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Fashionista: Take look from office to festive night out

At the office and need to jump from office apparel to festive? With just a few quick tips I can show you how to maneuver that look.

The star of the show is this leopard shift/swing dress. Leopard print was all the rage this fall and isn’t stopping. Consider it the new neutral.

I gasped when I found this Charlotte Russe dress for only $5.99 at my local Goodwill! Like the ever-versatile shift dress, this flirty swing dress is as well. It’s so versatile that I could make this dress go from office setting to festive evening out.

For a more reserved look for the office, add a black cardigan and black booties.

Take this same dress and turn it into party time by pairing it with an amazing velvet boa jacket and a bright red belt to emphasize the waist. Match the belt with a red kitten heel. Add a clutch and you have one fabulous look!

I realize that there are many of you out there who would never wear a velvet boa jacket.  And that’s totally OK. Finding pieces that speak to your style is the fun part about shopping at GW. The unique velvet boa jacket definitely spoke to me.

Cost breakdown: Charlotte Russe dress, $5.99; Elle cardigan, $6.99; Mootsie Tootsie booties, $9.99; clutch, $2.99, red belt, 99 cents. The red kitten heels are from my closet.

Get to your GW store and search for those one-of-a-kind looks, including boas! Happy holidays, GW thrifters! And always remember you are shopping with a purpose.

About Therese Bishop: Therese is Goodwill’s fashionista and always is on the hunt for her next great treasure. She writes regularly about her fashion finds.


DIY accent tray perfect gift for special person on your list

Looking for a quick, homemade DIY project to give someone on your list this holiday? You’re in luck! This DIY accent tray is easy to make, and all you need are a few simple and inexpensive supplies:

  • Old wooden picture frame (with glass intact)
  • Can of spray paint (or regular paint if you’d prefer)
  • Set of hardware handles
  • Screwdriver

Find frames that are small, large and everything in between at your local Goodwill to make this a budget-friendly, do-it-yourself project that you can keep for yourself or give as a homemade gift.

Step 1: Spray paint the picture frame, including the glass. You’ll want to spray paint one side at a time and let each side dry fully before flipping to spray paint the other side.

Step 2: Screw on the hardware handles. This is where sourcing a wood frame is important! If the wood isn’t soft enough you may need to pre-drill some small holes to make screwing in the hardware easier.

Step 3: Add a beautiful ribbon, scarf or embellishment

Pro tip: Make sure that your screws aren’t too long and poke through the opposite side of the frame.

The gift recipient can change out the ribbon and items placed on the tray for the seasons. We liked creating this one in white so that it matches with decor all year!

Fashionista: Shop Goodwill for festive New Year’s Eve outfits

Can you believe it’s going to be 2020? I may be dating myself now, but I remember the song by Prince and the Revolution titled “1999.”

That song was released in 1982, and I remember dancing to that song on New Year’s Eve thinking that 1999 was SO far away!

New Year’s Eve is such a fun night to go out and get dressed up. Nowadays, my husband and I stay in on New Year’s Eve, watch something on Netflix and eat popcorn. However, there still are times when we go out and meet with friends to celebrate.

If your New Year’s Eve festivities include dressing up, make your local Goodwill your shopping destination for your New Year’s Eve outfit.

I was thrilled when I found this vintage sequined top. It has small and large sequins and a full back zipper. That had me thinking that you could wear the zipper in the front and wear it over your little black dresses. I love when you find a piece of apparel that you can wear several ways.

For an easy monochromatic look, wear this top with great-fitting black pants or jeans. I chose to go bold and wear a bright pink ankle pant. It makes that sequined top sparkle and shine even more. Red and pink are bold colors that go together. To top it off, I picked a pair of red kitten heels from my closet and added a stacked pair of bracelets — so trendy right now — and a bold pair of earrings.

Go and have fun and dance that night away.

If you are into New Year’s resolutions, put thrifting at Goodwill at the top of the list because you are shopping for a purpose and making a life-changing impact on neighbors in your community when you do.

