Tip of the Month


"Nothing should make it into your closet unless it's a star."  

This tip comes former model and fashion designer Veronica Webb.
Veronica Webb

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Dear Friend,


Happy New Year!


If you made a New Year's resolution to spend less on clothes, I've got a hot tip for you. Many of you know I'm a huge fan of Value Village and Goodwill. Over the years, I've found (to mention a few) a Prada Sport coat, a Dolce and Gabanna jacket, and a vintage leopard print coat. I've also found plenty of brand name items from higher-end retailers like Nordstrom, Michael Kors, and Patagonia.


I love value shopping and am driven by the hunt for a great deal. As with any shopping, a healthy dose of patience is in order - as well as a clear intention to enjoy the process. Plan a day at your local Goodwill or Value Village, and take this advice with you.


Patricia's Top Ten Tips for Value Shopping

  1. Wear shoes and clothes that you can get into and out of easily.
  2. That said, remember that dressing well makes you feel better at any task. Don't dress poorly (and don't stop by on your way home from the gym) just because you're not surrounded by pricey options. Shower, dress well, and you'll feel better prepared. (This holds true for grocery shopping and other errand-running as well - try it!)
  3. It's always a good idea to have a vision in mind of what you are looking for. Especially with a value-shopping destination - so many choices, such small price tags! - I recommend first-time value shoppers go in search of one specific piece rather than an entire wardrobe.
  4. Need a little hiatus from trying on clothes? There tend to be excellent book sections at Value Village and Goodwill - I often come home with a great read.
  5. Keep an open mind. Don't focus too much on the stated size: one of the reasons pieces have made their way here is that they are incorrectly sized or have shrunk or stretched.
  6. When value shopping, always check carefully for rips, stains, broken zippers and missing buttons - these are also reasons why items have made their way here.
  7. Not all value stores are created equal. I find that certain locations have consistently better stock; two favorites are the Seattle Goodwill just off Dearborn and the Ballard Value Village on 15th. You can also try "trendier" resale shops like Buffalo Exchange, Crossroads Trading Company, and Red Light - but watch out for the undergrad crowd!  
  8. I always bring a water bottle and a snack. People tend to laugh when I give this advice, but I'm serious. Shopping is like any job, and you may need a break and some sustenance to keep you going.
  9. Good company helps - bring a shopping buddy who is capable of staying on task, and you'll both be more productive.
  10. Be steadfast and stick to your goals and standards; remember that you could try on 50 things and only one or two (or none) might work. When shopping for The Real You, making Smart Choices means only buying what you LOVE.  

Value shopping is a particular joy of mine because it combines the ongoing evolution of The Real You with the satisfying hunt for a terrific bargain. Where else do you get the chance to find something you love for a tiny fraction of the retail price?


This year, if your goal is to spend less money and still have great style, spend a day at Goodwill or Value Village. And let me know what gems you find!

Patricia Gorham

Patricia Gorham
Inside/Out Style  
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