A Guide To Thrifting

For me, thrift shopping is the best retail therapy out there. There’s nothing like finding something great and cute for an even better price. I created this guide in hopes of helping you find some awesome things the next time you hit up your local GoodWill, Salvation Army, Red/White/Blue Thrift, and so on.

When it comes to thrifting I feel like 50% of it is luck, 25% is motivation, and the other 25% is skill.

Luck: You don’t know what to expect. You can’t look up their inventory or what’s for sale online. It’s always a gamble.

Motivation: However, with the right attitude, your chances of finding good things are in your favor.

Skill: How you approach the store and manage your time as well as energy changes the game.

First, put on some comfortable/old/easy clothes. Thrift stores are filled with clothes that have been in there for a long time and are probably older than you are. GoodWill’s aren’t always well-kept and they can be very dirty. You’re also going to be trying on a lot of clothes. I recommend a dress and some sandals. Bring hand sanitizer and some water.

When arriving at the store, grab a cart and pick a section to start. Most GoodWill’s have the following sections: Juniors, Kids, Women’s, Jeans, Men’s, Designer, Home, and Shoes.

If you don’t want to dive into clothes right away, start off in the Shoes or Home department because that’s where you’ll find all sorts of things like purses, belts, mugs, fancy china, and cute unique decorations for your home/dorm/room.

When looking for clothes, I usually just pick a spot/aisle and start going through every article of clothing on the rack. In department stores, you know what you’re going to see if you look through the rack because there’s usually a model in front of it and multiple sizes of the same item. That’s not the case at GoodWill– You may love a shirt, but it might not fit.

When something finally catches your eye, look for the following things:

Stains, holes, tears, and wear. On a shirt, check the armpits, collar, and belly area. For pants, look out for any stains near the thighs & check how worn it looks in the crotch area. Make sure the ends of the sleeves are clean on a jacket. Check if the zipper on a dress works and isn’t broken off. Count all the buttons on the shirt and see that it has all of them. For shoes, don’t be intimidated but also try to bring some socks so you can try on the shoes on comfortably and in a more sanitary way.

If it’s something that’s way out of your style but still interests you, put it in the cart anyway. The goal isn’t to just find what you’re looking for and get out. You want to find something unexpected that you end up loving because it’s so different.

Depending on how much time I have, I’ll (literally) go through every relevant aisle at Goodwill and throw anything I like into my cart. By the time I’m ready to try on clothes, my cart will be full. Out of the 30 items I have, I’ll probably leave with 2-5 things I genuinely like. It’s a struggle sometimes but it’s a great feeling knowing that I’m paying no more than $20 for a new outfit.

If you haven’t found anything, do not fret. They put out new clothes on a weekly basis and you can go back and forth between the different thrift stores in your area because they’ll always be changing things up.

BONUS: Most thrift stores offer student discounts so don’t forget to take your I.D. Goodwill offers a 15% discount on Wednesdays for students and a senior citizen discount on Tuesdays. They also have a “color of the week” promotion where any article of clothing with the tag that matches the color of the week is 50% off.


Next up: A thrifting haul. In my next post, I’m going to share all the amazing outfits I’ve created that were 99% thrifted. Do you have any thrifting hacks? Let me know 🙂


New Goodwill! #Thrifting

Not too long ago, I was driving home & I spotted a Goodwill Super Store I had not seen before. Turns out it is new & opened this past Saturday. My mom & I decided to check it out.

I feel like there is much more room for improvement at this Goodwill. The “juniors” section was full of clothes I’d typically see at the mall. There is nothing wrong with that but I tend to go to Goodwill for the difference in the types of clothes you can find there, not only the difference in price. I found a lot of nice dresses but most of them were from common stores– Forever 21, Agaci, Charlotte Russe, etc. It’s as though Goodwill is just trying to be a cheaper & used mall. I appreciate their efforts but stay unique Goodwill! It’s what I enjoy about you the most.

The Color Nude: Neutral, Racist, Or Undecided?

Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of things about the color “nude” on Twitter after BuzzFeed posted an articlevideo on the topic. This color controversy is something that I once debated about and I wrote a story on it:

When Michelle Obama wore a sleeveless dress to a state dinner in 2010 and Naeem Khan, the designer of the dress, described it as a “sterling-silver sequin, abstract floral, nude strapless gown,” controversy on the color/word “nude” began.

Nude is defined as naked. It doesn’t necessarily mean invisible but it’s supposed to blend into a person’s skin color in order to make them appear “nude” without them actually being fully naked.

Screen-shotted from Google Images, "Define Nude."

The lingerie, fashion, and make up industry each have their own definition of “nude.”

“Nude is a neutral color,” said Elizabeth Rivera, the category manager at the Victoria Secret store in Main Street, Miami Lakes. “It goes well with everything and it’s not meant to match anyone’s skin tone.”

In the lingerie world, nude isn’t supposed to be a color to match or blend with anyone’s skin tone. It’s meant to be a neutral color that won’t show through clothes, such as a white t-shirt.

However, in fashion, nude isn’t neutral. It’s a shade of color meant to be a fashion statement. “Nude heels,” “nude flats,” and “nude tops” all resemble a champagne/beige color.

“Based off of what I’ve seen in the fashion industry, nude is typically flesh-toned but of a very fair person. It’s not dark or ‘olive’ or ‘pale’,” said Lily Bencome from Bebe at Pembroke Gardens, who majored in Fashion Design at the Miami International University of Art & Design.

