Summer Fashion Trends for Less!

What better way to celebrate a hot summer day than to talk trends…for less!
First, let’s get some of the seasons hot color into your wardrobe – EMERALD! Seek out that THING at Goodwill in the IT color. Be it seafoam or turquoise, green is the IT color this season, and your wardrobe needs more color! 
Let’s say you find a really cool pair of green shoes at Goodwill, how many different ways could you wear them?  
Consider these ideas:
Try with your favorite summer dress. Even if the summer dress doesn’t have any green in it, the added touch of an unexpected color says instant style!
We all have those favorite lounge shorts that we try to dress up from time to time. Break out the green shoes! Keep everything on top neutral, and let the shoes speak for themselves!
And what about all that black and white in your closet?  One way to add some sass into those monochromatic looks is a splash of color in your shoes.
One thing I always seem to find when I am Goodwilling are cute jackets. I am not a big jacket person, so I came up with these fun ways to bring a seemingly tailored jacket into my wardrobe.
Rompers are a big trend this season, why not dress up the uber casual look with a pop of color!

I love my colored skinny jeans, especially the pair I got for a few dollars at Goodwill!  I like to wear a trendy stripe tee with them…here I added the green jacket to one of my favorite outfits to make it luncheon-worthy, or cocktail-worthy, or grocery shopping-worthy…well, you get the idea!

Summer dresses, LOVE THEM!  But I don’t like to wear them to dinner because they are sleeveless, and restaurants are freezing!  Throwing on this green jacket against the white/red sundress is a fun color combination that screams high fashion.  Then, I found a whimsical straw watermelon clutch that really brings the whole look together. FUN!
Well, good luck seeking out that one thing in this season’s HOT color!  I can’t wait to hear about (and see!) what you find at your local Goodwill store!  Oh, and by the way – check the sales calendar to be sure you get ever more for your money at Goodwill!
Goodwill of Michiana’s Fashion Guru

The 10 Days of Goodwill Challenge

I can’t tell you how many times I am asked if I REALLY shop at Goodwill.  The answer is always “Of Course I do!”.  I love when I am at a meeting and someone compliments me on something I am wearing, and I get to boast that I found it at Goodwill.

To prove my point…that I do shop and wear things from Goodwill…every year I institute a ’10 Days of Goodwill Challenge”.  So…are you ready?  Here we go!

 This is a cute little number I wore to the Fashion Days event at the Goodwill in Goshen.  I paired it with a nude colored crazy sassy stiletto.

Love this dress.  Banana Republic. Perfect for summer.  I put some of my style on the look by adding a brown leather braided belt and turquoise beads. I am LOVING this bright pink color with Turq accessories this season. Then I finished the look with a leather Kate Spade shoulder bag.

 Tunics, leggings and boots…all are a few of my favorite things.  I love this tunic. I think it could also be worn as a dress with flip flops in the summer. I had the boots, leggings and sweater…but those pieces would be DULLSVILLE without this great tunic!

 Wore this to speak at a ladies group at a country club.  I wanted to ‘dress the part’ for the country club (and I resisted wearing plaid golf shorts). Banana Republic white trousers and that beautiful 3/4 sleeve bright blue jacket. I played up the gold buttons on the jacket with gold accessories. 

 And what is Goodwill good for if not to pick up some great handbags?  This LV Inspired cutie I used for a night out on the town.  It is the perfect size to hold my money, ID, cell and of course…a few lipsticks!

Then I decided I needed a new wallet. Ideally I wanted something that was water proof for the lake and the beach this summer.  Well, whadda know!  Found it at Goodwill!

 Skirt and tank from Goodwill!  Love these pieces, I wear this Gap pull-on skirt a TON.  As a matter of fact, I’m wearing it now!

If you went to the Little Black Dress luncheon, then you saw me in this…and yes, it’s my new fav color combo (turquoise and bright pink).  

 This was for a working day at Goodwill.  Cute Ann Taylor flippy skirt and a black tee.  What could be better?

So I am in this “work out” phase.  Well, not as much work out as I need to get off my lazy butt and move around a little.  I don’t want to spend a lot of money on workout wear, but of course I am convinced that if I look the part, I will be in top physical shape. Basic black tank and Nike cropped workout (yoga) pants.

