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Dress to the Nines
Bag a bargain at the Best Dressed Sale and Boutique and support patient care at The Johns Hopkins Hospital.

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Women's Board volunteers model high-fashion castoffs at last year’s sale. From left, Lisa Barnhill, Anita Stapleton, Karen Ruppert, Allison Wood, WJZ-TV anchor Gigi Barnett, Jane Cummings, Elaine Born. Top right: The sale's not just for women. Volunteers helped outfit this man. Bottom right: Lines form as early as 7 a.m.
Women's Board volunteers model high-fashion castoffs at last year’s sale. From left, Lisa Barnhill, Anita Stapleton, Karen Ruppert, Allison Wood, WJZ-TV anchor Gigi Barnett, Jane Cummings, Elaine Born. Top right: The sale's not just for women. Volunteers helped outfit this man. Bottom right: Lines form as early as 7 a.m.

This marks the 40th year that an enterprising group of volunteers has been turning never-worn and gently used clothing into a bonanza for patient care at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. Thanks to the Women’s Board, whose members spend six months of every year collecting, sorting and pricing carloads of donations, the annual Best Dressed Sale and Boutique has become a must-attend event for many of Baltimore’s most fashion-savvy bargain hunters.

And what these shoppers save on designer labels and other treasures becomes a hefty donation all its own. In recent years, the sale has netted close to $150,000, which the Women’s Board combines with proceeds from its other ventures to support such patient care projects as Type for Life (the bone marrow registration drive), sleep chairs for the Children's Center and scholarships at the schools of Medicine and Nursing. Now the Women’s Board is busy fulfilling its $2 million dollar pledge for the new children’s tower.

This year’s Best Dressed Sale, say the organizers, is once again overflowing with gently used dresses, separates, menswear, children’s clothes, jewelry, handbags, shoes, formalwear and furs—merchandise culled from fashion-conscious donors. In addition, there are plenty of brand new items from impulse purchases as well as donated merchandise from local shops. (Note to brides: This year a premier wedding boutique has contributed fabulous new bridal, bridesmaids’ and mother-of-the-bride gowns.)

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Best Dressed Sale and Boutique

Nov. 1 - 4
The Carriage House at Evergreen
4545 N. Charles St. (just north of Cold Spring Lane)

FREE ADMISSION
Friday, Nov. 2, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 3, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 4, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. (all items half-price, except furs and some boutique items)

With wares like these, it’s no wonder the sale draws thousands of shoppers from every part of the city and beyond. TV cameras have captured the winding lines of eager consumers on Charles Street hours before the sale starts.

Mindy Landau started going to the sale even before she landed a job here. “I’ve found some great buys, including a black leather skirt I probably wouldn’t have been able to afford anywhere else,” says the Kimmel Cancer Center nurse practitioner. “Now, I enjoy myself even more because I know what I’m supporting.”

Even though the event requires at least 30 volunteers to pull off, it’s worth every minute, says former Women’s Board president Bobbie Gutman, who’s been involved with the sale since its inception. “We have so much fun,” she says. “It brings the community together, and everyone feels good about where the money goes.”

—Judy Minkove

 

 

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