Slowly Stepping Into Spring

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

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

two-tone suede flats

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

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

outfit

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

Lauren Haslett writes “Goodwill Gems,” our weekly column about everything accessories here in A Good Look. She is a lover of fabulous fashion, a trained chef and a writer.  Follow her on twitter.

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Heavenly Headpieces

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

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

stripe fedora like hat

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

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

black and Kelly green summer outfit

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

Lauren Haslett writes “Goodwill Gems,” our weekly column about everything accessories here in A Good Look. She is a lover of fabulous fashion, a trained chef and a writer.  Follow her on twitter.

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

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Floral Flair

Bring spring in! There may still be a serious chill in the air most days, but the spring season is slowing creeping in, and as we ease into May, the weather is sure to (finally!) get truly warm. As I wait in great (seriously, GREAT) anticipation for that day to arrive, I’m still mixing in my favorite spring things with some warmer staples to get me through the cool, breezy spring days and nights.

That’s why this week’s gorgeous gem – a pretty floral scarf, spotted at my local Goodwill shop – is so totally perfect for right now. The soft cotton fabric is certainly cozy, but the lovely floral print, a mix of teals, peaches, yellows, and other fresh spring hues, looks adorable and appropriate for the season. It’s also a combination of colors that will look absolutely divine with almost any other colors in your wardrobe, especially because they’re layered on top of soft, muted taupe background.

cotton floral print scarf

 A lovely, ladylike scarf is an easy way to add a bit of sparkle to an everyday look.

Dress up your casual work wear. For a simple, but completely chic weekend look, pair a few comfy, neutral basics with a pretty, eye-catching accessory, like this sassy scarf. You could go as basic as jeans and a tee, with a pair of pretty ballet flats or espadrilles for a totally relaxed, but still put together, look. Here, I’ve chosen pieces that just a tad less laid-back, and that could work well for work or play. A soft chino pant in navy blue is neutral, but a step away from the black and gray that I (and I think, most of you) have been sporting all winter. A fluttery, lacy top is loose and comfortable, but still very feminine, and balances out the darker bottoms. A classic beige cardi (or a blazer, if you prefer a more structured ensemble for the office), effortlessly finishes this elegantly casual look, and the newly found scarf will bring it all together.

lacy top work attire

Don’t discount a simple, classic watch when accessorizing, especially when choosing items to add some oomph to a professional look.

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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Time to Turn on the Charm

We often neglect watches in favor of prettier, more feminine jewelry. But the perfect timepiece can truly add a bit of professional polish, as well as ladylike appeal, to all of your favorite ensembles. This week’s glamorous Goodwill find, for example, is the ideal mix between pretty, feminine style and put-together, career-worthy accessorizing. The classic styling will always look good and on point – even for years to come – and the rose gold hue of the linking metal band and face are decidedly girly (and totally in for this season, I might add). The circle of gorgeous, sparkling rhinestones around the watch’s face just add to its ladylike and sophisticated feel, ensuring it will add a fashionable, as well as functional, touch to any of your favorite outfits.

rose gold and silver feminine watch

A pretty watch with feminine details and otherwise classic styling is the ideal timepiece for any professional lady on the go.

Dress up your casual work wear. For many of us, the promise of warmer weather also means the promise of breezier, more casual looks at the office. But starting to transition your wardrobe to spring and summer pieces doesn’t mean losing that professional edge entirely. To keep your workday outfits looking polished – whether you’re dressed up for an important meeting or dressed down for an average day at your desk – add a chic, classic piece, like the watch I happened across at my local Goodwill store this week, to just about any office-appropriate outfit. Though, with its rhinestones and pretty metallic hue, this timepiece could easily be worn with a lovely dress or other fancier ensemble, or could just as easily complement a totally casual look of jeans and a white tee, it’s ideal for dressing up your go-to business casual get-up. Here, I’ve decided to pair it with an always-flattering pair of slim black pants, a flowing, patterned blouse, and a simple black cardigan, to keep that early spring chill away.

professional attire

Don’t discount a simple, classic watch when accessorizing, especially when choosing items to add some oomph to a professional look.

