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 Thrifting Tips from a GoodwillNyNj Style Icon


Maria, Little Tree Vintage

A Good Look Contributor



Remember GoodwillNyNj Style Icon Maria from Little Tree Vintage? Well, lucky us: she’s back at A Good Look by GoodwillNyNj with thrifting tips to help make your secondhand closet as bedazzled with new-to-you flare as her own. Take a look!:

Hi everyone, I am Maria from Little Tree Vintage and I am so happy to be sharing some of my thrifting tips with you guys today. If you have any other tips, feel free to leave a comment so I can read what you guys think!

1. Be Patient

You’re going to walk in and chances are there will be a MILLION things to look through. You have to have the patience to look through the racks, and truly take your time, or else you might miss something. If you have the time, space out a few hours and you can really get some quality thrifting in.

Continue reading “5 Thrifting Tips from a GoodwillNyNj Style Icon”

20 Signs You’re a Thrift Shopper

You might be a thrifter if…


JasmineSkyy Forcer

Goodwill NYNJ Staff


Let’s face it! Thrifting is more than a habit, it’s a lifestyle. One that’s forged with fire and earned through grit. We live for the killer find. Not sure if you’re one of us? Read on below:

  1. You know all the different color tag days at your local Goodwillgiphy (3)
  2. You’ve signed up for rewards program
  3. You have a swap party with your friends every other month
  4. You can tell the value of a dress by looking at the hemgiphy (5)
  5. You manage to find 8 wearable pieces in under an hour
  6. You use the hashtags #retro #vintage #secondhandfirst on all your Instagram postssource
  7. You’ve mastered “Donate. Keep. Toss.”
  8. Your husband knows that when you say need “me time” that means you’re going thriftinggiphy.gif
  9. You and you local Goodwill team are on a last name basisgiphy (2).gif
  10. You have a reusable bag that says “Thriftaholic”
  11. Your friends hate you because your shopping expenses are a fraction of theirs
  12. You participate in thrift challenges on Instagram
  13. You love telling people how much you spent on your new-to-you BCBG dresssource (1).gif
  14. “Thrift til You Drop” has come a mantra in your house
  15. “Let me guess, you thrifted that?” has become the theme song of your life
  16. At least 3 pieces of furniture in your house are thrifted
  17. You can save for an international vacation with all the money you saved on shoes
  18. Your tailor knows you by name giphy (6)
  19. If you bring a gift, it’s got to be thrift
  20. People always come to you for thrifting advice

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!

Warm Things: This Week on Inside the Prop Closet

With autumnal chill coming, it’s important to get snuggle-ready. For me, any days with weather under 70 degrees is a test of survival. I really, really don’t like being cold. Shawls, scarves, and hats are my go-to companions, there to reassure my goose bumps and chattering teeth that everything will be OK.

Continue reading “Warm Things: This Week on Inside the Prop Closet”

Thrifted Tunes: This Week on Inside the Prop Closet

Thrifted Tunes


I’m a major music lover – always have been, always will. There doesn’t seem to be a genre that I haven’t fallen in love with some aspect of. Country, rock, hip hop, dance, gospel: There’s a place for it all on my playlist.

Throughout the years, I’ve found thrift stores to be go-to places for great music, and have discovered sounds I may not have heard otherwise. Most of my thrifted music is on CDs, but I have a vintage record player that needs repair. I’d love to make good use of that with thrifted 45s at some point, too.

When looking for great music at a thrift store, I’ve got two key tips:

1). Always open up CD cases to check for scratches, or pull a record out of its sleeve, before you make the buy. Sometimes, you’ll discover that a CD is missing altogether, or the wrong CD is in the case. Double-checking these things ensures that your purchase is in good shape for the listening experience you’re hoping for.

2). Judge things by their cover. When it comes to music you’re unfamiliar with, this is OK. Don’t limit yourself to the names you know. Instead, think about what sonic landscapes could be waiting for you inside an intriguing, mysterious album cover. They often set an appropriate scene for great tunes.

Most of the CDs I’ve purchased at thrift stores were less than two dollars, but good music lasts a lifetime. So tell me: What tunes have you discovered at your nearest Goodwill?


David Leon Morgan is a Bronx-based creative storyteller and crafter. He loves to crochet, sing extremely loudly in the shower and help others share their story in creative ways. Learn more about him and his work at

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


Sashay Into Summer Travel Season

It Suddenly feels like summer is almost here! Green leaves and grass are all around us and flowers are bursting into bloom—the cold weather feels (finally) officially behind us, and that means that summer, with its longer, warmer days and vacation time are just around the corner.

