Closet treasures

September 20, 2012 § 3 Comments

Our local YWCA‘s DRESS FOR SUCCESS program provides work-appropriate clothing for disadvantaged women who are job-hunting and starting new jobs. They accept donations of gently-used clothing and accessories, most of which go to the women they help. However, as part of their fundraising for this program, the YWCA sets aside designer and vintage clothing, shoes, handbags and accessories for their annual Closet Treasures Sale. On an October Friday evening and Saturday (October 12 and 13 this year), they sell the donated items to the public at well below their initial prices.

Last year, several coworkers and I attended the preview sale on Friday. High quality, and such bargains! For less than $150, I brought home a red wool/alpaca winter coat, a black cardigan that I’ve lived in, two work jackets (both red tones – it was a theme), a custom-made blouse, and a gorgeous caramel brown Coach bag.

Why, you may be wondering, am I writing about buying clothes on a blog that’s about getting rid of stuff? First, I have no objection to buying things (clothing included) that you will use and enjoy. It’s acquiring stuff that you don’t use that’s the problem. Second, I love getting good quality items at a reasonable price, and this sale is a fabulous place to do that. Third, and more to the point of this blog, if you have good-quality clothing that you’re not using (and you’re in the Seattle area), donating it to the YWCA is a fabulous way to put that clothing to good use, whether they decide to sell it at the Closet Treasures sale or use it as part of a work outfit for a disadvantaged woman who’s trying to get a job.

Recently, I dropped these five items off at the YWCA for this year’s sale:

  • linen blouse
  • wool/silk tweed trousers
  • cross-body leather purse
  • lined raincoat
  • silver and opal earrings

The following clothing wasn’t work-appropriate, so I dropped it off at the Big Blue Truck:

  • 2 pairs shoes
  • 1 pair shorts
  • 1 pair pajamas
  • 1 pair jeans
  • 2 pairs socks (brand new… an identical pair made my feet itch)
  • 1 wool jacket
  • 2 sweaters
  • 1 wool scarf
  • 7 T-shirts (I’m reducing the number of these I have with anything printed on the front)

And, after almost a year, I realized I’d only used that beautiful Coach bag once (I’m trying to weed the brown from my wardrobe), so I sent it off to my mother, who loves it and will carry it. Giving your stuff to someone you know who will enjoy it does the trick, too.

Paul’s closet

February 19, 2012 § Leave a comment

While Paul was out on a mission of acquisition today, I decided I’d do a load of laundry for him. When I went into his closet, I started looking at just how much there was in there. Paul’s clothing had definitely outgrown his (large by old-house standards, miniscule by modern MacMansion standards) closet.

Paul’s closet has seen a number of additions recently. The past couple of times we’ve been to Houston, my mother has given Paul shirts, jackets, trousers and belts that my father is no longer able to wear. They are beautiful garments (prior to his Alzheimer’s, my father was quite the clotheshorse), and Paul is enjoying them. However, there has been no corresponding release of older clothing from Paul’s wardrobe into the world; it was time for some unstuffing.

While I did some reorganizing in Paul’s closet while he was gone, I waited until he got home to start the uncluttering. Together, we collected the following to donate:

  • 5 dress shirts
  • 7 sweaters
  • 4 sweatshirts
  • 1 pair of jeans
  • 1 belt
  • 4 pairs of shoes
  • 4 baseball caps

With those 26 items out of Paul’s closet, I think his remaining clothes will fit… except for the t-shirts.

T-shirts will be the subject for another day.

003: Scarves

January 3, 2012 § Leave a comment

Bubba, my maternal grandmother, had a thing for scarves. She adored their patterns and colors, drapes and textures. And she wore them beautifully, elegantly, as she did most things.

After Bubba died, the aunt with whom she had lived let me and my sister choose a few of her scarves. I selected half a dozen of my favorites from her collection. Sixteen years later, I still wear two or three of them occasionally, but there are two that I’ve never worn, and doubt I ever will. They are the sort of commemorative scarves that she particularly liked, one from the 1988 Seoul Olympics (second from the left in the photo), the other from a children’s fundraising event (second from the right). I’ve been keeping them for sentimental reasons. Now I’m going to let them go, hoping that someone else will love and wear them.

I’m also letting go of three other scarves that haven’t made it out of my drawer in years. May they bring someone else pleasure.

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