This post contains affiliate links. If you click on or purchase through links included on this page, I may receive compensation. All opinions are my own.

How did you find that? How do you know what brands to look for? These are just a couple of the frequent questions I receive about Goodwill shopping. In addition to my Tips for Gold Digging, one of my tricks to finding gold is being familiar with brands. You’re probably familiar with all of the popular mall brands, but what about the house labels sold exclusively at high-end department stores or specialty boutiques? It’s not common to find a NWT (a.k.a new with tags) garment telling you exactly where a piece of clothing originated, but you don’t need it with a little research and help from me! The title of this post is a little deceiving because this post covers hundreds of brands that can be found at Goodwill.

Nordstrom

Maybe you’re familiar with all of the major labels that Nordstrom carries, but what about the house labels? Nordstrom has several house labels that I spot at Goodwill frequently. One of Nordstom’s most popular house labels, Halogen, is a frequent Goodwill find with a medium retail price point and millenial focused brand. I’ve found several Halogen tops at Goodwill that I LOVE! (This top is on of my favorite Halogen finds!)  Other popular Nordstrom house labels include Treasure & Bond, Zella (activewear), BP. (juniors), Lewit, and Leith.  (FYI: Zella is great alternative and lower price point to Lululemon, and I’m a HUGE fan of the Zella Live-In Leggings.) You can find more information on all of the Nordstrom house labels and current inventory here.

Esley

Esley is a popular mid-priced boutique brand. Depending on where you live and whether the speciality boutiques in your area carry Esley pieces, it may or may not be a common Goodwill find. I’ve found quite a few Esley pieces. Though not of exceptionally great quality, the brand has cute prints and on trend styles!

Anthropologie

Anthroplogie carries HUNDREDS of brands which you can find listed here on their website. Not all of the brands listed on their site are exclusively available at Anthro, but some of the most common Anthro exclusive brands I see at Goodwill are Maeve, Girls from Savoy, Elevenses, and Moulinette Soeurs. If you’re unfamiliar with what these tags look like, here is a very helpful Pinterest board with 100+ pictures of Anthropologie brand tags. No need to memorize these tags or spend the time to google every unknown tag you encounter at Goodwill because there is one commonality among all of the brand tags, quality. If a brand is investing detail into a tag, it’s guaranteed the same level of detail is invested in the garment itself.

 

Stitch Fix

I’m sure you’ve heard of the popular clothing subscription service, Stitch Fix, but are you familiar with their exclusive labels? Yeah, me either. I used to be a Stitch Fix subscriber so when I found a 41Hawthorn piece at Goodwill I knew it was from Stitch Fix. You can see a full list of Stitch Fix’s exclusive labels here. As more and more people subscribe to the Stitch Fix service, Goodwill will be full of more Stitch Fix brand donations!

Want to become a better, more efficient Goodwill shopper? Do your research on popular brands and their tags. I hope you found this post helpful on discovering popular Goodwill brands Are there any other lesser known brands that you frequently find at Goodwill? Leave me a comment below with your favorite brand finds!

 

 

 This post contains affiliate links. If you click on or purchase through links included on this page, I may receive compensation. All opinions are my own.

There’s something so chic, cool, and effortless about a woman who can pull off a silk square scarf without looking like a granny. With no viral video showing me 17 ways to wear a silk scarf,  I’ll admit that I’ve been intimidated by the look of a daunting square scarf. It’s lying there so exquisite, colorful, large, and….square. Let your creativity run wild, but I’ll get you started with these five easy ways to style a square scarf.

Bandana Back Tie

I love wearing this style because it’s a little bit western, a lotta bit chic, and super cool.

1. Fold the scarf in half so it makes a triangle. (If it’s a larger scarf like the one I’m wearing, fold it in half agin.)

