Build Up Your Wardrobe with Jackets at Goodwill

As a wardrobe strategist, I’ve seen plenty of wardrobes that seem a little … unfinished.

Unfinished?” you might be asking. An unfinished wardrobe lacks personality and sometimes feels like a uniform. Pants and shirt everyday? That’s a uniform; bland and boring.

The key to having a diverse, complete and very un-uniform wardrobe means incorporating different types of garments. For example, in addition to tops and bottoms, you need a nice variety of finishing pieces; items which put the finishing touch on any outfit.

Enter: the Jacket.

The wonderful thing about jackets is that they’re totally wearable in almost any season – especially here in Southern California where the weather is mostly pretty mild. The secret to making a jacket work in spring is to make sure your outfit underneath is wearable on its own, without the jacket.

When shopping for a jacket, the most important factor in choosing one is fit – particularly around the shoulders. My advice is to buy jackets you genuinely like, instead of fretting how you’ll wear them and what with. Always pass on something you’re not excited about and avoid buying something simply because it’s a traditional wardrobe “staple.”

First up: leather jackets. Leather is definitely not just for the colder months; it’s a versatile material that’s certainly appropriate for spring as well. I found this Guess leather jacket in the Costa Mesa Goodwill – vintage, maybe?

jacket leather jacket

Collarless styles are also a good way to wear a jacket without feeling too formal. Although I personally love blazers, the style is rather formal and not always suitable for everyone. Below I also found a highly-stylized, pink collarless blazer from the Gap and a tweed “lady jacket” at Goodwill.

jacket collarless

For some extra fun in your wardrobe, look for embellished jackets. These jackets have extra, decorative applications. However, note these styles are usually somewhat trendy and may only last a couple of seasons.

jacket embellished

For men, the go-to choice is always a blazer or sport coat. They’re perfect for both special occasions and also more casual times. Wear them out to a weeknight dinner, a company party or night out with the guys. But blazers aren’t just for the preppy set – to avoid looking preppy, wear over a t-shirt and jeans.

jackets mens blazers

So, don’t put off adding these necessary finishing pieces to your wardrobe. Jackets at all Goodwill of Orange County locations are just $9.99 for women and men. Plus, stock changes constantly, so you never know what you’ll find!

Nicole Longstreath is a wardrobe strategist in Costa Mesa, California. To learn more about how she helps clients locally and from all over the world, check her out at


  1. I love a good blazer but I never thought to look at the men’s selection!

  2. Hi Xenia,

    For women, I would suggest sticking with women’s blazers. But if you know a man in your life who needs one, definitely have them check out Goodwill!


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