Goodwill Gone Gucci?

I recently received a press release promoting a new shop called Goodwill Boutique. The headline read, “Community Concept Store in Tustin Overflows with Re-Purposed Designer Goods, Including Brands Like Gucci and Christian Dior.” My first reaction? What, where, when, how and WHY am I still sitting here?!

I'm not a big thrifter. The process of picking through piles and piles of duds before maybe, possibly finding a gem has always intimidated me. I like the idea of someone else doing the grunt work, even if it means charging a small premium.

The store, located in a shopping plaza in Old Towne Tustin, is Goodwill's trendier little sister. It's still massive (definitely not as “boutique-y” as I'd imagined), but it feels cohesive, as though you're walking into a vintage Urban Outfitters. Warhol-style art hangs on exposed brick walls, while chandeliers dangle from above. A mannequin wears a dress made of old records. Near the dressing rooms are plush, upholstered chairs.

Sifting through the racks is still a bit dizzying. There's a lot of merchandise—tops in every style (all arranged by color), day dresses, evening dresses, wedding dresses, rows of denim, handbags and other accessories, men's clothing, kids' stuff, an entire shoe section, and home goods. The loot isn't as aggressively curated as Buffalo Exchange or some other upscale resale shops—there are a lot of past-season styles, and some of the items looked very well-worn—but I did spot a few winners, including a darling pair of suede Aldo heels for $12.99, Rock & Republic jeans for $14.99, and a sparkly blue Betsey Johnson minidress for $7.99. Sadly, I didn't see any Gucci (or other luxury labels for that matter). Perhaps next time. The store receives daily deliveries of donated designer and department-store goods.

While thrifting pros will tell you there are better options in OC, what makes Goodwill Boutique special is that it's, well, Goodwill. Each purchase helps people with disabilities find employment, become independent, and support themselves and their families. Stop in and be fabulous twice over!


Follow me on Twitter: @michellewoo.

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