Goodwill gold mine: How I got a brand new wardrobe for less than $120

Guest blog written by Jen,

About 6 months ago, I started on a new aspect of my health journey, which included weight loss. I was rapidly shrinking, (depending on the brand, shrinking down a good 2-4 sizes in 6 months). I needed new clothes because my old ones were falling off of me! Because I knew that this journey was going to be ongoing with more shrinking, I did not want to spend a lot of money on my new summer wardrobe.

Dieting and losing weight is hard work, but you can see a difference month-to-month – and the difference was large enough to necessitate a new wardrobe!

I needed several essential and basic items, which I could easily mix and match. I needed clothes for my professional work environment, and also for my casual everyday use. So, I decided to set out and shop at Goodwill to purchase an entire new wardrobe! I didn’t know what to expect, but my experience was amazing! Here are some tips that I would recommend if you’re going to do this:

  1. Have an idea of what you want! I had a plan of action prior to going in for my shopping trip. I knew what kind of items I needed, along with what kind of styles, sizes, condition, and colors. When I am laser focused like this it makes it easier to shop.
  1. Get a cart! I know this is probably a no-brainer, but I tried to shop without a cart. My arms were falling off when I tried to carry all of my potential gems around before going into the dressing room. A nice person who worked there offered to get me a cart. Actually, she URGED me to accept a cart. I accepted, and my arms were fine.
  1. Try things on in the store! Plan a day where you have a lot of time to try things on. I say this because I usually do not try things on in the store when I’m clothes shopping. I prefer to bring it home and try it on when I’m “feeling good.” Goodwill has a 7-day return policy, which is great, but is a short window for me to return things.
  1. Keep your receipt, and leave the tags on! You will need this if you have to make returns. In my case, I loved every single item in the store mirror, but after getting home and giving a fashion show to my husband, I realized there were a couple of items that didn’t fit me. I went back the next day and returned them without a problem (and yes, I ended up with even MORE clothes on that trip!).
Whether it’s a new Gap or Banana Republic clothing purchase or a wicker basket, make sure you keep your receipt until you know you’re happy with your purchase!
  1. Keep going back! There are two Goodwill stores in the same city fairly close to us. One was recently remodeled, and they had a plethora of new items, and everything was in good (or new!) condition. It was like hitting a gold mine!


So after a three hour wardrobe overhaul in Goodwill, what did I end up getting? What did I end up spending?

A selection of the tops that made up this wardrobe-overhaul.

My total wardrobe overhaul:

1 dress

1 skirt

2 pairs of shorts

2 pairs of pants (both were that day’s specific color tag sale, which was 50% off!)

4 pairs of capris (1 pair was new)

10 blouses / tops (4 of them were that day’s specific color tag sale which was 50% off, and 2 were actually new with the tags still on!)

A total of 20 pieces!


What I spent for a brand new wardrobe:

I spent a total of $110.80! Let that sink in for a minute. I was absolutely shocked at the register. Not shocked as in “Oh crap, my husband, one of the founders of, is going to be ticked!” I was shocked as in “WHAT?! Seriously?! That’s all I have to pay?” The best part is that it technically would’ve cost $129.74, but I got a total of 6 items at half-price for the deal of the day! I have done this kind of trip in the past at a local discount department store. That trip cost nearly $500!

I have gotten multiple compliments on several of the items. I love being able to grin and say to them with a sense of thrifty delight, “I got it at Goodwill!”