Shopping Saturdays:Goodwill: Part 2: The Dressing Room

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what to do in the dressing room at goodwillIn part 1 of Goodwill shopping I took you through picking a good location and sorting through the clothes effectively, today we are heading into the dressing room.

Once you get to the dressing room and manage to find a open one….

1. Sort your clothes

I don’t always do this but when I do I find the “trying it on” portion of my Goodwill trip goes faster. Put all the bottoms on one hook, all the tops on another, and all the dresses on a third hook if you can.

2. Test the clothes for fit

Try the garment on, do up all buttons and zippers. Do you feel comfortable in it?

If it is too loose toss it in the “not buying pile”. If it is too small, toss it in the “not buying pile”. If it is showing way more skin than you thought it would toss it in the “not buying pile”.

3. Test the clothes for color

If the garment fits well,  move on to asking yourself if  the color of the piece brings life to your face. If it does toss it in the “might buy pile”.

If however, it makes you look like you have the flu, or haven’t slept in days, even if it fits well, and the price is a steal toss it in the “not buying pile”.

4. Is it something you see others whose style you admire wear?

If it fits well and the color is good, but its not a classic piece and totally out of style, chances are you should leave it behind.

I often think to myself when I am looking at a garment that fits and is a good color “is this something I have seen in recent magazines or on people whose style I admire lately?” If not, then I leave it behind, unless its a classic piece like a simple cardigan or black pencil skirt.

5. Give each garment a good inspection

Once you have decided the garment both fits well, and is a good color for you, take a closer look at each item you are considering to buy.

Go over the seams are they straight? Free of rips? Next look for small stains, small tears or snags. Finally does the garments buttons and zippers all work.

There is no sense buying clothing in need of repair even if it is inexpensive. Believe me you will have plenty of high quality, free of rips and tears, stains and high price tag items to choose from.

6. Do you need it?

This is always my last question to myself before I leave the change room with my armful of keepers.

For instance take the jean skirt pictured above, it fit great, it was free of rips and stains, the zipper worked, yet I left it behind. Why? Because I already have 3 jean skirts in various styles and lengths. I don’t need another one.

Now that you have your armful of keepers that truly will fill needs in your wardrobe and look great on you its time to head to the check out line. Come back next week, when I discuss what you can do there to save more money, as well as a few other saving at Goodwill tips.

How about you? What questions do you ask yourself when you are trying on clothes?

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  1. I love these posts! Great tips

  2. Yup, its so easy to walk out of Goodwill with 10 perfect fitting white tshirts to add to my collection of 20 at home. Uggg. Funny, I always find myself going to the same color and styles that I’ve finally told myself NO MORE. (I just got a denim ‘dressier’ skirt myself, didn’t have one and it from Ann Taylor, $2.99)

  3. Great tips! Another that I always consider is, “Can I bend over in it? Crouch down?” and for dresses and tops, “What happens when I raise my arms all the way?” and for dresses and skirts, “Can I take a full-sized step?” I don’t want clothes that become uncomfortable, lewd, or strained at the seams from my normal movements–and even when I am dressed for the office, I walk part of my commute (sometimes in a hurry) and I bend and crouch using file cabinets at work.

    • Victoria says:

      Those are all great questions, that I tend to forget to ask, and forget later! Thanks for sharing!

  4. I hold each garment up over my body and under my face and look in the mirror to eliminate bad colors before even tying it on

    • good tip. I don’t know why but I have never thought of that. Instead I go through all the effort of trying it on and then deciding the color isn’t right.


  1. […] Now that you have a mound of clothes in your cart, come back next week to find out what to do once you hit the dressing room. […]

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