Category Archives: Uncategorized

$5 Challenge – Neutral Basics

 

On one of my recent blog posts, a reader asked if I ever created a complete outfit from Goodwill Keystone Area Outlet finds. I have several times in the past, but not lately, so Maria D., this one is for you! (NOTE: learn about the unique Goodwill Outlet Center shopping experience and find Goodwill Outlet Center locations, click here!)

The outlet that is closet to my home is in Reading, and to me, it seems huge! Outlets work differently than a typical Goodwill Keystone Area store, so you have to go shopping there with a different mindset. Everything is sorted in bins – clothing, shoes and bags, home accessories, etc… and you pay by the pound (except for shoes, those are $2.99) In the back area there you can find glassware, decorative artwork, and furniture. I’ve bought all of those different things there at various times.

I bought this outfit over two different visits. The first visit yielded the soft wool J. Crew two-toned sweater. There are no dressing rooms at the outlets, so I just take my best guess as on fit and because items are so inexpensive, I don’t mind donating them back right away if they don’t work for me. Similar J. Crew sweater sells for around $79 on their website.

The Gap blush cords (Retail: $69.95) also turned up on this trip as well. The colors are in the same blush family and I thought they suited each other well. Corduroys have been popping up again since the fall and I’m a fan. The width of the cord is commonly referred to as the size of the “wale,” or number of cords per inch. These would be considered a small wale and were very soft and flattering.

I will probably get these pants hemmed to a better length for me, but for the time being, I gave them a jaunty little cuff so I could high light these brown leather booties from Steve Madden. I purchased the shoes and bag on a trip where I was specifically looking for something to match the previous purchases.

Shoes at the outlet are all $2.99, so they were the most expensive part of the outfit, but well worth it. Steve Madden’s shoes are still very popular and these fit well and were comfortable. A little polish and they were good as new. I estimate they were about $79 when new.

Lastly, this brown Michael Kors bag with blush leather handles turned up as I was sorting through a bin. Voila – The perfect ending for my $5 style challenge. While the outside just needed a little polish, the inside is a little worn, but for my use, it’ll be just fine. The style is similar to the current “Voyager” style which still sells for $278! Outlet wares may not be perfect, but have potential if you can give them a little bit of TLC.

Thank you to Maria for the challenge! My shoes were $2.99 and the rest of the items came in around $2.00 for a grand total of $4.99! I save 99% off retail for this casual winter look! If you have the patience, outlet shopping at Goodwill Keystone Area is definitely worth it. It’s a true treasure hunt!

From my closet to yours,

Kirsten

Outfit: $4.99
Retail: $500+
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 Keystone Area stores to decorate her home and wardrobe.

 

According to Ferraricolor.com “Retail sale signs. Stop signs. Fire hydrants. Flashing police car lights. That bad grade on your first college paper. What do all of these have in common? They’re all the color red. Red is an attention-grabbing and emotionally intense color. It enhances physical reactions, which is why retailers use it with signs to stimulate people to make quick buying decisions. And why you’d never give someone who was just a friend a red rose. Red roses symbolize deep love, and they’re reserved for romantic relationships, or those hoping for one.”

Red makes you stop and take notice. And that’s exactly what I did when I saw these amazing red and purple abstract print pants (Goodwill: $5.50; Retail: $79) from Loft. You all know I love a great printed pant! These have a cropped fit with zipper detail at the ankles.

While I knew I could pair them with a solid black or white top or even a denim blouse, I decided to find the same striking red color featured in the pant. Fashion Tip: When trying to match a specific color, try to do it in the same shopping trip. I headed to the sweater aisle and without even trying, this bold, red, open-knit sweater from Ann Taylor practically jumped into my cart (because I always have a cart when shopping at Goodwill Keystone Area!). (Goodwill: $6.50; Retail: $89)

I paired the statement-making outfit with some neutral metallic accessories. The soft gold Franco Sarto pumps featured a pleated toe with bow detail. Franco Sarto makes great shoes and you usually can’t go wrong with this brand. These would have retailed for around $89, but my cost was $6.97.

Despite its small size, this petite bag from Cole Haan probably sold for over $200 when new! I paid $7.47. I can always tell a good, quality bag as soon as I touch it and inspect the hardware. I like that this is a nice neutral metallic color and can accentuate almost any outfit. It simple and stylish – all at the same time.

