AT reopened the Blazer Boutique, a resource composed of donated formalwear and accessories, for Blazers this homecoming season on Oct. 4 for the first time since the start of the Covid pandemic.
The Blazer Boutique was started out of need for the AT student body by former PE teacher Sheri D’Ambrose nearly a decade ago. Following her retirement, PE teacher Keith Marston stepped up to keep this resource running.
“It was started out of need for our student body, seeing the benefit of it is important and I kind of wanted to keep that going,” said Marston. “We’ve gone down there a couple times and gotten ready for its use this year.”
The boutique is a closet located in the AT basement across from the auto shop.
The auto shop is downstairs next to the auto shop and we have an organized closet in the basement; it was staffed during homecoming week during lunch hours: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
While the boutique was created for prom and homecoming season, Marston says it is open for request as well.
“Usually during any formal times, we’ll open on a request basis as well — if kids have formal events, they’re more than welcome to reach out to me and we’ll open it for them.”
The Blazer, a resource for free masculine formalwear, is a resource AT plans on running, likely around Christmastime. Momentarily, there are some blazers and ties available for use.
Mari Minor, who runs the Blazer Boutique during lunch hours, notes the Blazer Boutique has received some donations and multiple students hoping to find their homecoming dress.
“Today has been really busy. They’ve been coming downstairs in groups of fives, and there have probably been around 15 students here so far. Students are allowed to come down and look through things before checking dresses or accessories out,” says Minor.
While items from the boutique may be used at no cost, they must be returned the following week.
“For the dresses and suits that are being worn for homecoming, we are going to be open Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday during lunch periods. Ideally, if the item can be washed or cleaned, we’d like for it to come back clean,” says Minor.
In addition to formal wear, the Blazer Boutique houses old Blazer Wear available for students to keep with no return policy.
As Marston says, the Blazer Boutique is cherished by AT students and staff for three reasons: “Number one: it’s all about helping our kids here at Addison Trail. Number two: it’s an opportunity to pay it forward. Number three is to see our students get dressed up at a formal event is pretty cool because there’s just not a lot of those in life.”
Marston is currently seeking donations for the Blazer Boutique that may be dropped off at Door 1 or sent to him directly. He can be reached at email@example.com