Easy summer fashion for busy moms on a budget

Most mothers tend to put themselves last on the care-for list. Things like makeup routines get cut out of the day-to-day schedule and personal needs get swept under the rug like dropped Cheerios. Well, frumpy makes you grumpy, friends.

If you’re a mom, remembering to take care of yourself this summer (and always) is just as important as remembering to feed the family pet. When you feel good about yourself, it shows, not only in the way you carry yourself but, not surprisingly, also in the way you parent. Those little eyes and ears are soaking everything in like a sponge. They take their cues from the world around them and it’s just as important to show them what self-appreciation looks like as it is for them to learn their ABCs. We’re not saying that you need to look like a model or dress like one to feel good about yourself. We’re suggesting that taking a few minutes for yourself to consider your wardrobe can make an impact on your spirit, especially if it’s something you enjoyed in your pre-mommy life.

While moms don’t necessarily have oodles of time to mull over wardrobe options, we want to look like thought and purpose were put into our mom outfits. Functionality is key but that doesn’t mean mom clothes have to be drab or uninteresting.

If you can chase a toddler in 4-inch stilettos this summer, more power to you. Most of us would like to keep from rolling our ankles and opt for something more practical, but still fashionable, like cute wedges, flats or boots. Finding versatile and mom-appropriate but stylish summer fashion pieces for your closet that can take you from work to playground to date night is key. So go reheat your coffee for the third time today while you take a few minutes for you and read on. It will be time worth investing.

Versatility is UBER important

Finding pieces that fit you well and that can be worn multiple ways for multiple different occasions this summer is key. For example, a great pair of shorts are great for playground supervising and running errands (because … pockets) but also can double as date-night worthy. Pair them with a Henley tank or graphic tee and sneakers and then for a night-appropriate look, swap out the tee for a flowy blouse, great pair of wedges and a structured bag.

We often sing the praises of a good jean jacket and they are super easy to find at your local Goodwill thrift store. Throw one on over a dress, blouse or basic tee for added cool-mom style. You can dress it up or down, wear for work or for play, and you can cuff the sleeves for even more style cred.

If you have yet to discover the magic of a maxi dress, you’re really missing out. It’s the queen of the mom clothes world. Think about it: a summer fashion dress that doesn’t expose your unmentionables when trying to chase down or wrangle a child. And you can wear it to work. Or church. Or a baby or wedding shower. Or a casual coffee date. Plus, it’s a dress, so no worries about having to match it with another piece if you don’t want to. Mind blown, friends.

Pretty much any outfit can be elevated by a cardigan. Blouse and trousers for work? Add a cardigan and you have a new outfit. Tee and cut-off shorts? Add a cardigan and a baseball hat (you know, to camouflage day three hair) and you’re the coolest mom at the park this summer.

Emulate a celebrity

So, where to begin? How does mom style become, well, fashionable? Wonder how a celebrity mom always seems to look like they have it together? Sure, they probably have someone who cleans the house and watches the children, but we bet they are sweating bullets just like you are during that trip to the grocery store. Find a celebrity, like Jessica Alba or Chrissy Teigen, whose mom style you adore when they are caught by the paparazzi being a mom and take note of the key pieces they wear. When making up your summer fashion shopping list, be sure to include pieces similar to those. You most likely won’t find everything on your list in one shopping trip, but over time, you can make adjustments and morph your style.

Consider what you already have

Remember those pre-mommy days when you felt like a rock star in your favorite outfit? Just because you’re a mom now doesn’t mean you have to give that up. Sure, maybe you should trade in your deep V-neck tee for a crewneck so you can avoid your little one causing a fashion oopsies. And maybe you should change sizes in skinny jeans because you grew a tiny human, but your summer style doesn’t have to change just because you’re a mom. The basics of your favorite outfits before kids can be altered and made to work for you now, too.

Prep the night before

Mornings pre-children were challenging enough, but now that you have another being to get out the door, things can be downright crazy. Do yourself a favor and get into the habit of thinking through the next day’s outfit the night before. Yes, we know you worked hard to get that sweet babe to bed for the third time in one night and the couch is probably calling your name, but a little time spent before turning on Netflix will be well spent come morning. Preplanning will help you put yourself first and help you avoid grabbing the same, tired outfit.

Take photos

Take some time to lay out your favorite summer mom outfits and match them with accessories like shoes and jewelry. Grab your phone and take some snapshots. Then mix up your pieces and try pairing new things together to create a new look. If you think you are missing a few key pieces, stop in at your local Goodwill thrift store to stock up for less. These photos will come in handy for those mornings when you are at a loss as to what to wear. Just pull up your outfit photos, grab and go.