Cost breakdown: Imperial vintage black sequined top, $6.99; Utopia ankle pant, $8.99; black clutch, $2.99. Red kitten heels and jewelry are from my closet.

Happy New Year, GW thrifters!

About Therese Bishop: Therese is Goodwill’s fashionista and always is on the hunt for her next great treasure. She writes regularly about her fashion finds.


DIY ornament tree

If you enjoy the holidays as much as we do, then you probably love decorating for the season! Decorating the tree with ornaments of sentimental value, untangling the lights (and hoping they work), and filling the walls with holiday decor. It’s one of the best times of the year for decorating, but the decorations themselves can sometimes take a toll on your bank account. This is why it can be helpful to find simple and inexpensive DIY ideas for decor like an ornament tree.

This is a simple project that only requires a few items, most of which you can find for less at your local Goodwill.

Step 1: Gather supplies

  • Large picture frame
  • Ornaments
  • White fabric
  • Hot glue gun
  • Masking tape

Step 2: Getting the frame ready

Start by removing the glass and backing. Set the backing aside as you’ll need it for the next step.

Step 3: Cut the fabric

Measure out the fabric to fit the frame. We recommend using the backing as a guide and cut the fabric so that it is about 1 inch larger than the backing.

Step 4: Ready the backing

Place the backing over the top of the fabric so that the fabric is about 1 inch longer on all four sides. From there you will fold the fabric around the sides and use the hot glue gun to secure the fabric to the back of the backing. Once all of the sides have been glued down, you will want to glue down the corners.

Step 5: Secure the backing to the frame

Return the fabric covered backing to the frame and secure the backing to the frame.

Step 6: Outlining the tree

Using the masking tape, outline where you want your tree to sit within the frame.

Step 7: Add the ornaments

Begin at the bottom of the tree and start hot gluing the ornaments onto the backing and inside of the masking tape outline. It’s best to start by spreading out the large ornaments and then filling in the gaps with smaller ornaments. Top it off with a star.

From there you will remove the tape and find the perfect spot within your home to hang your beautiful DIY ornament tree. Happy holidays and happy DIY-ing!

5 thrift store sweaters you’ll love

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! When you love thrift store sweaters as much as we do, the arrival of winter is like being reunited with a friend you haven’t seen in a while but have missed like crazy.

Like comfort food, thrift store sweaters are comfort wear for the winter. Count us among those who can’t get enough. Our motto: Life is better in a sweater. (Actually, life is better in a thrift store sweater.) We’ll raise our peppermint mochas to that! Here are five thrift store sweaters you’ll love.


Part coat, part sweater, a poncho is the perfect piece for your winter wardrobe. You’ll get so much mileage out of it that you’ll be wondering why you haven’t gotten on the poncho bandwagon before. And let there be no doubt, there definitely is a bandwagon, friends. It’s time to get on board. Ponchos will add just the pizazz you’re looking for!

There’s no better way to try a trend than by shopping at a thrift store. That way, if for some reason — and we can’t think of any — you don’t love the poncho look then you’re not out much.

Turtleneck sweaters

Give yourself a hug with a turtleneck sweater that provides built-in comfort and warmth.

Style tip: Since oversized turtlenecks are the hot item this winter, the key to keep from looking frumpy is balancing your oversized top with a smaller bottom.

Another trick: It’s really trendy to tuck a sweater into jeans. Yes, you read that correctly. We’re not talking a full stuff-it-in look. Simply take the bottom, middle piece of your thrift store sweater and tuck about 2 inches into the front of your jeans, letting it drape a bit over the waistband. Smooth it out and you’re done. See? Not scary!

Draped cardigans

If you’re not a fan of the cold, comforting draped cardigans are the one thing that will make you feel so much better about the winter months. A trend in draped cardigans are bold prints and patterns, which make them an easy way to add some personality into a drab winter wardrobe. Grab your favorite thrift store sweater and add some energy back into winter!

 Office sweater

Typically lighter weight, office sweaters are made for layering. If you’re feeling like you are craving more warmth, wear a chambray shirt underneath or a fitted cardigan sweater over it. If the heat in the office gets to be too much, you’ll have options. And who doesn’t love options?

