Hello, lovelies! My name is Ashley, and I am one who believes an outfit can totally boost your self-esteem. I love to constantly update my wardrobe, but in an ethical and budget-friendly way. As a fashion influencer and Instagram stylist, there is constant pressure to have the ‘next new thing.’ As nice as that would be, I find more happiness and satisfaction in the everyday thrift score. You truly just never know what you will find! Why bother having the same thing as everyone else, when you have the opportunity every day to let your true style shine?
When shopping at Goodwill, its best to have a plan of action in mind. I don’t always know exactly what I’m shopping for, as I’m a big browser. However, I do always abide by my “order of operations, if you will. I’m a shoe and bag girl to the core. I ALWAYS start in the shoe department. When at home, I often style my outfits the same way. I start with my shoes and work my way up. So why not shop the same way when styling an outfit? Oh, and don’t forget, most Goodwill locations have a ‘designer counter or cabinet.’ You wouldn’t believe some of the designer brand handbags I have found in there! All but one bag in this post was thrifted from my favorite local Goodwill. Can guess which one wasn’t?
I’m a big believer in versatile basics. Not limited so much to color as it is to cut and fit. My closet is filled with everyday pieces that can be mixed, matched, and dressed up or down with the right accessories. Goodwill offers all the name brand, ‘luxury’ tags that I’m always perusing for, as well as the unique, no brand, pieces that give an outfit the perfect pop of personality. You really just have to look.
I love to play with vibrant colors, whether it be head to toe or just an accent.
Clean and crisp basics in simple silhouettes leave the door open to play with all sorts of color palettes. Don’t be afraid to explore unique color combos. Who would think that mint, navy, and pink could all work together? I would! With that much color, I always ensure having a crisp neutral to balance the whole look. My rule of thumb: when in doubt, add a pop of white. These white leather Keds add a casual crispness to any outfit.
As much as I love a good basic, I love a stand out pattern or the occasional “trendy” item. When going for either of the previously mentioned, I try to have a game plan of when or how I can get the most use for the article. I’m very far from being a ‘wear it once and call it done kind of gal.’ Again, I am all about versatility and getting the most out of my closet. With a simple change of shoes, you can easily take a trendy piece from a casually cute daytime look too happy hour or date night ready.
I’ll admit that I like nice things, that doesn’t mean they have to be expensive. When shopping at Goodwill, I admittedly search for the brands that I love. J.Crew, Banana Republic, Loft. Would you believe I often find Michael Kors and an occasional Kate Spade at my favorite Goodwill? These brands are often filled with timeless classic silhouettes that can take you from one season to the next. Versatility and longevity is the name of the game.
Aside from looking for the brands, above all else, I look for style, quality, and cleanliness. On that note, a clearly visible wine stain is one to pass on. But keep in mind that deodorant or makeup stains, oftentimes from items being tried on, are easy to clean and can get the piece back to its potential original quality.
A motto you’ll often hear me say while thrifting: “Don’t knock it, just wash it.”
These white Gap skinny jeans had some dirt marks at the ankle, here in the desert it is way too easy to accidentally kick up some dust. But with a quick spot treatment and a little bleach, they are back to their full wearability and quality for a crisp and subtly patriotic look.
While shopping the racks, one of my biggest tips would be to not get so set on the size. I personally can range anywhere from an XS in some brands, to a Large in others. Keep in mind, you’re not shopping at a retail store where everything is seemingly organized by size. Goodwill does an amazing job with doing their best to stay organized, but things often get misplaced by one person or another. Take your time to really look. The countless times I have scored the random size small under the size larges, trust me, it happens.
Lastly, try everything on!
I’m a big believer in putting an item in your cart, and not making a decision until you get to the fitting room. Hanger appeal can only go so far. At times, you won’t know how it really fits until you try it on for yourself. Have no shame, load up that cart and take the time to really make a clear and concise decision. I’m not one to force things to work. A quick trip to alterations can be worth it on occasion. But if I have more that one doubt over a piece, or find myself debating it for more than a couple minutes, it’s easy for me to pass on that particular item. The racks are full of plenty of other options anyways!
Don’t get discouraged. Sometimes you find more than you could hope for. But occasionally, you walk out with one thing or possibly even empty handed. Having a positive and open mindset is important while thrifting. Keep on smiling babes, the world needs more of that.