Selling designer clothes will promote dignity and personal growth

WILKES-BARRE — A three-day designer clothing sale is taking place downtown next month and it’s all for the greater good.

Dress For Success Alfalfa County’s Shop for a Cause will take place November 11, 12 and 13 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 38 W. Market St. and features an array of brand-new designer apparel and footwear. All proceeds from sales will go back to the organization to fund their Career Center, which, according to their website, offers programs to address and remove frustrating obstacles that can arise during a job search.

Linda Armstrong-Loop, founder and CEO of the Luzerne County Branch – an affiliate of the largest international nonprofit – took the time to speak with a reporter about the event and its potential impact in helping the group to achieve its mission of empowering women to achieve economic independence.

“So the clothes we claim are new and lightly worn, clean and contemporary. Good for business, but the workforce changes. The costumes that everyone wants to give us, quite frankly, few people wear them anymore. So we get a big call to buy scrubs, lots of black pants, non-slip shoes, steel-toed boots, and even jeans,” Loop explained. All donations are appreciated, of course, but with the Dress For Success sale, Luzerne County will be able to clear out their inventory of clothing items, make room for what their wives really need, and put money back into their program.

And the sale comes just in time for the holidays, for those who might be looking for gift ideas.

Events like this sale, which the group tries to hold at least once a year, help Dress For Success bridge the gap that exists in the area. The typical Dress For Success customer is between the ages of 25 and 30, Loop noted, then pointed out that the area has an aging majority population. If someone in the 90s dies, even though they were incredibly fashionable in their day, that doesn’t mean these are the clothes that today’s worker needs.

“What we need to do is fill in the gaps with the things we actually need…if you go to a restaurant and look at what your waiter is wearing, she must have bought those shoes. They could have cost $40. She needed black pants, she needed the right shirt. They are required to buy these items and if you don’t have the money, you don’t work. So we would like to end this cycle,” Loop said.

It doesn’t stop at donations and charity. Dress For Success goes above and beyond for its women.

Loop recalled a client they worked with in February who had been arrested last August and was being released from prison to undergo rehab. “All she had on was a tank top, shorts and flip flops,” Loop remarked. “So we rushed together to get her some decent rehabilitation clothes, a nightgown, some personal care items. And it’s not stuff we had in the shop. We had to buy a lot. But what is more important, a budget or dignity?

Loop noted that for women, a lot of how they look has to do with their self-esteem and self-esteem, and Dress For Success aims to provide all three to its customers, regardless of their background.

According to the flyer, for more information on the sale, call 570-270-4949. For more information about Dress For Success Luzerne County, visit luzernecounty.dressforsuccess.org, and for more information about the nonprofit as a whole, visit dressforsuccess.org.