Please Help: GHS Former Attire Club Seeks Donated Clothing for “Dress for Success” Drive

Former Attire Club co-president Kate Piotrowski. Credit: Leslie Yager

Former Attire Club co-president Kate Piotrowski. Credit: Leslie Yager

The Former Attire Club is alive and well at Greenwich High School. The club, which was founded by Susan Beaty about 10 years ago has always collected gently used gowns and cocktail dresses from the Greenwich community, and either sold them inexpensively or given them for free to GHS girls to keep prom costs in check. In earlier years, proceeds from the prom dress sale were donated to Pacific House emergency men’s shelter in Stamford.

Kate Piotrowski in the student activities offices at GHS. The rack of donated clothing was beginning to take shape. Credit: Leslie Yager

Kate Piotrowski in the student activities offices at GHS. The rack of donated clothing was beginning to take shape. Credit: Leslie Yager

In 2009 and 2010, the club expanded its mission a bit and collected men’s suits, shoes and coats to donate directly to Pacific House so men could put together a nice outfit for job interviews.

Last year Julia Bunte-Mein ran the club and collaborated with Neighb0r-to-Neighbor, ultimately offering the dresses for free to high school girls with a valid school ID.

At the end of her run, Julia turned the club over to Kate Piotrowski and Audrey Brandes, both sophomores this year at Greenwich High School.

Kate and Audrey at the club day for new students organized by student activities.

Kate and Audrey at the club day for new students organized by student activities.

This week Kate explained a new twist on the clothing drive theme. The girls are collaborating with the Dress for Success, an international non-profit that empowers women to achieve economic independence by providing support, professional attire and other tools to succeed.

“We wanted to do some type of drive as opposed to bake sale to raise money for a charity,” Kate said. “And we wanted to do something for women. We thought of a school supply drive, but then found out about Dress for Success.”

Kate said she got the bug for volunteering from her gig at Greenwich Hospital where she wheels patients within the building. “Sometimes a smile goes a long way,” she said. “I love volunteering there.”

Kate picked up the phone and called the closest Dress for Success chapter, which is in Bridgeport.

Kate and Audrey

GHS Former Attire Club presidents Kate Piotrowski and Audrey Brandes at GHS.

“I said we are a club at GHS and we want to do a Dress for Success drive,” Kate explained. From there, the local chapter told Kate and Audrey what to collect and gave the girls some tips.

“We’re hoping members of the Greenwich community will donate dresses, blouses, jackets, blazers, footwear, jewelry, scarves — all those pieces of apparel that are fitting for a proper job interview,” Kate said. (See full list below).

“We are relying on the community for this drive,” Kate said, adding that in the spring the club, which is 20-members strong, will again do a prom dress drive and dress give-away in collaboration with Neighbor to Neighbor.

Audrey and Kate modeling donated dresses for the Former Attire Club give-away last spring.

Audrey and Kate modeling donated dresses for the Former Attire Club give-away last spring.

A rack of donated “interview appropriate” clothing began to take shape this week at Greenwich High School, with club members organizing racks and a poster campaign.

The collection runs through Friday, Nov. 13.

Just stop off at GHS in your travels and zip across the student center to the Student Activities office with your donations.

If you can’t stop at GHS, email Kate and Audrey at formerattireghs@gmail.com and arrange for them to pick-up your donations.

DONATIONS GREATLY APPRECIATED (everything must be on a hanger)

  • jackets/blazers
  • pants & skirts
  • blouses/tops/shells (that fit neatly under a suit, jacket or blazer)
  • footwear (interview-appropriate)
  • handbags, portfolios, jewelry & scarves
  • unopened/unused pantyhose, lingerie, cosmetics & toiletries

Donations not accepted:

  • Coats and jackets (outerwear
  • Sweaters and sweatshirts
  • denim and corduroy
  • suede and leather garments
  • vests and shawls
  • pleated skirts and trousers
  • sandals, slippers and clogs
  • shorts, t-shirts and tank tops
  • sleepwear and loungewear
  • evening wear and gowns
  • used pantyhose andligerie
  • used cosmetics and fragrances
  • men’s clothing & accessories

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