You've put your summer wardrobe way, and now it’s time to get out the good stuff. But if you’re like me, you’re ready for some new stuff. Also if you’re like me, I know money doesn’t grow on trees, so I like to stay within a (major) budget. In Charleston, fall and winter is all about layering. I’m not asking you to buy your perfect fitting jeans and classic white tee-shirt at Goodwill, but rather novelty pieces that can be used to mix, match, and layer. Here are some tips for your trip to the thrift store!
-The price (clearly)
-The originality of each piece
-The abundance of selection
-It forces you to think outside the box
-The ability to manipulate the pieces to suit you
-The creative process/ability to start trends- or at least your own trend :)
Tips For Shopping At Goodwill
-Before you go, gather a few things to donate to Goodwill, as they will hand you a 10% off your next purchase coupon. So right there is an additional 10% off before you even get started!
-Have a (semi) clear idea about what you’re looking for before walking in.
-Keep an open mind** (MOSTLY IMPORTANT)
-If you have the time, spend it by seriously searching through each aisle carefully. Try not to look past a shirt or sweater because you think “that's ugly” or “that wouldn’t look good on me.” Remember this is about layering and putting outfits TOGETHER. So grab lots of pieces that could suffice for that.
-If you’re in a hurry, follow the “Section-by-Section” tips below for what to look for quickly.
Scan the isles looking primarily at fabrics and prints. Again, you’re not here to looks for cotton tees (though you could find some I’m sure!). Rather, look for:
-shirts with fun/unique collars (for wearing under sweaters)
-animal prints (not too cheesy)
Once you’ve found your cool top (or just wear your fave plain tee), it's time to scan the jacket section. This is one my my very favorite things to find at Goodwill and I basically don’t buy jackets anywhere else. You can find some excellent quality jackets, or at least something unique! Try on all sorts of shapes, sizes, styles for various looks throughout the fall/winter season.
-DON'T skip the two-piece suit sections. Typically if you find a jacket (or likewise a skirt/pant matched with a two-piece suit, they will let you take one piece without the other if you don’t want both).
-any cool funky jackets with patterns
Unless you really want to, I would skip out on trying jeans at Goodwill. It’s typically a a waste of time (though sometimes you can get lucky!). Remembering that goodwill is good for novelty pieces, look for:
-Cool high wasted pants in a different fabric. Definitely try these on. The key is that they fit perfectly around your waste, and are a good length (whether you want a long pant, ankle pant, capri, etc.) This is a prime time for setting a trend or setting yourself apart from others. No one is going to have that same pant. It is easy to pair them with some stilettos and a plain tee and end up with a unique, cool look.
Again don’t forget to check out the two-piece section and even if you don’t like the blazer that the skirt is matched with, you may find that the skirt is great. Try searching for:
-High Wasted Skirts
-Midi-skirts (So cute with boots!)
-Skirts in any unique material (as long as the fit works!)
Along with jeans, dresses are one thing that I’m not a huge fan of getting at Goodwill. Goodwill is best for buying separate pieces that you can mix and match in order to make your own unique outfit. However, if you look hard, you can at times find a perfect dress! This is more of a personal preference. You can find long dresses, short dressers, patterned dresses, etc., that you can throw a blazer or cute jacket over. But my favorite ideas with dresses are:
-Belting a long dress
-Look for dresses with amazing top halves (possibly long sleeved). You can always cut the bottom off and turn the dress into a great top.
Hope you take these tips with you on your next Goodwill venture!