Author Archives: yourg724

Avant Garde ReDesign by Joanne Schultz

 

When you head to Renaissance Faires, there are always a cast of hundreds of colorfully costumed characters. I enjoy making costumes for my daughter and the challenge of redesigning clothes from Goodwill into clothing appropriate for any medieval festival!

The garment I created was my interpretation of leather/lace Avant Garde.

I used the lace from the gown, dyed it jet black.ReDesign6Added pieces of leather to build a corset.ReDesign5ReDesign7 I also used the leather to create bows, straps and the lace-up boot covers. ReDesign4The gown I hemmed to be a high/low and added the other dress underneath to add more volume. ReDesign8ReDesign3All the items where purchased at my local Goodwill store. I’ve been creating re-design items for many years. I like making things into a different look, by bringing life back into a new design.

 

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About the Blogger – Joanne Schultz has been sewing and designing for over 35 years. Working on new, used or old garments and re-designing them to fulfill the request of her clients. She has worked on skate wear, wedding and prom gowns, costumes, curtains and girl dresses. Joanne loves My favorite thing to hunt through Goodwill, thrift stores or flea markets to find treasures like jewelry, fabric, old dress and even bedding to re-purpose in her designs.

 

100th Post

 

It’s hard to believe, but this is my 100th post for the Goodwill Keystone Area fashion blog! There have been numerous shopping trips to a variety of Goodwill stores (and there are so many I haven’t visited yet), lots of clothing and accessories, inspirations and ideas and so many photos (modeling is much harder than it looks!)!

I’ve made new friends who were blog fans and have become blog models. I’ve convinced my family and friends to help me shop and sometimes, model for me. I have more ideas for fashion just waiting to happen. And it wouldn’t be possible without the good people of Goodwill. From the management to the stores, I have enjoyed being involved with such a wonderful organization and am proud to have been given the opportunity to be the Goodwill Keystone Area Blogger.

Today’s look is highlighting a fun look for Valentine’s Day. The bright red and cream boucle blazer is reminiscent of Chanel, but this version by Talbots was much more affordable.image011I loved combining the structure and flair of the fitted blazer with slouchy jeans and loafers. The cream blouse is from Ann Taylor and the jeans are from 7 For All Mankind.image010

Adding some bling to the look, I layered on a multi-strand gold cable chain and a DKNY canvas and leather bag. image012No matter what your plans are for Valentine’s Day, why not add a little love to your outfit with some pink or red. Give me a shopping trip to Goodwill over a fancy dinner or flowers any day!

Blazer: $6.50
Blouse: $3.95
Jeans: $6.50
Bag: $6.97
Necklace: $3.97
Total: $27.89

From my closet, to yours…
Kirsten
KirstenBlogHeadShot

 

About The Blogger
Kirsten is a 40-something mom, wife and marketing professional. She loves all things crafty, tasty and fashionable, especially while being frugal. She enjoys hunting for treasures at her local Goodwill stores to decorate her home and wardrobe. She is a stylist and volunteer for the fundraiser the Goodwill Runway Show, which is held every spring in Reading, PA.

50 Shades of Faux Fun – Part 2

 

There’s a certain movie coming out soon that is featuring lots of shades of grey, so I thought an outfit featuring that hue would be a timely choice.

My look started with this fitted grey herringbone dress from Banana Republic. Today Banana Republic is known for it’s chic, classic clothing, but according to Wikipedia: “It was founded in 1978 with the name “Banana Republic Travel & Safari Clothing Company” with a safari theme; in 1983, Gap purchased the company, changed the name to simply “Banana Republic”, and gave it a more upscale image.”

The ¾ length sleeve on this dress makes it appropriate almost all year round.Blog19
I paired it with a dramatic silver and gold waterfall necklace.Blog18 I love this necklace and it’s one of my favorite pieces of jewelry from Goodwill. It certainly makes a statement! To lighten up the serious tone of the dress, I added this faux fur bag. Faux fur isn’t something you want to wear all the time, but it adds a fun element to your wardrobe.

