Spring Wardrobe Classics You Should Thrift Now

If you’re anything like me, you’re still bundled up and dealing with cold wintery temperatures. But if you’re also like me, you’re probably longing for the days of sunshine and nights with a nice breeze. That’s one of the reasons why spring is my favorite season. Besides the beautiful weather, it’s the perfect time to show off your style and have fun in vibrant colors and prints.

While trends are great, every wardrobe needs a few basics. These are the pieces that create the perfect foundation and are timeless. Because these items are such classics, you’ll be able to find them at your local Goodwill®. They’re high on fashion but low on price tags, which is always a great thing. The five classics below should be on your thrift shopping wish list for spring.

1.Trench Coat


Credit: Wendy’s Lookbook

If there was only one lightweight piece of outerwear to add to your wardrobe for the season, let it be a trench coat. It seamlessly goes from work to weekend and casual to chic. Also, the cut flatters all figures. My go to style tip for trench coats? Swap out the belt to create a new look each time, from a thin belt to a waist-cinching peplum one.

2.Denim Jacket


Credit: Baby Shopaholic

Another piece of outerwear that always stays on the wardrobe classics list has to be the denim jacket. It’s that perfect piece that adds a bit of warmth without any bulk. And it works well when layered over your favorite button down shirt or chunky sweater.

4.Anything floral


Credit: Live Simply Plush

I know, I know. There’s nothing groundbreaking about florals for spring, but there’s no denying how perfect the print is for the season. Having a floral piece in your closet is just a must. It doesn’t have to be a brightly colored dress, but maybe a dark floral top or even just a belt. The print is simply timeless.

4.Silky Scarf


Credit: Suburban Faux Pas

The last few months have been all about bundling up and chunky scarves. You don’t have to ditch the scarves fully, just opt for a silky one. One of my local Goodwill’s has a bin full of vintage, silk scarves for just $1. I stock up on them to tie them in my hair, around the handle of my purse and even wear as a beach cover up. There are just so many ways to rock one!



Credit: Who What Wear

Finally, a good classic shoe for spring has to be a mule. This style made a comeback a few years ago, but I’d say it’s an absolute keeper for years to come. Instead of a completely open toe, which doesn’t work for colder months, an open back mule can take you through spring, summer and fall.

New to Thrifting? How to Shop at Thrift Stores


Do you remember your first time thrifting? The nervousness, the uncertainty — the thrill? The first trip to Goodwill® is always the start of something great, but it’s been so long since I’ve been a thrift shopper that I sometimes forget that other people might not be. I mean, I’ve literally made it my mission to study thrift culture.

So when I recently heard my friend utter the words “I’ve never been to a thrift store before,” I was in shock. I knew I had to introduce her to the awesomeness of thrift life. I offered to assist with her first foray into the racks, and being the great sport she is, she agreed.

jenna-1                                                    Credit: Jenna Pfueller

Emilie has AMAZING taste, and luckily total game for a new adventure. I always love having a person to dress instead of myself, because A) my closet is full enough and B) it’s like playing Barbies I was a kid.

We chatted a bit about her favorite brands, colors and patterns, then set off in different directions to scour the racks for some goodies to try on.

She picked out a few things she liked– a striped blouse, some jeans, a few skirts in muted colors. And I picked out a few things I thought she’d at least enjoy trying out– a floral dress, a few pairs of cute pumps, a gingham ruffle dress, and a vintage leather jacket.


Jenna-2                                                   Credit: Jenna Pfueller

It wasn’t until I got into the dressing room with her and laid out our items that I understood the gravity of what was happening. Emilie confessed not only has she never been to a thrift store, one of her most recent shopping trips involved a personal stylist and complimentary champagne!  She has literally NEVER owned anything that wasn’t new. This is a HUGE step for her and I am so excited to help open the door to this new, thrifty and stylish world!

Her (first!) thrift store haul included:

  • A pair of a nude heels (BRAND NEW!)
  • A pair of jeans
  • A blouse
  • A cashmere sweater dress
  • Long sleeved tee

Total = Less than $35!