And for the Go Red luncheon for the American Heart Association, I had to wear red.  I emceed the Fashion Show for the event – so dressing the part was critical.  Finding a good red dress is hard!  And…guess where I found this one?  Yep – GOODWILL!


I love to get out of town; even if it is only for a night or just the weekend.  Every time I travel, I tell myself I will pack sensibly and not over-pack.  And, every time I get to the airport, my heart starts beating fast when my baggage is weighed…wondering if I’ve hit the weight requirement.

Inevitably, when I get to my destination, something amazing happens…I tend to wear the same kind of outfits I wear at home.  I don’t bring out the ‘once in a lifetime’ outfit that I take with me everywhere, and have never worn; and my 20-minute shoes always stay in the suitcase.  Now, why in the world would I bring a pair of shoes that I know I can only wear without severe pain for 20 minutes?  Makes no sense!

Well, my years of over-packing came to a screeching halt when my husband and I began to travel overseas in our quest to adopt a child from Russia.  We needed room in our suitcases for food (in Siberia, there is no Martin’s Supermarkets!), gifts, toys, clothes for our little girl and souvenirs.   Maybe it was my maternal instincts that kicked in, but it became more important that I travel with new clothes for the little girl we hoped to adopt than how stylish I appeared to people ½ way around the world.

The smartest packer should create a capsule wardrobe for their vacation.  A capsule wardrobe takes the ‘less is more’ philosophy into action.  To create a wardrobe capsule, first choose 3 complimentary colors – for example, red, white and blue (or blue, khaki and red).  Then choose 9-12 pieces of clothing.  One rule-of-thumb says 2 + 2 + 5 = 30.  2 jackets/sweaters, 2 bottoms (shorts, pants or skirts) and 5 tops.  If you take into account each of these items falls within your color scheme, you can create at least 30 different outfits using these pieces.  Adding in pieces might include a dress, bathing suit, caftan or tunic (that can be worn as a bathing suit cover up or a dress) or other specific wardrobe item.  Add in 2 bags (small handbag and a larger tote), 3 shoes (heels, something comfortable for walking and a sandal for the beach or pool) and key accessories – and you are packed!

As you put everything together, if you need an item or two to complete your capsule wardrobe, you can then browse Goodwill for the specific colors and pieces you need.  The best part is, you’ll look good and pack efficiently… all without ruining your vacation budget!

If this all seems a little overwhelming, chart it out.  Yes, I actually use this tool when I am packing – and it really helps me plan what I am going to wear, and leaves me confident I haven’t forgotten anything.  Here are the steps to take when planning your vacation wardrobe:
  1. Chart what days you are going to be gone
  2. Remember travel days count on your vacation packing plan.  You can re-wear what you travel in!
  3. Determine what clothing you will need on your trip.  Create a color palate to your travel wardrobe so that you can create different outfits from a few pieces.
  4. Don’t forget a Tide stick or some kind of easy packable stain remover.
  5. Pack this list in your carry on bag.  It will remind you of what you planned on wearing, and if your bag gets lost by the airline, you will have an excellent record of what you had in the bag.

 Good luck, have a great trip…and happy packing!


    Spring Trends

    I love Spring and Summer.  Honestly – I just took out all of the winter clothes out of my closet to make room for the Spring Summer things, and I have a TON more Spring Summer than I do Winter!  Guess it is time to weed through it all, make a donation to Goodwill and look for some new trends to add to my wardrobe!

    Let me walk you through some of the big trends for the season:

    Honeysuckle is THE color of the season.  It is a bright pink…but not shocking neon pink. I love this color.  Start looking for it!  You are going to see it EVERYWHERE!  Little dashes of this pink mixed in with your neutral palate will add that little something extra that will take your outfit from drab to fab!

    The neutrals this season range from a mocha chocolate to grey.  Grey is still a very important color in fashion this season…if you are looking to add one thing, consider a grey jean!

    Many colors of the season are more subdued with bright pops of color that will really make a bold statement in this season’s outfits.  Wearing all neutral (all white and khaki, for example) is a trend that you will want to jump on board with once the temps stay above 70!

