Explore what Goodwill has to Offer!
Goodwill Keystone Area Fashion Blog

Small Thrift Haul

 

On a recent afternoon after work, I decided to head to the Goodwill Keystone Area outlet in Reading. It was around the time I was tie-dyeing, and I was looking for some clothing victims to bleach or dye. I didn’t have an agenda, but I did have a timeline – about 45 minutes.

Goodwill Keystone Outlet stores are very different than their regular retail stores. First of all, the Reading location is huge! Clothing, accessories, and housewares are sold by the pound (which varies as to the class of item). Shoes are a flat rate of $2.75. Merchandise is rotated regularly, and there’s always a rush to get the new bins to discover treasures that were missed from other stores.

Items I typically look for at the outlet include: premium denim (I have found Paige, Hudson, 7 for All Mankind, and more as well as the Citizens of Humanity pair (see below), vintage t-shirts, collegiate sweatshirts for my daughter, and items I can alter without guilt if I mess them up. You can find Christmas items in July and shorts in winter – it’s never the same place twice.

I spent about $8 that day, and this is what I got:

  • Citizens of Humanity Arielle mid-rise slim jeans (Retail: $170)
  • 2015 Vintage Fall Out Boy t-shirt (Retail: $30)
  • Loft beige and pink polka dot blouse (Retail $59)
  • Chico’s Premium Denim shorts (Retail: $65)
  • Turkey Hill Experience t-shirt (Retail: $15)
  • Gap cropped boot cut denim (Retail: 69)
  • Maeve (Anthropologie brand) velvet tunic (Retail: $138)
  • Talbots white denim jacket (Retail: $99)

Retail on all these items when new was about $650! I saved over 98%, helped support my local community and fostered sustainability. Wearing used clothes is a choice I have been making for over 30 years. It makes sense for the environment, and I feel good that my purchases support Goodwill Keystone Area’s mission.

Shopping at outlet stores may be a little more challenging than a typical Goodwill Keystone Area retail store, but the rewards are much bigger I have found some of my best treasures in the bins. Keep digging – you never know what you may find!

From my closet to yours,
Kirsten

Goodwill cost: $8
Retail value: $650
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.

How Does Your Goodwill Garden Grow?

 

If you’re a regular reader of the blog, you know I love a great floral print. However, I don’t just like wearing florals, I enjoy growing flowers and plants of all types.

My outfit is perfect for these warm summer days we’ve been having – a comfortable t-shirt, flowy pants, and golden sandals. The top and pants are from Loft and when I wear it, I feel like I have loungewear on, but it’s dressy enough for my office. The sandals were from J Crew and are a nice neutral gold, which will compliment any outfit from dresses to shorts this summer.

When I shop at my local Goodwill Keystone Area stores, I don’t just look at the fashions. I always check the housewares section and now that spring is here, I keep an eye out for garden items.

I will use the amber glass containers as planters for miniature succulent gardens. Succulents are all the rage right now and you can grow them in almost any kind of container. They would look great in teacups or even vintage cupcake pans.

The first red pot was a Smith & Hawken find. The original price tag was $15.99. I love pops of red in my garden, so that is one color I am on the lookout for when thrifting.

The metal piece with the air plants is probably meant to hold Easter eggs, but it was perfect for showcasing some of my air plants. It is unique and doesn’t take up a lot of space.

One tip I have for chipped pottery is to dig out your nail polish! The textured, bright red planter was new with tags but had a few tiny white chips on the very edge. I sorted through my basket of nail polish and found a red that almost completely matched the pottery. A few careful dabs and the pot was perfect again!

The last pictured pot is made to look like old pottery but is brand new and well suited to one of my Christmas cacti.

Next time you visit your neighborhood Goodwill Keystone Area visit the housewares section and see what you can find to dress up your garden. Maybe it’s a new pot or something you can repurpose into some interesting garden art. Think about an old teak kettle with some leafy plants growing out the top or a large dinner plate made into a tiny birdbath. With Goodwill, your garden can flourish with style and creativity!

From my closet to yours,
Kirsten

Pots – $0.99 – $2.99
T-shirt: $4.95
Pants: $6.50
Sandals: $7.49

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.