The star of this outfit (in my mind) is the boots!Blog20 I found these at the Goodwill store in Reading (Muhlenberg), PA and while they were priced at $25, I knew from the style and feel of the construction that they were worth the investment. I didn’t realize until I investigated them when I got home that they were Frye boots. Frye has been on my “holy grail” of fashion finds since I started thrifting. According to it’s own website, Frye is the oldest continuously operated shoe company in the United States! They retail for approximately $300 and you can still find this style available online. The dark charcoal grey makes them extremely versatile and you could also pair them with skirts, skinny jeans or leggings.

Grey can be a cool or a warm color, but it is always a perfect choice when dressing for the office. Add some unique accessories and you’ll be rocking this “Hazy Shade of Winter”!

Dress: $5.50
Boots: $25.00
Bag: $1.00 (Outlet store purchase)
Necklace: $9.97

Total: $41.47

KirstenBlogHeadShot

 

About The Blogger
Kirsten is a 40-something mom, wife and marketing professional. She loves all things crafty, tasty and fashionable, especially while being frugal. She enjoys hunting for treasures at her local Goodwill stores to decorate her home and wardrobe. She is a stylist and volunteer for the fundraiser the Goodwill Runway Show, which is held every spring in Reading, PA.

Just Faux Fun

 

Faux fur is a look that tends to show up in the cooler months when chilly weather sets in. Vogue magazine reported that it was still going to be a popular trend for fall and winter of 2017. Pieces occasionally pop up at Goodwill and they are always a fun faux find.

This soft acrylic/polyester blend vest by Trocacci Blu in various shades of beige and gray was a cozy choice for a cool day. Blog2I paired it with corduroy skinny jeans in black and beige and a black v-neck blouse, both from Ann Taylor Loft. It would look equally as chic thrown on over a denim dress or with blue jeans and boots.

I rolled my skinny jeans, mostly because I am petite, but also because cuffed skinny pants and ankle boots is something I am seeing all over the fashion magazines and around town.Blog3My black suede boots from Indigo by Clarks are designed for comfort, yet are stylish with their stacked heel and lace-up front.

My accessories include a beige and black canvas bag from Thirty One, a direct sale company founded in 2003. Blog1According to their founder, Cindy Monroe: “Not only do our fashionable, functional products make life easier – they also help independent business owners across the country support their families and reach their dreams.” I wrapped up this look with a gold and black fringed necklace.
While I would not cover myself in faux fur, a few pieces here and there make a nice winter accent. I’ll be featuring a faux fur bag in my next post!

Note: All items except the blouse were purchased on 50% off Winter Sale day in January. Be sure to keep an eye out for their next sale and they are currently featuring $5 off a $30 purchase for Rewards members. See website for details!

Vest: $2.37
Jeans: $2.12
Blouse: $4.75
Boots: $3.48
Bag: $3.48
Necklace: $0.99

Total: $17.19

Kirsten
KirstenBlogHeadShot

 

About The Blogger
Kirsten is a 40-something mom, wife and marketing professional. She loves all things crafty, tasty and fashionable, especially while being frugal. She enjoys hunting for treasures at her local Goodwill stores to decorate her home and wardrobe. She is a stylist and volunteer for the fundraiser the Goodwill Runway Show, which is held every spring in Reading, PA.

Two Jacket Upcycle Project

BlogR1Materials and tools needed:

  • Two jackets with cool elements
  • Sewing kit
  • Sharp scissors
  • Lots of Pins

Let’s start with something easy for the first project. I found two jackets that standing alone, lack something or have too much of that something. I really do like the zebra stripes but there was way too many of them on that jacket. I also loved the very formal evening jacket. The buttons and velvet frill are elegant, but this jacket seemed a little sad to me. Soooo, I thought the zebra sleeves would look good on the elegant jacket. I like to combine pieces that have opposites, like casual /dressy, somber/loud, you get the idea.

The very first thing I looked at was how the jackets were constructed. Both of them had a lining that I wanted to keep. Before I did any cutting, I pinned around the armholes of both jackets making sure I included the lining as I went. This way I was sure to catch both the material and lining as I cut. Then, took my sharp scissors, my bravery and cut the sleeves off the zebra coat keeping the armhole seam with the sleeve. I cut the sleeves off the formal jacket leaving the armhole seam with the jacket.BlogR2

The next step was to attach the sleeves and armholes. I was lucky. They are both the same size which makes it easy to combine them. After lining up the top shoulder seam of the jacket and top of the zebra sleeve, I started to pin the two pieces together.

