Cary Grant's wardrobe is getting a charitable second life

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Where Have Cary Grant's Clothes Gone?

Most celebrities' fashion troves are auctioned off for astronomical prices, usually at a big-name auction house like Sotheby's or Christies. But The Wall Street Journal has a touching story about what happened to Cary Grant's dapper collection of clothes after his death. Known for playing impeccably dressed men — like John Robie, the stylish cat burglar in To Catch a Thief — Grant was particular about what he wore offscreen as well as on. He once wrote in GQ that when it came to suits, he made sure "the lapels are neither too wide nor too narrow, the trousers neither too tight nor too loose." Along with his suits, his closet included luxe versions of casual pieces, like monogrammed pajamas and silk robes.

After his death in 1986, Grant's daughter Jennifer anonymously donated the contents of his closet to charity. His suits went to a nonprofit for men seeking work, while his pajamas and a cashmere sweater went straight to Goodwill. And even the item with arguably the most sentimental value — an overcoat whose interior was embroidered with the message "Dad, I love you. Jennifer" — found a new home. Jennifer Grant gave it away to a homeless man eight years ago.

"I wasn't comfortable keeping it," she told the paper. "He could really use it." Surely Grant would approve.

See photos of Cary Grant through the years:

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Vintage photos of Cary Grant
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Vintage photos of Cary Grant
CARY GRANT -- Pictured: Cary Grant (Photo by NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Cary Grant, wife Dyan Cannon, and their daughter Jennifer, age 3 months old, just before boarding the SS Oriana, bound for England, to visit Grant's mother.
(Original Caption) A lucky cameraman struck paydirt when he caught four of Hollywood's top male stars on the set of 'The Ugly American' which stars Marlon Brando. The famous foursome were gathered at an informal gabfest, are, left to right: Rock Hudson, Cary Grant, Marlon Brando and Gregory Peck. December, 1962
(Original Caption) Paris, France: Cary Grant in Paris. Undated photograph.
(Original Caption) Actors Randolph Scott (L), and Cary Grant show off their athletic prowess. Scott lifts weights while Grant punches at a speedbag. Undated photograph.
(Original Caption) Mr. and Mrs. Cary Grant (Virginia Cherrill) and Randolph Scott, photographed at the Melody in Spring party given by Ross Saturday evening, on the eve of his departure for New York, from where he will broadcast his next three radio programs.
(Original Caption) Cary Grant (1904-1986), American actor signing a slab of cement after leaving his foot prints. Undated photo.
(Original Caption) Cary Grant was rising to stardom in Hollywood when he first met Virginia Cherrill, the film actress. Their romance was climaxed by a marriage performed at the Registry Office in Cary's native England, and here are the newlyweds arriving in New York for their honeymoon. The bride is a native of Carthage, Illinois.
(Original Caption) 1940-Movie still publicity handout of Cary Grant kissing Katharine Hepburn's cheek in 'The Philadelphia Story.' He wears a pinstripe suit, she wears a demure blouse with checkered bowtie.
1934: Movie still from the 1934 film, 'Enter Madame.' In this scene, Cary Grant enbraces one of his female leads from behind, both in formal attire.
CARY GRANT.PHOTOGRAPH C.1943.
(Original Caption) Cary Grant (Archibald Leach), 1904-1986. Elegant, British-born Hollywood star in a movie still of the 1947 movie 'The Bishop's Wife'. (Photo by �� John Springer Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
Actor Cary Grant (Photo by �� John Springer Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
Princess Catterina/Nancy Lane (Sylvia Sidney) and Porter Madison III (Cary Grant) toast champagne glasses in the 1934 comedy, Thirty Day Princess. (Photo by �� John Springer Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
Actress Rosalind Russell sits beside actor Cary Grant and film director Howard Hawks, as the trio watches Ralph Bellamy shoot a scene for his upcoming film. Hawks directs the pair, plus Ralph Bellamy, in the 1940 romantic comedy, His Girl Friday. (Photo by �� John Springer Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
Carole Lombard, Gary Grant, and Kay Francis with hands on their faces in a publicity still for In Name Only. (Photo by �� John Springer Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
Cary Grant as the angel Dudley, David Niven as Bishop Henry Brougham, and Loretta Young as Julia Brougham ride in a car in the 1947 film, The Bishop's Wife. (Photo by �� John Springer Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
Actor Cary Grant (Photo by �� John Springer Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
Cary Grant as Ken Gordon and Myrna Loy as Sheila Mason in Wings in the Dark. (Photo by �� John Springer Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
From left to right: John Garfield (Wolf), Cary Grant (Capt. Cassidy), and Dane Clark (Tin Can) in the submarine war drama Destination Tokyo. (Photo by �� John Springer Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
Cary Grant makes a phone call from the floor in a scene from Bringing Up Baby. (Photo by �� John Springer Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell, and Ralph Bellamy in a publicity still for His Girl Friday. (Photo by �� John Springer Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
Portrait of Cary Grant (Photo by George Rinhart/Corbis via Getty Images)
Portrait of Cary Grant (Photo by George Rinhart/Corbis via Getty Images)
(Original Caption) Cary Grant as he recently appeared in the Columbia production Talk of the Town. The blood is made of Chocolate syrup. (Photo by George Rinhart/Corbis via Getty Images)
Dr. Madison Brown (Cary Grant) talks on the phone as Anabel Sims (Betsy Drake) sits beside him in a scene from the 1948 comedy Every Girl Should Be Married. (Photo by �� John Springer Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
(Original Caption) Cary Grant- a 1939 portrait. (Photo by George Rinhart/Corbis via Getty Images)
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