This work-appropriate outfit is perfect since Valentine’s Day falls on a Friday this year. I might wear something a little more flirty and fun for date night and of course, that will also be from Goodwill Keystone Area too!

From my closet to yours,
Kirsten

Pants: $5.50
Sweater: $6.50
Shoes: $6.97
Bag: $7.47
Outfit: $26.44
Retail: $450+
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 Keystone Area stores to decorate her home and wardrobe.

Red Carpet Ready

 

We’re in the middle of award season – Screen Actors Guild Awards, Grammys, Oscars… Oh, my! While I don’t watch all of the shows, I like seeing the fashions on the red carpet. Stars and singers may wear over-the-top haute couture designs, but I’ll take my beloved LBD (little black dress) any day. A classic dress like this can take you from a semi-formal wedding, a black-tie fundraiser or even a formal night on a cruise.

I was thrilled to find this NWT (new-with-tags) Calvin Klein dress at my local Goodwill Keystone Area. The jersey knit is comfortable, flattering and drapes well. Calvin Klein is one of my favorite brands to wear and I love finding it at Goodwill!

Their website states “Calvin Klein is described as a pioneer and leader of men and women’s clothing since its humble beginnings in the late 1960s. The sleek, fitted and monochromatic designs that the brand is known for portray an elegant and bold modern woman.” That statement perfectly describes this dress with its simplistic, clean cut. My cost was $7.95, but it would have retailed for around $129.

The one-shoulder look is chic and unexpected and some people may find it hard to accessorize it properly, but I went with a bold statement necklace accented with a gold chain and a peach center stone. It’s “go big or go home” on this one and was a real steal at only $6.97! I’ve had it for a few years, but showcase it every once and a while on the blog.

The petite clutch is also another repeat guest on the blog. This soft leather Juicy Couture bag has gorgeous gold hardware but is understated and classy all at the same time. I picked it up for $4.97, but it would have sold for about $50.

Lastly, you need a great heel to strut your stuff! These Madden Girl satin platforms with glittering heels will spice up any outfit. They sold for $59, but my cost at Goodwill was $10.

The world is my runway and red carpet with Goodwill Keystone Area. The fabulous prices and unique finds are always an award winner in my book and my wallet!

From my closet to yours,
Kirsten

Dress: $7.95
Necklace: $6.97
Clutch: $4.97
Heels: $10
Outfit: $29.89
Retail: $270+

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 Keystone Area stores to decorate her home and wardrobe.

Influencer-Inspired

 

Even though I’m a blogger, I never considered myself an “Influencer”, but more of an “Informer”. I like to write about items and products I like and “inform” my readers about those things. And also, as a Thrifty Fashionista, you cannot go into any Goodwill Keystone Area store and buy exactly what I have on – you have to do your own searching and my outfits are just examples of things you can buy at Goodwill.

There are true influencers in the blogging world and sometimes they find the right niche and hit the big time. One of those people is Emily Shuman, who I have followed for many years. In her own words, she created her blog cupcakesandcashmere.com in March 2008 to document the things she loved. Her own brand of clothing was launched a few years ago and I finally found my first piece at the Goodwill Store in Trappe a few weeks back.

As you know, I’m drawn to patterns and stripes and this comfortable white and navy open-weave cardigan just called to me. When I picked it off the rack and looked at the label, I was floored. It was Cupcakes and Cashmere! It fit and was the right price ($6.50 compared to probably around $99 when new) so of course, it was going home with me.

For this look, I decided to go super casual – think running errands or a Saturday lunch date with friends. On the same shopping trip, I also got this Adidas Philadelphia Union (Soccer) microfiber t-shirt for $5.00. It is still available online for $30.

A few weeks later I picked up a pair of Banana Republic jeans NWT for $8.50 (Retail $79.99). I was happy to get a new dark wash pair of boot cut jeans. Dark wash is always flattering and the cut is a nice change from all the skinny jeans in my closet.

Lastly, I’ve had these Adidas Superstar sneakers for years. I paid $9.99 at Goodwill, but they are also still available online for $79.99.