2. Take the two ends and tie the ends behind your neck with the point in front.

3. Adjust the front as needed, straight down the middle or to the side.

 

Small Side Knot

The side knot is super easy to create and also chic AF. Wear it and talk with a French accent because you may be confused for a Parisian.

1. Fold the scarf in half so it makes a triangle. 

2. Fold the tip of the triangle side in half to meet the straight side.

3. Fold in half again. Repeat as many times as necessary until the scarf is 2-3 inches thick.

4. Wrap the scarf around your neck two times and tie to the side.

 

Front Tie

Easy, peasy, lemon squeazy. The looks of a man’s tie without a pesky windsor knot.

1. Fold the scarf in half so it makes a triangle. 

2. Fold the tip of the triangle side in half to meet the straight side.

3. Fold in half again. Repeat as many times as necessary until the scarf is 2-3 inches thick.

4. Wrap around your neck with the loose ends hanging in the front.

5. Tie the ends around your neck, and double knot if you dare!

 

The Hair Tie

An easy and fun way to wear a silk scarf is to tie it around your ponytail. This may work better with a skinny silk scarf as there isn’t as much fabric to compete with your sassy ponytail. If you’re a short-haired gal like me, this tie gives you all of the dramatic pony feels without the extensions!

1. Fold the scarf in half so it makes a triangle. 

2. Fold the tip of the triangle side in half to meet the straight side.

3. Fold in half again. Repeat as many times as necessary until the scarf is 2-3 inches thick.

4. Tie the ends around your ponytail, and let the ends fly free!

 

The Handbag Accessory

If you’re still a little hesitant about sporting a silk scarf, tie it on your handbag or tote bag. A silk scarf is the perfect handbag accessory, and the easiest tie of them all!

Coat: Bargain Hunt (Similar Here); Sweater: 360 Cashmere; Jeans: Levi’s; Shoes: Target via Bargain Hunt (Similar Here); Scarf: Vintage Hermes via EBTH; Sunglasses: Charming Charlie; Purse: Tory Burch via Rent the Runway.

Goodwill is a great place to find vintage scarves! My advice is for newbie Goodwill shoppers is to stick to accessories first before venturing into other parts of the store. It’s less overwhelming and easy to find a handbag, scarf, or belt that’s the perfect size!

I took a little break from the blog over the holidays, and it felt amazing to refocus and get inspired! I have some awesome things planned for 2018, and I can’t wait for all the opportunities the new year has in store! Thank you to each person that takes the time to visit my little corner of the internet! I have a long list of goals for 2018, but I’ll spare you. Perception is my main focus this year. I’m working on how I perceive others, myself, situations, society, and the world as a whole. Do you have any goals or words that you’re working on in 2018? Leave me a comment below!

 

This post is sponsored by Opry Mills. All opinions are my own.

Christmas is in less than THREE WEEKS! How did we get here? Where did the time go? What have I been doing for the past 48 weeks?! If I’m completely honest, I always wait until the last-minute to do my Christmas shopping. Lucky for me (and you), Opry Mills is a one-stop shop for everyone on my holiday gift list! I have rounded up my top picks, all available at Opry Mills, below! FYI: The prices stated may not include current in-store promotions.

 

For my BFF

For the one you tag in every funny Instagram meme and consult before important life decisions, she deserves a lil something special for Christmas! When I’m shopping for my BFF, I always think of gifts she may not treat herself to, a small luxury to a statement splurge.

For my Love

Guys are really hard to buy for. So simple yet so complex. Score major brownie points with your significant other with these picks ranging from a jumbo pong set to a new pair of sneakers!

For my Crew

No matter how many family members you have on your gift list, there is something at Opry Mills for everyone! (Don’t knock the Potato Express until you try it! I’ve gifted this time saving product to a few lucky people in my life!)

For All

Hostesses, teachers, or white elephant, I got you! My Opry Mills gift selections are great for anyone on your holiday gift list!

