarf like this is a beautiful accessory you can use with nearly everything in your wardrobe. It’d be a lovely spark of color and vibrancy on top of a dressier, all-black look. But here, I’ve decided to layer it on top of a more relaxed look that’s perfect for a quiet Friday at the office or a weekend of wandering around the city and enjoying favorite fall tasks, like visiting the farmers’ market or eating the last outdoor brunches of season. The basic pieces anchoring this ensemble – a simple cotton tee and soft, straight-cut slacks – are in a pretty charcoal gray and navy blue, which perfectly complement all the cool hues in this week’s gem. And a simple, tailored tan blazer is the perfect final touch to pull this whole effortlessly fresh weekend look together.

No chic weekend look could be easier than a favorite pair of polished but comfortable pants, a go-with-everything jacket, and a classic fitted cotton tee, all topped off with a soft and vividly patterned scarf.