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Seattle Woman Goes Goodwill

Local blogger pledges to buy secondhand only for herself and her family for one year.

By Laura Cassidy January 14, 2011

Goodwill Hunting: What if you vowed to shop only at Seattle thrift stores for the rest of 2011?

There was the blogger who wore the same little black dress dress for 365 days and the Seattle woman who bought nothing during her year on the Great American Apparel Diet. Now there’s the local thrift shopper who’s vowed to get by on Goodwill hunting, exclusively for a year.

Under the online handle ‘A Beautiful Existence,’ the Seattle mom posts about her thrift finds at Living the Goodwill Life. She just launched January 1, so so far it’s all good cheer and great finds. Followers of the blog might look forward to anguished regret in a few months. Or not.

As a seasoned thrift/estate sale/consignment shopper (I have a hunting and gathering gene that is just not satisfied with only what I can reach for on a rack), I can say that in my experience, man and woman cannot live by other people’s castoffs alone.

What I’ve found is that, in diving into $6 price tags, you buy and buy and buy and buy (why not; seven tops for less than 50 bucks?) and more often than not you still don’t have anything to wear. And beware the special occasion. Digging through cheap-to-begin-with ‘90s skirts for something beautiful to wear to a wedding, or something smart to wear to an interview, is enough to make a girl nuts. I’m not too shy to admit that I’ve rescued some really amazing things from some pretty dank, dusty secondhand shops, but personally, I find a separate-but-equal satisfaction in shopping with my favorite local boutique owners. The older I get, and the more refined my taste, the more I find that thrift finds are accents, not every day.

But of course that wouldn’t make for an interesting blog.

Keep your eyes on Beautiful Existence’s Goodwill existence to see how she outfits herself and her family, and what lessons she proves, learns, or earns along the way. And what about your? What’s your experience with thrift shopping? Could you do it, exclusively, for an entire year?

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