I just overlaped the two edges and pinned together. If you are trying this, don’t worry about turning under the raw edges to hide them. I always like to leave them in plain view. In this case the jacket’s armhole was a little bigger than the sleeve, so I gathered the excess under the arm where it would not be noticed too much. After the sleeves were pinned to the jacket body, all I had to do was machine sew or hand sew them together. If you are trying this, you can use a simple running stitch, a back stitch or blanket stitch. There are a ton of videos on the internet if you are in doubt.

And that’s it! Give it a try and you will be an upcycle designer. Enjoy your new cool creation and wear it with pride!BLOGR3

PS : Keep the scraps you never know when you will use the zebra collar or velvet cuff. HMMM! Might make a nice bracelet?
.

Tips to get you started:

  • Look for pieces that have an element you like. It could be a style of collar or the cuffs or maybe a lacey trim. It could be the combined colors look great together. Anything that catches your eye will work.
  • Don’t worry too much about a stain, rip or moth hole. You can always cut that piece out or cover it.
  • Try to get the same size pieces. It makes it easier to combine pieces, but don’t pass up a piece that is cool just because it is too big or too small. There are ways to make it work.
  • Try combining opposites. For instance, to a very feminine piece add something masculine. the unexpected combination will make for an interesting piece.
  • Be brave and fearless in your choices.
  • Keep your scissors sharp and remember the first cut is the hardest.
  • Get over hemming, binding and turning under raw edges. Do not fear raw edges. They are out of the closet so wear them with pride. Think of them as the badge of a DYIer. If the material frays way too much, I do sew, blanket stitch, crochet, or use fabric glue just off the raw edge s. For instance, a non-wool sweater will fray til it comes all apart. If you must you can always hide them by turning.
  • Think way out of the box, I have even used a staple gun to attach a piece when I could.

Sue

 

About the Author: Sue MacCombie, Goodwill Keystone Area ReDesign Contest Winner
I look for elements in a piece that are attractive or that catch my eye. I then look for pieces that will blend with it. Sometimes I go with an idea in mind, sometimes I just get inspiration from the pieces I come across. Be fearless with your scissors! Sew outside the lines and combine the unlikely. Trust what you like.

Out of this World

 

The term “monochrome” is described as consisting of or displaying images in black and white or in varying tones of only one color. Now, this outfit consists of more than one color, but it is a very limited palette of tones. Various shades of black, gray, silver and gold meld together to form a cohesive, modern look.

This look started with an unexpected brand find. I discovered this dress by Hale Bob at the outlet in Reading and once again, it hung on a hanger in my blog closet until I brought the right look together and researched the brand for this post.Blog17According to their website: “Hale Bob is a Los Angeles based fashion brand founded by Daniel Bohbot. Featuring shoes, shirts and dresses in creative prints, bright colors, rich silks and luscious velvets; Hale Bob clothing and Hale Bob shoes offer women the chance to shine as brightly as the comet for which the brand is loosely named. Hale Bob is a California lifestyle brand, very distinctive and sophisticated.”

Their website is filled with beautiful patterns on tops, accessories, swimwear and flowing dresses. My simple outlet find retailed for about $238! And having a dress brand named after a comet, well, that is pretty cool.

An out-of-this-world dress definitely needs some equally impressive accessories. The pale gold leather blazer by Worthington (A J.C. Penney brand) was also picked up from the Goodwill outlet in Reading.Blog16

The pebbled leather black buckled boots by Franco Sarto are one of my new winter favorites. They are soft, comfortable, sturdy and stylish. They look equally good with tights and dresses as they do with skinny jeans or leggings. I loaded up on the necklaces, which were purchased for $3.97 each.

You never know what you are going to find at our local Goodwill. Outlet shopping may not always yield fashion treasures, but every once in a while you find some stellar pieces!

