Four Reasons Why Thrifting Rocks


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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?

Pricing

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.

Variety

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: www.vintageshaun.com 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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How Thrifting and $20 Can Resurrect a Dying Wardrobe


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Shaunya Hartley, VintageShaun

A Good Look Contributor

 


 

 

thrifting to make the old new again

Iconic designer Diane von Furstenberg is quoted as saying “so when your eyes are swollen and you are bloated and you have your period, and you don’t know what to wear, you open your closet and you go for your friend.” And like old friends, your closet should be a retrospect of good times. But sometimes we can grow tired of our closet and we look to purge, which isn’t a bad thing but sometimes we just need to reconnect and add a little spice to our closet of old friends. One of the best ways I’ve found to add life to my wardrobe without really breaking the bank is to head to my favorite thrift store and look for pieces to resurrect my wardrobe.

When you head to that thrift store, hit the accessories section. Narrow it down to jewelry, scarves and belts. Those three can kick up any and everything, a white button down, a little black dress or your favorite coat. With jewelry go for necklaces and brooches. For scarves, go for those you can wrap around your head or neck and with belts think not only ones to  place in  your pants loops but one that can be thrown over a coat a dress or a jacket. 

Now imagine taking a sweater you’ve had for ages, put that chunky necklace on top and see how quickly it will smile back at you. Pull out that blazer that you always wear to interviews; place a brooch on it once you land your dream job. That handbag that is sturdy and faithful, tie that graphic scarf on the handle, pull that go to little black dress out and cinch your waist with a belt.  Here’s another tip, cap your budget at $20, therefore you can really narrow down what you need and think about what you have at home. A big budget is great but a cap makes you more creative and more resourceful.

Think of your thrift store as a place to go for new friends and once you find some items introduce them to your old friends back in your closet at home and wear them like a well-connected networking party. 

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

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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Spring Up Your Wardrobe

Winter to SpringFinally it is spring, like really spring, like sunlight and warm days and flowers blooming. So now it is time to fully embrace your spring wardrobe. Let go of your wools, pack away those sweaters and bring life and harvest to the season of warmer weather and longer days.

How do you spring your wardrobe to life both, literally and figuratively?

First step is to understand that there is still a chance that we will get another deep freeze. So, heavy coats can go to the storage. Now, don’t put everything away, spring still has chilly mornings, warm days and cold nights. This is when you bring your lighter outerwear to the front of your closet. Your denim jackets, trench coat, and blazers will now be your outerwear. And bring a scarf just in case; a silk one adds a touch of chic.

A hat is still cute, but no more wool beanie. Wear a dapper lighter-weight fedora, a leather cap, or even a floppy hat, especially for a morning walk. Toss the gloves off, let your fingers breath. The chances of frostbite are low now, especially in New York. What else can we store away to bring life into our Spring attire? Oh yes, snow boots- hide them, but keep your funky ankle booties until right before Memorial Day.

Lighten up not only with the layers, but with color. Either go for Marsala, an Earthy reddish brown which is flattering on everyone, or try bold jewel tones that radiate an aura of enthusiasm. Yellow is one of the most approachable colors in the world. Pink represents femininity but a man can be just as dapper in blush.

This past winter was rough on us mentally, physically and fashionably. Let’s really embrace and capture spring by having the wardrobe to match the outdoors.

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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Taking Care of Your Goodwill Purchases

480716257You can discover great items at your local Goodwill but like all items, they need to be cleaned and cared for. Loose buttons, musty items, silk tops just need a little tender loving care and they will become treasured jewels in your wardrobe. Here are a few tips for taking care of your fabulous yet fragile finds.

The Odor Eater Cocktail

Getting weird odors out of clothing can be very puzzling. First step, air it out, a lot of clothing has been stored away with no circulation. If you hang it outdoors for a few days, that decreases the scent. Next step, create an odor eating cocktail by mixing one part vodka to two parts water in a spray bottle and spray the inner part of the item. Let the item sit for a day and follow it up with a nice steaming either with a handheld steamer that has a spoon of baking soda or handing in the bathroom and steaming for ten minutes. Odors will be gone.