Here’s a quick Q&A with our new thrifty comrade:

Q: Why hadn’t you ever been to a thrift store before? Any particular reason?

Emilie: I wouldn’t say I’m a germaphobe, I just don’t like used things. I don’t check out library books. I don’t own antiques or other secondhand furniture. I’ve never bought a used car. It honestly has never been on my radar to shop at a thrift store. Weird, right? But I donate allllll the things to my local Goodwill.

Q: What surprised you (if anything?) on your first foray into Goodwill?

Emilie: Well, That I actually did it and enjoyed it. That you left me alone to shop and I didn’t walk back out. It was not how I imagined it to be. The vastness! I expected it to smell like my grandmother’s closet of mothballs, but it didn’t. I expected the clothing selection to be mostly 70s jumpsuits or other Halloween-appropriate attire. I saw none. I saw name brands! And clothes that appeared freshly washed (they aren’t) because I was surprised at how well cared-for mostly everything appeared. I loved listening to and talking with the employees, each one incredibly personable and hard working. Let’s be honest, it was all one great big surprise.

Q: What were you most excited about?

Emilie: Barely worn nude name brand heels! And $3 jeans, say what?! The most recent pair of jeans I purchased was $250. This single mom can get excited about that cost savings. One of my New Year’s resolutions is to Say Yes. Shopping with you was a fun and memorable experience, something I ordinarily wouldn’t have done. It’s a nice reminder to try new things because (as Daniel Tiger says), you might just like it!

Q: Show us a pic of your favorite find and tell us a little about why you liked it.

Emilie: I have never had a (cashmere!) sweater dress. I get lost in the bulk and boxiness of the cowl neck. This one offsets my booty work at the gym and the short (yikes!) length well enough to give it a try! And all the heart eyes for those shoes. Also, who says to avoid horizontal stripes now?



jenna-4                                                Credit: @photoemilie

Say Yes to the (Thrifted) Dress


Well now that we’re past the holidays and Valentine’s Day, chances are few of you out there are in wedding planning mode. So let me be the first to tell you– you’re about to take a wild ride on the sticker shock express. But fear not. Simply put down the bridal magazines and cancel your appointment at the fancy bridal store. Goodwill® is the best place to start.

Shocked? Don’t be. Plenty of happy marriages have started with thrifted dresses and decor. Unless your last name is Rockefeller, you’re probably more interested in spending money on the party and honeymoon than on a dress you’ll wear once.

But it goes beyond dresses, and so do the expenses involved in getting hitched. Pinterest is literally filled with DIY ideas for centerpieces, decor and even unique floral arrangements using upcycled vases and frames. It may not be a one-stop-shop, but it’s certain to be a completely you, one-of-a-kind experience for you and your guests –for literally pennies on the dollar.

wedding dress 1

Photos courtesy of Julie Collins

Claire Westlie and Bryan Lauer’s wedding is a great example. They got married in 2016 in Appleton, Wisconsin. Tipped off by a friend, she went to her local Goodwill to check out a dress that closely resembled one she liked that had a $1500 price tag. The big difference? This gorgeous Goodwill find was just $80 and cost more than she paid for it to get altered! All told, she got a beautiful gown she wanted for a savings of $1170. That’s some serious honeymoon margarita money, so it pays to keep an open mind.

Here’s some great inspiration of cobbling together the dress of your dreams from thrifted dresses, because when you think about it, who wears a dress right off the rack anyway? Don’t know how to sew? Don’t worry, there’s always someone willing to alter dresses and even then the savings are often substantial over buying new.

Need more proof? Some regional Goodwill stores host wedding and prom dress events of their own each year.  A Goodwill bridal event in Pennsauken, NJ recently had over 400 donated dresses from size 0-30, all for $49-$299.

Are you reading this from Florida? You can get free tickets to a Goodwill bridal show in Orlando on March 9, 2019 by clicking here!

