Clothing swap benefits Women Empowered and hurricane victims

The House of Colour clothing swap offered plenty to choose from. — Photo by Kristen Leigh Conklin

The second annual House of Colour clothing swap last Sunday proved that one woman’s least favorite sweater may be another’s fashion statement — and help someone else at the same time. About 50 women attended the swap hosted by image consultant Wendy Jacobs at her home in Vineyard Haven to benefit Women Empowered and also the Hurricane Sandy relief effort.

“It was an event sponsored by my new island business, House of Colour, which empowers women to look and feel their best while being conscious of reusing and recycling clothing,” Ms. Jacobs said. “We are also proud to donate all proceeds of the raffle ticket sales with another Island organization that is committed to empowering women, Women Empowered.”

As a nonprofit organization, Women Empowered offers free life skills coaching programs, grants, and loans to Islanders.

Ms. Jacobs helps House of Colour clients determine what “seasons” they are — winter, spring, summer, or fall — and what colors look best on them, based on skin tone and hair and eye color, in order to choose clothing, accessories, and hair and make-up colors. They also learn what clothing shapes and styles best suit their body types, lifestyle, budget and personality.

As part of her clients’ revelation about what their best colors and styles are, Ms. Jacobs invited them to the clothing swap to get rid of clothes that don’t look good on them and swap them for those that do. Prior to the event, participants dropped off bags of clothing discards to Ms. Jacobs, who organized them by “seasons.”

“There were cashmere sweaters, dresses, tops, jeans, jewelry, everything!” she reported in an email to The Times.

Everyone brought an appetizer to share and an appetite for trying on clothes.

“It was a huge success,” Ms. Jacobs said. “Everyone left with bags of beautiful clothing that looked great on them, and with smiles on their faces.”

Raffle tickets that sold for $5 each benefitted Women Empowered. The winner, Lowely Finnerty of Vineyard Haven, had a choice of a gift certificate for a Colour Analysis, a Personal Style session, or $200 worth of House of Colour cosmetics.

After the swap, Ms. Jacobs divided up the remaining clothes and took some to Martha’s Closet consignment shop to be sold and the proceeds given to Women Empowered. Ms. Jacobs said the rest of the clothing, which filled about 20 large trash bags, will be donated to the Island’s Hurricane Sandy relief effort currently being organized.