Which of the featured gifts from the Opry Mills Gift Guide would you like to receive? Because I already own the Potato Express, I would love to have a festive, statement handbag from the Kate Spade Outlet! Leave me a comment below because Santa might be looking!

 This post contains affiliate links. If you click on or purchase through links included on this page, I may receive compensation. I received some of the products contained herein for review. All opinions are my own.

Since I started Goldwill Digger, I’ve shared a holiday gift guide of charitable products that allow you to honor and celebrate a friend or family member while supporting a great cause! There are tons of companies and products out there making a difference in the world, but here are my favorite gifts that give back for 2017! (Check out past holiday picks here and here.)

FOR THE MOM

1. Tory Burch Seed Box This curated selection of seven items from women entrepreneurs, including Tory Burch herself. One hundred percent of the net proceeds benefits the Tory Burch Foundation, providing access to capital, education, and mentoring and networking opportunities to women entrepreneurs.

FOR THE MAN

2. The Tie Bar – Tie the Knot  Jesse Tyler Ferguson curates limited edition collections of neckwear and accessories benefiting Tie the Knot. Founded by Ferguson, Tie the Knot advocates for a more stylish and equal world by raising awareness and advocating for the LGBTQ community throughout the world. $20 of your $25 purchase benefits Ferguson’s foundation.

FOR THE BFF

3. Sevenly Coining the term ’cause art’, Sevenly created 7-day campaigns promoting the purchase of advocacy art, apparel, and accessories.  To date, Seveny has donated over $4.8 million dollars to causes such the National Breast Cancer Foundation, National Parks Foundation, and First Book Foundation.

FOR THE KIDS

 4. Sprout Pencils The world’s first sustainable pencil, Sprout pencils can be planted when too short to write or color with. The pencils grow into herbs, vegetables, or flowers! Sprout pencils are a great way to introduce kids to the idea of sustainability.

FOR THE CELEB OBSESSED

5. DIFF Eyewear You’ve spotted these shades on all your favorite celebs, Bravolebrities, and social media influences, but did you realize they’re actually making a “diff”erence! For every pair of DIFF shades sold, a pair of glasses is donated through The Sabo Project.

FOR THE PHOTOGRAPHY AFICIONADO

6. Chicago Monumental A gorgeous, photographic tribute to one of America’s greatest cities from photographer and writer, Larry Broutman. All author proceeds are donated to The Chicago Lighthouse, a nonprofit agency servicing the blind, visually impaired and Veteran communities with vision care and support.

FOR THE BIBLIOPHILE

7. Better World Books Started by three Notre Dame grads believing that education and access to books are a basic human right, Better World Books collects and sells books online to donate books and fund literacy initiatives worldwide.To date, they have donated over 24 millions books and raised over $26 millions dollars to find literacy initiatives and libraries! (Those numbers pull at my bookworm heartstrings!)

FOR THE ONE WHO HAS EVERYTHING

8. ‘4 Things’ Personalized Tote Even if you’re not a Bobby Bones Show devotee like me, the 4 Things tote is unique way to give a personalized gift without the traditional monogram. I received my tote a couple of months ago and carry it all the time! It’s a great conversation starter. One hundred percent of the proceeds benefiting Espwa, an organization spreading hope in Haiti. (Tip: There’s currently a 3 week lead time on orders! Order ASAP!)

FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY

9. Love Your Melon With 50% of profit dedicated to providing a hat to every child in America fighting childhood cancer and providing support to pediatric cancer foundations, these beanies have become a very popular charitable gift.

I hope this gift guide helps your holiday shopping a little easier! Even though this doesn’t cover everyone on your list and you’ll probably be shopping on Amazon, don’t forget to sign up for Amazon Smile! Amazon will donate 0.5% of all Amazon Smile eligible purchases to a charity of your choice. (I chose Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee, obviously.) It’s super easy to sign up!

