“Dress for success.” “Clothes make the man.” There are many clichés about clothing, and so many of them are tired but true to some degree. What you wear creates a perception about who you are and your clothes carry you through life. I’m not even necessarily talking about style and flair, here – I’m speaking strictly about the fundamentals of clothing. You need clothes to keep you warm. To protect your body’s largest organ from harsh external elements. To look professional enough to be hired for a job. To feel confident and beautiful and prepared for life’s little events and opportunities. Things so many of us take for granted. But there are millions of people who don’t have the basic necessities to help to lift them out of difficult life situations. Here’s a way that SO many of us can easily give back and lift up someone who’s in need.
In 2002, comfortable chic clothing brand J. Jill began encouraging their customers to give back and support their local communities in need. The J. Jill Compassion Fund was created to support community-based organizations that help disadvantaged and homeless women to get back on their feet again in terms of providing education, job skills, and affordable, transitional housing. The goal is to help women in need regain their independence. So far, they’ve donated more than $6 million to over 60 organizations nationwide!
Here’s how you can help support the cause — from October 9th to 22nd, you can bring in ANY gently worn item to a J. Jill store, and as a thank you, receive 25% off your purchase.
AND on October 21st in Chicago, you can join me for a very special styling event that I’m so proud to be a part of!
I’ll be hosting a very special styling party for the women of Chicago’s non-profit Sarah’s Circle. Sarah’s Circle aims to empower women, and help them rebuild their lives. During this styling event, I’ll be helping these awesome ladies pick out head to toe outfits for whatever occasion they’d like, from job interview to special family outing, winter warmth to just casual chic. Whatever they’re looking for, I’m there to help them pick out the perfect J. Jill outfits!
Christopher Gayton, VP Marketing of J.Jill explained the concept of the compassion fund and the event. “J.Jill is a company that celebrates all women and our design philosophy centers on uncomplicating fashion to help our customers feel beautiful…Our customers are passionate about giving back, and we run bi-annual gently worn clothing drives in our store. This year we’ve expanded that program to outfit women in need for interviews or the workplace. Looking good and feeling good go hand in hand. By having Patrice as our stylist, we look to dress each woman for the workforce, which is a big need, in a style that reflects her inner strength and capabilities. Sometimes a little bit of confidence can make all the difference.”
I agree wholeheartedly. We’re going to enjoy each other’s company and it’s all about that important boost of confidence. And I’ve already got a few must-try items for the ladies from the J. Jill fall collection – I’ve been getting familiar with their clothing and it’s about classic, timeless pieces, made with quality in mind. The ladies will be leaving with some warm, comfortable, soft and cozy sweaters, cardigans, great fitting jeans and pants – whatever they need!
Kathy Ragnar, the Executive Director of Sarah’s Circle echoed a similar sentiment, regarding clothing and confidence: “Women seeking employment while struggling with homelessness not only need appropriate interview and work clothing, but they also need the confidence to present their best selves to potential employers. This party is a great opportunity for women to boost that confidence! The event is hosted in their honor, and the women will be choosing new work and interview appropriate J.Jill outfits with individualized help from Afrobella. We truly appreciate the generosity of all the women participating in this event to help other women. Clothing donated during the Gently Worn campaign will also be distributed to women participating in Sarah’s Circle’s programs.”
Come out and support this awesome cause, Chicago! You can donate clothing ANY time at ANY J. Jill store here or across the country. But right here in downtown Chicago on Tuesday October 21 from 2 to 4 pm, I’ll be hands on, bringing a bag of my own gently worn clothing, hosting, styling and celebrating with the ladies from Sarah’s Circle at J. Jill, Water Tower Place. Join us! Click here to find a store location near you.
** Afrobella was hired as host and stylist by J. Jill, but these opinions are all mine!