Smart Shopping From a Savvy College Student: Part Three

We’re back and fancier than ever! Welcome to part three of Goodwill’s savvy college blog series where I, Lily, show people how and where to get amazing clothing for even better prices. If you missed part one and two of this five-part blog series, be sure to check them out here. If you’re back for more, congratulations…you’ve been cordially invited to a black-tie event, and you have no idea what to wear. But sit tight, you’re about to find out.

Oh You Fancy, Huh?: The Formal Option

The fall brings more opportunities than expected when going to formal events. In high school there’s homecoming court and dances that involve both short and long gowns; for college students, we have semi-formals and fundraising events, and holiday parties are right around the corner. The thought of shopping for formal attire is daunting and seems expensive, and not only for girls. Men’s suits start at around $300, and college kids couldn’t find that money if they wanted to. With that being said, the most basic outfit I see boys wearing to formal events are khaki slacks paired with a black or navy sport coat, a white dress shirt and MAYBE a tie. Not that this doesn’t look handsome, because it can, but what do you do when you really have to dress up? Over the years, I’ve seen full suit sets at Goodwill for $8 and up from all different brands. The brands that you see at high-end department stores can also be found around the corner at your local Goodwill if you search hard enough.

Girls can easily shop for formal attire at Goodwill too. The thing with formal attire is that you normally wear it once and you never want to wear it again for the paralyzing fear that someone will notice you wore it to last year’s mountain weekend. So you donate it. I get it. I do the same thing. Not only because I don’t want people announcing that I have, in fact, worn that red dress before, but because formal events are special. How often do you really get to dress up? Some people more often than others, but the excitement of getting a new dress that you feel good in is probably the best part of going to the event. Most of the formal dresses I’ve gotten from Goodwill (which is literally all of my formal dresses) have maybe been worn once or twice and that’s it. They are in pristine condition. And I got them starting at $4.99 instead of $100. This allows me the opportunity to show up to different formal events in items that are so stylish and unique that people never expect that I’ve gotten them from Goodwill. The dress? $9.99. The look on people’s faces when I tell them? Priceless.

BCBG Dress: $4.99, Multi-colored Clutch: $3.99, Black Guess Peep-toe Shoes: $3.99, Whole Outfit? Around $13.
Silver Gown: $9.99, Silver Clutch: $2.99, Whole Outfit? Around $13.

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