Weekend comfort

Everyone needs that well-loved sweater that oozes relaxation to cuddle up to on the weekend when comfort is king.

Thrift store sweaters that are either gently used or nearly new have that feeling built right in! Take advantage by scoring several thrift store sweaters that can take you from an early-morning leisurely walk to an afternoon sitting by the fire cheering on your favorite team on TV. Pair your casual weekend sweater with a vest and you’re all set to get your holiday shopping on.

White elephant gift exchange ideas

The holiday season is the perfect time of year for hosting or attending a white elephant gift exchange. Goodwill is THE place to find a unique and fun white elephant gift.

If you are having a white elephant party this year, there are a few ways to approach the gifts.

  • Visit for different ways to conduct a white elephant gift exchange.
  • Next, decide your rules ahead of time and ask your guests to bring a wrapped white elephant gift within a certain price range.
  • Serve up some fun holiday treats and drinks and let the laughter commence.

So what makes a good white elephant gift? Anything really. Be sure to follow the price suggestion and go for it! Think funny, weird and interesting. If the item has a story behind it, even better. We did some white elephant gift shopping at one of our retail stores and training centers and in a few minutes, we had four really great options.

  • We’re sure this ceramic carousel teapot was a treasured piece in someone’s home and now it makes a really great white elephant gift.
  • We discovered this large, wicker bull head home décor item. When it comes to white elephant gifts, we think the larger, the better. Plus, this actually might work in a recipient’s home with today’s modern trends.
  • This wooden safari necklace is a real treat. Wrap it up in a jewelry box topped with an elaborate bow and it surely will catch someone’s eye.
  • This large piggy bank is just too adorable to pass by. You could even put something in it (a Goodwill gift card!) to sweeten the deal.

Find your ugly Christmas sweater at Goodwill

There’s nothing like an ugly Christmas sweater to show off your flair for fun and make you forgo your fashion sense.

Adorned with lavish landscapes, rosy-cheeked Santas and reindeer, glistening snowmen, decorated Christmas trees, smiling gingerbread, poinsettias and presents and topped with tinsel, bows, jingle bells and pom-poms, these thrift store sweaters are garish, no doubt, but they most definitely are hip and cool.

They also have become the theme of office parties and contests, family gatherings and neighborhood round-robins so make sure you aren’t left out in the cold. No one needs a Grinch in the midst who can’t get into the spirit of the season.

Christmas sweaters are an annual tradition and a challenge — a challenge to outdo family and friends and even top the one you wore the previous season.

That’s where Goodwill comes in.

Goodwill is in the business of ugly Christmas sweaters, and each of our thrift stores has its own unique collection of ones to pick from, with prices starting at $9.99. You can also layer on the tackiness with a seasonal turtleneck, which start at $4.99. Complete your look with some flashy jewelry and you’ll be turning heads for sure!

While some companies have jumped on this kitschy bandwagon and now make it their business to produce new tacky numbers, at Goodwill you will find secondhand gems the way your Aunt Gladys intended that also are better for the environment. That’s a win-win!

If you prefer to pick one out and embellish it even more, check out our ugly Christmas sweaters board on Pinterest at

Go ahead and choose the wildest one. But don’t just show it off at your office party or family gathering. Share it with us, too! Find us on Facebook at Goodwill NCW and Instagram @GoodwillNCW.

Fashionista: Moto jacket adds style to winter

When I found this cozy moto jacket I was over-the-top happy. I love, love, love everything about this tartan-like piece.

It has so many cute details with the zippered sleeves to the adjustable buckled sides, and when you zip it up to the top you are enveloped with a cozy soft collar. It’s like wearing a warm hug!

Because this coat is a neutral light gray tone with a stripe of yellow, it can be worn in multiple ways. It’s on the boxier side so opt for closer-fitting bottom pieces. Think slim pants or a pencil skirt with warm leggings with a fun print.

I went with a warm pair of jeans and a neutral oatmeal-colored sweater underneath. Add a cute pair of booties, and you are all set to tackle the cold!