Make-up companies name the color of their products (foundations, concealers, liquid powders, etc.) using the spectrum of skin tones. But, when it comes to the actual definition of the color, they consider it to be more like beige/champagne and they describe it as “nude beige” and “creamy natural.”

Why is that specific color labeled “natural” or “nude” if all skin colors are natural?

“The definition is interpretive,” said Kiki Robinson, a sales consultant at Sephora, a beauty shop in Pembroke Gardens. “It depends on who you’re asking. It can range from something that’s really brown to something that’s really fair. You have to compliment it to your skin tone.”

Although make up brands label nude and natural as one specific shade, make-up artists see it as the color that is most natural to their clients skin tone.

“Nude is only nude if you’re white, not black,” said Paula Cocozza, a fashion writer for The Guardian.

If racism is brought into the discussion, it makes sense as to why certain people tend to tie nude with a lighter color instead of a darker. To this day, it’s hard for a person of a darker skin tone to become a model as opposed to a person with fair skin.

“I don’t really think about the racist aspect of it. It doesn’t make me pause to say ‘Oh that really bothers me [how they interpret] it,” said Robinson. “A lot of these companies aren’t U.S. based. Most of them are European. So, they’re not appealing to our masses but to the people in their area,” said Robinson, “The labels apply to them more than they do to us.”

To an extent, that may be true but companies in the make-up, fashion, and lingerie industry, regardless of location, know what they mean when they say “nude” or describe one color more natural than the other. They don’t seem to be trying to give nude its true neutral and naked meaning. Labeling those terms to one shade can give off an offensive approach.

One example of a store that takes all skin colors into consideration when using the label “nude” is-Nordstrom but that doesn’t excuse all the other places that don’t. Maybe one day we’ll look at the word “nude” as a color for everyone but, as of right now, the answer still remains in the situation of inequality in these industries.

For more, check out this article from BuzzFeed.

*Note: I wrote this my first year of my journalism classes (December 2014).

Finding Comfort in Thrift

Here I stand in between two clothing racks of my favorite GoodWills.
Here I stand in between two clothing racks of my favorite GoodWills.

I’ve been going to thrift shops ever since I was a little girl. My mother would take me everywhere from GoodWill and the Salvation Army to garage sales and church rummages. It’s not that the clothes are cheaper (which is a plus) but a lot of times you find treasures in another person’s closet.

Throughout the years, I’ve learned to define my style without focusing on what was trending in the mainstream media. I’m not exactly sure HOW to describe my style but, a lot of times, I find myself wrapped in the simplest of clothes yet filled with confidence.

Yet, people discredit thrifting.

“You’re buying dead peoples clothes.”

“You don’t know who’s worn these before.”

“All these clothes are outdated.”

Despite all the negative remarks, little do people know that thrift stores have a psychic ability to determine what the next trend will be. Remember: history repeats itself & what comes around goes around. Not in the sense of karma, of course but fashion is never something NEW. It’s a remake, a different version, a similar style. That, in essence, is what makes it NEW but something always precedes it.

My point? I find comfort in between the clothing racks of a thrift store. I find comfort in knowing that the chances of someone having the same pair of jeans or blouse as me are slim to none. I find comfort in sharing these thrifting adventures with my mom and other people I care about. I find comfort in knowing that the shirt or shorts I just bought are going to be taken care of well, as long as they’re with me. I find comfort knowing I don’t feel the need to go with whatever is trending.

I hope you find your comfortable place too.

Nail Art: Dots!

I’ve let my nails go bare this past week. Now, it’s time for a polish. I’m addicted to Instagram nail art videos and the more I watch, the more I want to paint my nails and design something crazy on them.

I’m no expert, my hands shake, and I mess up. But, I think I’m slowly getting there and I’ve started with dots.

Dots are the easiest design to put on your nails. You don’t need a dotting pencil with 8 different dot sizes. All you need are the colors you want to use and a pencil or pen:

Nail Art: Dots

I am using a quick dry clear coat polish, Essie’s Turquoise & Caicos nail polish, white polish, and a mechanical pencil.

I used the Essie polish as a base. Start off by painting all your nails (except the ring finger on both your left and right hand) one color. Then, paint the ring fingers the other color you’re using. I used white.

Nail Art: Dots  Nail Art: Dots

These are my left and right hands and the nail art I dotted on them. Dots are fairly simple to make, it just takes patience and practice.

Once your base nail polish coat has dried, coat your pencil with the other color and draw/dot one large simple dot wherever you want. I chose my thumb and pinkie. Then, coat your pencil again and make four small dots wherever you want. I chose my middle finger and my ring finger except I switched colors on the ring finger.

Make whatever design you’d like and have fun with it. If you’re sweating or shaking or getting impatient, then just stop and try again later. Painting your nails should be a form of stress-relieving and quality time with yourself. Try it out and comment your pictures!

Fashion Aspirations

I was really hoping to completely change my look throughout the summer and have a new look for school but I didn’t really reach that goal. I’m still working on GETTING fit and finding THE PERFECT fit. Here are some of the fashion inspirations I was hoping to take after:




What are your personal fitness & fashion goals?

Lincoln Road

This past weekend, I went to Lincoln Road for the first time with my boyfriend. We were bored and had searched up “Free things to do in Miami.” Isn’t it funny how we live where other people vacation yet those tourists see more of Florida than we ever have?

We thought it would be like Main Street in Miami Lakes but boy were we wrong.

It was wonderful and I definitely plan on going again!