All trends, styles, and brands eventually reach Goodwill and I was happy to find a brand that has inspired my own blogging career. Kudos to Emily for establishing her own brand and fashion line, but I’m delighted to have paid Goodwill prices for her sweater!

From my closet to yours,
Kirsten

Sweater: $6.50
T-shirt: $5.00
Jeans: $8.50
Sneakers: $9.99
Outfit: $29.99
Retail: $289+

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 Keystone Area stores to decorate her home and wardrobe.

Shades of Ombré

 

January has plenty of grey, overcast days, but those shades of gray can be a fashion inspo! Finding these new-with-tags (NWT) Banana Republic ombré skinny jeans (Retail: $79.99; Goodwill price: $10) at a local Goodwill Keystone Area store was just the start of this look. The word ombré comes from the French word “shadow”. It is the transition of a lighter shade from a darker shade. I loved the unique ombré shades and decided to keep the look mostly monochromatic.

Another NWT find was this mixed media sweater from Stitch Fix brand, Skies Are Blue (Retail: $62; Goodwill: $8.50). The front is a solid black sweater knit while the back has a black, grey and white ikat pattern with accents of orange. I like the versatility of the comfortable sweater. I could pair it with trousers for the office or a skirt, tights and boots. The printed back gives it some flair.

I added pops of orange by accenting the outfit with a beaded, shell necklace ($3.97) and a Jessica Simpson gold-studded clutch. I have used this colorful bag in several blogs and it is a perennial favorite of mine when I need to brighten up an outfit. (Retail: $60; Goodwill; $6.97).

Finally, one of my best finds lately are these Doc Martens! They are different from the traditional lace-up boot. This cherry red boot is called “Teresa” and is a discontinued style of Doc Martens. When new they retailed for $130, but I snapped them up for $9.99 at Goodwill Keystone Area! What a find!

Grey winter skies don’t have to bring you down – let them inspire your wardrobe! Goodwill Keystone Area stores offer a range of monochromatic colors to keep you looking anything but dull and drab in these winter months!

From my closet to yours,
Kirsten

Jeans: $10.00
Sweater: $8.50
Necklace: $3.97
Clutch: $6.97
Boots: $9.99
Outfit: $39.43
Retail: $350+

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 Keystone Area stores to decorate her home and wardrobe.

Everything’s Coming Up Rose Gold

 

2020 is almost here! I, for one, am excited for January, new beginnings and the ability to start fresh. I don’t make typical resolutions, but I do have a mental list of things I’d like to accomplish in the new year, such as read at least one book a month or take a photography class. I want to better myself, but I don’t want to put expectations or limitations on what I do or don’t get done by the close of the year.

I am a perpetual optimist and like to see the world in rose-colored glasses, so for my New Year’s outfit, I chose something simple and sparkling (like a glass of champagne!) with a touch of rose gold – which is my new favorite metallic color.

Charlotte Russe took a simple ivory t-shirt and embellished it with rose-gold sequins. I love the juxtaposition of casual and dressy, and it was just $4.50 at my local Goodwill Keystone Area store (Retail: $25).

Classic skinny fit jeans from Calvin Klein are always a sure thing. These are a slightly distressed color, but since I’m getting more mature, I’m passing up on the rips and tears that are still in fashion. I like having jeans that I can wear on casual Fridays at the office. I spent $5.50 at Goodwill, but would have forked over $69 at the mall.

Rose gold booties from Nine West ($7.47; retail $79) and a generously-sized new-with-tags clutch from Primark ($5.99; retail $20) kept the look monotone and simple.

I’d wear this outfit to any New Year’s Eve party I was invited to. Classic jeans and a t-shirt are something that will never go out of style. What else isn’t going out of style in 2020? Thrift Shopping. As more people discover the thrill of the find at their neighborhood Goodwill, I expect the thrift shopping trend to grow even more. Start the New Year on the right foot, and walk right into your local Goodwill.

From my closet to yours and wishing you a Happy New Year,
Kirsten

T-shirt: $4.50
Jeans: $5.50
Booties: $7.47
Clutch: $5.99
Outfit: $40.43
Retail: $200+

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 Keystone Area stores to decorate her home and wardrobe.