Lounging Around

 

Mother’s Day is fast approaching, and if you’re wondering what to get the mom in your life (whoever that person may be to you), my recommendation is loungewear. Moms love to lounge. After a year of being inside and mostly at home, going out is nice, but staying in and being comfortable is still a luxury for moms whose lives are usually so busy and filled with errands, chores, and just life in general.

According to Harvard Business School, sales of pajamas and loungewear have doubled in the last year compared to sales in 2019. All people want to be comfortable, and I’m happy to see that trend continue, even as life is getting back to normal. I miss my fancy clothing but have found that I enjoy my lounging days at home. We’ve all slowed down a little bit, and so has our wardrobe.

I needed some new loungewear that was not old yoga pants and ripped t-shirts and was on the lookout for something appropriate for a walk to my mailbox, yet comfortable enough to sleep in. I was fortunate to find this set at the new Morgantown Goodwill Keystone Area location. Luckily, it had stayed together through the sorting process, and the matching set was priced at $8.50 (Retail $130).

I loved the soft heathered pink color, and I was familiar with the brand – Soma. Their website has a whole section dedicated to everyday loungewear: “Slip into something more comfortable with our loungewear edit. It is home to a range of relaxed pieces, crafted from blissfully soft fabrics that are finished with an accommodating stretch. You’ll find staple separates, such as leggings and tees, as well as plush coverups and knitwear to add instant coziness to your layers.”

Keeping it simple I paired this look with my MOM mug from my oldest daughter’s college. And speaking of mugs, if loungewear is not your mom’s thing, Goodwill Keystone Area stores are filled with options for gifts: scarves, vases (to fill with flowers you pick or buy), photo frames (you can fill with treasured photos), or a new purse or wallet. Or even better, spend some time with your mom and take her shopping at Goodwill for a little quality time searching the racks and aisles for treasures together. It’s not only good for your heart, but it helps the community and other mothers, sisters, daughters, aunts, and friends like her.

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 Keystone Area stores to decorate her home and wardrobe.

#Prom21

 

So many things are changing this year, but luckily for my daughter and her friends, a few things are staying the same. Her school is hosting a reimagined Prom. It is an outdoor event with food trucks, yard games, a DJ, and a photo booth. Everything is on the football field and parking lot, and masks are required.

I would do anything for my children, and if my daughter had wanted a fancy dress from a boutique or King of Prussia mall I would have gotten her whatever she wanted. However, she has embraced thrift shopping at our local Goodwill Keystone Area stores. She likes a unique, vintage 90s vibe that isn’t available off the rack.

Several weeks ago, we were shopping at the Shillington location. There was a rack of formal dresses. She passed them all by for the regular dress section where she methodically looked through the long rack of items. If you’ve been to Shillington, you know it is one of the larger stores with an amazing inventory.

She narrowed it down to 4 dresses to take to the fitting room, and although some of the others were nice, this silky black slip dress from Hampton Nites emerged as the winner. The floral pattern and full length made it formal-worthy. Amazingly it almost fit her perfectly and ended up just needing a slight alteration, which a friend completed for just a few dollars. A little research revealed that the brand was popular in the 90s, so it was just what she was looking for!

She paired it with a black leather clutch from WCM (Goodwill: $3.97), her own Steven Madden shoes and jewelry picked up at an antique flea market for a few dollars.

All in all, her complete look (including alterations and jewelry) was about $35. Her prom ticket was twice that, but the memories she’ll make with her friends will be priceless. I’m happy that she appreciates shopping at Goodwill Keystone Area and enjoys hunting for treasured pieces of clothing. If you have a special event coming up, consider your local Goodwill store. They are filled with clothing for every occasion!

From my closet to yours,
Kirsten

Dress: $8.00
Clutch: $3.97
Total: $11.97

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.

Tie Dye 2.0

 

As I keep saying, trends just recycle themselves and everything that is old is new (or never really goes out of style). If you’ve been to any big box store (Target, for example) this spring, tie dye is making a huge comeback. It’s a softer, gentler version with dreamy pastels and water-color inspired patterns.

Knowing that I can easily recreate those styles for pennies on the dollar, I headed to several local Goodwill Keystone Area locations to either find pieces to dye or look for finished items to showcase (in case you aren’t willing to end up with stained fingers like I did!).

For the DIY part of this article, I found a soft heather gray sweatshirt from xhiliration (A Walmart brand) for $5.95and an Old Navy skirt for $4.50. I researched tie dye methods on Pinterest. There’s hundreds of examples and it is much easier than you think!