Silks Need a Soft Touch

Clothing made from silks or cashmere are defined as delicate and they need to be handled as such. When you wash a silk or cashmere item in the washing machine, we create havoc on the natural oils found in delicate. Baby shampoo is the best cleanser the next time you hand wash your intimates. Just a capful in lukewarm water and gently wash your items followed by lying the item flat on a piece of cardboard, do not hang dry it.

No Wire Hangers

When you use wire hangers on your clothes it is like abusing a good friend. The only use for wire hangers is when you pick up from the dry cleaners. There would only be wooden hangers for your coats and velvet hangers for other clothing and not sweaters, sweaters should be folded and never ever hung, they lose their shape. Again, no wire hangers!

Bugs be Gone

Wools attract moths, and I hate the smell of mothballs and I don’t have cedar in my home so I use a trick that my Mother taught me. Lavender oil is a natural repellant of moths and lots of other pests. Use an old wash clothes and rub lavender on it and wipe down your closets and stuff it in the corner, it will keep most bugs away for quite some time.

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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Fashion Resolutions

New Years Resolutions
The New Year is here and resolutions will be ablaze. Losing weight, being more fiscally responsible are the large ones but are we thinking about building a better wardrobe? Think about it, are you really happy with what you wear? When you open your closet do you feel as though you are greeting old friends or random associates?  Why not get out of that rut of drab dressing by shopping aimlessly and instead for the New Year build a better wardrobe with these four tips.

Take Inventory

You know the whole keep, toss and donate; well it is time to apply this to your wardrobe. Take everything out of your closet and keep all the pieces that can go with at least three items in your wardrobe and make you look amazing with little to no effort. That means your classics, your staple pieces. Toss, anything that you would never want to be caught wearing if you bumped into your enemy. Also, throw out things you have not worn in three years or more, items that don’t fit etc. Donate any items that are gently worn but may not serve a purpose in your wardrobe anymore. Refrain from donating items that are stained or dirty, no one wants to wear filthy clothes.

Survey Your Lifestyle

Many times, we purchase items for a lifestyle we don’t have. Honestly, how many raves do you go to if you are a stay at home mom? How many white tie affairs did you attend in the past year? So why are you buying 5-6 gowns? We all have special occasions, interviews, social events, work uniforms etc., so take a true survey of your lifestyle and think about where those clothes will truly fit into the events of your life.

Shop With a List

When you go to the grocery store you shop with a list right? Same should apply for your wardrobe. After you have cleaned out your closet, make a list of things your wardrobe is lacking. Do you not have a variety of basics; do you not have a little black dress, how about a special occasion outfit? Next time you’re in the store bring your wardrobe list and shop only from that.

Shop Smart Sales

Sales whether online or in store can be very seductive, very seductive. Low prices can lure you into buying things you don’t really need.  Instead, use every ounce of self-control when shopping these post-holiday sales and go for staples like blazers, dark pants and items that have purpose in your 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.

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:
Last Chance for a 2014 Tax-Deductible Gift!

Follow us on our Website Facebook Twitter Instagram

 

Fulfilling Your Wardrobe With Fashion Week

BlousesNo matter what your budget or your level of style comprehension, Fashion Week will influence you. And if you are open to it, you will be able to use it to revitalize your wardrobe.

Your favorite fast fashion store designers sketch as they see pieces come down the runway. Before the end of the week, clothes are in stores available and priced for mass market. So yes, Fashion Week influences you. The windows of your local Goodwill are merchandised to draw in customers. The themes are relative to what’s seen on celebrities, runways and in magazines and what use to take over a year to trickle down from runway to mall now takes less than a day.

Now that you have a grasp on it, how will you use Fashion Week to fuel your wardrobe next spring or even now? We know you won’t look up said designer, go into the store and ruin your credit. Instead, you will consider your budget and use creative license and resourcefulness to get that dream wardrobe. First you are going to view the sites and take notes of your favorite looks. Next step, think why you like these looks – Do they move you? Will they create a life you think you may live? Or would you wear it? Follow that with, clipping those images, pinning them on a board and keep an account of those favorite looks. Next, take a look at your wardrobe, will they fit in with your lifestyle. You loved that disco ball dress but will you wear it this lifetime?

Disco ball or a well-tailored dress, what are you missing to look runway ready? Use Fashion Week as your first account guide to fulfill your stylish 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.