Think of the times you wear a coat and don’t take it off — grocery shopping, errand running, dropping the kiddos off at school. Why not turn heads and wear something so stylish that friends are going to ask where you got it.

Goodwill is full of great options for winter. Along with many coat choices there are sweaters and cardigans in all shapes and styles, scarves, gloves, mittens, purses and other accessories.

Let’s tackle this thing called the frozen tundra in style with budget-friendly prices.

Cost breakdown: Banana Republic moto coat, $11.99, half off with color tag of the week; Gap sweater, $5.99; Celebrity Pink jeans, $5.99; belt, 99 cents; and booties are from my closet.

Shop now and shop often. The fun in shopping at Goodwill are all the great finds!

About Therese Bishop: Therese is Goodwill’s fashionista and always is on the hunt for her next great treasure. She writes regularly about her fashion finds.

How to get your thrift store Black Friday shopping on

If you’ve got a budget — and who doesn’t?! — and want to take advantage of all the Black Friday deals you can muster, look to thrift store Black Friday shopping at Goodwill to save big by scoring on some amazing treasures.

“If you set your sights on second hand clothing, you’ll not only get more bang for your buck, but you’ll also avoid the worst of the Black Friday crowds,” according to NerdWallet.

That’s good enough reason for us. Bring on a thrift store Black Friday!

How to shop

When it comes to thrift store shopping, the No. 1 rule to remember is that each item is unique and when it’s gone, it’s gone. So, if you find something you want, get it and get it quickly. You don’t want to have any regret about the one that got away.

Here are other tips:

Know what you’re looking for — keeping a list with gift recipients and sizes would be helpful — but be open to an irresistible find that might not be something you originally were looking for.

Thrift store Black Friday shopping doesn’t require driving from store to store so you’ll save on gas, won’t have to fight crowds and will find more variety because Goodwill carries every brand and style imaginable. Plus, your gifts will come with the added gift of money savings for you and eco-friendliness for the receiver.

What to buy

When it comes to thrift store shopping, not only can you find gently used items, but there are also items that still have the original retail tags attached. You’ll find never-worn treasures at a fraction of the cost. At Goodwill, you’ll find vests, jackets, sweaters, hoodies, shoes, handbags, accessories, toys, books, housewares and much more. It’s a Black Friday fest to stretch your dollar. Gotta love buying preloved pieces and scoring major Black Friday savings.

Now for what to buy. Goodwill has some major Black Friday doorbusters in addition to our amazing, every day treasures. Click here to get a sneak peek.

Fashionista: Shop butterscotch color trend for less at Goodwill

One of the color trends this cold season is butterscotch. It’s a much warmer version of yellow, and if you visit any department store, you will see this color in shirts, dresses, coats, scarves and more.

Do you need this color in your wardrobe arsenal? Yes! It brightens up your mood, and when you feel great in what you are wearing, you exude confidence.

Everyone looks great in this tone so it’s time to shop your local GW and save on this trend.

I found this color in a beautiful sweater. I went up a few sizes on this piece as it is 100% cotton. That brings me to a few quick tips. Check all labels. With cotton, there is a good chance it may shrink. When it comes to washing cotton, I would suggest to hand wash or machine wash on the gentle cycle and let it air dry on a towel. This will keep it from going from a large to a small. Nobody wants that to happen.

When it comes to color pairing, I found that this burst of color in cobalt blue hit the mark.  Another great pairing would be a deep wine color.

If these color combinations are not to your liking, choose the richness of brown or black to incorporate your look.

Because butterscotch is a warm tone, I would choose gold as an accessory. I added a butterscotch tone in an infinity scarf.

Cost breakdown: Sweater, $6.99; The Limited dress pants, $8.99; infinity scarf, $2.99; and black mules from my closet.

Shop all items butterscotch at your local GW. Stay warm and remember you are shopping with a purpose to help neighbors in your community.

About Therese Bishop: Therese is Goodwill’s fashionista and always is on the hunt for her next great treasure. She writes regularly about her fashion finds.

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