Though the holidays can be a very stressful time, I always try to embrace the madness and remember what’s most important during this busy time! I make it a priority to give back by adopting a family, volunteering at a local lights’ display, or performing a random act of kindness. How do you stay grounded and embrace the tradition during the holidays? Leave me a comment below.

 This post contains affiliate links. If you click on or purchase through links included on this page, I may receive compensation. All opinions are my own.

clothing rental review

If you’ve followed my blog or Instagram longer than 30 seconds, you know that I love apparel rental services! I’ve been a Rent the Runway Unlimited subscriber since its inception over a year ago and recently started subscribing to Le Tote. The sharing economy has become a huge part of our everyday lives so why wouldn’t that work for clothing as well?!

Not only do clothing rental services offer you the opportunity to browse a closet full of thousands of designer duds at a fraction of the cost but also reduce the environmental  footprint of fast fashion society!  I’m breaking down the pros and cons of the two most popular clothing rental services, Le Tote and Rent the Runway.

Le Tote

Le Tote is a personal-styling rental service that sends you up to eight pieces to keep as long as you want, wear as much as you want, and then ship back to Le Tote for brand new pieces. Starting off, you add pieces you like to a virtual “closet”, Cher Horwitz style. Stylists then curate a shipment of pieces from your closet and style preferences. If you don’t like the selection or have a special event, you can trade your stylist’s picks for other pieces in the Le Tote inventory. Upon receiving the items, wear all the pieces as many times as you want. The shipments arrive with a prepaid envelope to send back the items.

There is no limit on the number of shipments you can receive in a month. If you fall in love with an item, Le Tote offers items for purchase at a significant discount. Le Tote is a month-to-month commitment and can be cancelled at any time with no cancellation fee.

 Pros

Membership Options Le Tote offers five membership options, including two options for maternity wear. Here’s a breakdown of the current plans:

Unlimited Classic

  • $59: 3 garments, 2 accessories (This is what I have and recommend starting out!)
  • $69: 5 garments, 3 accessories
  • $79: 4 garments

Unlimited Maternity

  • $69: 3 garments, 2 accessories
  • $79: 4 garments

Cost The cost of Le Tote is significantly less than Rent the Runway Unlimited. Starting at $59/month for the classic five piece option and topping off at $79/month for the eight piece option. The monthly cost does not include insurance or dry cleaning like Rent the Runway Unlimited, but insurance can be added on for an additional $5/month.

Shipping You don’t have to wait until the shipment arrives at Le Tote to make your next selection. As soon as you drop off your Le Tote return at the local post office, your stylist selects your next shipment which you can then confirm or trade out for different pieces.

Stylist  If you’re indecisive or really don’t like shopping, you may enjoy having a stylist pick out your pieces. Personally, I like to control what I receive and have traded out most items the stylist has picked for me. Depending on your personality, a stylist could be a pro or con.

Cons

Items: This is my NUMBER ONE gripe about Le Tote. When you receive items and want to ship them back, Le Tote requires you to send all items back at once. For example, I received a pair of jeans that I really liked, and I wanted to wear them for a couple of weeks. Unfortunately, one of the dresses in my tote was too big, and I wore the third item, a top, once. Le Tote doesn’t allow me to keep the jeans and send the other four items back. Everything, besides the items you wish to purchase, must be sent back in the same shipment.

Selection: While the selection includes a variety of popular brands including Free People, French Connection, Maggy London, and BCBGeneration, most of the items retail for under $150. Most of the inventory is basic pieces that I would invest in or already have in my closet. If I’m going to rent clothing for a one time wear, I want to make a memorable statement (and Instagram post).

Sizing: For my plus size ladies, Le Tote only carries clothing up to size 16. Rent the Runway carries a wider size range, up to 22. If you’re interested in a plus-size only service, Gwynie Bee is a speciality plus size clothing subscription box carrying sizes 10-32.

Bottom Line: Le Tote is great if you want are building a wardrobe, need maternity options, or want to dip your toe in the monthly clothing rental service without making a large financial commitment.  Want to try Le Tote for yourself? Click here to get a free tote!

