How Carson’s Goodwill Sale Helped Me Create the Perfect Fall Wardrobe

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Kari wearing red lipstick and chic trench coat in downtown Chicago.

Kari Herrera of Chicagoings wearing a Tommy Hilfiger trench and lace top from Carson's

Kari Herrera of Chicagoings wearing a Tommy Hilfiger trench and lace top from Carson's

Kari Herrera of Chicagoings wearing a Tommy Hilfiger trench and lace top from Carson's

From Loitering to Adulting

WATCH: Start Your Perfect Fall Wardrobe with Carson’s Goodwill Sale

I was a spectacular Bohemian. I say this now with great pride because it is the only job for which I have ever been completely qualified.

Over the years, I’d loiter in numerous coffee shops, requiring nothing from these except to be seedy and wreak of desperation. Here, my thoughts are free from judgement. My fingers hit the keyboard like raindrops on a windshield. Sentences flow together and ripple into seas of essays and feature articles. Daily, I swap offices and dress codes based on my moods. Jeans? Sure. Dresses? K. Sweatpants? Even better.

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Unfortunately, writing freelance became an expensive one-way ticket to Broketown. A few clients made partial payments, others caught amnesia. The writer in me despised the collection officer I had become. So, I got a job — an adult job. Again.

I glided into the interview wearing thrift-ed couture, borrowed Chanel, and a boatload of confidence. My dress was bright green, heels nude, and my lipstick was something near a sheer millennial pink. Overall, it went well. I got the job. Six months later, my inner Bohemian was dead and I was the human embodiment of the color beige. Lost in a rut of business skirts and mauve eye-shadow, it was time for a change.

A Capsule Wardrobe Saved My Life

“Between … the minimalist planner and the WWD subscriber, there is a happy medium where personal style lives and credit card debt dies. It is the place of the capsule wardrobe.” – Why and How to Create the Perfect Capsule Wardrobe, Chicagoings, Spring 2017.

The first step to creating the perfect capsule wardrobe is purging. This season, I gave my wardrobe the ultimate cleanse by donating items gently worn yet underappreciated to the Goodwill® during Carson’s Goodwill Sale. This crucial step simplified my morning routine while simultaneously upgrading my look. Plus, Goodwill is an amazing cause. The revenue from the sale of goods in Goodwill stores support job training programs in local communities. Growing up, my mom would organize clothes into piles for Carson’s Goodwill Sale and it’s a joy to continue this tradition in my home today.

It’s about paying it forward but also getting something back. That’s because Carson’s gives me a coupon for each item donated. MAJOR KEY – this coupon can be applied to shoes, cosmetics, fragrances, and most brand names. THAT. IS. HUGE. Items that are never on sale, like my signature perfume, are discounted for me thanks to this golden ticket of a coupon.

With less clutter and more closet space, I’m ready to piece together the essential items needed to build the perfect wardrobe. Details to come soon.

Watch me take a bag of rejection and turn it into what I’m wearing in this article: YouTube

So, what am I wearing? Trench | Tommy Hilfiger (Carson’s); Lace Top | Skylar and Jade (Carson’s); Heels | Similar by Sam Edelman (Carson’s); Jeans | Target

Goodwill’s mission statement is to enhance the dignity and quality of life of individuals and families by strengthening communities, eliminating barriers to opportunity, and helping people in need reach their full potential through learning and the power of work.

This article is sponsored by Goodwill Industries International. Opinions expressed belong solely to Kari Herrera and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Goodwill, the Bon-Ton stores or any other partner.