And to prepare for a season full of both longer treks and weekend trips to more relaxing locals outside the big city, I’ve started the hunt for the perfect carryall bag. It’s a tall order, but luckily, at my local Goodwill thrift, I recently came across a bag that’s just right for all of my summer traveling needs.

This bag is ideal because it’s large enough to hold plenty of clothes, accessories, and even some extra shoes—easily enough space for a week’s worth of supplies—but because this piece’s style makes it easy to throw right over a shoulder and bolt out the door, it would also be a great bag for a weekend getaway (plus, leave a little extra room for souvenirs and gifts to take back home). The rich, cognac-colored faux leather exterior looks chic without being too expensive, and it’s durable—it will hold up well to being tossed around on buses, trains, or planes without getting easily scuffed or damaged. The styling looks something like an old-fashioned satchel, and the interior has both a large main compartment and a few smaller pockets around the sides, making it easy to organize everything—it’s classic and practical and also totally fashionable (and you all know how much I love that combination).

Get ready for summer road trips and spontaneous weekend getaways by selecting the perfect travel bag right now—something like this gorgeous, classically styled satchel with plenty of room for all of your go-to travel gear.
Get ready for summer road trips and spontaneous weekend getaways by selecting the perfect travel bag right now—something like this gorgeous, classically styled satchel with plenty of room for all of your go-to travel gear.

An easy-going ensemble. Nobody wants to be uncomfortable when they travel, but I also don’t want to show up to a new destination looking like I’ve just rolled out of bed. So, comfy and chic travel wear is a must, but certainly not the easiest kind of outfit to throw together. That’s why I almost always go for one of two looks—in the winter, it’s cozy fleece leggings topped with a longish tunic or sweater and my favorite pair of boots. But for summer travel, I often choose a long, flowing dress, like the one pictured here. Going with a maxi length dress means this outfit is incredibly comfortable and will keep me cool, no matter where I’m traveling; shorter dresses can be difficult to deal with when you’re toting luggage, backpacks, etc (no one wants to be constantly shifting around and tugging at a dress to keep it properly in place). But a longer length means that worry is pretty much nonexistent, and while the vibrant tropical print definitely gives this dress a relaxed, laid-back feel, it’s still chic and feminine enough to look appropriate, no matter what part of the world I’m arriving into.

For an easy, comfortable, and still-sophisticated travel ensemble, choose a flowing, airy maxi dress, a favorite pair of sandals, and tote that just won’t quit, like the one spotted this week at my local Goodwill shop.
For an easy, comfortable, and still-sophisticated travel ensemble, choose a flowing, airy maxi dress, a favorite pair of sandals, and tote that just won’t quit, like the one spotted this week at my local Goodwill shop.

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

@PlanetBrandee LIVE from a NYC Rain Delay! 

Look Stylish Even on a Rainy Day

So this blog was supposed to be about fun in the sun, cheerful tribal prints on harem pants and fantastic mock tails off in the sand off Coney Island. But sadly, we have a BIG RAIN DELAY! See how I feel about that here. In the meantime, I’ve decided to swaddle up in my waders and give you some advice on staying both stylish AND dry on days like today.

Get those BOOTS going on!
Whether it’s Hunters like the ones Liv Tyler sports here, or a pair of Crocs, galoshes are key. Yes, I know, I KNOW. The old men’s rubber shoes, oh what a faux pas, we can’t! But believe me, when you’re trekking Madison Avenue in your coveted Frye boots and take a tumble down a 2 foot pothole, that tune changes pretty quick! So search through the racks at Goodwill and see what you can find. I spotted a pair of kid’s Hunter Boots in my size at the Chelsea Goodwill and they were more than 70% cheaper than buying new. Do the math, it’s solid!

Pack yourself a light coat/sweater and layer
Nobody wants to be sweaty when huffing it to work, but nobody wants to freeze on a subway car that for some insane reason STILL has AC on when it’s 50 degrees outside! (Are you listening to me MTA? Conserve energy!). So be sure to pack in your bag, a light cardigan, preferably breathable cashmere or linen. Both are great travel pieces that let you breathe while navigating a city downpour without the weight of the almost mandatory NYC trench coat. Bonus points if it has a strong pop of cheerful color!