Sweater: $1.00 (Outlet)
Blazer: $1.00 (Outlet)
Short Necklace: $3.97
Long Necklace: $3.97
Boots: $6.97
Total: $16.91

Kirsten

KirstenBlogHeadShot

 

About The Blogger
Kirsten is a 40-something mom, wife and marketing professional. She loves all things crafty, tasty and fashionable, especially while being frugal. She enjoys hunting for treasures at her local Goodwill stores to decorate her home and wardrobe. She is a stylist and volunteer for the fundraiser the Goodwill Runway Show, which is held every spring in Reading, PA.

Mild Sweater Weather

 

This January, we’ve been enjoying warmer (yet rainier) winter weather here in Pennsylvania. Heavy, wool sweaters would be a bit much for this mild month so far. But, lighter-weight knits are perfect for the cool, but not cold temps.

This honeycomb-patterned black and cream sweater is from Banana Republic.Blog14 It gets it soft feel from the cotton and cashmere blend. I picked up this sweater at the last 50% off day at the Shillington location. And HERE’S A TIP, don’t miss the 50% off sale day, which is this Wednesday, January 25th. Stores within Goodwill Keystone Area are having a 50% off sale, click here for details. To find stores that are participating (Goodwill in central and southeast PA), go to yourgoodwill.org/shop/stores-donation-centers/

OK, back to sweaters…I paired the sweater with black, jacquard, flat-front trousers. I found these new-with-the-tags at the Goodwill store in Phoenixville. They are from the Dana Buchman brand, which is sold at Kohl’s Department Stores. The subtle pattern in the fabric does not clash with the pattern in the sweater. I see these being very versatile and suitable for year-round wear.

The bamboo-handled purse from Ann Taylor Loft adds some vintage charm and carries my necessities. Blog15While suede pumps (these are from Ann Marino) are not a great choice for a typical January day, they are perfectly fine for the recent moderate weather. To inject some life into this simple color scheme, a vibrant fuchsia scarf adds plenty of pizazz for a gray winter day.

This sweater would also be great with jeans and boots for a casual look or with a black skirt for a more formal work outfit. Sweaters don’t always have to be heavy, wool creations. Try some in other natural fabrics such as cotton, silk or cashmere and be sure and shop this Wednesday at the Goodwill Winter Sale!

Sweater: $3.25 (purchased at 50% off day)
Pants: $9.00
Scarf: $2.00
Purse: $4.97
Shoes: $6.97
Total: $26.19

KirstenBlogHeadShot

 

About The Blogger
Kirsten is a 40-something mom, wife and marketing professional. She loves all things crafty, tasty and fashionable, especially while being frugal. She enjoys hunting for treasures at her local Goodwill stores to decorate her home and wardrobe. She is a stylist and volunteer for the fundraiser the Goodwill Runway Show, which is held every spring in Reading, PA.

Cobalt & Olive

 

Sometimes I purchase a complete outfit on one shopping trip and another time, a look comes together from pieces purchased separately. This outfit came about that way. Piece by piece…

Blog19 I enjoy mixing colors and finding new and interesting combinations. Cobalt and olive was a color palette I saw several months ago in a fashion magazine. I had tucked the idea away and after a few Goodwill shopping trips, I ended up with the cobalt blouse and olive trench coat in my stockpile of blog clothing.

The gauzy blue and leopard-print blouse by Gap is fun without being wild.Blog20 I paired it with skinny black pants from Ann Taylor Loft, which are a staple in my wardrobe. The blouse would also look great with boot cut jeans, black heels and a black moto jacket for a night out. I added flat, belted tall boots from Wearever for a comfortable, casual footwear option.

The olive trench from Club Monaco is a truly classic piece. Blog21I had heard of Club Monaco, but hadn’t researched it much until writing this post. I had not realized the simple trench I had paid $10 for was originally sold for about $329! Club Monaco is a mid-priced, high-end casual clothing retailer owned by Polo Ralph Lauren. I found a hidden gem at my local Goodwill and will be on the lookout for more pieces from that brand.

The only items I bought after the outfit came together were the jewelry pieces. I found the (new with tags from Target) earrings and tassel necklace and instantly knew I had to have them to complete this look.

Fashion magazines often provide the inspiration for my blog looks, but Goodwill lets me recreate the high-end styles and play with unique color combinations at prices everyone can afford.

