Category Archives: Uncategorized

Trick or Chic

 

Just like everything else in 2020, Halloween looks a little different this year… But that doesn’t mean you can’t have a little fun with the holiday and dress up in something festive. Goodwill Keystone Area stores allow you to be creative and thrifty.

I won’t be trick or treating (I’m a little too old for that, however, I am known to raid my kid’s stash and steal all the Heath bars and Skittles) but I would like to enjoy the day and have a little hocus pocus with my outfit at work.

This Who What Wear (a Target brand) dress was found in the Halloween section for $4.75. It was new-without-tags and I was attracted to the beautiful floral pattern and ruffle detail. The ruffles along the sleeve and back added a feminine feel and lots of movement. Retail on this dress was $39.99. At first, I first did not imagine it as the start of a costume, but after a little thought, I knew I’d be celebrating Halloween as the Thrifty Witch.

The lilac bag from J. Lo (Jennifer Lopez’s former brand from Kohl’s) added a punch of color. Retail was probably around $60; Goodwill’s price was $7.47. Fall pastels always are a nice contrast to the darker and heavier colors usually seen at this time of year. And it will be a great piece for spring.

Black boots are a must for a Thrifty Witch. This pebbled leather pair of boots from Franco Sarto are extremely comfortable and a real bargain as $12.99 (Retail: $149) These are a great wardrobe staple and will be on repeat this fall and winter with dresses, jeans, and leggings.

Lastly, I added my own tights, necklace, and hat to finish up my look. I love the fact that without the hat, this piece will easily integrate into my closet and can transition from “costume” to everyday workwear. Goodwill Keystone Area stores still have plenty of costume ideas and fall and Halloween décor. Stop by and see what bewitches you!

From my closet to yours,
Kirsten

Dress: $4.75
Bag: $7.47
Boots: $12.99
Total: $25.21
Retail: $250+

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.

My Signature Look

 

Social distancing has caused many of us to get outside and explore nature to find some peace. While I don’t consider myself an excessively “outdoorsy” type of person, I enjoy the patterns of nature, specifically through fashion with florals – either realistic or abstract.

If you follow me on Instagram, you know I have a love for pattern, texture, and color, but specifically patterned pants or shorts. It’s a way to express my creativity through my clothing.

While shopping at Goodwill Keystone Area stores, I am drawn to the racks of pants. Because Goodwill organizes the clothing by colors and patterns, I can quickly spot a floral, striped, or otherwise-patterned trouser or pair of jeans in my size. It is one of the first places I start when I visit my local Goodwill store. If I am lucky enough to find something with potential, my next top is to the shirts, blouses, or jackets to top off the look before I hit the fitting rooms. When I find a match that looks great, my last stop would be the shoes and bags (if there is a unique color I am looking to complete the outfit).

These black, cream, and brown Loft skinny jeans made me giddy. They ticked off everything I was looking for and since they had black as a primary color, I knew I had something in my stash at home to coordinate with them. They retail for $79, but my cost was $6.50. Not bad! And they work for all seasons – a cream tank top and sandals in the summer with a jean jacket thrown over it or a chunky black sweater and tall boots for winter.

For fall, I paired it with a sheer Swiss dot blouse from LC by Lauren Conrad, a Kohl’s brand. I added a new-with-tags Loft tank top underneath. (Retail: $26.99; Goodwill: $6.50). There is a slight pattern-mixing going on here since the pattern of the Swiss dot is noticeable. Pattern mixing is something I’m also a big fan of in fashion.

The pebbled leather satchel from Bric’s was a splurge at $14.97. I usually don’t pay that much for a bag, but since the brand was new-to-me, I investigated it online before checking out and discovered that Bric’s typically produces high-end luggage and travel bags. The bag would have sold for about $300 when new! Shoes and necklace were my own.

I considered patterns a signature style. They bring me joy when I select a creative outfit from my closet. And I love that I can quickly and easily find patterns pants, shirts, and jackets when shopping at Goodwill Keystone Area stores. I know my selections will be unique (and maybe a touch eclectic) but always affordable. Best of all, my pattern obsession helps my local community through my purchases at Goodwill.
From my closet to yours,

Kirsten

Jeans: $7.50
Blouse: $4.75
Tank Top: $6.50 (new with tags)
Bag: $14.97
Total: $34
Retail: $430+
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.

Corduroy & Cardigans

 

October is finally here after what seemed like a long summer. Everyone is hoping that the change of seasons brings more change than just the temperature. However, fall is my favorite fashion season. Maybe it’s all the warm colors and cozy fabrics, but I think it’s the great textures – soft cashmere cardigans, nubby sweaters, leather and suede (real or vegan), and especially, corduroy.

