Top 5 Thrift Hacks


JasmineSkyy Forcer,

A Good Look Staff



Get ready thrift friends because I’m about to divulge some of my best thrift hacks. Check out some of my ultimate thrift hacks below:

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Four Reasons Why Thrifting Rocks


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?


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.


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: 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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5 Goodwill Thrifting Hacks

Do you want to make the best use of your time and money when shopping at your local Goodwill? You can look like a million-dollars without breaking the bank. Here are five secrets to make your Goodwill shopping more enjoyable!

cotton balls and alcohol

1. Sample Removal
So you’re shopping and checking out all the goodies in the racks and BEHOLD you find the most gorgeous dress from a top name designer. You run to the dressing room and it fits like a glove. Twirling around you feel radiant. Then you spot the dreaded SAMPLE stamp on the back. Never fear! All you need is some cotton balls soaked in rubbing alcohol and dab the stamp away. For stronger inks try a non-acetone nail polish remover. Then, wash the item as you normally would and make sure the stamp is completely removed before throwing it in the dryer. Heat sets stains so repeat the cotton/alcohol dabbing if necessary before drying.


Grand Opening Sign

2. Attend Store Openings
For store openings usually the best of the best is on display and for sale. Not just clothing, you can score brand new appliances, furniture, luggage and more. At our Elmwood Park opening we had KitchenAid mixers, Swiss Gear luggage, Dyson vacuums and Keurig brewers just to name a few. How can you find out when there is a store opening? We always announce the opening date ahead of time on our blog, Facebook and Twitter. So, if you’re reading this right now you are one step ahead!


google goggles logo

3. Google Goggles
For the smartphone totting thrifters who want to know exactly how much of a deal they are getting, the app Google Goggles is gold. All you have to do is take a picture with your smartphone of the item or tag and the app does a Google image search. Within the results you can find out the original price and more info on the item. This also works great if you happen to see a painting and have a suspicious feeling it may be worth 1,000 times its sale price. Download the app for iPhone here and Android here.


leggings and tanktops

4. Dress for the Part
Sometimes people prefer to do huge thrifting “hauls” and purchase tons of clothing during one shopping trip. It can get super annoying getting dressed and undressed every time you find a few items you want to try on. Save yourself the hassle (and time) by wearing an outfit that you can easily put clothes on over – such as leggings and a tank top.


ShopGoodwill logo

5. Thrift Online
Skip the lines and head on over to ShopGoodwill. This is Goodwill’s online auction house. What’s great about this site is not only can you buy from your local Goodwill but there are items for sale from Goodwill’s around the country. Items range from art, clothing, tools, bikes, computers, instruments and more. Thrifting in your pajamas – now that is the dream!

Do you have any suggestions to make the best out of your thrift shopping?

Your purchases support the mission of Goodwill.

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Guest Blogger Shaunya: How To Wear Your Entire Wardrobe

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.

Starting today, she will guest blog for A Good Look every other Monday. Don’t miss it!

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

Wear Your Closet

Statistics say that most people wear 20 percent of their wardrobe 80 percent of the time. Many of us, me included have fallen into this habit of having wardrobe favorites and wardrobe orphans. Clothing that sees the light of day too much and clothing that never gets to see the light of day.

Falling into this wardrobe rut happens to all of us whether you are completely at odds about fashion or whether you are a connoisseur of style. It can be for so many reasons, weight gain/ loss, sentimental value, laziness, lack of time, poor buying habits. Here are a few tips to get the most out of your wardrobe for fall and all the seasons ahead: 

      Impulse purchases happen to all of us. Something caught your eye and it was affordable but you would have never purchased it at full price. Maybe a salesperson talked you into something, told you how amazing you looked and it was a different story once you got home but you were embarrassed to return it and have  the sales person lose their commission.  I use to be a major impulse purchaser, anything embellished, and I bought it. I have an entire pile of sequin, bejeweled pieces, that have me asking myself, what was I thinking?  The best way to stop impulse purchases is with sleep. Yes, a good night’s sleep will either have you dreaming about a piece and the realization that you must have it, or you’ll go home and realize it’s not a necessity.

      In sports every player is an individual who stands alone but at the same time needs their team to win the game. The next time you shop, think of that item as a player and your wardrobe as the team. A player has to compliment the team and a great team is not built overnight. For every one item your purchase, you should have three items at home that will compliment it. If you are at the register and saying to yourself, what top/bottom/shoes goes with this, put it back. If you purchase something knowing that it goes with nothing in your wardrobe present day, that item of clothing will have a 90 percent chance of never being worn. Next time you shop, think about the team at home not just the newly acquired draft pick.

      We can oooh and ahh at the cool artist down the hall’s ability to wear a pink leather dress like it’s the coolest thing ever but you work in a law firm, there has and never will be a place for pink leather. Shopping is a lot like art; we can browse and educate ourselves without buying because really at the end of the day, where are we going to place the Mona Lisa in our studio apartment. Same should go for your wardrobe, you can admire the style choices of strangers or even celebrities but you have to put into perspective the life you actually live. Buying tons of punk rock influenced pieces and you’re a nurse doesn’t make sense. Just as if you buy delicate silk blouses and you work with messy toddlers all day. Your wardrobe should be practical in the sense that you are wearing and buying for the life you live on that very day. Not when you lose the last ten pounds, or not for an event that you’ll never get an invite to buy for the life you have right then and there.

