Goodwill Hunting in St. Louis

Last Friday, I went on a Goodwill store hop in St. Louis with Glamazini.  I’ve been quite curious about the local thrift shop scene, so when Glamazini introduced the fabulous idea, I immediately jumped on board.  The plan was to visit the infamous Goodwill Outlet and four other Goodwill stores chosen strategically by their locations.

Goodwill Outlet

Thrift shopping demands time and patience because it’s a chore to sift through lots of undesirables in the hope of finding a gem.  The occasional discovery of fashion treasures, though, makes the entire process worthwhile.

With that said, the Goodwill outlet introduces a whole new world of thrifting.  Picture over 20,000 square feet of retail space stocked with bins that are filled with everything you could ever imagine someone donating to Goodwill.  In addition, every 20 minutes, new bins of merchandise are rolled onto the floor.  Y’all, the St. Louis Goodwill outlet is the largest in the country. 

Bargains hunters, clearly more familiar with the process than I was, eagerly awaited the new merchandise being rolled onto the floors.  Getting first dibs on the new stuff was such a priority for two shoppers that day that they started physically fighting about it.  Say what?  Yes, fighting!

Goodwill Outlet, 3728 Market Street, St. Louis, MO 63110

Bins in the Goodwill Outlet

After sifting through a few bins, Glamazini and I, both avid dress shoppers, decided to head to a few other locations where it would be easier to shop by item.

Other Goodwill Locations

The other locations, including the Brentwood, Sunset Hills, Manchester, and Chesterfield stores, met expectations.  They were well organized by item type (skirts, shirts, dresses, and so on).  There was a wide range of brands.  There was a sizable portion of vintage items.  I was particularly impressed by the extensive coat collection in every location.  Fur coats, wool coats, puffer coats, no matter your preference, Goodwill plans to get you covered this fall/winter.

Check out these standout pieces from various locations:

Trendy fur vest at Brentwood Goodwill, $35

Vintage Famous Barr Fur coat in Brentwood store, $25


Glamazini’s Fab Find: Wilsons Leather Blazer, $15

On this particular trip, my favorite stop was the Chesterfield Goodwill at 11 Forum Shopping Center, Chesterfield, MO 63017.  Why?  It was a haven for designer goods in excellent condition.  The store also appeared to be new.

Outside Chesterfield Goodwill, 11 Forum Shopping Ctr.

Coach bucket bag, $15

B. Mankowsky bag, $35.  Like new condition.

Christian Dior menswear-inspired blazer, $15

I purchased a couple items for myself in this Chesterfield store.   Checkout my $14 outfit below.  That very mod-looking, red, Live a Little jacket was only $8.  The super chic tweed skirt by Tommy Hilfiger was $6.

This Goodwill hop was fun and filled with cool suprises.  The trip was especially enjoyable with my company.  I plan to delve deeper into the world of thrifting after this experience.

Be sure to read Glamazini’s recap of our Goodwill Hunting.

Are you a thrifter?  Please share your experiences and tips!

Cato Fashions: A New Statement of Style

New shopportunities!  On October 12, a brand new Cato Fashions opened in Fenton, a municipality within St. Louis County.  Since the opening of that store, I’ve had the opportunity to check it out and my experience surpassed my expectations, so I had tell you all about it.

Cato Fashions at 171 Gravois Bluffs Plaza Drive (Target Center)

I had never been into a Cato store prior to my recent visit.  So, I had no idea what I was walking into. But, I do know that when I walked out of the store, I had the super chic yet cheap outfit you see below.  Yes, that sequined tank and purple blazer are from Cato!  And, they have a combined cost less than $40!

Tank and Blazer (both size small)—Cato fashions

Want the details on this outfit and a sneak peak of my favorite items in Cato stores now?  Continue reading.

Cato Fashions stores, usually located in shopping centers anchored by major discounters or supermarkets,  offer styles in sizes 6 – 26W for women and sizes 7-16 for girls.  The stores also carry an extensive collection of shoes and accessories.

When I first walked into Cato in Fenton, I wasn’t attracted to the items I saw.   The visual merchandising just didn’t appeal to me.  I’m glad I kept looking, though, because there are some hidden gems that ought to be on the must-have lists of all budget fashionistas.