Rent the Runway Unlimited

An alternative to Le Tote, Rent the Runway Unlimited is a monthly subscription service where you pick out four pieces (recently upped from three), including accessories and handbags. (I wrote an entire blog post reviewing Rent the Runway Unlimited here.)The four items can be switched out individually, one at a time or even all four at once. You can trade the items as many times as you wish in a month. If you fall in love with an item, you can purchase at a discount.

Rent the Runway continues to offer their original one-time 4 or 8 day rental service called Rent the Runway Reserve. Pricing for the Reserved option varies based on the garment. The newly launched, Rent the Runway Update, is a clothing rental service that allows rental of four pieces for the entire month for $89. The difference between Update and Unlimited is that you keep all four pieces for the duration of the entire month then return them for new monthly items.

Pros

Inventory: One of my favorite perks of Rent the Runway Unlimited is searching the app for all the new arrivals. I’ve spent hours lying in bed oogling over the beautiful gowns available for rent. The expansive inventory is updated at least weekly. (Pro Tip: Download the app to get early access to New Arrivals.)

Featuring some of the most popular and trendy designers seen on celebrities and influencers, garments range in retail value from $75 to over $2,000 for every occasion from weekend to black tie. Most of the items are way out of my budget or too trendy for the investment price.

Convenience: Rent the Runway Unlimited allows you to send items back individually after one wear or 100 wears. You can keep a single (or more) item as long as you want, interchanging your other remaining items. I like this feature because I use one of my slots for a handbag that I carry for several months then returning.

Customer Service: Rent the Runway has the best customer service I’ve ever experienced. Comcast take notes! Customer service has overnighted my pieces that arrived defective or damages and sent pieces to my hotel room while traveling. Their customer service goes above and beyond to help you and make sure your items ar received on time. Just this week, they sent me an additional 5th item because of an internal error on my account.

Reviews: Former renters upload pictures and reviews, including height, weight, and body type, on each item. I find this helpful in finding style inspiration and the best size for my body type.

Physical Stores: If you live in one of the cities with a brick and mortar Rent the Runway store, you can return your pieces to the store and get replacement items the same day! They also offer same day delivery in Manhattan.

Cons

Price: With the addition of a fourth item to the Unlimited subscription, the monthly fee went up to $159. If you’re an existing subscriber, you’re grandfathered in at the original $139 price. The monthly fee includes insurance, shipping, and dry cleaning. This is significantly more expensive than Le Tote. Depending on your lifestyle, budget, and social life, $159 may be a steal or completely unrealistic. Seasons may arise in your life, such as an upcoming wedding, when Unlimited is a huge money saver. Since becoming a member in April 2016, I have rented tens of thousands of dollars worth of clothes and accessories.

Processing Time: You can’t select a new item until the item has been received and process at Rent the Runway. Shipments come in garment bags with prepaid 2-day shipping labels. Once delivered to Rent the Runway, it can take at least a day for the item to be processed and a new slot to open for a replacement item.   It has taken up to four days to process one of my items, but customer service was really great about providing a replacement item and an additional item. As the service becomes more popular, the processing time has increased.

Bottom Line: If Rent the Runway Unlimited option is in your budget, Unlimited offers the trendiest styles and brands at a fraction of the cost per wear.

TLDR

Both monthly rental services are huge time savers! If I had to pick one, Rent the Runway Unlimited is the better option for the high-end selection and convenience of trading out individual items. Unlimited is better for those wanting to try all of the latest trends and take style risks. Le Tote is good for those trying to build up a basic wardrobe but lack statement pieces that sets Rent the Runway apart. The service is geared more toward those that sprinkle trends in but tend to stick to practical pieces.

Have you tried either Le Tote or Rent the Runway Unlimited or another clothing rental service? What are your thoughts? Leave me a comment below.