    Citrus hues are still around with a bright splash of orange (tangerine) – mix this color with the season’s hot color (Honeysuckle) with a white jean – hot!

    Ocean hues of blue and green are something everyone can wear.  The blues range from turquoise to a royal / purple blue.

    Mixing alike tones of the same color is also very popular this season.  This is a new take on a monochromatic wardrobe.  So many of us love LOVE to wear all black – for those black-only gals, i would like to challenge you  to try wearing an outfit of all blue…different shades of the same tone of blue.  You will love it!

    This trend has a distinct masculine feel to it.  The strong lines and very structured nature of the “military” look should be balanced with something feminine.  Likewise, don’t pair your favorite military jacket with a pair of camp crop pants.  That is simply too much military!  People might stop you on the street and ask if you have enlisted rather than to stop you and compliment you on your outfit!  

    We are seeing this influence everywhere from color to embellishment and style.  The khaki-green color we are seeing is attributed to the military trend.  To add a little of this trend into your wardrobe, look for chunky metals in your jewelry, or for button detail on shirts / jacket, especially epaulettes.  

    LADY LIKE:This trend has the opposite feeling from the Military one.  This trend is all about being a girl: heavy lace, eyelet, bows and floral patterns.  Skirts have made a resurgence into popularity with many designers introducing great a-line styles that everyone can wear.

    I found a TON of on-trend pieces recently when I went shopping through some of our area Goodwill stores.  Honestly, I felt a little guilty that I got so many on-trend great pieces at such an AMAZING price!

    Stripes and anything with a Nautical feel are big this season, and I believe this nautical feel comes from the inspiration of the Military feel.  Anyone can wear stripes…if you feel it is too much, then tone it down by wearing a striped tee under a cardigan.

    Check out the newest Goodwill store in St. John, IN.  I’ll be there in June with a Kids Fashion Show!  Want to know more?  Stay tuned!


    The Perfect Valentine’s Day Look

    by Kathy Friend

    When it comes to finding the perfect outfit for Valentine’s Day, I always seem to be stuck somewhere between what I want to wear, and what I should wear.

    Because of the weather here in Northern Indiana, Valentine’s Day usually means frigid temps. However, Valentine’s Day evokes ideas of frilly dresses.

    Here are some ideas of what to wear…to stay warm and to look super fashionable at the same time!

    Here is an idea of what to wear if you and your sweetie have decided to do something casual…

    • This look features a basic trouser cut jean (which is flattering on EVERYONE!).

    • We’ve pulled together some romantic pieces that feature feminine details like bows, ruffles and lace.

    • Here, we simply paired a ruffle front white tee (this tee is sleeveless) with a bright red rouched sweater.
    • The necklace would be super easy to make, simply take a simple chain – double it and add a black ribbon. EASY!
    • The look is grounded with a super sassy shoe-boot with a bow detail

    Got big plans at a fancy restaurant? Here is an idea how to be appropirate for the venue, but still warm!

    • Here, we took a strapless ruffly dress (might be an old prom dress?) and found a great red cashmere cardigan to pull over the top.
    • With some ribbon and a simple chain, we were able to create a neat necklace for this look.
    • Because it seems to snow 3-5″ every day here, boots were a MUST! These are a great simple black heeled boot that will be perfect with the outfit, weather and dancing!
    • Finally, the little ribbon belt. These are easy to find at retail stores, but don’t discount your own creative abilities! Look for a chain belt or skinny leather belt at a Goodwill Retail Store, add some wide ribbon and make your own!

    Hope these looks spur on some ideas for you. I wish you the best, most fashionable Valentine’s Day!

    In fashion and friendship,


    Kathy Friend is a wardrobe coach and fashion stylist. For over 15 years, she has consulted with thousands of men and women all over the world to help improve their self esteem through image. She is the Fashion Editor of The Family Magazine and regularly provides information on the WSBT Morning Show as a Fashion Expert. Kathy provides fashion advice regularly through FASHION DAY events at Goodwill stores in Northern Indiana. For information on upcoming Goodwill events, please visit the Goodwill Website.