For the sweatshirt I used blues and purples and used an ice tie dye method. You take your item and gather little “bubbles” of fabric on the piece. Place it in a box with a kitchen cooling rack underneath (to keep the item from sitting in dye). Cover it with ice cubes and sprinkle on powdered dye. I let it sit outside overnight and was as excited as a kid on Christmas morning to see how it turned out! I loved it! It has a soft, dreamy quality to the colors an provided a much more subtle outcome that traditional tie dye.

As for the skirt, I used traditional methods and rolled it up with rubber bands and applied liquid dye. I also let it sit overnight and rinsed and washed them both in the morning. It is a fun, little boho-style skirt that would be great to throw on over a bathing suit or with a tank top and jean jacket this summer.

As for finding finished items, I quickly came across two examples while shopping. First was the reverse tie dyed Everlast sweatshirt. For reverse tie dye, you use a dark or colored item and apply bleach (straight from the bottle). You can find many examples of this on Pinterest as well. For $4.95, it was a great find to stay on trend for many years to come. Bonus was that the sweatshirt was soft and broken in and had a great vintage look.

For a high-end item, I found a Marc Jacobs t-shirt. The flower pattern on the t-shirt still had a tie-dye quality, just in a more methodic way. This find retails for approximately $85, so $6.50 wasn’t a bad investment.

Depending on your crafting ability (or not), you can make or find tie dye items at your neighborhood Goodwill Keystone Area store. White items to dye or pre-done pieces are both easy to spot while perusing the racks. Spring is a great time to add some fun to your wardrobe. Give tie dye a try! Goodwill Keystone Area makes it economical and beneficial to be a on trend!

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 Keystone Area stores to decorate her home and wardrobe.

Thrifting in the Rain

 

There are so many sayings about rain:

  • April showers bring May flowers.
  • Into every life, a little rain must fall.
  • Some people walk in the rain, others just get wet.

While all those quotes may be true, unlike the last one, you don’t need to get wet when you thrift a new raincoat at your local Goodwill Keystone Area store. Goodwill has everything you need to complete a spring wardrobe, including this fun, patterned jacket.

I never have to settle for a simple khaki raincoat when I can find unique items such as this Coldwater Creek black and white houndstooth, lined trench coat (Goodwill: $15; Retail: $159). It was missing the belt, which I could easily replace, but I felt was cleaner without another accessory. It has detailed pocket and collar detail, so the belt is not missed.

Coldwater Creek was one of the fashion casualties of the pandemic. However, they but bought, and in December their new owners launched a new website. They are going in a softer, simpler, organic feel, so this coat, which is a few years old, probably wouldn’t fit into their new esthetic, but the great things about finding items at Goodwill – none of that matters.

The rest of the outfit was a simple jeans, blouse, and boots combo. The teal, patterned blouse was from Loft (Goodwill: $4.95; Retail: $59). While I have it paired with Elle jeans from Kohls (Goodwill: $4.95; Retail: $50) it would look equally as good with black trousers or a skirt for an office look. While everyone is still comfy at home in their lounge work, I see the return of dressing for work (even if it is in your own home) as we get tired of wearing leggings and knit shirts daily.

The Rockport boots were featured on the blog last winter and were a great find at the Goodwill Reading Outlet for a high-quality, rain and snow-proof footwear option.They retail for $230, but I snatched them from the bins for $2.25.

You never have to settle for low quality or average when you shop at Goodwill Keystone Area. And this spring, stay dry from those April showers with a raincoat or even an umbrella and rain boots. Your purchases support your local community and provide a rain of sunshine on a cloudy day to possibly even your friends and neighbors who benefit from their services.

From my closet to yours,
Kirsten

Raincoat: $15.00
Blouse: $4.95
Jeans: $4.95
Boots: $2.25
Total: $27.15
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.

Breaking News: Pastels are in for Spring!

 

Every year the fashion powers that be predict pastels and florals to be popular in spring fashion. I’m not sure who they are trying to fool, but pastels and florals are popular every spring and honestly, any time of year. And this year, of all years, we need some fun colors to lighten the mood.

I don’t typically buy linen fabric. It wrinkles too easily for my casual lifestyle. The only thing I have been ironing lately is fabric for masks I make. Other than that my clothes get washed in cold (it can save you up to $200 a year to wash in cold water!) and mostly get hung to dry or lightly tumbled if necessary. Ironing and starching have no place in my life!

