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Castoffs to You, Self-Confidence Boosters to Them


Haven't you held on to that red power suit that's two sizes too small long enough? You're in luck, because it's National Clean Your Closet Week. Take the opportunity to free up closet space and help someone in need.

Dress for Success Los Angeles is an organization that provides interview-appropriate clothing, image and makeup consultation for women trying to reenter the work force after tough times. The problem may seem insignificant, but image, or lack of it, can make a difference in a job interview.

At the group's first fund-raiser Saturday night at the Beverly Hills Holiday Inn, former client Tia Doby of L.A. told the audience how a lime-green suit helped her gain the confidence to negotiate salary during a job interview: "I had never seen 55K, but he didn't know that, and in that suit, neither did I."

Some women took the stage to tell stories about the special items of clothing they were donating.

Compton Superior Court Judge Ellen C. DeShazer talked about a red suit she wore to the October 1998 opening session of the U.S. Supreme Court: "Clothes can make a woman feel successful and confident, and how she feels about herself goes a long way toward how others feel about her," DeShazer said.

The group is always looking for suits and for volunteers. Shirley James, the founder and executive director, will even teach you how to organize a suit drive at your office. Information: (310) 385-1961.


The Oscar countdown is in full swing, and for those who are planning to spend Hollywood's biggest night celebrating at home, online party-planning site ( is providing Academy Award-themed e-mail invitations designed by L.A.-based invitation guru Marc Friedland. (He designed the invites for this year's InStyle's post-Academy Awards bash.)

The site helps party hosts plan the festivities, keeps track of e-mail RSVPs, and offers decorating and entertainment suggestions--all for free.

The invitations may be Oscar-themed, but unfortunately the party suggestions are not. (Where, exactly, am I supposed to find an Oscar-shaped cookie cutter?) Maybe next year, can enlist the help of one of L.A.'s hip party planners.


In other Oscar-related Web news, ( has invited celebrities to donate outfits from recent films for auction, with all proceeds going to the charity of the celebrity's choice.

Julianne Moore is offering a retro-style suit from "The End of the Affair," designed by Oscar-winning costume designer Sandy Powell, to benefit Planned Parenthood. Sharon Stone is donating an Ungaro outfit from "The Muse" to benefit Planet Hope. Stone co-founded the charity, which helps the homeless, with her sister Kelly.

Bidding, on eBay (, ends Sunday.

Booth Moore can be reached at

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