Social Encore: Goodwill hunting

Sep. 26, 2013 | 1 Comment

BY JERMEL-LYNN QUILLOPO / Special to the Star-Advertiser

I’m a girl, so I love shopping — but trying to stay current with the latest trends can get expensive.

Last week, Goodwill Industries of Hawaii hosted the second annual “Goodwill Goes GLAM!” sale at the Blaisdell Exhibition Hall. I went to the VIP gala on Sept. 19 and was able to snag some great deals.

Some of the participants in the "Goodwill Goes GLAM!" fashion show at the Blaisdell Exhibition Hall on Thursday, Sept. 19. (Courtesy photo)

Some of the participants in the “Goodwill Goes GLAM!” fashion show at the Blaisdell Exhibition Hall on Thursday, Sept. 19. (Courtesy photo)

I love going to these type of events because it truly shows that it’s not what you wear, it’s how you wear it. Even better, shopping at stores like Goodwill is easy on the pocketbook, which allows you to let your imagination run wild.

I honestly adore “Goodwill Goes GLAM!” stylist Ashley Marie Quemado. Her fierce sense of style has a fearless quality to it. She said she started thrifting in search of vintage items, but it soon evolved into something like a second nature to her.

“Some thrifted items that I’ve gotten are once in a lifetime pieces and to find them through hundreds of hangers and heaps of items are like gold,” she said.

I come from a family of bargain hunters and thirsters, and so does Quemado. We decided to spend an afternoon together after “Goodwill Goes GLAM!” and search for more bargains.

If you are thinking of getting into thrifting, here are some tips:

Bring Necessities

Bring Hand sanitizer, water, or whatever you may need for a long day of shopping. When it comes to looking for a bargain, you will have to work for it.

Plan, Plan, Plan

Do some research online and look at the trends you may want to search for. Find trends that extenuate your body type. Take into consideration where you’re going to wear some of these pieces. Remember, we live in Hawaii and you should be mindful of what is practical.

Purge Your Closet

It may not be spring anymore but Quemado and I are constantly going through our closets and removing pieces that aren’t relevant to our current lifestyles.

Ashley Marie Quemado holding some of her recent purchases from Goodwill. (Courtesy Jermel Quillopo)

Ashley Marie Quemado holding some of her recent purchases from Goodwill. (Courtesy Jermel Quillopo)

Re-evaluate your closet and keep timeless pieces or pieces that you feel like are key pieces to your closet. This helps you make room for new clothes and lets you help others by donating your old clothes to places like Goodwill.

Dress Accordingly

If you remember my “Black Friday” tips from last year, dressing down in basics allows you to make most of your time while helping you feel comfortable. Dressing in a simple camisole with leggings and sandals helps trying on things a lot easier as well.

Quality Not Quantity

Always fully inspect the garment that your purchasing for any flaws your not willing to deal with.

Knowing what type of fabrics the garment is made of helps in terms of being able to decide whether it is worth it to repair.

For shoes, externally always check for scuff marks or deterioration near the sole. Internally, check the padding, the condition and smell of the shoe.

Also just because it’s brand name/designer doesn’t mean you have to buy it. When you are looking at items, ask yourself these questions: Is it current? Is it too trendy? Can I see myself wearing it? If so, how often? Do you like, love, or are married to it?

When thrifting, take breaks to reevaluate your collected pieces before you make the final decision to buy it. And if you do see designer names, whip out your smartphone and look for key signs that your item is authentic. Your phone will help you differentiate what is real and what is fake.

Don’t Become A Hoarder

If you don’t love it, don’t buy it. Never waste money on items you think your going to wear.

Remember how we said that we clean out our closets? You don’t want to replace items with stuff that will just serve the same purpose.

The author with her $2 geometric cover and $15 Dooney and Bourke vintage find. (Courtesy photo)

The author with her $2 geometric cover and $15 Dooney and Bourke vintage find. (Courtesy photo)

As Quemado would say, “If you’re not married to your item, then let it go. Chances are you’ll fall out of love with it and want a divorce!”

Know Your Size

Many different brands use different metrics when it comes to size. So know your size in European metrics and mens sizes (if you’re a woman).You never know what you’ll find, but you always want to make sure it fits you.

Make A Budget

Don’t over shop. Ask yourself if you’re wiling to pay for the item. When looking at the price tag, if you immediately think the item isn’t worth that much, then it probably isn’t worth buying. Don’t second guess yourself.

“It’s kind of like life lessons,” Quemado said. “Never settle for anything or you’ll end up settling for everything.”

Wash Your New Items

It is always good to wash your most recent finds. Most pieces are donated and haven’t been washed in a long time. It is best to wash or repair your new treasures before showing them off in public. For intimates, Quemado and I suggest not buying lingerie or bathing suits.

I was able to grab some vintage Chanel earrings and bracelet last week. For more “Goodwill Goes Glam!” finds, check out the video below.
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Jermel-Lynn Quillopo is a multi-faceted, energetic individual with experience in both print and broadcast journalism. “Social Encore” aims to tell diverse stories about Hawaii’s food, events and people; share your tips with Jermel via email or follow her on Twitter.

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