10977990655?profile=RESIZE_710x

10977991469?profile=RESIZE_400xABOVE (l-r): Reilly Glasser, Amy Procacci and Ashley Cole in their black dresses. RIGHT: Luz Nieto and Laurie Daniel. The Junior League hopes to raise $20,000 in this initiative. Photos provided

By Amy Woods

The little black dress has become an icon. A staple in most women’s closets, it hangs ready and waiting as the go-to garment that can be worn on almost any occasion.
The Junior League of Boca Raton plans to capitalize on the ubiquity of the little black dress this month in an effort to raise awareness of the effect poverty has on choices and opportunities.
“Hopefully, the title makes people think,” league President Jamie Sauer said of the fourth annual Little Black Dress Initiative taking place March 27 through 31. “At the end of the day, the point is to feel a teeny bit of what it might be like to wear the same outfit every day for five days.”
The Little Black Dress Initiative not only will raise awareness of the restrictions poverty places on choices and opportunities, but also illustrate the struggles faced by more than one in 10 Palm Beach County residents living in poverty, the majority of whom are women.
“It’s been really successful for us in helping raising money for the community,” Sauer said. “It spurs the conversation so you can talk with people about it.”
A total of $15,000 was raised last year. This year’s goal is $20,000. Participants ask family members, friends and social-media followers for sponsorships, and proceeds go toward programs and services for women and children in need. Participants also don “Ask me about my dress” pins and post about their experiences on Facebook, Instagram and other platforms.
“For me, wearing the same black dress makes me realize, ‘What does that do for your confidence and how you feel each day?’” Sauer said. “It’s very humbling. It’s extra work. It’s extra laundry. It’s honestly a tough week. It’s a very tiny portion of what people with limited resources face.”

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