This blog contains some simple tips and advice from two regular guys. We're not accountants, financial advisors, or brokers, so follow, ignore, or discuss our ideas as you see fit.

Friday, October 12, 2007

The Goodwill Fashion Challenge

Posted By Paul's Wife

Think that you can’t find the building blocks to a good wardrobe at your local Goodwill or thrift store? Think again. I decided to create my own fashion challenge by shopping at my local Goodwill for major items that were missing in my closet. Before starting this challenge I cleaned out my closet and got rid of items that didn’t fit well or I hadn’t worn in a long time. I then donated them to Goodwill. With a clean and organized closet, I was ready to go shopping.

Recently when my husband and I went to New York we watched “Tim Gunn’s Guide to Fashion” on TV. He listed items that every woman should build her wardrobe around. That list of ten items includes a basic black dress, a trench coat, classic dress pants, a skirt, jeans, a classic white shirt, a day dress, a cashmere sweater and a bonus trendy item. I already had a very nice basic black dress and several pairs of jeans. So, I set out to find the rest at Goodwill.

I made sure to search the racks carefully for colors and styles that I liked, but were classic enough to wear with the rest of my clothes. I was able to find some nice grey dress pants by The Limited, a classic black skirt, a jean skirt, a brown tiered skirt, a nice black blazer by Banana Republic, a classic white shirt by The Limited as well as a blue sweater and brown pumps by Aerosole. My total bill for these classic items was $64.41! I was not able to find a trench coat, day dress or cashmere sweater yet, but I will keep looking. This will be a fun way to stretch out my shopping experience to more than one trip. Thrift store shopping is the kind of shopping where you need to be very patient. One day you might find everything you are looking for and other days you may not find anything. Keep your cool and look another day if you cannot find what you want the first time.

I have been so happy with the pieces that I picked up at Goodwill. They were great additions to my wardrobe and now I am able to wear more of my sweaters and other shirts along with my basic pieces to work, meetings and other events. I was able to build my wardrobe for less than the price of one pair of pants at a regular retail store! I was very excited to do this challenge because it proves the point that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to have a nice wardrobe.

For many years I have been a thrift store shopper for clothes but through this challenge I learned to narrow my search for specific items to avoid the trap of buying too many things and end up giving them away sooner rather than later when they wear out. Sometimes I mix my thrift store purchases with items that I have bought at regular retail stores. I do sometimes shop at regular stores when I cannot find a specific item that I need and even then I try to shop sales & make sure I really like the item and it really fits well.


Anandi said...

Wow, good for you! I'm sort of skeeved out at the idea of buying secondhand clothes. I'm not sure why. I guess once you wash them thoroughly, they're probably fine.

DC Goodwill Fashionista said...

Okay, so obviously I'm biased, here, but good for you! It's a great idea to go in there with a very specific idea of what you're looking for. Sure, it's not like hitting up the racks of a department store, but it can make an otherwise overwhelming number of items seem more manageable. Hope you keep going back! -the DCGF

Anonymous said...

Fantastic article!

I think people forget about all the treasures to be found at second-hand shops--thanks for the reminder!