From October 1 – 7, as a rewards member, you can save $$$ on all these textures, fall colors, and more at your local Goodwill Keystone Area! Save $5 off $30; $10 off $40 or $15 off $50! Check out all the details here! 

As a child in the 70s, I despised the wide wale (width of the cord) corduroy pants and overalls my mom bought for me at Sears. I didn’t the rustle of the fabric against itself as I walked through the hallways of my elementary school. But, the fabric kept reappearing every few years as a trend and the modern fabrics became softer, the wale became more delicate and I started to see the fabric in a new light. (Fun fact: velvet and corduroy are derived from the same kind of fustian fabric.)

Corduroy blazers make me feel scholastic or collegiate – something a professor might wear, but this one has a sleeker, more modern cut, and a notched collar. The dark eggplant color is the perfect neutral for fall. It looks great with the floral dress I’ve paired it with here, but would also look great with a lightweight cotton sweater, jeans, and booties.

I’ve added a black belt, booties, and bag (all featured in past blogs as I’ve been trying to recycle even more of my wardrobe). Goodwill Keystone Area is where you can find all the autumnal colors and textures you need to add to your fall wardrobe. Maybe you’ll even find some great vintage pieces from the heyday of polyester corduroy! I’ll stick to my more modern cotton/spandex pieces for a great fit.

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.

Give Your Summer Shoes the Boot!

 

The temperatures and leaves are starting to drop and the crisp fall air means it’s time to swap out my summer sandals and flip-flops for fall boots. I’ve already starting to add an extra layer such as a scarf or jacket in the mornings and a sweatshirt at night. Summer seemed too quickly come to an end. However, I’m ready for pumpkins, apple cider, and the fashions that accompany them. Give me all the plaid pants, animal print shirts, and chunky sweaters.

According to Marie Claire “The Best Fall Boots for Every Budget” article, “Boots are the reigning champion of fall purchases. At the top of shopping lists every fall: A boot that you can wear every day, all day, and all night—the kind you invest in once and wear forever. And this season, you may not have to invest at all, because there are plenty of good options at even better prices.”

At Goodwill Keystone Area I don’t have to worry about finding good prices – they have great prices on shoes and clothing all of the time! I started to hunt for fall clothing and accessories in August, which is when I found these two pairs of booties at the Shillington Goodwill Keystone Area store for $7.47 each.

The embroidered gray pair from Crown Vintage immediately attracted my eye. The turquoise and brown stitching and the pewter metal studs made them unique. The two-inch heel is enough to give me some height, but not overwhelming that I couldn’t be comfortable all day. The original retail cost would have been around $78, so I saved 90%!

The basic, black low-heeled boots from Carlos were another great find. These are everyday boots – wear to work, out on the weekends with jeans, trousers or tights, and a dress. The dual zippers add interest and make them easy to slip on and off. These are the LBD (Little Black Dress) of boots – perfect for any occasion. These also retailed at almost $80 – another 90% savings!

Goodwill Keystone Area has a wide variety of shoes and boots (as well as clothes) for fall. More new merchandise will be hitting the stores every day since donations are once again being accepted. You can shop with confidence knowing the sales associates are working to keep the stores clean and safe and that your purchases directly help your community. Give those summer shoes the boot and start stepping out in new fall footwear.

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.

Second-Hand September

 

Second-hand September is an online movement to encourage people to either limit their shopping or shop exclusively from thrift or consignment stores for September. If you search #secondhandseptember on Instagram, you’ll find almost 90,000 images of people from around the world sharing their outfits.

For me, second-hand is a monthly, if not weekly, and daily movement. I have been thrifting for over 40 years, starting when my mom took me shopping as a young girl. I remember desperately looking for Jordache jeans, Esprit shirts, and Benetton sweatshirts in the 80s. In the 90s, my style turned more alternative and boho when I was in art school in college, and then when I started in the business world, I looked for suits and office-appropriate attire. Now that I have kids of my own and I am more settled in my career and style, my look is all over the place, but still mostly entirely thrifted from Goodwill Keystone Area stores.

Now, the pandemic has opened many more people’s eyes to the benefits of thrift shopping. According to an article on Fortune.com about Goodwill in New York, “COVID-19 is expected to change shopping habits in favor of Goodwill, deepening the so-called “shift to thrift”: last week, a study by research firm Global Data projected that U.S. sales at thrift stores would rise from $21 billion this year to $28 billion by 2024, even as chains like J.C. Penney and The Gap deal with defecting shoppers”.

