Celebrating 90 Years | Goodwill Style with Darcy Camden

by Katherine Boury, Seattle Goodwill
April 8, 2013

Stylish and fashion consultant Darcy Camden has been shopping at Goodwill for many years, and she knows how to create unique and fashionable styles on a budget. She created her fashion consulting business, Styled Seattle, in 2006 to help clients of all ages develop their best personal style. Darcy talks with us about her favorite Goodwill finds.

Darcy CamdenHow would you define style in the Northwest?
In one word? Layered. I think Pacific Northwesterners do a really outstanding job of balancing old and new. I love it when I see someone wearing something vintage with something fresh off the racks.

How did you start shopping at Goodwill?
The first time I remember shopping at Goodwill was in high school. I needed a dress for a party and ended up buying a dress that I wore multiple times. When I first moved to Seattle after college and was living by myself, I would visit Goodwill all the time to look for furniture and items for my apartment.

What are some of your favorite Goodwill purchases?
I remember shopping at the Goodwill on Dearborn in Seattle and finding a nearly new Theory black pencil skirt almost identical to one I had been eyeing--but couldn't afford--at Nordstrom. It was priced so low, like $6.99, and I felt like I had won the lottery. At the time I was working in an office and needed to dress very professionally, and I probably wore that skirt 500 times.

Do you have a store that you frequent the most?
I usually go to the Ballard store. I think they have a cool furniture section. Several furniture pieces in my office are refurbished finds from Goodwill. And I have taken my husband to the University District Goodwill, because it's close to our house. I dragged him there a few months ago to find an outfit for a theme party, and he ended up finding three other shirts he now wears all the time, including a vintage-looking western shirt that he wore all through Barcelona.

Styled Seattle is a full service fashion consulting business, and I am sure that you are very aware of the budgets for your clients. Do you have any suggestions for someone who wants to be a budget fashionista?
I love using Pinterest to collect looks and style inspiration. That way, when I'm out shopping and see something that I like on sale or at a thrift/consignment store, I already have an idea about how I might wear it. Even if an item is inexpensive, it's not worth buying it if you can't make it work in an outfit. I also tell my clients to look at the original price tag (that's why I love finding never-been-worn items at Goodwill that still have their original tags!) and ask themselves if the item is worth it's full price. Never buy something ONLY because it's on sale; instead, look for items that you would gladly pay more for…but luckily don't have to!

Do you have any tips to update your wardrobe for spring and summer here in the Northwest?
It's a very colorful spring! My clients have been embracing colored pants. Many of us have lots of neutrals, like black and white, already in our closets. I think a colored pant with a simple black shirt or sweater feels fresh and fun. Add a pretty scarf and you're good to go!

You have an online style magazine, Styled Right, that highlights local fashion, beauty and style. In one of the issues there was a gift guide. Do you ever purchase gifts at Goodwill?
Yes! I actually visited the new South Lake Union Goodwill in preparation for a New Day Northwest segment, and I was so impressed with the jewelry selection that I returned multiple times over several months and collected pretty vintage-looking brooches. I gave them as Christmas gifts. I also found a pearl necklace that I gave to my best friend. It was so much more appreciated than a brand new necklace, because it clearly had history.

Darcy CamdenDarcy Camden is Seattle's top personal wardrobe stylist, well-known for her practical, fun and budget-friendly fashion advice that resonates with clients of all ages. Darcy created Styled Seattle, her fashion consulting business, in 2006 with the ambitious goal to help every man and woman harness the power of personal style. Darcy and her team now provide personal styling services to over 700 satisfied clients, and Styled Seattle was named "Best Makeover Team" by Seattle Magazine.

Darcy was dubbed "Seattle's Stacy London" for her work as the clothing stylist on the highly-rated "Northwest Afternoon" Ambush Makeover series on KOMO, and her style advice has been featured on The Style Network online, The Luxury Explorer TV Network, Q-13, City Arts Magazine, Forbes, Puget Sound Business Journal, ABC's Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition, and more. You can see her every week sharing fashion tips as the staff stylist at KING-5's New Day Northwest talk show.

Darcy believes every person has a unique personal style, and her greatest joy is helping others become the most confident and authentically stylish version of themselves. Darcy and her team publish Styled Right Magazine quarterly to share style inspiration and shopping advice with as many people as possible!


Katherine Boury is the Communications Manager at Seattle Goodwill.

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