Lastly, Hatter UP!
Whether it’s knit or knot, grab a cap on your way out the door. Rain means humidity, humidity means insane hair. Especially if you’re curly like I am. So do NOT forget, grab that cap! I found some sweet and soft old school caps at the 72nd Street Goodwill store months ago and swear by them now, even when it’s “summer”.

So get your umbrella and head outside, this time warm and cozy! Drenched in a selfie? Rained out of yoga? Wringing out a look we haven’t seen yet? Or just score an amazing #Goodwill find?! Let me know! And follow my fashion, food and travel treks on Twitter and Instagram @PlanetBrandee – till next time, get those umbrellas pointed skyward and see you on the streets!!


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

@PlanetBrandee SUMMER POP QUIZ!

“Hint: This piece of clothing will keep you cool and comfortable this summer”

I’m back in New York City, the humidity is high, and somehow weather went from Octoberesque Spring chill to full on hail Mary HOT August temps! Is there even a remote chance of normal weather in New York City anymore?

With my AC on blast, I decided it’s time we have another POP QUIZ!

What do the author Nicole Richie, Actors Mary Kate, Rihanna and Angelina Jolie ALL have in common? Hint: It’s a universally flattering and all natural solution to riding the subway and being sweaty gross sad. Give up? It’s easy and breezy sundresses!

But before we rally a cry of “I don’t look good in floral, my arms are too fat for that” or the well known excuse “I lost my razor in the snowpacalypse of 2015.” Let’s take a quick look at the icons and inspirations leading women into their own blowy, gauzy realm of summertime fashion:

pic 2 sundressIcon #1 Nicole Richie

Nicole Richie may very well be the mother of all sundresses, particularly the gauzy maxi sect. She’s sported these straight through the Paris Hilton TV show days, all the way into motherhood and looked effortlessly comfy the whole time. It helps she’s incredibly petite, but as you’ll see, it’s not just the waif look that love the sundress aesthetic!

sundress pic 3Icon #2 Jill Scott

Oh yeah, you thought this was a boring, traditional recap? Not so my fashion loving friends. Another contender who rocks tribal prints on blousy sundresses with a new twist is the incredibly talented Miss Jill Scott! Headwraps make this look pop, and there are some fabulous ones to be found at the women empowering Fanm Djanm, someone I religiously follow on Instagram for colorful, strong inspiration. Expect to be DAZZLED by the crossover fashion eye candy.

pic 1 sundressIcon #3 Jessica Simpson

Ok, so I take it back, we WILL stay a little on the tradish’ side, but frankly, this girl lives in cowboy boots and sundresses, so it’s one of those things you HAVE to nod at when it comes to the norm. Rocking floral prints, cowboy hats and boots is a given when you’re ol’ school blonde ambition type. If you can’t hack the female warrior Turk gear, play it safe with leather lace ups and wavy, beach winded hair.

I’m off to a new adventure this weekend, and hope to see you rocking your own look, in a unique style too! So the next time you’re perusing the racks at Goodwill, take a minute and head to the dress section, you may very well find your inner Coachella or Mad Max summer babe waiting for you! Think you look better than Jessica? Rocking floral and combat boots in public? Stomping out a look we haven’t seen yet? Or just score an amazing #Goodwill find?! Let me know! And follow my fashion, food and travel treks on Twitter and Instagram @PlanetBrandee – till then, see you on the streets!! 

The Fastest Way Ever to Jazz Up Easy, Breezy Summer Whites

It’s It’s officially summer! Now that we’ve passed Memorial Day, that means the season of warmth, sunshine, and relaxation is really, finally here. And I don’t know about you guys, but after a very long, dismal winter, I could not be more excited to bring out my sunblock, swimsuits, and big beach hats. Summer accessories are so cool and easy to wear, they look fabulous on just about anyone. But if you feel like really amping up your wardrobe and going a bit bolder this season, I’ve got just the thing for you.

To me, the summer season is all about cool, flowy blouses and dresses, especially when they come in a nice, bright shade of white. But all on its own, all that white can seem a bit boring after awhile—it needs just a small injection of vibrant, colorful fun to feel fresh each and every time you wear it. And luckily, with so many awesome Goodwill thrift shops around the city, it’s easy to find what you’re looking for without dropping a lot of cash. This week’s find is a fabulous pair of bright, gorgeously printed high heels that will look lovely against summer’s classic whites. The abstract pattern in a vibrant sky blue, red, tan, gray, and white isn’t so loud that it will distract from the overall look or feel too brash or loud, but it’s bold enough that it will certainly draw some eyes your way. The ruched detailing over the top of the foot adds a touch of femininity to these shoes, which aside from having a sexy, skinny heel on the back end, aren’t all that girly. And though the heel is thin, it’s not so tall as to make these heels impossible to walk in, and the rounded toe adds and element of comfort that makes these shoes suitable for everyday wear.

