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”


Goodwill, Thrift & Vintage Finds: These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

David Morgan, Yes, David is Here

A Good Look Contributor



Good news, crafty readers: we’ll be featuring a weekly column by GoodwillNyNj Style Icon David Morgan all about secondhand fashion and DIY style. This week: those classic, comfy, all-time favorites. Enjoy!


My favorite sweater!


Continue reading “Goodwill, Thrift & Vintage Finds: These Are a Few of My Favorite Things”

Everyday Thrifting

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!

DIY Slit Knee Denim



Suma KaulThe Fab Junkie

A Good Look Contributor


When you’re in love with all things denim, you always try to think of new DIYs to create. Currently trending in the world of denim is the Slit Knee. The difference between this and other shredded denim style is that there’s just a subtle rip that lies directly on the knee.

Continue reading “DIY Slit Knee Denim”

@PlanetBrandee Goes Fenton Fantastical

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A true story of love and vintage hobnail milk glass

Most obsessions start small, a little bit here, a quickie there, no big deal. But then the scales tip, the fever breaks and your new love is all you can think about:

Where is it? Is this the best one? When can I get more? WHO HAS IT!

And that, dear readers is what brings me to today’s topic of milk glass and hobnail vintage.

Working with vintage and antiques since the 90’s when the up-cycling life kicked in for me, I grew to love “shabby chic.” Not just because it’s a more approachable version of the haute,gilded looks of Hollywood Regency –I’m saving that for next week’s post- but because it’s sweet, romantic, well worn, and above all, attainable. A jaunt through most thrift stores, Goodwill included, and I can find a veritable treasure trove of glassware, one of my favorites is Fenton. So come trek through the streets of New York City and learn a little history too, as we dig out the Finest of Fenton Hobmail Milk Glass.

Getting Schooled:

So what IS “Milk Glass” exactly? Basically, milk glass, also commonly known in vintage circles as Fenton or Hobnail Glass, is a cloudy and opaque glassware which became popular during the end of the 19th century, particularly in regions of France. And according to some historians, it was often considered a product of the ‘fin de siècle’, also known as the end of the century bourgeoisie. In many regions, milk glass went hand in hand with expressionistic French culture and top tier families.

First Hob Stop: Chelsea Goodwill

Now that we know more, we can go shopping! Put down your book and let’s trek to Chelsea in NYC. This store has so much glassware sometimes it hurts! I found a few gems here, including a cake platter and a vintage fenton-esque vase, replete with nobbed lip and curved base. To get them, both would be coming home for under $20! Win-win for my windowsill and my wallet.

Second Hob Stop: Harlem Thrifting

Although this Goodwill store is HUGE and always full of the craziest things, there was no Fenton to be found. I was haphazardly distracted by a few other local hot spots that specialize in your grandma’s kitsch, no dice. We did find a fab pair of leather moccasins to take home though, so not too shabby! See what I did there? ☺

And final hob stop: Goodwill Online, Etsy, Ebay AND your local Churches!

You’d be shocked what gorgeous gems can be unearthed online at your local yard sale or church event. We found more than our fair share recently with an intricately 14K gold nobbed ashtray from the mid-70’s and a handful of heay plated silverware. All in all, more Fenton milk glass AND giving back to those in need at the Goodwill and local spots, feels good to DO good!

So if you’re a fan of simple and sweet, and enjoy Grandma’s treasures, or maybe just love old things, think about holding one to one or two pieces to add to an eclectic bookshelf or empty windowsill. Throw some colorful buds in the mix and the look is modern but romantic!

Score an amazing #Goodwillfind?!

Obsessed with vintage glass?

Trying to keep your vintage closet full of new swag?

Let me know! And follow my food, fun and travel treks on Twitter and Instagram @PlanetBrandee – till then, see you on the streets!!

To find a Goodwill Store near you, click here.

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

GUEST BLOGGER SHAUNYA: Are you in a summer style rut?

At the beginning of Summer I get all excited about my maxi dresses, the gingham, eyelet and linen, and my shorts; oh I love a good pair of shorts. Summer is shorter than a pair of daisy dukes and winter is long, brutal, and never ending in New York. So enjoying warm weather fashion can conjure nostalgia of previous warm and steamy nights. I’m not being provocative, due to humidity and conservation of energy, my apartment is usually warm and steamy.