Don’t forget the decor. The variety of items you can find at Goodwill adds the perfect shabby chic look, and puts a unique eclectic touch to your big day. Here’s a great example of items easily found in thrift stores– vases, ceramic figurines, timepieces, candles, old books, and tea sets that can really bring a tabletop to life.

wedding dress 3

Photo by @mrs_plath

So go out! Get creative! It’s your day to make your own. There’s more than one way to throw a wedding, and we’re here to make sure it’s fun, memorable, and saves some of that precious cash for your future life together.

Ramp Up Your On-The-Go Lifestyle With An Athleisure Upgrade

Athleisure has been infiltrating the fashion market and is expected to do so through the new year. As people make their new year’s resolutions, some of them may be to make 2019 a healthier year, with more time spent focusing on strengthening their muscles and minds. Athleisure – a mix between loungewear and workout clothes – can help people reach their health goals. After all getting dressed for the gym is half the battle. In addition to being cute weekend wear, athleisure attire can also serve as reminders to take an hour or so out of the day to focus on becoming healthy and strong.

I was browsing the racks at a department store the other day and found myself at eye-level with the sweatshirt of my dreams. It was a gorgeous soft shade of Glossier-esq millennial pink that all brands seem to be coveting lately, and had sleeves that puffed out just enough to show that it was a fancy sweatshirt that you could almost get away with wearing to work instead of the gym. The inside was incredibly soft and insulated. I wanted it and knew I’d probably live in it, so I checked the price, to find it was whopping $70 for an elevated version of a sweatshirt that would be worn more as a sweater. I passed on it, lamenting full priced fast fashion retail prices and also realizing that I could purchase an entire wardrobe for that price at my favorite Goodwill® store in the city.

January is a fantastic time to pop into your local Goodwill store and checkout all of the new donations that have come in. People clean out their closets for the new year, making room for new items and donating some brand new or well loved clothes to an organization that is dedicated to helping families thrive, by providing job training and assistance programs. When I went into my favorite Goodwill store right after the holidays, I found an incredible amount of designer items with tags still attached – think full-priced pants, dresses and sweaters that are originally $440 being sold at Goodwill for under $20. My biggest steal? A Missoni sweater tank top that would normally be a couple hundred dollars, that I scored for just $8.

I’ve seen some amazing athleisure deals as well. Pair a fun and warm sweatshirt with a fun pair of patterned leggings for a weekend look that will encourage you to be on-the-go.

Check out some of my favorite looks from the athleisure trend below:

photo 1

Photo: @just.my.kloset

1. Sporty Stripes

Stripes are all the rage in athleisure wear – weather you have stripes down your pants or down your sleeves, the trend can add an additional pop of color to your outfit or flaunt some awesome brand logos.

photo 2

Photo: @campbellhuntpuckett

2. Pleather Leggings

Paired with an oversized sweatshirt or chunky sweater, these pleather leggings are perfect to wear to brunch or to work during the week.

photo 3

Photo: @nephotog

3.Cropped Sweats

These vintage brown wool cropped pants were an awesome thrift store find. Pair cropped sweats with cute booties and a leather jacket to dress it up for any occasion, while still staying comfortable.

photo 4

Photo: @felicia.czo

4.Strappy Crop Top

Whether you’re heading to the yoga mat or the beach, a combination cropped outfit can be the perfect look. Pair a colorful crop top with a pair of your comfiest leggings so you can be on-the-go running errands and on the treadmill – just don’t forget to pack a sports bra in your bag!


Goodwill® Date Night Scavenger Hunt



A few years ago, my other-half and I celebrated Valentine’s Day with a #GoodwillDateNight! It was so fun for us to pick outfits for one another and find inexpensive, surprising activities for us to do after we shopped. This year, we thought we’d try another Goodwill date, but shake it up by adding a scavenger hunt! So, I whipped up a quick list of things for us to look for (download the checklist here!) and we headed out to our local Goodwill.