      If you pull something out of your closet, once you’ve worn it and cleaned it put it the back of your closet. The rotation of clothing makes it easy to wear your entire wardrobe. So often we reach for the items right in front of us, and we wear things and put them right back in the same spot, many items to never see daylight. Think of your wardrobe as an all-star lineup, one person kicks and goes to the end of the line until everyone gets a shot. Impose that rule on your wardrobe; give every piece a running start.

    5. PURGE
      Too many purging should be done first with a wardrobe or the last. Expunging your closet can be liberating or depressing or both. If it doesn’t fit, if you haven’t worn it in over two years, if you’ve never worn it in three years and if doesn’t go with anything, get rid of it. Best place to get rid of your gently or never worn items, your local Goodwill. What is one person’s never worn wardrobe is another person’s amazing thrift store find.

Goodwill Gems: That Golden Glow

Here comes the sun – if not in the sky, at least in your smile. This week we’re focused on finds that’ll make up for any last-minute April showers, and Lauren‘s latest Goodwill discovery would bring warmth to any wardrobe. Introducing this week’s Goodwill Gem: That Golden Glow.

Warmth is on its way – and so the is dewy skin, bright eyes, shiny hair from healthy outdoor fun. But why should summer have all the fun? Bring a little glimmer in, no matter what the forecast is, with warm-toned metallic finds. It’s is a simple, classic way to brighten your look and feel that golden glow all over all year round!

Unadorned & unfussy, yet still so beautiful, this gold pendant necklace is charming because of its quirky design & metallic sheen.

This week’s gem is a brilliant metallic gold pendant that’s perfect in its sophisticated simplicity. There are no rhinestones on this necklace, no cutesy charms, jewels or sequins, and yet it immediately attracts the eye. But if you look closely, you’ll see that the piece has a design reminiscent of a big, retro Christmas light separated from its strand and surrounded instead by a pretty gold circle.

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Goodwill Gems: Tuxedo Heels

Boys may be boys, but girls can always steal their fashion. This week Lauren headed to Goodwill on the look-out for menswear-inspired pieces fit for a lady. Of course, this gal found her thriftastic, budget-loving Goodwill Gem: a pair of gorgeous black-and-white Tuxedo Heels.

Pretty yet polished, these shiny patent leather heels are the perfect addition to your spring wardrobe, whether you’re headed to the boardroom, the brunch table, the bar, or anywhere in between.

Girls can get fashion inspiration from all sorts of places – even from men. Though spring is usually a time for flirty frocks in technicolor brights and pretty pastels, adding a piece or two with a masculine edge can really bring a bit of proper style to a city girl’s warm weather wardrobe.

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Goodwill Gems: Glitter Flair

Spring is the perfect season for the fashion flirt. On a gorgeous day, New York and Northern New Jersey are filled with beautiful people showing off their style. Refusing to be an average bird in this city coop, our Lauren set out to her Goodwill on a peacock-worthy hunt for fun. This week’s eye-catching Goodwill Gem: Glitter Flair.

Cerulean blue is one of the bright “it” colors of the 2012 spring season – and with sparkles, to boot? These shoes couldn’t be cuter.

A little glitter does a girl good. It adds a much-needed lightness and element of fun to any outfit, and wearing something fun can instantly bring up your mood. Usually a little goes a long way with the shimmery stuff. But if you play it just right, you can add a serious amount of sparkle to an everyday ensemble without looking like a discount party store just exploded all over your carefully created look.

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Goodwill Gems: The Sunburst Tote

This spring is all about color. Fed up with the greys of winter, our correspondent Lauren set out to mirror the sunshine-and-flower-filled landscape around her with a technicolor trip to her local Goodwill. As usual, the Goodwill hunting paid of in this week’s handsome Gem: the Sunburst Tote.

Rising temperatures and increased sunshine call for accessories that are as bright as your mood, like this vivid yellow-green tote with a comfortable, lived-in feel.

Vivid brights, pretty pastels, bold textures and prints – however you choose to incorporate color into your wardrobe this spring, don’t forget to bring in brilliant accessories, too! Styles this spring are fun, flirty and super colorful, and that sense of playfulness doesn’t have to be limited to just tops, bottoms, or breezy sundresses.

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Goodwill Gems: The Romantic’s Locket

Loosen up… your style that is. It’s Spring, after all – celebrate with flowing layers, lighter colors and fun during this season of transformation and change. Our Lauren took her loose change over to Goodwill for a new look and, lucky girl, she found a gem. Here it is: The Romantic’s Locket.

At the end of a long silver chain with an exquisite, nature-inspired design, this locket pendant is the kind of necklace that can be worn with all of your favorite looks, season after season.

Natural, effortless style. It’s what every woman wants – to look fabulous, feminine and put together without having to work at it. And especially when the weather starts to warm, as it has lately, a simple style created with pieces that feel as good as they look seems only fitting.

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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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