Fashionista: Free yourself from spending too much by shopping thrift

Do you feel guilty about spending too much on designer clothes? Get the goods without the guilt by spending a fraction of the cost and helping out the community at the same time by shopping thrift.

Feel free to load up your Goodwill shopping cart with apparel from your favorite designers, like Calvin Klein, Banana Republic and Betsy Johnson, which are favorites of mine.

The biggest thrift thrill for me is finding high-quality pieces at a highly discounted price. It’s the same reason I don’t do online apparel services such as Stitch Fix. While it would be fun to receive a box of clothing picked just for me, I never would consider purchasing a jean jacket, for example, at a price I could buy several of them.

Let me tell you about my Fourth of July look that made me do a happy dance for how much I saved.

Cost breakdown: Talbots polka-dot ankle pants, $6.99 with 50% off color tag of the week; Banana Republic white fringed top, $3.99 on clearance; American Eagle sandals, $5.99; red, white and blue scarf, $1.99; sterling silver cuff bracelet, $3.49; and star décor, $4.99. Total cost: $27.44

So, all you fashionistas out there, shop independently by freeing yourselves from spending too much on designer prices. Happy no-guilt shopping!

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.

Fashionista: Embracing the Bermuda shorts trend

Trendy Bermuda shorts have been popular on the fashion runways but haven’t been on my radar up until now.

Typically, this style of shorts is not flattering as they tend to cut off right in the middle of the leg, but the look I put together makes them as flattering as possible. A knotted front-tied blouse elongates your legs.

I went with a racer-back cami topped off with a fitted blazer with the buttons at the waist. The seersucker material is just light enough for summer and as an option for the office and then out of the office.

Because this is a cool color, try accessorizing with silver. I stacked my bracelets and chose a silver hoop earring. Even though the jewelry and shoes are from my closet, I’m certain you can find something similar at Goodwill.

Cost breakdown: J. Crew white Bermuda shorts, $3.99 half off with 50% off color tag of the week; Maurices racer-back cami, $5.99; Tribal blazer, $11.99; and the silver jewelry and navy flats are from my closet.

Go on and get this look at Goodwill, where there are so many shorts they have racks dedicated to them.

Happy thrifting, fashionistas!

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.

Fashionista: Shop Goodwill for all things floral and feminine

I absolutely love this thrifted feminine look for so many reasons.

Let’s begin with the beautiful floral blouse that has eye-catching details such as the tied front and the embroidered lace that runs down the sleeves. Tops like these require camis or a pretty bralette.

The open-weave cardigan adds to the feminine touch, and it’s perfect for when the temps suddenly get cooler when going from outside to an air-conditioned space. The added special detail is the fringe on the bottom, which when worn gives a special free-flowing look when you walk by. This is again a neutral color that can be worn many different ways. A basic white tee or a light blue blouse would be great options. You could even wear this as a beach cover-up. This item is also from the Chico’s Travelers collection, meaning if you just threw it in your suitcase in a ball it would come out wrinkle free.

To finish up this look I found a neutral pair of tan capris. Once again, a neutral color of tan goes with everything, which makes it definitely worth the purchase. It likely will be part of your wardrobe for a long time.

Shop Goodwill for all things floral and feminine.

Cost breakdown: American Rag floral blouse, $6.99; Chico’s cardigan, $11.99; Elle capri pants, $4.99.

You’ve got the look so let’s have some wine and charcuterie board treats with your besties.

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.

Fashionista: Now’s the time to shop thrift

Are you bored? I’m here to say that I have a cure. Your local Goodwill retail stores and training centers are now open for some thrift shopping and retail therapy.

I have a few tips to pass along.

  • The hours have temporarily changed to 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.
  • You will notice that you are unable to try on before you buy. This is not a big deal. Simply try on at home and if it does not fit then return within seven days for an in-store credit with your receipt.
  • Here’s another reason to shop now. You will receive a coupon for 25% off one item on your next purchase. This is a limited-time offer June 17-30. All the more reason to shop now.
  • Are you a senior? Did you know that every Tuesday is Goodwill Senior Savings Day where seniors age 60 or better receive a 10% discount on donated merchandise?
  • Goodwill NCW also offers savings for members of the military the first Wednesday of the month. Show your military ID to receive a 10% discount on donated merchandise.
  • Don’t forget the color tag of the week, which offers 50% off the ticketed amount.

