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My Outfit Monday: How a $12 Goodwill dress saved my engagement moment



Enjoy our latest installment of Your Outfit Monday, this time from Times retail reporter Justine Griffin.

This is the true story about how a $12 dress from Goodwill saved me from looking like a total mess when I got engaged. 

I found myself in Sarasota browsing Goodwill donation stores one day a few weeks ago while on assignment.  One of the perks of being a retail reporter, I was able wander the store aisles in between interviews. I am an avid thrift store shopper, so I can safely say I have an eye for finding a gem in a sea of awful floor-length corduroy or checkered-patterned dresses.

And I did -- I found an adorable navy blue dress with a coral-colored design top for $12. The design of the dress includes two flattering cut out sides at the upper torso and a sheer blue floor-length overlay that is comfortable and flowy, but still shows off your legs. 

I tried it on and it fit like a glove. Sold. 

The dress sat in the back of my car for a week. I'd say it's not exactly appropriate for work and I didn't have a fun girls night out coming up, so I wasn't sure when I'd get to wear it. 

The weekend after I bought the dress my partner, Alex, and I were back in Sarasota visiting his parents. We usually stay with them at their house on Siesta Key when we visit, so I packed modest, comfortable clothes for the weekend. Later that Saturday Alex and I explored downtown Sarasota by bike. A new hotel had recently opened, the Aloft Sarasota, and Alex wanted us to make a pit stop at their lobby bar for a drink. 

Alex and I actually have a history at this hotel. On our very first date, we climbed the fence onto the construction site of this very hotel. We had our first kiss on the roof 10 stories high, which at the time, was basically just a bunch of concrete blocks. It was as cheesy and romantic as it sounds. 

Alex surprised me with a room at the hotel that night, the first week it had been open to the public. I was so surprised, but still had no idea what was coming next. Alex said he wanted to surprise me with a relaxing weekend getaway because we had been so busy lately. I was just happy to be staying in really cute hotel. 

When we were getting ready for dinner, I was so thankful that I remembered I had the blue dress sitting in the back of my car. I didn't even have makeup, so I made do with a little bit of lipstick. Otherwise Alex would have proposed to me while I wore shorts and a T-shirt. 

Before taking me out to dinner, Alex brought me up to the roof of the hotel. This time it had railings, a pool and a bar. As we looked out over Sarasota bay and downtown, he revealed the ring and popped the question. 

It was so thoughtful and very sweet. I am thrilled. 

And secretly, I'm so thankful for this $12 dress from Goodwill. 

[Last modified: Monday, March 21, 2016 3:53pm]


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