Dolce and Gabbana. Prada. Ralph Lauren. New York City mother Michelle Lewis has a closet full of designer clothes. And she says now she needs to get rid of them all.
As stylish as the clothes may be, they are unwelcome reminders of her past marriage.
"When I wear them, I remember the time of when they were purchased for me. And since my life has evolved and moved on, it's just time to let that go," Lewis, who divorced and has subsequently remarried, said during an interview with"Good Morning America" in which she discussed her decision to purge her closet of many of the things her ex-husband bought for her.
What gets sent away and what stays in Lewis' closet is not always an easy decision. She has a real attachment to some of the garments.
Impractical Clothes, Bittersweet Memories
One item in particular -- a little black dress -- was purchased for her by her then-husband in happier times, on a special trip to Las Vegas.
"It's a little bit sexier than I would normally choose for myself," she said. "It's something I have a lot of great memories about, but something I don't see fitting in my current life."
That's where Jill Alexander comes in.
Alexander is the creator of The Divorcee Sale, a company she founded to help women clear their closets of the past -- all while making them a little money.
Women have turned to her because it's often hard for them to face how their lives have changed.
"You go to these women's homes and they have closets of Chanel bags that they no longer need, gowns they no longer need, fur coats that they no longer need. ... Life changes when you go through a divorce," Alexander said. "One consigner who was previously married and had 60 designer gowns ... well, her life has completely changed and she no longer needs the gowns and would rather get the money and buy things that she can wear for her new life."
Alexander organizes sales across the country. The latest sale in New York -- which runs today through Sept. 25 at the Mondrian Hotel -- offers luxury merchandise from several divorcees at prices well below retail. For example, a pair of Christian Louboutin shoes would normally cost $800; at the sale, they're offered for $425. Bags, dresses and beautiful jewelry are all similarly discounted.
Shoppers say the fashion finds are amazing.
In addition to giving women great fashion for less, the sale is special for another reason. Part of the proceeds from every sale is donated to various charities, including the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
"Women, the sisterhood, are coming together," said Myra Biblowit, the foundation's president. "We get through divorce, we get through breast cancer, and you go on to a healthy and beautiful life in glorious fashions."