Your Wardrobe’s Next Life at the Wardrobe Boutique

You’re ready to organize your closet. But then you look at some of those sweaters that you barely even wore before you changed sizes. They’re still nice, and they weren’t cheap. Still, it would be easier to part with them if you knew that they were really going to go to someone who would appreciate them.

Sound familiar?

Many women get hung up on value of their old clothes versus the original cost of them. If you really are interested in making those clothes valuable again, be sure to check out donating your clothes to the Career Wardrobe. This organization based in Center City Philadelphia exists primarily to provide outfits and support to women re-entering the work force.

They have the greatest need for career items that are in fashion, and basic black and white tops and bottoms that can be used in many service industries as part of a uniform. Larger sizes are always needed.

A friend of mine recently had a great experience as a recipient of a makeover and interview outfit from The Career Wardrobe. You’ll love Dana’s story, and how they helped her get back to work.

There’s another side to this wonderful organization, and it’s one that I got to visit recently. The Wardrobe Boutique is the retail outlet for the Career Wardrobe, open to the public. Many donated designer pieces end up here, as well as items that are a little too fancy for workwear, and even wedding and ball gowns. I love these kinds of places because they offer incredible variety and styles. I can also find a new favorite designer or style that I might never see in my favorite stores. It doesn’t hurt that prices here are a tiny fraction of the original prices.  My friends Lauryn Blakesley of The Vintage Mom blog and Alyssa Boyle of Fun Finds for Families blog scored some fun finds here, too.  Just a few.


Did I mention the shoes?????


I loved my recent find from the Wardrobe Boutique so much, that it ended up in my headshot from Lens Friends.  (Shhh, don’t tell anyone this is a “thrift store sweater”.)

sweater by Wardrobe Boutique, Photo by Lens friends

Photo: Kara Raudenbush Photography

Now here’s some exciting news from the Career Wardrobe, and another way you can help.  Thanks to Paige Wolf for sharing this.

Career Wardrobe Selected as Finalist for National Fundraising Contest to Address Jobs Crisis

Career Wardrobe one of 74 organizations selected for excellence in helping individuals transition to work and survive the jobs crisis

Philadelphia, PA – February 5, 2013 – Career Wardrobe is one of 74 nonprofit organizations selected to participate in the national Job Raising Challenge, a crowd funding competition giving away $250,000 in grants to the groups that demonstrate who has the most promising, scalable employment solutions. The JobRaising Challenge is an innovative competition to help job-creating nonprofits raise money and publicity.

Career Wardrobe was selected by The Skoll Foundation, The Huffington Post, and knowledge partner McKinsey & Company as one of the nation’s most innovative, feasible, and scalable candidates of the 210 applicants representing 31 states and 110 cities across America. The contest runs through March 1, 2013.

“We are thrilled to be participating in this unique fundraising opportunity,” commented Sheri K. Cole, Career Wardrobe’s executive director. “The national attention we are receiving by partnering with The Huffington Post and its partners is amazing. During the first week, our initial blog post which explained how unemployment is disproportionately impacting women – 70% of low-wage workers in the US are women – received over 150 re-tweets on Twitter and cross postings on other social media platforms like Facebook.”

To win the competition, Career Wardrobe needs to attract 100 donors to give to the organization’s fundraising page and be one of the top 3 fundraisers. Anyone can donate and promote the Job Raising Challenge by visiting Career Wardrobe’s website ( or dedicated Crowdrise page (

“We are in a bit of a disadvange in the competition,” Cole continued. “Because we are in this national competition, but we are a grassroots, local organization. We encourage everyone in the Philadelphia area who cares about helping women move from poverty to employment donate $5 or $10 to help our cause. Post a picture of your favorite suit and share your #StoryofaSuit on Twitter, Facebook or email to promote the contest. Together, we can make a positive change for women in our region!”

If selected as one of the Job Raising Challenge winners, Career Wardrobe will have access to up to $250,000 in grants from The Skoll Foundation. Career Wardrobe will use the grant to replicate its successful social enterprise outlet, The Wardrobe Boutique, in a new Philadelphia-area community. Opened in 2009, The Wardrobe Boutique is a women’s resale clothing store where all purchases benefit Career Wardrobe’s programs to help women transition to work. Career Wardrobe clients can also apply for on-the-job training internships at The Wardrobe Boutique to learn retail management skills that they can use to improve their job prospects.

Other Philadelphia-area finalist joining Career Wardrobe in the challenge are: Baker Industries, NPower Pennsylvania, Opportunity Finance Network and Programs Employing People. The Huffington Post’s Arianna Huffington and CrowdRise co-founder and actor Edward Norton recently explained the JobRaising Challenge and the finalist phase on HuffPost Live.

About Career Wardrobe (
Career Wardrobe is among the nation’s largest and most effective community-based organizations assisting women transition to work by providing free professional clothing and job readiness skills training. Since 1995, Career Wardrobe has helped over 75,000 women in their job search and over 50% of its clients are successful in finding employment within 6 months of their visit to the organization. Career Wardrobe’s social enterprise model uses The Wardrobe Boutique, an independent resale store benefiting the organization, as an earned income and internship with the goal of helping women develop job skills and transition to work. Donate and promote the Job Raising Challenge:

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. My 1st thought was wow! closets? I have 1 small closet in my small floating home but many of these ideas will work to use other spaces for storing things as you have shown…Thanks

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