• Jennifer Hastings

The GW: My Favorite Little Boutique

Updated: Oct 9, 2019

Shopping Goodwill is the best way to round out your wardrobe. I’ve found that I’m more apt to take a

fashion risk, when the price is right. Plus, you always find unique pieces. To be a successful thrift shopper, your work starts before you ever drive to the store. You cannot just walk in and expect to find the deal of the century. Well, that is not true, you can… but I like to be prepared! I always do my homework!

Steps to finding amazing pieces:

1) Know Your Style

Know what looks on you and what styles you feel great in! Don’t follow a trend just because it is trendy...especially if it doesn’t look good on you. Don't let trends dictate what you wear. Seems like an easy lesson to learn, this one took me a while. Maybe it is easier to chase trends when you are younger, you are more in the fashion know, or you feel more pressure to conform to trends, I don’t know! But I will tell you, there is a freedom in choosing your clothes and style based strictly on what looks good and feels good on you! Who cares what is in style? They say in the south we are five years behind the style anyway, and if you go with that logic, we will never be in style! Go with your gut!

2) Get Inspiration

There are so many beautiful stylish women in the world right around you! I used to spend time looking on Pinterest for ideas about outfits, but with three kids and a full time job, that rarely happens for me anymore. If you are like me, and are limited on time, follow the people around you. I am in out of schools all the time and let me tell you.. teachers are stylish people. They are so creative! Just start watching the ladies you think are well put together. Then all of a sudden, it will come to you, I could do with that the clothes I have in my closet right now or if I had a gold necklace like hers, I could recreate her outfit.

For example, the other day at the middle school, I see a cute teacher walking down the hall with a black and white polka dot shirt and causal green jeans...she looked adorable! Bingo! I instantly, push the imaginary like button in my head and plan to recreate her outfit. Mine will look a little different because my polka dot shirt has giant dots and my green pants are dressier than jeans, but I think the overall look will be fabulous. These pieces were in my closet, but I would have never thought to put them together the way she did.

3) Keep a list

I like to keep a list of items I need to complete an outfit. There are those times, when you have a skirt you are dying to wear, but none of your tops look good with it! Keep a list of what you need because when you go to the mall or GW, it can be overwhelming with so many options to choose from. Your goal is to make the clothes you have work for you! I’m not saying, that you can’t deviate from the list, that is the fun part...finding unexpected treasure! You do, however, need to make your time and money count, so you can add to the essential items that will take your wardrobe farther.

4) Know your brands!

Know what brands typically fit you the best! You need to train your eye to recognize their label and then try on those things, they are more likely to fit you in a flattering way and up your chances of a real find.

Now, we are ready to enter Goodwill!!!

If you have never been, then the racks and racks of clothes will seem very overwhelming to you. If you are like me, this moment is pure heaven. I love entering a Goodwill and wondering what treasure I will find. The hunt is a drug and I am ready for my hit!

For Goodwill newbies, just try one category. Sleeveless shirts or dresses would be a good place to start. You must physically take your hand and slide each hanger across the rack. You might begin to wonder why you are doing this because the first ten dresses are ugly, but then wait… what is this, an Ann Taylor dress, in my size, with TAGS on it!!! What??? This is a find! Now, you have caught the bug, because you see there really are treasures hiding in these massive heaps of clothes.

5) Look over every item you plan to buy very closely!!!

Ninety percent of the time, the items I’ve chosen are in perfect condition, but there have been a few times, when looking over the item has saved me from buying something with a hole or stain. Very important rule!!! Don’t skip it!

My latest trip! Check out these finds!

This is a Limited dress and I just paid seven dollars for it. I think Limited must have donated some of their leftover inventory because I saw this exact dress in several sizes and I heard they are closing their stores and moving into department stores.

Who doesn't need a black silk top? Only 3.99!

This is a kid's shirt from Gap, I think Claire will love it! $1.99

I LOVED this shirt! It is going to be my fall Saturday favorite to throw on with jeans! $3.99

For all you skeptical people all there... I took Stephannie with me and get this... even she found something. Look at these cute long sleeve tees she found for her oldest daughter. Yes, one even has the tags...from Target!!!

The way I see it, why pay outrageous prices for clothes, when Goodwill has so many wonderful outfits hiding in their racks! Happy hunting!

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