I’m all in for #secondhandseptember. I have been singing the praises of Goodwill for years and am glad it is finally making consumers realize the dangers of fast fashion and to embrace the slow fashion movement. My entry for #secondhandseptember is a very fall-ready look: a velvet kimono; soft t-shirt; vintage, flared Levis; caged, open-toed booties from Report, and a cross-body bag from Gap. All of these pieces were sourced at the Goodwill Keystone Area outlet bins in Reading, PA for under $5. The brand new Stella & Dot statement necklace was a $15 find at the new Phoenixville Boutique. The total for this outfit is only $20! I’m ready to throw on my mask and head out for a socially distanced dinner with family.

Goodwill Keystone Area stores are accepting donations again, so if you are heading out to source some new thrifted duds, grab a bag of your donations to take with you. Someone else will thank you for the second-hand style you are providing to them. It’s the circle of life (at least in the thrifted world).

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.

Summer to Fall Transitions

 

Early on, I learned that sometimes you had to suffer for fashion: Heels so high that they pinched, un-breathable faux leather leggings, itchy wool sweaters… but never did I think that being a fashion blogger would provide more outlets of fashion pain. In this week’s blog, I wriggled into gray leopard print tights and a lined leather jacket in 90-degree weather to show you how to transition your summer style into fall fashion favorites. There’s also no chance of a good hair day when the humidity is making everything frizzy and sticky. I hope you all enjoy this week’s entry on how to seasonally change up your wardrobe and appreciate the lengths I go to keep you stylish and thrifty!

Seriously, I long ago gave up my stiletto heels and binding or tight clothes. I work for a school now and need to be able to run around and dress in colorful, yet comfortable clothes when I’m around our students. My goal is to dress like a high school art teacher – a little off-beat, a little boho, but lots of fun. (Full disclosure: I am not a teacher; I work in marketing and fundraising).

With this look, I want to show you how to transition your summer dresses for cool weather. All pieces this week are from the bins at the Goodwill Keystone Area store in Reading. The only exception is the shoes in my summer look and the tights in the fall outfit – they are my own. My estimation of the cost of this outfit is under $5. A real bargain for multiple seasons of style!

Right now, this light-weight floral dress from Loft is perfect for the warm, late summer days we are experiencing. It came with a self-tie belt, but one of my favorite fashion tips is to remove them and the little belt loops provided. Chances are they won’t fall at your natural waist. By adding the chunky, pierced leather belt from Aimee Lynn (a boutique brand), I changed the feel of the dress from subdued to making a statement.

The bag for both seasons is a pale gray Tignanello. The brand is easy to find at Goodwill Keystone Area stores as they are sold in many local stores including Boscov’s, Macy’s, and from various online retailers. However, they are of good quality and come in a multitude of colors and variations – from this little bucket bag to roomy totes to cross-body styles. Look for this brand when out thrifting!

To create the cool weather look, I layered on this pewter leather jacket from Bradley Bayou. It’s not too heavy as it won’t get me through winter, but it is perfect for those chillier fall days. It would also look great over jeans and a t-shirt and black biker booties (all of which are in my closet!). To pick up the burgundy tones in the dress’s pattern the Franco Sarto suede pumps add just the right pop of color.

I could also layer the dress over a light-weight long sleeve tee or turtleneck or add a blazer or cardigan. Heavier tights and knee-high boots would also extend this look into colder days.

Goodwill Keystone Area stores still have plenty of summer clothing right now (when all the other stores have moved on to fall clothes) and maybe my tips can help you can envision how to transition dresses, skirts, or other pieces from season to season!

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.

Back to School 2020

 

It’s back to school time, but this year looks a little different. Many students – from college age to kindergarteners – are not even stepping foot into a traditional classroom. Educational options exist from in-person to virtual, but the one thing that doesn’t change is that back to school shopping is still happening and many kids are excited about it.

My teenage daughter and her friend are on a budget since they started driving and their expenses now include filling their gas tanks. But, having grown up around thrift shopping and visiting Goodwill Keystone Area stores, she felt comfortable taking her friend to visit the outlet in Reading. Her style ranges from vintage tees, distressed denim, and articles of clothing she can alter with her newfound sewing skills (she’s been sewing masks for our family and friends since quarantine started). She also looks for white items she can tie-dye or black items to bleach. The outlet provides inexpensive pieces that she can experiment on.