Display at the entrance of the store.

The hautest items in Cato Fashions right now have got to be the super chic knit blazers.  These blazers are kinda like a cross between a sweater and a blazer and are available in on-trend colors like orange, navy, and purple.  And, get this, these blazers are only $21.99!

Orange Cato blazer, $21.99.  I am wearing the purple one
in the photo above.

After I tried on a few blazers, I found a sparkly, sequined tank.  It is shiny, sophisticated, and just what I’ve been looking for in a blinged out top for the holidays.  The tank retails for $17.99 in Cato.

Sequined tank from Cato, $17.99.

Close-up to show the impeccable detailing on the
sequined tank and the quality knit of the blazer.

The quality of these items absolutely surpasses their
price points.

Cato Shoes

My next stop was the shoe section I passed on the way to the fitting room.  Cato has an extensive collection of shoes and I didn’t see a single pair with a price above $25.  The suede wedges below are my favorite pick.  They have a rounded toe, a perfect-for-fall shade of blue, a leopard lining (rawr!), and an unbelievable price of $17.99.

‘Suede’ wedges at Cato, $17.99

The shoes in Cato are all faux-leather.  But, let me tell you, the following pairs make faux look fabulous!

Cato flat boots.

Cato high-heel oxfords

If you’ve been in the dark like me about Cato Fashions, it’s time to see the light.  Find your nearest store at   If you’ve already been shopping there, I’d like to know why you haven’t told me about this budget-friendly shopping spot?

Seriously, though, have you shopped at Cato?  Let me know what your experiences have been.

Disclosure:  I received a gift card to shop at Cato Fashions.  No monetary compensation was received for writing this post.  All the ideas and opinions expressed are my own.  

Definitely Daffy’s

When I was younger, I often spent my summers in NYC visiting family. Back then, I lived in St. Kitts, and clothing was extremely expensive there because most of it was imported. So, these trips to NYC largely entailed lots of shopping on a limited budget.

Daffy’s was one of the first off-price retailers that I knew. I shopped its juniors’ section throughout the 1990s, always maximizing my small spending allowances. So, on this recent trip to the city, I definitely had to visit Daffy’s to see what affordable surprises were in store.

Daffy’s Stores Visited

I visited a couple locations—Herald Sq. and W 57th St.  The store on W 57th St. emerged as a clear favorite because of a very notable higher quality of customer service (cashiers, fitting room attendants, and the floor associates).  Both stores, however, had stylish, designer selections at reasonable prices.

What I Bought

I decided to purchase a Claude Brown dress.  It was $69.99 (retail: $268).  It has a classic, sexy silhouette and fabulous print.  The dress was splurge-worthy because I envision myself reaching for it often for any occasion from work to dinner.

Dress—Claude Brown via Daffy’s
Exposed zipper at back of dress

What I Didn’t Buy

The items below were serious contenders, but didn’t make the final cut for one or more reasons—size availability/fit, fit with my existing wardrobe, suitability for my lifestyle, and/or price.

Dress—Marc New York via Daffy’s

Dress—Rachel Roy via Daffy’s
I actually planned to return to buy this dress,
but didn’t get a chance.  It was only $39.99 too.

Dress—Michael Kors via Daffy’s
Top—Rachel Roy via Daffy’s, Skirt-Daffy’s
Dress—Ellen Tracy via Daffy’s
This dress was either by Claude Brown or
Marc New York


Since I had not visited Daffy’s for a few years, I had to become reacquainted with its floor plan.  Some of the higher-end clothing (particularly the European designers) were isolated making them easy to find.  But, items by Michael Kors, Rachel Roy, and Ellen Tracy took some effort to locate.

But for some customer service snafus at the Herald Sq. store, my visits to Daffy’s stores were successful. I left with a fabulous dress that I will wear for years.  Come back to see how I style the new Claude Brown dress.

Disclosure:  I received a $50 gift card to shop at Daffy’s.  No monetary compensation was received for writing this post.  As always, all the ideas and opinions expressed are my own.