Every year, right around Memorial Day, I open up my vaults and purge my spring and summer fashions and start to create lovable outfits and reminisce of stylish summer nights.  All goes well and I let those long days take over. Then right around mid-July, I get hit with a summer style rut.

It hits you suddenly, but you knew it was inevitable. You’ve done laundry weekly, you realized some things were either too casual or to dressy. Then the humidity hits and no matter what you wear, by end of day you come off as a sweaty drenched walking towel.  You walk down the street and see all the cute outfits, and start to feel like your striped maxi from three seasons ago just isn’t cutting it.  It’s not that you are flawed or that your clothes suck, it’s more that you are seeing more than you want.

When you pound the pavement in this concrete jungle, you see so many stylish people. Naturally, you get street style envy. Suddenly, that floral print shirt you hugged in May looks like a rather sad bouquet that hasn’t been watered. Your dark denim doesn’t compare to the cool ripped jeans that girl wears on the L train.

So what’s a person in a style rut to do? Do you run and get every trend you see? That will leave you bankrupt and style corrupt, YES, style corrupt. Just because you like a trend so much, it doesn’t mean it is for you. I appreciate the independent style some people sport. Do we have to jump on every stylish trend we see? No.

There is a solution for those stuck in a style rut: Thrift for your trend. It will make your pockets happy and your insatiable style you quest.

My now favorite Goodwill located on the Upper East Side takes care of all of my style spazz outs. I will pop in on a quest for leather culottes because my favorite magazine told me to get them. Gingham print dresses that channel my inner picnic table, I may run across but deep down, I know I’ll locate something, fun and frugal and will help my style drought and keep my wallet not on empty.

Styleruts hit us in January and July, that’s when the stores start putting new merchandise on the floor, retailers know what they are doing. Don’t fall fully prey to the surge of Christmas in July fashion traps, stay calm, go thrift or reinvent your already overflowing wardrobe. Styleruts are normal for stylish people.

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

@PlanetBrandee – NEW Millennials and Thrifting Part 5

part 5 image GW NY NJ @PlanetBrandeeSpecial Report Series –Joe Dinoto

Welcome to part 5 of the 6 part @PlanetBrandee series on the millennial mindset and thrifting! With my new series, we’ll be looking at the changing face of an entire generation, from fashion, thrifting, to eco-living and no trace left behind cultural mindset. Join me now through next week as I wrap up the final interviews with members of this growing group and chat with Goodwill loving millennials who have embraced the up-cycling lifestyle. From performers, fashion designers and women in tech who love vintage, we’ll be diving into what attracts so many people to the NEW millennial mindset and shopping secondhand.

My next to last interview is with Joe Dinoto, a Baltimore based dancer, academic instructor and very talented juggler.

PlanetBrandee: Joe, thank you for taking some time today to chat with me about the millennial mindset, and the importance of it to you. So let’s get started with the simple question: What does it mean to be part of this generation to you?

Joe Dinoto: Thanks Brandee for having me, and to answer you, Webster defines “millennial” as “A person born in the 1980s or 1990s —usually plural” and Google defines “Millennial” as “A person reaching young adulthood around the year 2000.” The way I see it, if you have owned and frequently have used a cell phone to text messages since being 12-15 onwards, you are a millennial. I don’t consider myself a millennial for this reason.

PB: Agreed, and it’s very interesting you say that because for many, millennial is rapidly becoming a marketable mindset and not a definitive age mark. Moving on, what about upcycling and thrifting appeals to you?

JD: It’s bringing back the “reuse” portion of “reduce, reuse and recycle” which seems to have been cut back to “recycle” these days. I can find good, useful, interesting stuff for extremely low prices, or free. What is not to like about that?

PB: So true! When I go to Goodwill, I am constantly finding secondhand items that are nearly unused. It boggles my mind that if it were not for an educated consumer donating it, it’d be in a landfill, which is so interesting to trackback. Speaking of interesting, what are you passionate about and what has meaning for you as a millennial?

JD: Juggling, hiking, and recently – lindy hop dancing and dancing in general. Keeping physically fit. Making sure more people are scientifically literate.

PB: Dancing is a great way to stay fit and also network with new friends, so it’s exciting to hear that’s a new love for you! And you get to wear some pretty fabulous gear too! On that note, what was the most amazing thing you’ve ever thrifted or DIYed?

JD: Hmm, I like to make DIY juggling balls out of play pit balls, sand, and some hot glue. Super cheap and easy. Great work for workshops, I can just give them away and hope that at least one in a hundred kids ends up picking up juggling as a hobby.