For under $10 she got 9 pieces of clothing: two pairs of shorts (1 pair was vintage Levi’s), 1 fleece jacket, 2 long sleeve button-up shirts, 3 t-shirts, and 1 blouse. Her outfit (pictured) was around $3.

I’m so fortunate that she gave up mall/big box store shopping and now focuses on sustainable style and being eco-conscious with her wardrobe. She likes cutting pieces up and sewing them back together and Goodwill is a treasure trove of material for a unique fashion sense. Passing along the thrift-shopping gene to my kids was one of the best things I could have done! Goodwill is also my older daughter’s first stop as she outfits her first apartment in New York. She often texts me pictures of her finds.

Back to school may look a little different this year, but back to school shopping is still a great deal at Goodwill Keystone Area stores. You can stock up on basics to wear whether you’re in the classroom or sitting in front of your computer. We’re all in this together – we might as well look good! Shop Goodwill Keystone Area stores today!

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.

National Thrift Shop Day 2020

August 17 is National Thrift Shop Day! NARTS: The Association of Resale Professionals states that “There are currently more than 25,000 resale, consignment and not for profit resale shops in the United States and about 16 – 18% of Americans will shop at a thrift store during a given year.” And that number is growing!

During the quarantine, consumers had time to clean out their closets and thrifters patiently waited for Goodwill Keystone Area stores to reopen with the bevy of donated treasures. But even before the pandemic hit, shopping second-hand fashion had started to become one of the biggest clothing trends of recent years.

Many online retailers have had noticeable gains in the last few years and while online resale shopping is great, I still prefer to be able to touch the fabrics and try on the clothes and I truly enjoy the fact that shopping at Goodwill Keystone Area benefits my local community as well as helping the environment.

Goodwill Keystone Area provides valuable life changing job training services to local community members with barriers to employment seeking hope and independence. In addition to this wonderful mission, these are the top 3 advantages of buying secondhand clothes at Goodwill:

1. Reduces your environmental impact. This is huge!
About 1,800 gallons of water are needed to produce the cotton in a pair of jeans, and 400 gallons to produce the cotton in a shirt. In comparison, it takes 39,000 gallons of water to produce the average domestic auto, including tires. Clothing manufacturing is the second highest polluting industry in the world. Reduce, reuse, recycle, it’s built into the Goodwill Cycle!

2. Saves you hundreds of dollars.
Most of the time, you pay pennies on the dollar for the items you find at Goodwill. My best find was a $2,000+ Longchamp purse for about $2.50. Stretch your dollars even further by shopping Goodwill!

3. Your unique style looks more authentic.
By shopping at a thrift store you are not bound by the trends presented in a mall store display. You can use what you see in fashion magazines as a guide, but creating your own style is more valuable than following current fads. Design your style by shopping Goodwill!

Don’t save thrift shopping to just one day – get out and visit your local Goodwill Keystone Area store today. Stores are open normal hours, Monday – Saturday 9 am to 9 pm and Sunday 12 pm to 6 pm, except where noted on their website. Restrooms and dressing rooms are also open. Be sure to wear a mask, maintain social distancing, and be respectful of your fellow shoppers and the staff.

In honor of National Thrift Shop Day, please enjoy a selection of some of my favorite Goodwill thrifted outfits: 

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.

Hanging on to Summer

 

While nothing has been typical this year, summer is still here and we’re hanging on to the last sun-soaked, lazy days with all our might. Maybe it’s a day by the pool, a socially-distanced trip to the shore, getting ice cream, or enjoying a sunset. However, you are spending your summer days, be safe, be responsible, and don’t forget to be fashionable.

I’ve been enjoying time with my small circle of family and friends and trying to keep things as normal as possible while still wearing my mask and keeping those around me safe when in public. If you’re crafty, maybe make a mask (plenty of patterns are online) from the shirt that you love, but doesn’t quite fit anymore or has a stain in a visible area?

Speaking of stains, I think that is how this colorful J. Crew dress ended up in the bins at the Goodwill Keystone Area store in Reading. I purchased this on my last trip to the bins before quarantine. The fabric caught my eye and l quickly discovered it was my size and a favorite brand. On the front near the hem was a stain. Or what I like to call – a challenge. I have a small arsenal of laundry stain removers, but my favorite secret weapon is blue Dawn dish detergent. It’s well known to clean a lot more things than just dishes! Fortunately, a few pre-treatments later and the stain disappeared from the dress!

