Hello again all my fellow Goodwill hunters! And happy spring to you! I love spring and summer for so many reasons, but one of my favorites is pulling out all those wonderful sundresses that have been hanging so neglected through the fall and winter. This month I wanted to give you a few helpful tips to picking great dresses for all occasions – and a peek at the ones I snagged at Goodwill.
When it comes to finding those perfect little dresses to wear on the weekend, I tend to group them into three categories: The Casual Cutie, The Sunday Best, and the Black Tie Beauty. So here’s what I look for to find each:
My pick: Denim Polka Dots
The FIRST qualification for this dress is comfort. If I can’t move, breathe, sit, stretch or bend down comfortably in it – it’s a no go. Ideally this dress is easy to wear all day long – shopping, meeting with friends, hanging out with family – I could wear this dress in complete comfort from breakfast to dinner. Once you’ve tried on the candidate to make sure it’s comfortable, the next important thing is that it reflects something about me! Are you a romantic at heart? Go for pastels and delicate lace embellishments. Edgy and deep? Stick with cozy greys and blacks and straight lines. Little bit of hippy make you happy? Find some fringe or bold floral prints in a natural light fabric. Make it comfortable and cute!
My pick: Bright & Flowy
This one is a nice dress that you don’t plan to wear for a long event. Something dressy and flattering, but not necessarily an all-day outing outfit. For this one – I like to look for a style I really enjoy first. When you’re trying to find a dress style that really suits you, my best piece of advice is to play up your attributes. Do you have great arms? Look for a dress with feminine cap sleeves to show them off. Love your legs? Find a flirty tea length dress. Have great bone structure? Find a simple dress in a solid color with a scoop neckline to make your face the center of attention. Comfort for this dress is secondary. Yes, I hope you’re reasonably comfortable enough to function in it, but if you’re only planning to wear it for a short event – it doesn’t have to be perfect.
My pick: Pop of Color & Fitted
This one is tricky. Think evening wedding, gala event, fundraiser dinner, evening party. This dress has to look like a million bucks AND feel like a million bucks – because chances are you’ll be wearing it for a few hours at least. Depending on the type of event, I always start this search with color. It is really hard to look bad in deep, rich jewel tones, so if you have a fancy event to attend, start there. Deep reds, royal blues, emeralds, rich garnets – look for classy tones that compliment your natural color palette. It can be really easy to find a beautiful evening dress, but completely fail on the comfort part. I have found that it’s especially easy to find dresses in this category that are too short or too low cut to be as comfortable around others as you first thought they would be. So take caution – find one that looks stunning but will keep you comfortable for a whole evening out.
Hopefully these tips can make finding your perfect collection of spring and summer dresses a little easier!
Michelle is a Goodwill guest contributor, writing monthly fashion articles and modeling her thrifted finds. In addition, she is a local TV personality and former Miss Kansas. She also has her own YouTube channel, Chic on the Cheap. As a third generation thrifter, Michelle grew up shopping at Goodwill. She loves finding deals on clothes and accessories for her family of six or upcycling home decor items.