However, these wide-leg linen-blend pants from Seven caught my eye. I had just bought a lightweight pink sweater and had some blue shoes and bag waiting for the right blog, so they were the perfect compliment to complete this spring look. I enjoyed the change from skinny pants to these cool and comfortable pants, perfect for warm weather and sunny skies. It came with a detachable belt, which I removed for now. Another bonus was these pants were new-with-tags. And they are still available on Seven’s website if you were inclined to pay full price ($59). My Goodwill Keystone Area cost was $4.95!

As I said, I had the pink salmon pink sweater from Loft. The open weave makes it great for spring, and the color is one of my favorites. For cool spring days, cotton sweaters are a great choice. This one was $5.75 at my local Goodwill but would have sold online for about $59. The mustard sweatshirt I featured in my last blog post also works great with these multi-colored pants.

As for accessories, I kept them all blue. The super comfy Franco Sarto loafers (Goodwill: $6.97; Retail: $99) are a gorgeous periwinkle color and perfect for work or play. The color is surprisingly neutral and coordinates well with a variety of colors from navy to golden yellow.

The bag is a fabulous spring carry-all. The baby blue hue and buttery soft leather made it a winner, and I knew it was high quality as soon as I touched it. The Cole Haan bag (Goodwill: $6.99; Retail: $348) is perfect for my regular necessities, but also for spring additions such as a water bottle and sunscreen.

Now is the time to freshen up your weary winter wardrobe with some new colors and fabrics. Goodwill Keystone Area makes it easy and affordable to brighten up your closet as well as help your local community through your purchases and your donations.

From my closet to yours,
Kirsten

Pants: $4.95
Sweater: $5.75
Bag: $6.99
Loafers: $6.97
Necklace: $1.97
Total: $26.63
Retail: $585

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.

Mardi Gras

 

So, I’m a bit late for Mardi Gras, but I think by now everyone is a year late for almost everything. New Orleans is on the list of places I’d like to get to someday and when I do, I think this outfit, especially the pants, would be perfect to celebrate.

These are the GripeLess Cotton Spandex Jeans in the blue Turkish Delight color. The pattern jumped off the rack and I quickly Googled the brand and discovered a new-to-me colorful favorite! These jeans sold for $129 when new, but my Goodwill Keystone Area price was $5.95.

After doing more research at home, I discovered I really embraced founder and CEO Gretchen Scott’s mantra: “Laugh More, Gripe Less, Ignore Critics, Say Yes, Order Dessert, Love Life.” And in fact, those words are sewn into everything they make!
According to Scott “Our brand embodies a place that is chic, joyous, playful and fun. We imagine people smiling as they read those words while dressing.” The brand was born in Gretchen’s living room when she began producing unique flowered baskets. Armed with glue guns, silk flowers, woven baskets, creative passion, entrepreneurial vision, and most importantly, determination, she began her journey. The company quickly outgrew the space and evolved into a lifestyle brand.

Because the pants were so vibrant, I decided to keep the rest of the outfit neutral with a simple Old Navy sweatshirt (Retail: $34.99; Goodwill: $4.25) brown leather satchel bag from Banana Republic (Retail: $150; Goodwill: $6.97) and heeled Coach booties with gold trim (Retail: $280; Goodwill: $12.99). My red bubble necklace is my own. I thought the outfit needed just a small punch of color!

Even though my wardrobe is usually pretty colorful and bright, I am embracing more joy this spring and I can definitely show that through my clothes. Goodwill Keystone Area provides a rainbow of colors in every store and your purchases put smiles on the faces of the communities and services they support. And you can also get an almost $600 outfit for $30.

From my closet to yours,
Kirsten

Pants: $5.95
Sweatshirt: $4.25
Bag: $6.97
Boots: $12.99
Total: $30.16
Retail: $595

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.

2021 Spring Forecast

 

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! My mailbox is full of seed catalogs and fashion magazines full of colorful and bright spring styles! Fashion is starting to break out of its winter doldrums, and at least on the printed pages, (Yes, I still love holding magazines or books in my hands) color and patterns spring eternal.

There may still be snow on the ground, but I’m ready to trade in my heavy sweaters and boots for lightweight fabrics and sandals. We’re not quite there yet, but I am updating my wardrobe from ideas found in the March issue of InStyle Magazine.