PB: Giving back never gets old. That’s why I love Goodwill lol! So, in closing, if there was one thing about your generation you wish people could know, what would it be?

JD: I don’t know honestly. I don’t really identify with any given generation. I don’t say that in any hipster sense. I identify with jugglers – people who are always looking to learn something new and interesting, people who are open minded and caring about the world around them and are generally nice to people around them. But jugglers come in all shapes and sizes and ages.

PB: Diversity is key, that much is true. Thank you so much for sharing your outlook and experiences!

JD: Thank you, and have fun traveling with your blog, it was great to see you!

Join me next week as I wrap up this 6 part series on the millennial mindset! I’ll be interviewing one last fantastic character down in the heart of New Orleans! Love the buzzword of #millennial? Have feedback? 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, see you on the streets!!

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, 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!

@PlanetBrandee LIVE from Florida Part 2


The fun continues in Florida – more delicious eats, shopping and beach!

I’m writing part 2 of my Florida adventure live from the rocking and rolling deck of a beautiful wooden sailboat off the coast of Miami. The wind is whipping my hair and a cool drink is in hand. With only one week in on this month long voyage, I couldn’t be happier!

Last week we visited the sun-drenched beaches of Daytona and the family fun city of Orlando, ate incredible meals out on the water, and met some really great people. This week, we’ll be trekking to the neon light riddled Miami Beach area in search of some new food, fun and thrifting excitement.

Founded on July 28, 1896, Miami was officially incorporated as a city with a population of just over 300 by Henry Flagler, a renowned railroad tycoon with a vested interest in its location. Now, modern day Miami boasts a population of over 400,000 people, and is the largest metropolitan area in the Southeastern United States. From the re-appearance of iconic Cuban cigars, to festive Caribbean music and fresh art adorning the streets and hotels, it’s easy to see this culturally diverse city has lots to offer.

First stop, fuel up: Loading up on delicious caffeine delirium at Panther Coffee

Panther is a Miami-based coffee roaster, specializing in the small-batch roasting of coffee beans, i.e.: a cup strong enough to get this New Yorker’s adventure started. It’s also well known for its colorful yellow and diamond exterior, which boasts some pretty hip artwork. After chatting about the days plans to scope out the other Southern Goodwills and vintage stores, we packed up and headed out. Of course tipping generously because that mural and the staff were both well worth the trek.

Second stop, load up: The designer storefronts of Miami Beach

With Hispanics making up over 60% of Miami’s population, you can see that strong cultural influence everywhere in fashion. From floral Spanish style day dresses, to caftans and hot pant capris, Miami’s fashion scene runs the gamut. Last week, we chose some vintage inspiration, this time we’re going 80’s re-run and funky. After walking the entire strip we came away with some fresh gear, including a body con sequin dress.

Third stop, score BIG: Goodwill of Miami

When you think Miami, it’s most likely Crockett and Tubbs on a speedboat. The shoulder padded 80’s or even Robin William’s turn in The Birdcage chanting Madonna, Madonna, but there’s so much more here! From historic Spanish missions to local music and the arts, it’s a beautiful mix. Not to mention, you’d be surprised at how frequently you see thrift stores here. As a consummate shopper, I am here to tell you the NYC stores need to watch out because Miami’s art direction and window styling is ON POINT! From haute inspired mannequins to colorful motifs and excellent organized housewares, we came around with WAY too many bags to count. I found a stunning Fenton milk knob cake plate; perfect for the fall event I’m planning, as well as a set of vintage books and a neon set of bangles, all for under $22. SCORE is an understatement here! It feels something like this.

Last stop: Back to the beach, naturally!

The sun is going down and it’s hard to believe another day has gone by. We’ve wandered back to the boat, Goodwill bags in hand. Although we debated on a sunset strip trek into the noise and mayhem of neon-lit Miami nightlife, we opted to stay in, float on the water and sip chilled cucumber water under the stars.

Oh, but I recline in my sequin dress. After all, it IS Miami, and a girl can Birdcage-dream, can’t she?

There’s SO much to soak in here, so get ready because over the next month I’ll be highlighting some great eats, numerous Goodwill spots all over Florida where you can find THE best thrifting to take home. We’ll also be seeing the gorgeousness of this Seminole state, from the majestic Everglades, to red hot Miami and historic Cape Canaveral, it’s all happening right here! 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 beach!