Now is the time to shop for budget-friendly clothing, home décor, sports equipment, household items, games, puzzles, books and more. The stores are full.

This is great news, especially if you are a Goodwill fashionista thrifter like me!

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.

3 trendy skirts for summer 2020

Summer is finally here. Hooray! While we haven’t experienced the lasting heat that summer has to offer, it is sure to come. Since pants are too heavy and shorts are generally frowned upon for dressier occasions like special events or the office, skirts are the way to go. We have three trendy skirts for summer 2020 that you will want to be sure to have in your outfit lineup.

Pleated midi skirts

If there is a trend that you definitely don’t want to skip for summer 2020, it’s pleated skirts. Most flattering in a midi- or ankle-length, the pleated skirt has made a resurgence this summer.

If you are looking for a casual outfit, pair a pleated skirt with a tucked-in, button-up top with the sleeves cuffed. You also could try it with a simple white tee with a denim jacket thrown over.

To dress up your look, match your skirt with a blouse and pretty heels. Dainty jewelry and a simple handbag will complete your eye-turning look.

Pro thrifter tip: Check out the skirts available at your local Goodwill. Don’t be afraid to look outside of your normal size. Pleated skirts have been in and out of style several times over the past few years and so there’s bound to be plenty of options, but sizing has changed a lot, too! If you find a skirt that is too long, you can pull it up higher on your waist and go down a size or vice versa.

High-waisted button-up skirts

We love these skirts for their versatility. We’re really seeing them pop up in short, or mini-length, but if bearing that much leg isn’t your jam, they are also super trendy in midi- or maxi-length as well.

The high waist is universally flattering on all shapes and sizes and you’ll want to make sure you tuck in your top not only to show off the waistband, but also so you don’t add weight or thickness to your middle.

Skirts with mini florals

We’re giving you fair warning: No matter what length or shape of skirt you opt to wear in summer 2020, you best have some skirts with mini florals on them and we’ll tell you why. They are casual. They are dressy. They are cooler than cool, and they fit perfectly into anyone’s summer wardrobe lineup.

Find one in your favorite color and keep your look simple and clean by pairing it with a sleek and slim tank and your favorite mule or sandal.

If you’re looking for a dressier look, swap out your shoes for strappy heels and a clutch. Top it off with some dangly beaded earrings and pulled-back hair. Can summer get any easier?

6 Goodwill camping essentials

Summer has arrived, and we are all itching for a little outdoor time after a long winter and a spring that never really warmed up. If your summer plans have you spending time in the great outdoors, make sure you stop at your local Goodwill thrift store to pick up some camping essentials before you pack up and head out.

Rain boots

So it’s summer and it’s hot and you might prefer flip flops or sandals over boots, but hear us out. Rain boots should be No. 1 on your list of camping essentials. Your feet stay dry and clean and you can help prevent those annoying mosquito bites around your ankles. Once you return home, they are super easy to clean for next time. Find a cute and cheap pair at Goodwill and it’s a win-win. You will not regret it, trust us.


Goodwill is the perfect place to find a larger skillet to use over the open campfire. Look for one without a plastic handle so it can handle the heat. Remember, you’re not necessarily looking for quality because it will get scratched and scrapped up when cooking outdoors. You might even get lucky and find a cast iron one!


Grab a couple of camping towels to save some money and eliminate your worries about ruining your nicer towels from home. You will be surprised how many times you will be glad you have a camping towel on hand: cleaning up the dog after an unexpected swim, wiping up the morning dew from the picnic table and, of course, cleaning up spills or muddy feet.

Books and games

If you plan on spending some time swinging in the hammock or lounging on the beach, you might want to grab some good reading material. Quality books are only a couple of dollars at your local Goodwill thrift store, so you could even grab two while you’re at it!

Be sure to check out the board games as well. After the sun goes down, light some tiki torches and play Uno with your family or friends. Don’t forget a deck of cards should be included on your list of camping essentials.


Goodwill is the best place to find clothing for camping, everything from shorts and jeans to tanks and sweatshirts. If a spark from the fire lands on you, you don’t have to panic knowing you didn’t actually spend $40 plus on that Nike sweatshirt.

Dishes and silverware

You’ll want a set of dishes and silverware that you can wash up and reuse while camping the great outdoors. Goodwill has plenty to choose from and you won’t feel wasteful using disposable all weekend. When you get home, throw everything into the dishwasher and then place in a plastic tote for next time. Easy peasy!

