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Textures of Fall with Goodwill

by Sarah Pavia

Can you believe it - fall is already upon us!  You can feel it in the air, smell it through the trees (and in that pumpkin spice latte you're already drinking!), and see it in store locations all over.  Say goodbye to bathing suits, shorts, and tank tops and hello to chunky sweaters, fall colors, layers, and boots. 

Every year new and "hot" trends are released for fall, but the premise is generally the same - flannel and/or plaid, neutrals, oversized sewaters or cardigans, scarves, jeans, and boots.  Also don't forget the standard color palette of whites, browns, oranges, greens, deep purples, burgundys, and mustard (which has been added as a popular color over the last few years!)

Regardless of what new trends they're calling for this year or any fall, you can rest assured those standard styles will always stay classic.  With that in mind, we're spending the week perusing our locations and showing how you can find fall styles right on our racks without having to extend your wallet.  We will not only show styles in store, but we'll also show you how to wear those items to maximize your wardrobe - including the 5 or 6 main staples you should purchase to mix and match your seasonal items around (which will be great for winter too!)

That in mind, let's start our series with what we'll call "The Standards".  The standards are the items you build your wardrobe around and generally can be used in any season - they are versatile, easily matched, and timeless.  Here are some donated items from our shelves that we pulled:

Standards Include:

  • Jeans (ripped for "trendy", straight leg/skinny for booties.  Black jeans are great for fall too and can be dressed up or down) *Stay tuned for our ripped jean tutorial!*
  • Striped Tops (recommend sleeveless and long sleeve. Great for wearing alone or under layers)
  • Neutral Sweater (chunky, sheer, knit - any kind will do for fall!)
  • Denim Jean Jacket (versatile and easily paired, and includes warmth on chilly days! White is also a great color to own)
  • Button-Ups (plaid and chambray (the blue one) especially.  These are great as layering pieces or wearing on their own)
  • Scarves (leopard/cheetah works well for fall, but stock up on colors to wear as an accent piece.  They can pull a look together)
  • Shoulder/Crossbody Bags (great for pumpkin patches and on-the-go!  Pick neutral tones, and fall colors like burgundy)
  • Flats (Flats are great with jeans on those cooler days that still have warmer temperatures.  Don't forget a cute pair of ankle booties too though - you'll see plenty of those over the next few days!  Also see below for the mule slide shoes we recently found, $5 and great for fall styling!)
  • Statement Jewelry (Always have standard neutral jewelry on hand to dress up an outfit - and as a rule the longer the necklace, the leaner you look!)


Again, these are all items found in our stores.  

Keeping these standards in mind, we'll be showing how to build outfits around each of these in the coming week.  You'll see outfit combinations and tips and tricks for how to find these items in our stores.  Trust us - they're there!  And you will look great and pulled together without having to break the bank (and you'll be doing so much GOOD by shopping at your local not-for-profit!)

Here are some examples of bags that are perfect for fall found in your local Goodwill.  The designers of each of the bags ranged from Target and Old Navy to Nine West and Aimee Kestenberg (Aimee generally runs around $150+ and is genuine leather).  Prices ranged anywhere from $3-$8 (not too bad for a great fall designer bag!) Typical styles include:

  • Crossbody or shoulder (the burgundy, fringe, tan)
  • Bucket Tote (tan/hunter green)
  • Satchel (black, lower right with silver)
  • Shoulder Bag/Hobo (top right, with gold tassle)

Any of these bags can help pull together your look in an instant.  If you're someone who doesn't rotate your bags per season, that's totally fine!  But know you can mix in these options and help give your wardrobe that extra "kick".

For sizing, our stores carry sizes in childrens, ladies/misses and women's sizes, and for men up to big and tall.  We've seen sizes in every bracket, so don't be afraid to come on in and see for yourself.  Of course our styles and sizes are dependent on the donations given by our donors (thank you!) but they're there, and luckily we have many locations you can hop between to find what you're looking for!  Plan a Goodwill Day and visit stores until you find the one that suits your overall needs (and don't forget to take pictures and tag us online when you do!)

Here's to you, your remixed wardrobe, and feeling trendy and on-point as you head into the fall season.  We'll see you tomorrow for our next post in our Textures of Fall Series!


Sarah Pavia, Marketing Manager Goodwill of the Finger Lakes
See Sarah's other styling inspirations and thrifting tips at, or follow her on Facebook at "Sarah Pavia" and on Instagram at "splivingthrifty".