Wardrobe Wednesday: The 30 Minute Goodwill Challenge {#4}—A How-To

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You still have a chance to win one fabulous item of your choice from Isaboo Designs. Giveaway ends today (you have until midnight!).

What are you waiting for?? Go enter! : )

Okay, first of all, you guys rocked my socks…er…accessories off with your response to Monday’s Shop My Closet!

I have contacted everybody with competing bids and gotten responses back from pretty much everybody I need to, and I have a list of outright winners as well, so you’ll be hearing from me about your wins very soon!

Almost everything is sold, but if you missed out or don’t have a clue what I’m talking about, you still have a few hours to bid while I get everything squared away, so be sure to check it out if you’d like.

Of course, the most awesome part of all is that, while I don’t have an official total yet, it sure looks like we’ve got right at enough to support Sarah for a full YEAR now (we were at 8 months).

That’s amazing! Praise God!

Okey dokey…

While we’re on the topic of closets, and since I didn’t post for Try-it Tuesday yesterday, I thought it might be fun to combine a little fashion with a little “thrifting tutorial,” using the 30 minute Goodwill Challenge as an example.

{If you missed the other challenges, here are 1, 2, and 3}

I told you the last time I did one of these that I don’t actually complete the challenge in 30 minutes—mostly because I always have my kids with me, and just making sure that they’re all present and accounted for and all distracted from the fact that we’re actually at dreaded Goodwill easily eats up at least a 1/2 hour.

But I do only allow myself 30 minutes from the moment I get situated (juice, snacks, toys, smartphone…CHECK!) to find the makings of (at least) 3 complete outfits (shoes, bottom, top…+ accessories if I’m ahead of time).

Which is pretty fast, considering that you can easily spend an hour or more combing the racks for something decent before you ever make it to the dressing room.

Here’s how I do it:

1. Divide and Conquer.

Just in case you’ve never set foot inside a Goodwill before, you should know that it’s not organized by sizes but instead by type of clothing and by color (all the blue sleeveless shirts are together, in other words).

Sounds crazy (and it is a bit), but once you’re used to the unusual “organization,” knowing the layout of the store can really help you to find things more quickly.

When I do a 30 Minute Goodwill challenge at my usual store, I start with the shorts, since they’re right by the baskets and do a quick pass (thrifting shorts is pretty hit and miss, unless you’re really into pastel, high-waisted, pleated walking shorts, in which case….MONEY!).

Then, I continue on to: patterned skirts, solid skirts, dresses, jeans, tops, and, finally, shoes.

Knowing my “route” definitely keeps me on track and prevents me from wandering aimlessly from one section to another and missing half of them in between.

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{This outfits was a total no-brainer for me: cute, neutral eyelet top long enough to cover the bump, comfy J. Crew jeans + pink heels…LOVE}

Multitasking at its best!—Get dressed, take picture, balance toddler on basket.

2. Know Your True Colors (and Patterns!)

I love color, but this applies whether your closet is filled with neons or infinite shades of white.

I often scan the rows upon rows of shirts until a specific shade of fuchsia or a particularly punchy pattern catches my eye, and only then do I take the time to examine the actual cut/style/size.

Sure, I’m going to miss out on some good options, but my goal when I’m going quickly is not to try on every decent article of clothing in the store but instead to have a basketful of possibilities that are the most me.

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The orange of this H&M dress immediately caught my eye…turns out it was pretty cute on as well!

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And the embroidery pattern AND colors (hello, red and aqua!) on this tunic top were right up my alley!

3. Keep an Open Mind and Trust Your Instincts

Remember, when your goal is speed, it doesn’t hurt to throw any option that piques your interest in the basket.  You may not even understand why it caught your eye until you put it on and think, “Wow, my subconscious has great taste,” as you discover a look that totally works for you even though you’ve never considered it before.

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I’m not usually an open-toed ankle bootie kind of girl, but I was surprised at how this pair elongated my legs and how well the taupe-y shade worked with my pasty skin.

Sadly, the heels were seriously wobbly, and I could see myself spraining an ankle every time I wore them, so I had to pass. : ‘ (

4. Ignore Sizes.

This is pretty much a cardinal rule of thrifting.

I’m pretty sure I had everything from an XS to an XL in my basket when my time was up and not just because I’m pregnant.

If you can eyeball it and imagine it fitting, even in a slightly unconventional way (a dress as a top? why not?), throw it in the basket!

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I think this shirt was a small and the jeans were 3 sizes bigger than I usually wear, even though I can still wear some of my before-preggo jeans in my closet, but the point is that they both fit well and flattered my current shape (plus the jeans were Citizens, so how was I going to pass those up?).

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By the way, if you’re wondering how in the world that’s a 34-weeks-pregnant-with-twins belly, these shots are from over a little over a month ago. I’m pretty sure I’m twice that big now.

This is list is by no means an exhaustive how-to to speed thrifting (or any other kind for that matter), but it’s what works best for me, so I figured I’d pass it along!

I came home with most of the items you saw in the pics and have already worn most of them multiple times.

I’d call that a successful thrifting outing, no matter how long it took.

What do you guys think?

Have any tried and true thrifting techniques to share?

I’d love to hear them!

{Linking up with The Pleated Poppy}

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3 thoughts on “Wardrobe Wednesday: The 30 Minute Goodwill Challenge {#4}—A How-To

  1. Pingback: keith jones

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