Wardrobe Treasure Hunting at the Goodwill

Recent Goodwill purchases!

I love clothes, I love a bargain and I love companies that employ people who are differently abled. It would follow that I would be a big fan of Goodwill Industries. While I have faithfully donated to the Goodwill over the years, I only went there to shop when I was in need of a Halloween Costume or a gag gift. Recently my friend Jessica asked me if I wanted to attend a shopping event with her called “Goodwill Hunting” hosted by Nicole Longstreath.  I said “sure, why not!” and so began my obsession with shopping at the Goodwill.

Nicole is a wardrobe coach and during the “Goodwill Hunting” events she conducts at Goodwill Stores in the Orange County area of Southern California, she pulls amazing clothes for the people in the group to try on. She talks about how to put together outfits and the types of things to look for when treasure hunting at the Goodwill. She focuses on vintage items, designer brands and well made interest pieces. Nicole is fun, friendly, encouraging and insightful. She challenges participants to think outside of their normal wardrobe box by trying new things and provides a ton of useful tips. The events are a lot of fun and the other participants helpful in validating or reassuring when needed. Once Nicole gets to know you she will pull things off the rack with you in mind. She has an eye for what will work for each person and finds some amazing things for people that they would not think to choose for themselves.

After the first event I attended, it was as if the curtain was drawn to a whole new way of shopping and dressing! Jessica and I started visiting local Goodwill Stores on our lunch break and then attended another Goodwill Hunting event this weekend. One of my recent trips netted me 1 dress, 9 blouses, 1 pair of “dress” shorts, and 1 skirt for $89.58. Another trip cost me $61.89 and I left the store with 5 skirts, 1 purse and 5 blouses. That is at least 10 outfits for around $158.00. Under $20 per outfit!

Some amazing things about shopping at the Goodwill are:
1. It is inexpensive – even if you have buyers remorse, you are out less than $10 per item – usually a lot less than $10
2. You can experiment with looks that you might normally not want to try if you are paying full prices and if you hate it – see #1
3. You are recycling
4. You are supporting an organization that supports others
5. You can find some amazing vintage and new clothes that you can’t find anywhere else
6. It is fun to find a bargain
7. You can change your look often and not be out a fortune

I am having so much fun playing with clothes and not spending a bundle, especially since I am “between sizes” but am tired of my current clothes and don’t want to spend a lot on clothes that I hope will soon be too big. I have purchased several vintage items and a few items that are new and still have the tags them. One dress I recently bought had tags from Macy’s on them. Orignal price was $120 and clearance $79. I got the dress for $8.99! I tried it on when I got home and loved it.

I am going to New York for BlogHer 12 in about 10. The majority of my wardrobe will be made up of things I have purchased recently at the Goodwill and I doubt that anyone will think I am wearing hand me downs – unless perhaps they read this post of course.

If you don’t shop at the Goodwill – give it a try. It is fun and you might be surprised at what you find! If you don’t donate to the Goodwill, consider doing it. I am sure you have something in your closet that you don’t wear, but that someone else would love to have – maybe even me. If you are in the Orange County area, consider going to one of Nicole’s Goodwill Hunting events. They are a lot of fun and you will learn a thing or two about clothes and maybe even about yourself.


  1. WOW! Great finds! Great post too. May have to check out my local Goodwill again. I have a few close to my house, it’s just been hit or miss. I don’t think I’ll have time before BlogHer buy maybe when I get back. 🙂

  2. Thanks for the post. I have been interested in joining the Goodwill Hunt with Nicole but hesitated. After reading your review I think I will definitely give it a try. Hope to see you then.

    • I am not sure I will make the August event, I think I have a conflict, but I highly recommend going. I have been twice and plan to do more. Great finds and wonderful fashion advice.