Merry Christmas 2019

 

This holiday season marks my 4th anniversary as being your Goodwill Keystone Area Thrifty Fashionista. With each passing blog I realize how fortunate I am to share my passion for thrift shopping with you all. I read every comment on social media and love how my fans have become my friends and supporters. For a 40-something mom, you make me feel like a supermodel.

I think of all my Christmas styles, this look is one of my all-time favorites. The burgundy silk velvet tuxedo jacket from Soft Surroundings was new-with-tags for $15. It’s a little more than I usually would pay, but this jacket was buttery soft and has great style from the black satin lapel to the beaded tassel decoration. Similar jackets are selling on the brand’s website for $120, so not a bad deal.

Underneath was a ruffled paisley blouse from White House Black Market. Yes, the blouse does have black and white, but also the same burgundy color as the jacket as well as a bright teal. I love the statement sleeves and the $6.00 price tag (Retail $89). I’ll pair this later with bright blue jeans and black ankle boots.

I was feeling festive, so I added more velvet! The inky black velvet jeggings from Talbots were soft and comfortable – which is great for holiday shopping and perfect for parties. They were $7.50 at my local Goodwill Keystone Area store, but sold originally for $109.

Finally, for some ornamentation! The twisted beaded silver bracelet glittered as I hung ornaments on my tree. It was only $1.97. And the piece de resistance: the stunning bejeweled bow flats by Neiman Marcus. These beauties were just $12.99 and I didn’t hesitate purchasing them knowing their original retail value was around $200.

While I am all decked out for the holidays, Goodwill Keystone Area makes it easy to look great for less. Thank you for all the “thrift love” and hope you all have a wonderful holiday season!

From my family to yours,
Kirsten

Jacket: $15.00
Blouse: $6.00
Pants: $7.50
Bracelet: $1.97
Flats: $12.99
Outfit: $43.46
Retail: $550+

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 Keystone Area stores to decorate her home and wardrobe.

Chains of Love

 

Do you like jewelry and accessories? I love them so much that I even enjoy wearing clothing adorned with tassels and colorful gold chains. Chain-print fabric has been popular in fashion for a long time and it still catches my eye. According to Serisha Singh’s 2019 article Decoding the Chain Print Trend, “This bold trend features an abstract and colorful pattern interspersed with chains in all shapes and sizes. Simple right? Not by a long shot! It is scarf-like in appearance – juxtaposing a multi-dimension pattern. The good news is that the look can be found on anything from blouses to dresses and jumpsuits. It’s also been spotted on several runways at New York Fashion Week and is favored by a range of retailers from Versace to Zara.”

This jewel-tone blouse is from Ellen Tracy and was $6.00 (Retail $69) at my neighborhood Goodwill Keystone Area store. The navy and pink colors were bright and bold, but the chain and tassels are the star of the show.

Since I love mixing patterns and prints, I paired it with a subtle polka dot City Fit skimmer pant from J. Crew. Navy is a great neutral that you can pair with many different colors – think outside of the box if you are reaching for your classic black trousers! These were $7.50, but would have sold for about $99 when new.

The pink stone and jeweled statement necklace was the perfect accessory for the bold blouse. It was only $8.97 but packs a big punch when you wear it. It would look equally as amazing with a little black dress or elevate a simple jeans and t-shirt outfit to a whole new level!

A coordinating navy clutch from Nordstrom (Goodwill cost: $4.97; Retail $69) held my necessities. And to up the fun quotient of the outfit, I added gold leather loafers with fringes and metallic rivets. These gorgeous shoes were found new-with-tags for $12.99 (Retail $100+).

Having fun with fashion is easy to do when you shop at Goodwill Keystone Area stores – try a new-to-you print, style or color without breaking the bank!

From my closet to yours,
Kirsten

Blouse: $6.00
Pants: $7.50
Necklace: $8.97
Clutch: $4.97
Shoes: $12.99
Outfit: $40.43
Retail: $367+
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 Keystone Area stores to decorate her home and wardrobe.

Annual Festive Christmas Sweater Post

 

Every year I search the racks at my local Goodwill Keystone Area store for a (depending on how you look at it) Festive or Ugly Christmas sweater and every year, I am never disappointed. Now is the time to go look for your own decorated sweater to enjoy this holiday season whether you just enjoy wearing it or have an Ugly Christmas Sweater Party to go to.