When you shop at one of the more than 3,300 Goodwill stores, you help Goodwill create employment placement and job training programs as well as other community-based services, so we’d love for you and your partner to give our scavenger hunt a try this Valentine’s Day, too! But, before you step into the store, make a plan with your honey about the rules, time limit, and prize for the winner. That way, as soon as you get inside, you can jump right into the game! A few things to consider:




How long do you two want to hunt around for? The longer you’re there, of course, the more likely it is you’ll both find everything on the list. Plus, you won’t feel rushed to focus on the list and you can do a bit of browsing, too. But at the same time, some people do well under pressure and if you have plans for dinner or a movie after your scavenger hunt, then you’ll need to keep that in mind. Whatever you decide, make sure you’re both on the same page and that you set timers if necessary!



Are you a viciously competitive team? If so, maybe make sure you’re not being spied on! Should one person start at the back of the store and work their way forward while the other starts on the right and works their way left to minimize the chances of running into each other? Or, do you welcome the idea of bumping into one another? You are doing this to spend time together, after all. And how will you keep track of the items you’ve found—is it just enough to check them off of your lists or do you require photographic evidence?

We know how hard our Goodwill associates work hard to keep stores tidy, so we wanted to make sure we weren’t putting everything on our checklists into a cart for them to have to put back. (Although, if we did find something we loved, then obviously it would be a fun memory of our Goodwill date and have a welcomed place in our home.) So we decided to text each other a photo of each item on the list as we found them. It was kind of exciting to see the progress the other person was making. Sort of like the feeling of watching a sports game and seeing the other team score—makes you want to up your game, right? And we decided that the first person to find an item gets the point for it. I can’t just walk over to something he’s already counted and use that, too. I’ve got to find something different for my list. Tricky!

Another thing to decide ahead of time; if you find an item that actually meets two of the conditions on the list, does that one thing qualify for both or do you have to find a different item for everything on the list? It’s up to you!

Now, what determines the winner? Is it the first person to find everything on the list? The person with the most items checked when your time limit is up? And what happens if there’s a tie? All are important things which you can discuss and decide upon on your way over to your local Goodwill.



You could go a few different ways with a prize for the winner. One of the items on the list is to find a clothing piece for your Valentine. If you’re going by the traditional idea of a Goodwill Date Night (where you choose a statement outfit—sometimes they can be pretty wild—for your partner to wear on the rest of the date), the reward for the winner might play into that. But you could also say that the loser buys dinner or the winner picks what movie you see that night. Whatever works for you! Just make sure you decide beforehand so you know what’s at stake.



Okay, ready to check in and see how we did? We printed off our checklists, swung by our favorite coffee shop for game fuel, and headed out to Goodwill. I found almost everything on the list (and even a few things that weren’t!). Here’s how mine came out…


Something heart shaped

  •   A pink candle or candlestick

Red roses

A Valentine’s Date clothing item for your partner to wear

A movie with “Love” in the title

A romance novel

A product or item designed specifically for a wedding

A vinyl record made with crooner-style songs

A red dress

A red necktie

A flower vase

  •    Something with the word “Valentine” on it
  •    A picture frame with a photo/painting of a couple in it

A piece of diamond jewelry (faux is okay)

  •      A chocolate or candy tin
  •      A china set suitable for newlyweds

Cupid’s arrow

A board game that only works with two people (Examples: Battleship, Guess Who?)

  •    Something that says “Dear,” “Darling,” or another term of endearment

Two matching champagne flutes or wine glasses


I can’t decide on my favorite find of the date. It was either this heart-shaped baking pan or the adorable cream and sugar containers on the shelf behind it (even though they’re not Valentine’s Day related, they may or may not have ended up in my cart…). I also have to admit that I cheated a little when I texted the dress below to my husband and just mentioned how well it would work as a Valentine’s Date clothing item for me to wear—ha! I mean, it does have little hearts on the label and the faux-leather detailing coupled with the silky bodice is just perfect! It also has a statement zipper in the back which is pretty much my style weakness. I didn’t mind helping his chances of winning if it meant that maybe I’d get to take the dress home!


All in all, it was a really fun and different way to spend time together for Valentine’s Day. As adults, we rush around between work and our other life responsibilities without much time to play games. It was a nice return to our dating years for us to just set some time aside for the scavenger hunt. I’d rate the date: 10/10 would play again! I hope that whatever you do to celebrate the your loved one this Valentine’s Day, you have just as much fun.