Clothing is sold by the pound at the outlets so this lightweight dress cost less than a dollar. I loved the orange and yellow Ikat print and the lace trim. It was easy to pack on a vacation earlier this summer. And could double as a bathing suit cover-up. J. Crew dresses like this originally sold for around $79, so after a little effort, I had a great find. And a features all girls love – pockets!!!

I paired it with gold canvas espadrilles from Clarks. These are the most comfortable shoes I’ve worn in a long time and the neutral color works with everything from shorts to jeans to dressier outfits. The shoes were $7.47 but retailed for $84.

This bamboo, structured bag was labeled as one of the hot purse trends of 2019. I always believe that every trend makes it’s way to Goodwill and now this one has too! Similar bags like this sold at mass retailers and high-end stores in price points up to $4,000. See article here: https://www.thezoereport.com/p/this-2019-purse-trend-is-the-new-basket-bag-its-about-to-be-huge-15511487

My version (which was new with tags from C & C California) sold for $90 and is still selling well on Poshmark in the resale community. My cost at Goodwill Keystone Area was $4.97. Not a bad deal!

Lastly, I added an older trend – the bubble necklace. I tend to hang on to trends I like and even if they go out of style, I still enjoy wearing them. Eventually everyone old is new again, especially in the fashion world. And sometimes a little elbow grease will go a long way! If you’re up for a little stain removal or some minor alterations, Goodwill can be even more of a fashion gold mine!

From my closet to yours,
Kirsten

Dress: $1.00
Shoes: $7.47
Bag: $4.97
Total: $13.44
Retail: $250+

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.

There’s a New Boutique in Town!

 

Recently, Goodwill Keystone Area launched a new way to shop! They opened a 600 square foot Specialty GKA Boutique inside their Phoenixville store at 700 Nutt Road in Phoenixville.

According to Goodwill Phoenixville Store Manager Cathy McDonough, “We have many millennial and Gen Z shoppers who are looking for specific brands but do not want to pay a lot of money at a high-end store. With Specialty GKA, they can now find a wide assortment of merchandise and enjoy great savings while lessening their impact on the environment, which is very important to this generation of shoppers. The boutique experience will also be different than shopping at one of our Goodwill retail stores,” she said. “Compared to traditional thrift shopping, Specialty GKA will have a different look and feel, offer more upscale merchandise and there will be less inventory to sort through making it easier to find items.”

Excited to check it out, I took my own Gen Z daughter, Chloe. We visited on Saturday afternoon and she quickly starting going through the attractive racks and displays. The area has a chic, upscale feel with an exposed brick wall, ambient lighting, industrial-style shelves and racks, and hardwood flooring. The area was well spaced out and it was comfortable to look through the racks of tops, shorts, jeans, dresses, jackets, shoes, and accessories. It is also located conveniently near the dressing rooms, check out desk, and entrance. This makes it easy to come in, browse, try on your selections and check out, if you are not inclined to visit the entire store.

She chose several basic tees and some activewear including a tennis skirt from Nike. Brands were varied from high-end Kate Spade and Trina Turk to mid-range classics such as J Crew and Banana Republic. There were also Lucky Brand, Loft, Levis, and sporty brands such as Nike, Adidas, and Athleta. For myself, I picked up a new-with-tags long sleeve Loft blouse and a new-in-the-box Stella and Dot necklace for $15 (retail $139!). There was also a Kate Spade bag, Steve Madden sandals, and a small sampling of belts and scarves.The boutique also features a variety of men’s clothing.

She’s been thrift shopping for years with me, so she is comfortable combing through all of the racks so we did go through the rest of the store. But, to someone who would be new to Goodwill Keystone Area stores, the boutique is a perfect introduction to thrift shopping.

I’ve mentioned it to several friends (not of the millennial or Gen Z eras) and we are planning a girls day out. We may not be the target market, but are still ready to look through the racks and enjoy the new Specialty GKA Boutique! Bravo, Goodwill! I hope the idea spreads and we see more of them around the region soon!

From my closet to yours,

Kirsten

NOTE: As always, the safety and well-being of customers, donors and team members will be highest priority, and the following procedures will be implemented:

  • Face coverings will be required for all shoppers and employees (unless covered by a medical exemption).
  • Social distancing of six feet will be encouraged throughout the store.
  • A limited number of customers will be allowed in the store at one time.
  • Enhanced cleaning measures will be implemented, especially for high-traffic and high-touch areas such as shopping carts.
  • Donation areas will remain “no contact,” self-service for drop off of clothing and housewares – no furniture.
  • No returns, all sales are final until further notice.

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.