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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A Crash Course in Always Looking Cool and Collected

A cool headpiece can easily make an outfit. Spring, summer, winter, or fall, there’s stylish hat for every season, and for every lady. This week’s fabulous Goodwill find is sweet burgundy felt fedora that will instantly add a bit of spice and sassiness to any look, whatever the time of year. The rich, oxblood color of this hat is a bit unexpected, but though it makes this something of a statement headpiece, the hue still works beautifully with almost any other color in a girl’s wardrobe – weather you’re a lady who always dresses in black and white, or one who favors more vibrant colors like blues, yellows, or greens, this head topper will be a delightful complement to all of your favorite pieces.

Burgundy fedora

A hat – when it comes in a deep, rich color like this one and features simple, classic details like a knotted leather tie – is easy to step out in, and will add a much-needed bit of character and spunkiness to just about any ensemble.

Punch up your outfits this spring. It seems that the weather is finally, truly, really cooperating, and it might now be time to swap out those seasonal clothes and start mixing in those long-neglected spring and summer pieces. But since things are still a bit up and down – we’ve really only just come out of a pretty nasty winter, after all – a hat like this one can be an excellent accessory to help you cozy, in the days when that early spring chill can still catch you surprise. Mix pieces like this in with lighter, breezier spring clothing choices to give your outfits this season an eclectic and truly original feel. Here, I’ve chosen a flowing, ankle-length skirt in a neutral (but not black!) navy, which will always look polished, professional, and ladylike, whatever you choose to pair with it. On top, I’ve layered a simple tank and lacey cropped top, both in a go-with-everything beige tone , that adds a slightly more sophisticated air to the whole outfit. With a pair of classic boots and my fantastic new hat, for a pop of color and serious flair, this truly distinctive and stylish ensemble comes together in not time flat.

feminine soft outfit

Mix unexpected accessories, like this soft, burgundy felt fedora, with daintier, more feminine wardrobe options to give your outfits this season a free-spirited – but somehow still pulled-together – feel.

Lauren Haslett writes “Goodwill Gems,” our weekly column about everything accessories here in A Good Look. She is a lover of fabulous fashion, a trained chef and a writer.  Follow her on twitter.

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

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Borrowed from the Boys

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

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

taupe edgy booties

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

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

men's fashion for women

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

Lauren Haslett writes “Goodwill Gems,” our weekly column about everything accessories here in A Good Look. She is a lover of fabulous fashion, a trained chef and a writer.  Follow her on twitter.

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

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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: www.vintageshaun.com 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: 

    1. STOP THE IMPULSE BUYS
      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.


    2. MAKE SURE EVERY PURCHASE HAS A TEAM
      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.

    3. DRESS FOR THE LIFE YOU HAVE ON THAT DAY
      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.

    4. ROTATE, ROTATE, ROTATE
      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.

Optimal Play: The Plaid Button-Down

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – but you know what would make winter even more wonderful? Finding ways to make warm-weather favorites work just as well in the chill. In this week’s Optimal Play, our Emme Bonilla does just that, transforming a basic plaid shirt into a winter wonderland of wardrobe options.

A graphic pop to an all-black ensemble is my go-to winter outfit. Especially when the forecast is rain or snow...

Inspired by my recent columns, I decided to write an Optimal Play post around this black-and-white plaid button-down shirt I bought last summer for a steal. In those months, it served as a great cover-up for the beach or an extra layer for catching an outdoor movie at the park. But just because it’s wintertime, it doesn’t mean it will stay in storage (what storage space where??). I’ve put together a few outfits to show off it’s winter-ful versatility!

Continue reading “Optimal Play: The Plaid Button-Down”