Sunday, December 4, 2016

Paws & Tots and Gifted Gowns: the Season for Giving

Every woman should own a red dress. The classic little black dress, or "LBD," may be a staple, but a red dress is a statement. Chris DeBurgh's iconic song wouldn't work nearly as well if it was "Lady in Black."
And there's no better time of year to make a statement in red than the holidays. This weekend's "Little Red Dress" fundraiser for the Hamilton County Humane Society and Toys for Tots was a sea of red, and every woman there made a beautiful and festive statement while raising money for two great causes.
My own dress for the event was inspired by another great cause close to my heart: The Gifted Gown, a local Indianapolis non-profit organization that just received its official 501(c)(3) status this year. 
The mission of The Gifted Gown is to provide formal wear free of charge to those who would otherwise miss out on important occasions (such as proms, weddings, and military balls) because they can't afford to dress for them. I'm proud to be a member of the organization's first board of directors, and to help its clients make their own style statements at special events.
I first saw this Betsy & Adam dress, albeit in a size 2, when it was donated to The Gifted Gown in the Spring. Though not my typical style or silhouette, I loved it. And I was excited that the organization would make this dress, originally sold at Nordstrom, a reality for a woman who would otherwise not have the opportunity.
But, I couldn't stop thinking about it. I wanted it for myself! So, I started stalking it online, and finally found one on eBay, in my size, for just $35. It still had the tags on it! I added the belt; jazzed up a black cocktail hat with a red velvet rose taken from an old Christmas centerpiece; and added a crystal broach to a $9 lace choker from Amazon to make the look all my own. I'm fortunate enough to not need The Gifted Gown, but I'm still a bargain hunter!
I'll definitely wear this dress for another event in the future. I'm not a "one and done" kind of girl - when I love a dress, I want to wear it well and again. That said, there are always new dresses to love, so when I decide to "retire" it, you can be sure I'll be donating it to The Gifted Gown so that another woman can have her own "Lady in Red" moment!
Fashion is what you buy; Style is what you do with it!
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  1. What a wonderful organisation, The Gifted Gown. I have never heard of such a thing and I think it's brilliant because not every woman can afford to dress like a princess for special occasions. I'm sure you all make many women's lives stunningly beautiful in every way. And how gorgeous that The Gifted Gown provides such fashion as you're wearing here (and that you were inspired by it!). You're looking fabulous, I love what you do with your clothes and accessories - as you say, "fashion is what you buy, style is what you do with it." xx

    1. Thank you, Elizabeth. I really appreciate your kind words from one style child to another! Helping people find their own personal style and feel good on ANY budget is one of my favorite things to blog about.

  2. Your style creativity knows no bounds. I love the addition of the rose to your cocktail hat; very festive! Thank you for sharing your style inspiration talent with The Gifted Gown organization and Hat Attack!

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  4. A big thank you for your blog article. Thanks Again. Will read on...
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