All About Kate

by Katherine Boury, Seattle Goodwill
July 7, 2014

Kate Retherford celebrates her fun and fashionable style on her blog, All Things Kate.  She has a lot of fans who enjoy her personal style and 425 Magazine recently named her the best fashion blog.  Kate is also a thrifter who enjoys looking for unique finds at her local Goodwill (which is frequently the Bellevue store). 

Blue Lace Dress from Bellevue Goodwill

You have a blog, All Things Kate, which allows you to share your finds.  What is your favorite part about sharing your personal style and blogging?

Blogging and sharing my personal style has opened up so many doors for me! One of my favorite aspects of sharing my personal style and blogging is connecting with my readers. I value their feedback and truly treasure each email that comes through. It’s an honor to hear how my stories have changed someone’s outlook on their personal body image or how I’ve helped them to discover their personal style and give them more confidence. I’ve built so many friendships and made so many connections with those who read my blog that I can’t imagine not doing it!

And the side benefit of having a blog? It’s the perfect excuse to go shopping every weekend!

How did you get into shopping thrift and Goodwill?

When I was a kid, my mom would always take me thrift shopping to find unique pieces, primarily for dance or Halloween costumes. While we were there, we’d look through the other racks and find unique one-of-a-kind pieces to add to our wardrobes as well. I now share my Goodwill shopping trips with a few of my good friends or my mom. We’ll take a day every so often and spend the entire day thrifting and trying to find a diamond in the rough!

What is your favorite Goodwill find?

My favorite Goodwill find is a pair of Christian Louboutin shoes that I stumbled upon in Seattle a few years ago. They’re about a half size too big but they were too perfect to pass up! Surprisingly, they’ve never made it on to All Things Kate. I’ll have to change that soon!

Striped blazer from Bellevue Goodwill, shoes from Seattle Goodwill

Do you have some tips for shopping thrift?

I have three tips if you’re going thrifting: have patience, pay no attention to sizes, and inspect your garments. When I set out to go thrift shopping, I have to be in the right mood. Personally, I run a bit more on the impatient end of the spectrum. So, if I have a particular article of clothing in mind and want instant gratification, I’m probably better off going to the mall. Thrift shopping takes a lot of patience. I can spend hours sifting through racks and trying on clothes and find only a few things. It’s definitely a lot of work! But when you stumble upon that perfect dress, vintage piece of jewelry, or beautiful pair of shoes for only a fraction of the cost, it’s totally worth it!

Second, I always have to keep in mind that sizes vary not only from brand to brand but from decade to decade. I’ll look through a range of sizes in case I spot something that I think might fit. As my mom always told me “you’ll never know until you try it.” And, I figure that if I’m already going into the dressing room for something else, I might as well try on all that I want. Some of my best finds have been things that I thought looked ugly on the hanger or possibly too small for me. Moms certainly do know best!

Lastly, whenever I am trying on clothes on, I make it a point to inspect the garments thoroughly for any rips, tears, or stains. I also think about the garments I’m trying on as starting points. If it’s too big or has a mendable tear in it, is it something I could easily have my seamstress fix?

The Northwest is about layering.  Do you have any tips for updating your wardrobe for summer going into fall?

I try to look for pieces in classic colors that make a good transition to fall and that can easily be styled with tights, sweaters, or boots. Learning to transition your wardrobe from season to the next can be challenge. I tend to get in the habit of segmenting my closet into seasons when I really need to be mingling all of the pieces to create new outfits for each season. I always have to challenge myself to think outside the box and wear my clothes in new, exciting, or unexpected ways so that I don’t continually repeat the same outfit. 

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I think most people are surprised to hear that I thrift AND that I enjoy it! While I definitely do enjoy designers and shopping at full price department stores, the thrill of the hunt lures me back to thrifting.

Who inspires you?

I think that my grandmother played a large role in developing my personal style. She was a seamstress by trade and made a number of her grandchildren and great-granchildren's clothing (and even their wedding dresses!). She designed a lot of girly dresses for me in pinks and purples and floral prints that I wore when I was in elementary school. They were frilly with full skirts and perfect for twirling!

Kate is wearing at least one item purchased at our Bellevue retail location in each image. Items from Goodwill include: blue lace dress (top image), striped blazer & black peep toe wedges (second image), blue polka dot dress (bottom left), pink tank top (bottom center), blue coat (bottom right). 


Katherine Boury is the Communications Manager at Seattle Goodwill.

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