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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Red, White, and Black

Whether you love the French or hate them, you have to admit they’ve got style. There’s something so utterly effortless – and yet so absolutely beautiful – about the relaxed, thrown-together glamour of French style. The messy buns, chic striped tops, and minimal makeup somehow look entirely fantastic. But don’t fret! No matter what your usual fashion personality, it’s a cinch to work some fabulously French, totally timeless pieces into your own wardrobe.

This week’s fantastic find, spotted at my favorite local thrift shop, is so divine simply because it is so completely timeless. Espadrilles are really the summer shoe across the water, and for good reason – they look darling on just about everyone, they’re unbelievably comfy, and the basic fabric upper and woven rope bottom has the kind of rustic charm that it’s hard to imagine any European town (or woman) without. Plus, if you’re lucky enough to snag a pair like this one on the cheap – and in a stellar bright red hue, no less – these classic, always-chic shoes really will complement absolutely any look in your summer wardrobe.

bright red espadrilles

Mais oui! Even you can easily pull off some chic, French-inspired footwear, like these classic espadrille wedges in a vibrant, life-affirming rouge.

Don’t let them know you work at it. From all accounts, French women take just as much pride in their appearance and feminine charms as American women do – they just like to look totally nonchalant and carefree while doing it. So what is the key to this totally laid-back, graceful, stress-free style? Good basics that will never steer you wrong. The focus is on playing up your natural assets – let your own radiant, natural, glowing self shine through, instead of covering it up with a lot of over-the-top or excessive clothing, accessories, or makeup. You can easily pull together an always-in-style French look by pairing these pretty shoes with a pair of cropped, ankle-length black pants (à la Audrey Hepburn) and a striped top with a 3-quarter-length sleeve, like those that have become so synonymous with classic French style. Here, I’ve played on that classic combination by using the same basic but always-flattering palate (black-and-white), but changing the pattern and pieces up a little to make it just a little more my own. The hounds-tooth pattern of the skirt is just as timeless as a stripe, but the larger size of the print makes this skirt feel just a bit more modern. A simple black tank with one tiny extra detail – a flirty, feminine ruffle at the neckline – keeps this look polished and ladylike, but still evokes that entirely European take on classy, elegant style for any era.

chic black and white summer outfit

Don’t think pulling off pretty, chic, continental looks isn’t for you! Even on a budget, with a few new, thrifty pieces – like these fabulous red espadrille wedges – you can instantly add a bit of ooh la la! to any basic pieces you already have in your wardrobe.

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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Feeling Fancy-(Almost)Free

Good style doesn’t have to be expensive. After years of shopping at Goodwill thrift shops, looking for the perfect accessories (and even the occasional outfit), I’ve certainly learned that. And feeling like you got a gorgeous new piece to add your style collection for essentially nothing? Well, there’s almost nothing that feels better than finding a hidden gem like that.

This week’s find is exactly that – a beautiful bangle that’s beyond easy on your budget, but looks like million bucks. The pretty, shimmering gold metal is imprinted with a subtle design, and the small purple gems studded around the band add a tiny pop of downright royal color that will instantly amp up any look, whether it’s summer, fall, or winter. A perfectly polished and classy accessory like this one is appropriate for any season.

gold bracelet with purple gems

No matter the time of year or the outfit you’re trying to punch up, this pretty, ladylike bangle will always be a stylish and chic addition to your look.

Subtle and understated elegance. Sure, sometimes it’s fun to throw on something that’s loud, proud, and absolutely over-the-top. But for everyday wear, sometimes going with something a little simpler is the right way to add a little glam. This bracelet is that kind of a piece. Wear it with basically anything in your wardrobe – from a fancy, flowing, gem-toned cocktail dress to your favorite fitted t-shirt and jeans – and it instantly adds an elegant, ladylike touch that will make even the most basic look feel finished and put together. Here, I’ve thrown it on with a go-to look of mine for work or a nicer weekend outing. The dark, slim-cut trousers are a classic piece that easily anchors the rest of the ensemble without taking attention away from the more detailed, printed silk top – which also has a touch of black in the trim, but adds pretty pink and purple tones for a shot of sophisticated color. The pinks, purples, and blues in the blouse are the perfect palate to complement my new bracelet, which would lend an air of elegance and grace to a classic outfit combination like this one.

add playfulness to a work outfit

Simultaneously add a notes of upscale style and funky playfulness to any workday look with absolutely no effort by finishing off your favorite looks with a charming, understated piece of jewelry like this pretty purple-and-gold bangle.