This year’s version is pretty tame – it’s a black sweater vest by Erika with snowmen, Santas, snowflakes and decorative stitching that reminds of gusts of wind. It was $5.00 when I grabbed it in early November. I was just at a Goodwill store this weekend and there are still plenty of fun pieces to be found.

I think this look would be work-appropriate if you have a holiday event at the office. Without the vest, it is still a classic look – crisp white button-up shirt from Talbots (my cost $6.50; retail $79) and black, ankle-length Van Heusen trousers with tiny white polka dots that remind me of snowflakes.

For a bright burst of red, I added a dramatic sweater cape by Coldwater Creek. I have had this piece for several years and had gotten it new-with-tags at Goodwill for $5.50. When new it would have sold for $99. It takes any outfit – from jeans to dresses – to the next level with its ruffled hem and bold color. It certainly makes a statement.

For accessories, I added a small Kelly green crossbody bag by Pulicati. I have featured it on the blog before, but the color-coordinated so well with the green in the vest, I decided to showcase it once again. I purchased it for $6.97, but it would have cost over $125 when new. The shoes are Mary Jane-type wedges from Nine West. I like the patent leather and the wedge (vs. a stiletto) gives me height yet are comfortable to walk in.

All of these pieces will transition well into my wardrobe. Together they create a fun holiday look for almost any occasion. Don’t forget, when you spend $50 on gift cards, you’ll receive a free $10 gift card through December 24th! Click here for details.

From my closet to yours,
Kirsten

Sweater Vest: $5.00
Shirt: $6.50
Trousers: $5.50
Cape: $5.50
Bag: $6.97
Shoes: $6.97
Outfit: $36.44
Retail: $380+

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 Keystone Area stores to decorate her home and wardrobe.

Casual Basics

 

While I enjoy showcasing the unique, fashionable and glamorous finds that I uncover at Goodwill Keystone Area stores, my favorites typically are the day-to-day basics I can count on for my everyday, casual lifestyle.

Cooler weather calls for cozy, comfortable and sometimes waterproof basics. On my last trip to the Goodwill outlet a few weeks ago, I purchased this truly vintage graphic sweater from Sasson. Maurice Sasson started his designer jeans company in 1976, so this sweater is easily from the early 1980s. It’s acrylic and has held up well. It’s still soft and warm and it’s definitely a piece I am not going to see on anyone else. Since it was purchased at the outlet, it cost me less than a dollar.

The rest of the outfit is definitely modern. The classic dark wash skinny jeans are from Zara Woman. Zara is a “fast fashion” company based in Spain. According to their Wikipedia page “Zara needs just one week to develop a new product and get it to stores, compared to the six-month industry average and launches around 12,000 new designs each year. Zara has a policy of zero advertising; the company preferred to invest a percentage of revenues in opening new stores instead.” I don’t buy fast fashion brands new, but I don’t mind buying them at my local Goodwill Keystone Area stores. These jeans would have sold for around $39.90; my cost was $7.50.

Since the weather has turned colder and wetter, waterproof boots are a must when out playing with my dog, Penny, in the back yard. These lined and insulated Rockport boots were also found at the outlets for just $2.25. Rockport boots can sell up to $230, so saving 99% was a fantastic deal.

Lastly, a faux fur-trimmed scarf added a bit of fun, whimsy, and warmth. Scarves are great to pick up at Goodwill. For under $5, you can add a lot of color and style to a simple outfit. This black one will pair with almost any outfit.

Although this look doesn’t have any sparkle or pizazz, it’s made of great basics that will get me through the winter. Stock up on sweaters, boots, and scarves now at your local Goodwill Keystone Area store. And while you’re shopping – pick up a gift card for a gift (or for yourself)! When you spend $50 on gift cards, you’ll receive a free $10 gift card through December 24th, click here for complete details!

From my closet to yours,
Kirsten

Sweater: $1.00 (estimate)
Scarf: $1.97
Jeans: $7.50
Boots: $2.25
Outfit: $12.72
Retail: $330+

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 Keystone Area stores to decorate her home and wardrobe.