Today’s blog outfit is my interpretation of Proenza Schouler’s 2021 spring show and subsequent layout in InStyle Magazine. According to InStyle, their fashions are providing a “cool art-lady vibe with painterly prints.” What caught my eye about the dress and what reminded me of the Proenza Schouler offerings were the similar colors and dramatic features – balloon sleeves and cropped ruffled hem. Who wouldn’t want to look like a cool art-lady???

This tunic dress was new-with-tags from Elizabeth and James (a Kohl’s brand). (Goodwill: $6.95; Retail $60). It is still currently for sale on their website. The magazine spread had a simple color palette – green, white, and black, so I decided to recreate the designer look on a thrifted budget.

I added dramatic stiletto-heeled Calvin Klein boots (Goodwill: $6.95; Retail $129) and a structured Etienne Aigner bag (Goodwill: $6.95; Retail $198) to add the sharp black modern contrast to the artistic and romantic green and white flowy dress. I like the dichotomy of the colors and style. (Sunglasses and necklace were my own).

While I am not a slave to new fashion trends, I enjoy pulling inspiration from designers but recreating them on my terms and within my budget. Goodwill Keystone Area allows me the options and affordability to recreate whatever style I want – whether it is the latest trends or classic looks from any era.

From my closet to yours,
Kirsten

Dress: $6.95
Boots: $9.97
Bag: $6.97
Total: $23.89
Retail: $387

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.

Sweet & Low

 

Valentine’s Day is less than a week away! You don’t have much time for a DIY project, but your local Goodwill Keystone Area store can hook you up with something unique, thrifty, and special for the Valentine or Galentine in your life! Every item featured today is five dollars or less!

Two items were part of recent fashion blogs, and the others are new-to-me pieces. I picked up these home goods recently, and they would make great gifts for anyone. I love finding presents at Goodwill. You can be pretty confident no one else will be gifting the same item to your recipient. You are also making good choices by shopping sustainably, supporting your community through Goodwill Keystone Area’s mission, and finding great values to keep more money in your wallet (which hopefully you bought at Goodwill!).

First, the showstopper: a gorgeous vase. I found this Orrefors vase at the Reading outlet for around $2.50. A little research revealed this heavy crystal vase originally sold for over $250. It must have received a chip or two and was donated to Goodwill. A little chip or a few flaws doesn’t bother me! And don’t let the picture fool you – it is ten inches tall and easily holds a dozen or more roses. Pick up a vase at your local store, make a DIY bouquet and deliver it to a favorite friend or family member.

Speaking of my fashion blog entries, recently I featured the new-with-tags Nine West clutch (Goodwill: $3.99; Retail $35),

decorated in a beautiful heart print as well as the leather, beaded cuff bracelet from Victoria Emerson (Goodwill: $5; Retail: $58).

You can scroll back in the blog and read about these in my last post, “Rosy Hues”. Accessories such as clutches, jewelry, and scarves make great gifts for the fashion-lover.

Maybe you have a beach-lover in your life? Find a small container (in this case, a metal basket from Southern Living) and fill it with shells or pebbles from a favorite beach. You could also fill it with small pinecones or potpourri. Larger containers could hold a set of colored markers for an artistic friend. The possibilities are endless!

Another unique container is this silver-plated leaf tray. Here, I have it filled with a few of my rings, but small earrings or a few bracelets or necklaces would look lovely in it on a dresser. You could start a collection for someone of silver pieces and hunt for a piece each birthday or holiday.

Lastly, art is always a personal gift. These miniatures, which feature short sentiments for a sister (I have one and also have two daughters) and for a friend (Luckily, I have the best of those!), are small enough are perfect to be placed on a desk at home or work. There is a large selection of framed artwork at Goodwill! You can find any genre for anyone! Or buy an empty picture frame or two and print out your own pictures for an extra-personal gift.

Goodwill Keystone Area can provide you with sweet and low(priced) gifts for almost anyone in your life. Secondhand gifting was a huge trend for the holidays in 2020, so why not keep that going and stop by your local store today and find just the right Valentine’s gift. Go thrifting with love today!

Happy Valentine’s Day,
Kirsten

Vase: $2.50
Clutch: $3.99
Bracelet: $5.00
Metal basket: $1.99
Trinket Tray: $1.99
Art: $0.97 each
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.