Gaga for Goodwill


A few weeks before starting  my new job, I realized that my current wardrobe, heavy in yoga pants, jeans and skirts was not going to cut it in my new hands-on environment. I had to go…pants shopping. For this gal, shopping for pants is worse than bathing suit shopping. I’m right smack in the middle of petite and average height. I have the hips of a twelve year old boy and the belly of a mom who has had three kids by C-section and has devoted all of 2.5 minutes to working out that area. So finding pants that I feel sassy and comfortable in? Tricky business. Body type + little time to devote to shopping + budget = ay!

That is, my friends, until I descovered Goodwill. I’ve been to outdoor dropoff section of South Burlington’s Goodwill at least a dozen times with trunkfuls of donations. It never dawned on me to go inside. I had an image in my head of wading through something like this…

Enormous clothes pile

But in an attempt to find my growing boy comfortable pants that don’t make swishy sounds, I ventured in.

:::Cue opera voice singing in an angelic manner:::

I cannot believe it has taken me 2.5 years of being a Vermont resident to make it in. I ran into a friend coming out last year as I was donating and even then I didn’t put two and two together. She’s got some pretty rockin’ style and four kids. I get it now. Oh yes, do I get it. I could blather on for pages about my newfound love for Goodwill but to spare you, I’ve made a handy little list detailing all of the reasons why you should make it a priority to go there first, next time you are in need of some new-to-you clothes.

1. Organization. Need a pair of size 6 black pants? You can find them easily. The women’s section is organized by size and color and variety. It’s actually quite visually appealing to see the rainbows of items displayed neatly in rows.

Shirts Rainbow

2. Price.  You cannot beat it! For under $100, I have 7 pairs of dress and casual  pants, a delicious red velvet blazer, 1 cardigan, 5 dress shirts, the comfiest of comfy shirts, a t-shirt, 6 pairs of brand new trouser socks and 4 brand new under-the-bed monkey storage bins for my son’s stuffed animals.

Some of the tops I scored:


3. Return policy. If you are squeamish about trying on used clothing in the dressing rooms, you can bring items home and wash first. You have 7 days to return with the receipt.

4. Goodwill is the new black. I was totally into consignment in high school and jumped on the train to SoHo any chance I could get. I was thrilled when I found Second Time Around in Burlington. But consignment shops are still not exactly cheap these days. It kind of defeats the purpose to spend $30 on a second hand shirt. But $2.99? Total shopping high.

5. Mission. It’s not just about giving your money to a big company. You can feel good about spending your money here. They are named GOODwill for a reason and truly, are assets in our community. Read more about the work they do here.

6. The Earth. It’s good for our planet in so many ways to reuse clothing. We are Vermonters, people!

7. You can spend more money on these


8. Karma. This Goodwill has good shopping karma. It’s clean, sunny and feels happy. You might find just what you need. In fact, I found 7, yes I said SEVEN pairs of pants!


9. J Crew. Ann Taylor. Banana Republic. J. Jill. Gap. This is criminal people! CRIMINAL!

Shirts rainbow 2

Got the consignment bug? Check out this article from KidsVT for some great tips and local resources!

goodwill logo end


  1. Love! I used to be a huge thrifter until Maggie came. It’s a little daunting to think about going with 2 little ones in tow. I guess I will just have to wrangle the hubby into watching them 😉

  2. I love Goodwill! i took some of the residents from where I work on a field trip there and the store manager gave us a great tour and told us all about the good they do both locally, nationally, and globally. Amazing organization!


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