Gift in Style at RARE Goodwill

The RARE by Goodwill store on Broadway is one of our favorite spots in CtrCity for one-of-a-kind finds. Holiday shopping is easy and fun as the entire shop is carefully curated, so inevitably there will be something exceptionally cool for someone special on your list. And by highlighting the highly personal, socially conscious, local and handmade, we emphasize the values we hold dear throughout the year. 

We pulled out some of our favorite items on a recent trip to RARE to give you an idea of what gifts you can find. Keep in mind, the stock is unique and most of the time, only one item is available. Some of the items listed here may no longer be available but trust us: there’s always a steady stream of “stylish” coming in. 

Bold Prints, Concert Tees and, Cool Jackets and Cocktail Dresses  

RARE by Goodwill is surprisingly savvy when it comes to trends, both in fashion at large and on the local scene. They also keep a pulse on the current through relationships with designers and social influencers. Special events like a repurposing of “last chance” a clothing-by-the pound by local designer Jeff Yokoyama of the Yoki Shop in Newport Beach is just one example of the fashion events the shop hosts. 

When we work with our pull crew, we are working with what the trends are and what people are looking for, and those are the types of things we look for when they are pulling,” Eric Smissen, Marketing and Branding Manager for Goodwill Orange County tells us. 

From ‘90s and concert tees, to a table full of denim shorts, to pieces that look vintage enough for Disney Dapper days, you can find it all. For the ladies we loved a pile of slacks in bold colors, prints and stripes. The ones pictured here are by Balena, Old Navy and CHAPS Ralph Lauren, all for under $10. There’s a sister stack of equally bold (sequins, florals and stripes) and jean shorts in the same price range. 

Fun, flirty and sophisticated cocktail dresses are waiting to be worn to a New Year’s Eve party and you can give a little edge to the ensemble with a smart jacket (the silver one pictured here is by Bebe for $20. 

Some of the best discoveries are in the t-shirt section including surf and skate brands like Vans and Hurley and one-of-a-kind concert tees like this University at Buffalo Nirvana In Utero 1993 concert tee. Most tees are around $8. 

For the Dapper Dan in your life, these black-and-white Stacy Adams dress shoes are a welcome departure from a bland dress shoe, while a rack of Hawaiian and printed dress shirts including brands like Ben Sherman and Calvin Klein are just right for your resident Jeff Goldblum (shoes $15, shirts around $8 each.) 


There are always fun throwbacks to be found in the store: from childhood toys from the ‘80s to random pop-culture memorabilia. 

In the artwork section, we came across this print of a charcoal pencil drawing by Gary Saderup depicting beloved Star Trek Next GenCharacters Wharf, Data and Counselor Troi in a stately pose. Put it in an outlandish frame and you have a quirky formal dining room piece for $8.  

Beanie babies were all the rage in the late ‘90s, early naughts, with many people collecting them thinking they’d be worth a fortune in time. While the Beanie Baby craze is over, the creatures are still cute and mark a time in history. Many of them (like the ones pictured here) is in excellent condition and still have the tags. Do a little spot cleaning and they become a great stocking stuffer!

Elegant Housewares and Artsy Artifacts 

Goodwill Orange County pioneered which comes in only second to eBay in online auction sites, Smissen tells us. There you can shop the best of Goodwill from all over the country and can ship throughout the U.S. as well. At RARE, many of the housewares were selected from the auction site. 

You can go with a color scheme (like Tiffany blue) for your classy best friend and pick-up a pair of mid-century serving platters to match with a Lenox for Kate Spade “birds of a feather” ornament (dishes $2.99 each, ornament, $6.99.) Or a coffee table book on a favorite musician or interest. 

A photographer might appreciate a vintage camera either for decoration or to take photos old-school style with this ‘60s era Voigtlander Vito CL camera (only $6.99). Pick-up up some vinyl as either a gift for a music lover or to add authentic flair to your holiday party. RARE has a vinyl listening station so you can test out what you buy. 

Happy hunting and Happy Holidays!  

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