DIY chair restoration

Whether you’re looking for a unique way to reuse home decor or are looking to complete the on-trend mismatched chair look, completing a DIY chair restoration is fun and easy. Here’s what you need:

  • Thrifted chair from Goodwill
  • Spray paint
  • Sandpaper
  • Painter’s tape

Step 1: Start by using sandpaper to sand down the entire chair. This will help the paint adhere to the surface better.

Step 2: Apply the first coat of paint by spraying the surface evenly. Let dry to touch.

Step 3: Apply a second layer of paint if needed. Let dry to touch.

Step 4: For an added embellishment, you can take a second color of spray paint to add accents. In this example, we are adding a pop of color to the feet of the chair. To do this, tape off where you want the paint line to be before spraying the alternate color on.

Step 5: After taping, spray on a coat of the other color. Let dry to touch.

Step 6: Remove tape. Use as an accent chair within your house by placing a plant on it or add it to your mismatched dining table set.

5 must-haves for summer

It’s a bummer that not all pools will be open this summer due to COVID-19, but you can still make the most of it by visiting a friend’s pool, a local sandy spot at a lake or go for a ride on a pontoon for the day. We’ve rounded up five summer essentials you will want to make sure you have with you before your toes touch the water. The best part? All of these items can be found at your local Goodwill thrift store!

Cute beach bag

Do yourself a favor and find yourself a good beach bag. Look for one that is washable and large enough to fit a towel, change of clothes, sunscreen and all the snacks, of course! Bonus points if you find a waterproof option.

Swimming suit

You might not consider Goodwill a place to go shopping for a swimming suit, but you’re missing out. Swimming suits can be notably expensive, but you can find many to choose from, new-with-tags, at your local Goodwill thrift store. Heck, you could even pick up several pieces for the price of one at full retail.

Swimming suit coverup

A lot of women stick to a tank and shorts when considering their options for swimming suit coverups, but don’t be afraid to get a little creative here. Check out the dress selection at your local Goodwill thrift store and see what calls your name.

Maxi dresses are great for keeping things light and breezy and you can tie a cute little knot in the hem to raise it up a bit. Sundresses are also great options, especially if you have to run somewhere before you have time to change.

Pool slides

Need an excuse for a fun pair of shoes? Get yourself a pair of plastic pool slides that are easy to slip on and off and can withstand the water. Chunky slides are super trendy this summer as well as pops of bright colors. Have fun with your shoes and don’t forget to paint those piggies!

Good book

Do you prefer informative nonfiction, a juicy romance novel or an enticing biography for your summer reading list? The options are endless. Grab yourself a few page-tuners for the summer and once you’re done reading, keep the cycle going by donating back to Goodwill!

3 summer fashion trends to thrift

While wearing pajamas and sweatpants day in and day out has been nice and oh-so-comfortable, we’re really looking forward to the return of real clothing and creating outfits again! It might feel odd to think about something as trivial as fashion trends after such a long period of not knowing what tomorrow will bring. It also can be really good to focus on something fun for a change, like wardrobes and accessories, and we’re here for it!

We’re breaking down three must-have fashion trends for summer 2020. Be sure to shop your local Goodwill thrift store to give all these summer styles a try. If you find out you’re not a fan of a fad, you’re not out much. Plus, if you find a look you love you know where to score more!


We’re starting with hands down, the biggest trend of summer 2020. Tie-dye is popping up everywhere and on everything. From tanks and tees to loungewear and dresses, you can find tie-dye everywhere you look. While we wouldn’t recommend wearing tie-dye to a shower or a wedding, it is definitely a big trend to stock up on for your summer 2020 closet.


Rompers have been trending for quite a few seasons, but it’s time they give way to their trendier cousin, the jumpsuit. Sophisticated and eye-catching, jumpsuits add just the right amount of chic to you summer 2020 look.

Dress up your jumpsuit with a pair of heels and layered jewelry or dress it down with a pair of platform sandals (another one of summer’s hottest fashion trends) and a cross-body bag.

Paperbag shorts

Cinched at the waist and comfy as can be, paperbag shorts are hot for summer 2020. We love this trend because most styles are made from lightweight fabric that allows for movement, which is a way better option than heavy and constricting denim shorts.

As a rule of thumb, because the shorts are bulkier, you will want to pair them up with a top that is slimmer to balance out the bulkiness. Try them with a tucked-in tank or tee. Keep your jewelry minimal and hair down and natural for a casual, didn’t-try-too-hard look.