The perfect summer wardrobe refresh calls for lots of gorgeous, glowing whites and a few funky, vibrant accessories to liven them up and make them feel fresh and new every time you wear them.

Laid-back luxury. There’s no piece of clothing that says, “perfect for summer” more loudly and clearly than a light, white top or sundress in an airy, silky fabric. And when paired with my fantastically patterned, colorful new heels, there really isn’t a better ensemble for all those warm, sunshiny summer days ahead. Here, I’ve picked a comfy pair of slightly slouchy, cropped jeans and, to contrast with the ultra-casual bottoms, a white long-sleeved top in a super light, silky summer fabric that’s just a little more sophisticated. Intersected with one other small piece in a bold neon yellow (that belt is also a Goodwill find!), and finished off with my fabulous new shoes, this outfit has just enough color, boldness, and sass to draw some positive attention, without going overboard and while still feeling appropriate for the season.

Play up the ease and fun of the summer season in all of your looks over the next few months, by throwing pops of brilliant, eye-catching color into otherwise basic (but well put together) outfits made up of classic denim and cool summer whites.

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.

@PlanetBrandee, LIVE from Florida! (Part 3)

PArt 3 title image

Reconnecting with friends, riding motorbikes, and Thrift shopping at Daytona!

The waves are crashing, the salty air is refreshing, and the heat of the sun is beaming down on my shoulders like the embrace of an old friend. I’m nestled in a grove of palm trees overlooking the ocean and am enjoying my final days here under the blue skies of Florida. Yes, it’s hard to believe this fantastic trip is already winding down, but after such a freewheeling wanderlust adventure, it’s time to head back to New York City.

Today though, I’ll have a motorcycle ride along the shores of Daytona and another jaunt through local shops searching for some kitschy finds and souvenirs to take home to friends and family.

First stop: Nova Street Goodwill

Naturally, THE place for vintage and kitsch has been, and always will be for me, Goodwill. With the help of friendly employees, (thanks Elizabeth M!), I found a wedding platter perfect for repurposing and a silver tray set for the tea table I’ll have at an upcoming event. The housewares section here was off the wall amazing. It was a treasure trove with tons of kitsch, from velvetesque Elvis-inspired memorabilia to a shag throw that I WISH I had enough room to tow through TSA. BIG thanks to the sweet staff who made Nova Street Goodwill one of my fave shopping experiences to date!

Second Stop: The shores of Daytona

I’m taking another motorcycle ride with friends along the shoreline and enjoying the exhilarating feeling of wind whipping my hair, a bookbag full of thrifted goodies and the joy of spending time with great people. High-fives, spirited conversations about life, and long bear hugs wrap-up what could be the sweetest trip I’ve taken in a long time. Although travel is an adventure, and new places are fun, staying connected with friends, old and new, is really what makes my treks so incredible. For me, it’s not just about the things we acquire or the new things we instagram, it’s about re-connecting and finding value in small, truthful and simple things in life.

Final destination: Flying back to NYC

As I board my plane, that all too familiar sense of nostalgia for a place I’ve come back to after so many years sets in. Having lived in Florida many moons ago, it was a bitter sweet hello and goodbye and it makes me reflect. I don’t know if there’s a name for this emotion, but it’s like saying goodbye to someone you know you’ll see again, even if it takes a long while. I do know that I have a massive takeaway though. From diving into blue ocean waters to dining on delicious seafood and shopping like a madman, this has been SUCH an excellent adventure!

After we taxi, my plane begins ascending. Below me, I see strips of sand and I know, maybe sooner than later, I’ll be back to the Seminole state for another dance under its sun.

There’s much waiting for me back in Manhattan, a new video series, a website launch and even an colorful and utterly mind blowing rooftop engagement party, (shhhh-that’s STILL for another blog!), so get ready because in June it’s all systems go and you don’t want to miss it! Stay tuned for my next blog where we discover some seriously fun adventures! Follow my treks on Twitter and Instagram @PlanetBrandee – till then, see you on the streets!