polo shirts outlet Goodwill Valentine Date Night puts fashion sense
Some women would wake up in a cold sweat after dreaming of wearing, in public, a clothes ensemble picked out by their guy.
That dream could soon come true, ladies, courtesy of the Goodwill Valentine Date Night challenge.
Seriously, Goodwill’s creative idea could serve as a fun exercise in trust building and inhibition lowering for couples, all while supporting a good cause.
Its premise calls for each person to choose and buy their partner’s outfit on a $10 budget at a local Goodwill store, and then dress up in those clothes for a date on Valentine’s Day, which is Tuesday.
Statistically, it’s not uncommon for a woman to select clothes for her husband or significant other. A Style Pilot magazine study in 2012 found that two thirds of men had their clothes chosen for them by their wife or partner. That practice makes sense for me, a longtime advocate of Garanimals for adults who also wore black socks with a white tux on his wedding day. To this day, my wife remains impressed by that fashion decision.
Still, the challenge for couples laid down by Goodwill adds a twist to the girl buys the boy his clothes tradition while she’s picking out his clothes, he’s choosing hers.
It’s like one of those summer camp “trust falls,” except that the person catching you simultaneously slides a plaid smoking jacket over your shoulders.
And then you wear it to dinner and a movie. That’s the plan.
“Go to your normal, local restaurant or your normal hangout, and go in there in these eccentric outfits,” said Meredith Osburn, retail operations director for Wabash Valley Goodwill Industries. Expect entertaining reactions from onlookers. “Some of them will have fun with it,” Osburn added. “And some will say, ‘Did you just roll out of your 1978 closet?'”
(In the interest of full disclosure, I still have my T shirt from The Who’s 1982 tour.)
Vintage clothing is one of Goodwill’s many virtues, and can be found at its 10 Wabash Valley stores, including three in Terre Haute, as well as online, along with now in style shirts, pants, dresses, shoes, belts, ties, suits, jackets, coats, purses, hats and accessories. It all flows into Goodwill through donations, Osburn explained. Donors range from regulars, who routinely pull gently used clothes from closets and drawers after purchasing new items, to one time contributors. Downsizing empty nesters, retirees moving into a condo, and families of a relative who’s passed away donate.
“We get that one person a whole truckload, and we never see them again, but that one truckload funds a lot more than people realize,” Osburn said Wednesday morning at Goodwill headquarters on South Third Street. Proceeds from store sales and financial donations support nearly 200 jobs at the Valley outlets. “The most important thing is, it funds our main mission, which is employing people with barriers,” she added.
The amount of donated items, ranging from clothes and housewares to fitness and office equipment, is immense. In 2015, for example, Wabash Valley Goodwill collected 5 million pounds of clothing, with 3.5 million pounds of those items getting recycled. The clothes on the stores’ racks could be virtually new or classics from your college years, spanning the fashion spectrum from “eccentric to everyday business clothes, workout clothes and casual clothes,” Osburn said.
“From polyester leisure suits to this season’s fashions,” she continued. “We really do get it all.”
Leisure suits are gold to vintage shoppers. “We love to get those, because they fly off the shelves at Halloween,” Osburn said.
Given her familiarity with Goodwill’s inventory, I asked Osburn to demonstrate the way she would approach Valentine Date Night shopping for her husband. She gamely responded, choosing an ensemble that leaned toward loud a light pink sweater, a gray vest with black and white diamond shaped lines, black pants with purple stripes, a sparkly brown belt and a textured tan tie.
Of course, according to the plan, her husband would then select her clothing combo. That would be atypical. “No, generally I would not” have him pick out her ensembles, Osburn said, laughing.
A young couple in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., hatched the idea for the Goodwill Valentine Date Night two years ago, when they were dropping off donated items and shopping. They bought two “quirky” outfits for each other, the Goodwill Blog says, wore them on an initial date, then challenged friends to join in, including singles buying surprise get ups for friends. The only rules were to limit purchases of gender appropriate clothes to $10 or less, and then wear them out on the town. without letting others know what’s going on.