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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Seriously Ladylike Steppers

Professional summer footwear can be pose a bit of a dilemma. What you really want to be wearing is a simple pair of sandals that let your feet feel cool and free, but of course, many of us have jobs where such laid-back gear just isn’t allowed.

To solution to your summer shoe conundrums is a pretty pair of peep-toe heels like these, spotted recently at my local Goodwill thrift shop. The open toe and small slit details in the sides not only look lovely, but also allow your poor feet to breathe! The thicker stacked heel is far more comfortable than a pointy stiletto – and it’s also much more appropriate for impromptu sunset happy hours, or any of the other events that take place on those long, lingering summer evenings. And aside from being practical, these adorable heels look professional and pretty cute, thanks to the smooth tan leather upper and loosely crimped and folded suede bow, which adds a decidedly feminine air to these sensible, everyday steppers.

summer heelsThese super practical (and super stylish!) summer heels look sweet, but they’re both comfortable and polished enough to be fit for any office.

Use these pretty heels to instantly brighten up all-season ensembles. Of course, a cute pair of peep-toed heels like these can easily be worn with almost any item in your summer work wardrobe. Tailored Bermuda shorts and full, flowing blouse? Check. Full, pleated floral skirts and well-worn t-shirts? Check. Beloved sundresses a rainbow of hues? Check! Since they really complement any look you could come up with, I really shouldn’t have to convince you to go out and find a pair just like them for yourself! But what makes these lovely, ladylike shoes even more versatile is that you can also use them to make your favorite, year-round pieces – like classic cocktail dresses – feel totally appropriate for an office environment. Fitted or flowing, black or colorful (or even spangled with a little sparkle), cocktail dresses can sometimes feel a little too over-the-top and fancy for everyday wear. But if you have a couple of favorites you wish you could pull out of your closet a little more often, pair them with a shoe like this one instead of a sky-high stiletto heel, and they’ll instantly feel fun and flirty (but not too fancy) for an average day at work.

cocktail dressLook like a knockout, no matter where you’re headed, by pairing everything from sundresses to fancy, semi-formal cocktail dresses with a more relaxed (but still flirty and feminine) pair of peep-toed heels 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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Haute Summer Headgear

Sunshine! Beach weather! Beautiful blue skies! Though the holiday weekend started off a little rocky (or rather, rainy) in the Tri-State area, Memorial Day was a gorgeous holiday full of the beautiful weather we’ve all been waiting to enjoy for months.

But to keep yourself protected – as well as looking totally chic – all summer long, having a few ladylike hats on hand is crucial for any smart and style-conscious girl. This week’s Goodwill gem both shades your face from the sometimes-harsh summer sun, and ensures you look absolutely fantastic while enjoying the beautiful outdoors. The classic straw styling will look great with your entire summer wardrobe – from cute cropped pants and colorful blouses to airy patterned sundresses – and even your favorite swimsuit. It’s an all-purpose, wear-everywhere accessory that will get you through the season, and years of summers to come.

wide-brimmed straw hat You can’t ever go wrong with a classic, wide-brimmed straw hat like this stunner, found recently at one of my favorite Goodwill thrift shops.

Style any outfit for summer in an instant. No matter what you feel like wearing, any ensemble looks immediately summer-ready when topped off with a big, glamorous wide-brimmed hat like this one. For a more feminine look that is still totally relaxed and appropriate for the summer season, try pairing this pretty headpiece with a flowing, silky maxi dress in a stunning floral print or bright neon shade. For a super casual weekend look that works for shopping around town or heading out to the beach, try putting it on with something like what I’ve chosen here – cute, tailored shorts in a brilliant sky blue hue and a loose, comfy t-shirt.

pair of shorts and well-worn teeLovely, large, ladylike hats like this one never go out of style, and the classic shape adds an instant touch of class and femininity to any look – even one as simple as a pair of shorts and your favorite, well-worn tee.

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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