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Give Your Clothes a Second Life

Have a dress you don’t want? Pants that don’t fit? Here are some charities and consignment shops that take old clothing, plus top-notch tailors who can alter a piece.

Donate to a Good Cause

Dress for Success, A Wider Circle, and Success in Style. Donate businesswear to these nonprofits that provide disadvantaged men and women with professional attire. dressforsuccess.org; awidercircle.org; successinstyle.org.

Goodwill and Salvation Army. The ease of drop-off make these two charitable organizations good choices for donations. goodwill.org; salvationarmyusa.org.

Martha’s Outfitters. These thrift shops accept new, gently used, and vintage apparel. Some items are given to those in need; others are sold. Proceeds help support Martha’s Table programs for the poor and homeless. 2114 14th St., NW, 202-328-6608; 2204 Martin Luther King Ave., SE, 202-885-9613.

Once Upon a Prom. Give formalwear another life via this nonprofit, which provides girls with prom dresses. onceuponaprom.org.

The Twig Thrift Shop. Proceeds from this shop, which accepts adult clothing donations but sells only midprice and high-end labels, benefit Inova Alexandria Hospital. 106 N. Columbus St., Alexandria; 703-683-5544.


Turn Castoffs Into Cash

Buffalo Exchange. This chic chain gives cash up front for all items accepted. Expect younger, fashion-forward, affordable brands. 1318 14th St., NW, 202-299-9148; 3279 M St., NW; 202-333-2829.

Current Boutique. Four locations boast a mix of affordable and midprice brands. No appointment is needed to consign. DC, 202-588-7311; Arlington, 703-528-3079; Alexandria, 703-549-2272; Bethesda, 301-222-1114.

Diva Designer Consignment. This boutique carries a wide variety of midrange and contemporary brands—Banana Republic to Milly to Marc Jacobs—plus lots of jewelry. 116 S. Pitt St., Alexandria; 703-683-1022.

Ella-Rue. This stylish shop is a haven for shoe and handbag lovers. Items spotted in the past include Christian Louboutin stilettos, Chanel shoes and bags, and Prada purses. 3231 P St., NW; 202-333-1598.

Inga’s Once Is Not Enough. Chanel, Hermès, Prada, and Manolo Blahnik are regular finds at this luxury secondhand boutique that deals exclusively in high-end labels. 4830 MacArthur Blvd., NW; 202-337-3072.

Mint Condition. Designers such as Kate Spade, Lilly Pulitzer, J. Crew, and Tory Burch are bestsellers at this two-floor boutique that specializes in preppy apparel. 103 S. Saint Asaph St., Alexandria; 703-836-6468.

Mustard Seed. There’s a reason why selling appointments book weeks in advance. The store accepts everything from lower-price brands to couture. Items should generally be less than two years old and in season. 7349 Wisconsin Ave., Bethesda; 301-907-4699.

New to You. Expect nothing short of luxe at this gem, which specializes in hard-to-find designers and high-end jewelry from the likes of John Hardy, David Yurman, and Tiffany. 108 W. Broad St., Falls Church; 703-533-1251.

Secondi. This shop features one of the area’s largest selections of used denim as well as swoon-worthy, secondhand accessories from brands like Louis Vuitton and Gucci. 1702 Connecticut Ave., NW; 202-667-1122.

Second Time Around. Young professionals flock to this consignment shop for work-appropriate attire, flirty dresses, and smart separates. 3289 M St., NW; 202-333-2355.


Alter It into a Keeper

Ace Tailoring. Need to remove pants pleats? Jeffrey Bang is a master at alterations, including fur and leather repairs. 9650 Main St., Suite 11, Fairfax; 703-503-3261.

Anytime Alterations. Maria Luz is a whiz at alterations, including on leather and wedding gowns. 10522 Detrick Ave., Kensington; 301-933-0288.

Christopher Kim’s Custom Tailoring. A fixture in DC for more than 35 years, Kim’s is known for top-quality alterations and good prices. 2000 M St., NW; 202-955-5467.

Do’s Custom Tailors. This shop, which can accommodate difficult requests, also offers in-home appointments, same-day service, and pickup and delivery. 1508 Wisconsin Ave., NW; 202-333-2913.

Georgetown Valet. Everything from evening-dress alterations to pants hems; fast turnaround if needed. Multiple area locations.

Kenwood Custom Tailors. John Tufeckgian has won a following with wallet-friendly prices and meticulous work. 5110 Ridgefield Rd., Bethesda; 301-657-2627.

Millie’s Tailors & Cleaners. Friendly service and good prices make this a prime choice for basic repairs. Dry cleaning, too. 2222 N. Glebe Rd., Arlington; 703-527-7170.

Montgomery Custom Tailor. Alterations on everything from denim to suits. 7101 Democracy Blvd., Bethesda; 301-365-3434.

Reston Tailoring. Wagner and Berta Cordova have done alterations since 1984. 1601 Washington Plaza, Reston; 703-860-3560.

Silver Spring Custom Tailor. Fast service and good prices make this a favorite; also wedding-dress and formalwear alterations. 8725 First Ave., Silver Spring; 301-588-0015.

Sun Tailoring. This Tysons shop offers high-quality alterations and extended evening hours. Tysons Galleria; 703-761-1122.

The Tailored Man. Known for made-to-measure suits, Sunder Daswani does excellent alterations on women’s attire, too. 1750 Tysons Blvd., McLean, 703-288-4292; 5243 Duke St., Alexandria, 703-751-7868.

Techy’s Tailoring. This shop has made a name for itself with services that include changing linings, replacing zippers, and repairing pockets. 3301 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria; 703-535-5477.

This article appears in the March 2014 issue of Washingtonian.

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