Necklace: $3.99
Earrings: $1.99
Blouse: $3.95
Coat: $10.00
Pants: $4.50
Boots: $6.97

Total: $31.40

KirstenBlogHeadShot

 

About The Blogger
Kirsten is a 40-something mom, wife and marketing professional. She loves all things crafty, tasty and fashionable, especially while being frugal. She enjoys hunting for treasures at her local Goodwill stores to decorate her home and wardrobe. She is a stylist and volunteer for the fundraiser the Goodwill Runway Show, which is held every spring in Reading, PA.

Hot Coats for Cold Months

 

With the news last week that The Limited clothing stores were closing up shop after 50 years, I suddenly became nostalgic for brands of my youth (the mid to late 80s). My friends and I use to roam the mall and window shopped at The Limited, Gap and Express. I had a few coveted things from those stores (usually purchased from off the clearance rack) and the names still remind me of my teen years.

While I don’t really visit the mall anymore (why pay retail???), I still look for these brands when shopping at Goodwill Keystone Area stores. Those labels are easy to find and typically hold up well though washings and changing trends.

I’ve been waiting for the weather to turn cold to feature this distressed leather coat from Express.Blog18At $13, it was a splurge for me, but similar coats on the brand’s current website retail for approximately $248, so I think I did well. It’s heavy and warm and the distressed leather gives it a vintage look even though it is new. I also enjoy the double-breasted detail and gathering in the back.

I paired the coat with a gauzy, colorful striped scarf and aviators. Blog17The glasses were a surprising find at one of Goodwill’s outlet stores. After a good cleaning at home, I discovered they were true vintage Foster Grant sunglasses. With the aviators and classic leather jacket, I felt a little like I was channeling Tom Cruise in Top Gun.

If it’s going to be cold and you have to bundle up, you might as well look cool! Pick out a winter coat and accessories at Goodwill that make you happy and suit your budget. And if you feel like an 80s movie star, all the more better.

Jacket: $13.00
Scarf: $3.00
Sunglasses: $1.00 (approximate)

Total: $17.00

Kirsten

KirstenBlogHeadShot

 

About The Blogger
Kirsten is a 40-something mom, wife and marketing professional. She loves all things crafty, tasty and fashionable, especially while being frugal. She enjoys hunting for treasures at her local Goodwill stores to decorate her home and wardrobe. She is a stylist and volunteer for the fundraiser the Goodwill Runway Show, which is held every spring in Reading, PA.

Winter Florals

 

When the temperatures dip below freezing, wearing something soft and colorful can buoy your spirits. And wearing pretty, feminine florals is the perfect way to bring some spring into your step.

This modern floral sweater by Double H was the start of today’s outfit. Blog14
It’s different in that the design is printed on the fabric rather than woven into the sweater. I could have worn it with jeans and boots, but the denim skirt from L.L. Bean was just as comfortable and a little more work appropriate (if you need that kind of thing).Blog13 Denim skirts are great because just like jeans, you can wear them with almost any kind of blouse, top or sweater. They can be dressed up and down.

I’m not usually don’t wear hats, but I decided to go out of my comfort zone and give it a try. And at only $3.00, it was a cute find. Blog15The yellow Nine West handbag came from one of the outlet locations and was a steal for just $1.00. The sunny yellow color reminded me of daffodils.

My favorite part of this outfit has got to be the boots! Blog16I found them when shopping with my sister and we always debate whether something is worth buying when it is more than we expected it to be. At only $9.97, it was more than I typically pay, but I knew they were worth more than that. Upon getting home and researching the brand – Matisse – I found they would have been about $120 when new, so I call that a great deal!

When the days are cold and dark, use your wardrobe to lift your spirits. Wear a floral pattern or a bright color until the days get longer and the Mother Nature brings forth her own flowers and greenery to the world.

Kirsten

Sweater: $4.75
Skirt: $6.50
Boots: $9.97
Purse: $1.00 (Outlet price)
Hat: $3.00

Total: $25.22

KirstenBlogHeadShot

 

About The Blogger
Kirsten is a 40-something mom, wife and marketing professional. She loves all things crafty, tasty and fashionable, especially while being frugal. She enjoys hunting for treasures at her local Goodwill stores to decorate her home and wardrobe. She is a stylist and volunteer for the fundraiser the Goodwill Runway Show, which is held every spring in Reading, PA.