Where To Donate Work Clothes?

Every now and then I get really inspired to live cleaner and leaner. This mainly manifests itself in a manic desire to get rid of all the stuff I never use – from summer clothes still sporting their off-season dry cleaning tags, to shoes that are so five-years ago to makeup colors that worked back in my goth 90s or my blonde 2000s.

But then comes the reality of sorting through all that stuff. Uck. And what to do with it all.

Consignment? Sure, I could use the extra money – for new clothes, natch. There’s even a place a few blocks from me. That said, I’ve heard that it can be an annoying process: some of your clothes will be rejected … you only get paid once your items sell …  Ouch. So in any case, I’d still have remnants that need a (new) home.

Goodwill? That’s been my choice in the past. I’m not thrilled with the idea of taking bags of clothes to the nearest drop off in Arlington, where there’s always a long line of cars to donate and seemingly very few shoppers. A friend takes his things to NE Washington, where he feels happier about who’s picking through his gently worn items. (Bonus: it’s also near the new Costco.)

Perhaps a group that helps women get back to work? For a while, I had been donating to my personal cause, a smaller sized sister who’s a social worker. But I think the haul I have won’t wait for our next get together.

IMG_0075Dress for Success is a good option, as is Suited for Change. While I don’t have as many formal suits as I used to given the shift to office casual, I still have several black jackets from various eras that could move from the back of my office door to someone’s active rotation. And shoes. I suppose a few years back, everyone wore mid-heel peep-toe pumps to work? Given that there’s dust on the tops and very little wear on the bottoms, I think these can be donated as well.

Sadly, the options for dropping my clothes off  aren’t as work-friendly as I had hoped. (That said, I completely understand that nonprofit groups are understaffed, and I’m trying to be helpful, not add to their burden.)

And what about my dinner date outfits or dresses that don’t work for a formal workplace, but are too nice for normal weekend wear? I guess those go to Goodwill?

This is starting to get complicated.


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