Dear Answer Angel Ellen: I have a closet filled with business attire I no longer wear and it's time to donate most of the items, but I'm not sure which are valuable enough to donate and what to do with them if they aren't. Does a rip in a skirt pocket mean it should be trashed? If something was good enough for me to wear to work, is it good enough for someone else? What do I do with things I shouldn't donate?
- Nancy M.
Dear Nancy: If it is in good enough condition that you would have no problem wearing it to work or a job interview yourself (no stains, visible tears, etc.), donate it to Dress for Success (dressforsuccess.org for locations) or to a thrift store like Goodwill, St. Vincent de Paul, Salvation Army, etc. Some stores and organizations, including Goodwill and H&M, accept all textile donations including the unwearables and household fabrics. If in doubt, check first. The internet has many other donation site suggestions.
Dear Answer Angel Ellen: I am wondering if you have any information on how to donate or dispose of old fur coats that are no longer wearable?
- Barb R.
Dear Barb: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals accepts used furs by mail for animal bedding and other uses such as donations to homeless people. Send unwanted fur to Fur Campaign, PETA, 501 Front St., Norfolk, VA. 23510. Include your contact info and PETA will tell you how to get a tax deduction for your donation. Buffalo Exchange, the nationwide buy-sell-trade clothing stores, conducts an annual drop-off collection of used furs March 1 to April 22. The furs are used for bedding for orphaned and injured wildlife. Check coatsforcubs.org for details. Not accepted: fur shipments, fur scraps and faux fur. Only in-person drop-offs of genuine coats and stoles are OK. For those with no Buffalo Exchange nearby, the Coats for Cubs site has a list of wildlife rehabbers also accepting furs. Also, you can sign up for the mailing list of Born Free USA for notices concerning its fur donation program (bornfreeusa.org).
Dear Answer Angel Ellen: I read that Hermes, the store that sells expensive handbags, leather goods and scarves, has entered the beauty business. Is this true and is the makeup affordable?
- Claire S.
Dear Claire: Yes it's true. And it depends how you define "affordable." The fashion press has been hyperventilating about the March launch of the first of Hermes' beauty line: Twenty-four shades of lipstick (10 matte, 14 satin) retailing at $67 per. The lipstick tubes are brightly colored in two-color combos. And in a generous nod to the budget-minded (as if), they're refillable for $42.
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