We’ve all heard the saying, "Dress to impress." But with tight budgets and the high cost of professional clothing, it can be difficult for college students to obtain a businesslike wardrobe.
Three years ago, President Dr. Linda Bleicken decided that the university would help students acquire the correct clothing to look their best for job opportunities.
She, along with Career Services, started the Clothing Closet Program, a community-wide professional clothing drive that offers each student one free professional outfit for interviews and jobs.
Career Services is currently preparing for its third year of the program which will be held in the Student Union Ballroom Feb. 18, from 4–7p.m. and Feb. 19 from 11-2 p.m.
Career Services Graduate Assistant Kate Jones, is in charge of running this year’s event. She says the experience is just as fun as shopping at the mall, but without the hefty price tags. “One can expect to walk into the event and feel like they are in a department store. There will be racks of clothing sorted by size and style of clothing, and fitting rooms in the back of the room to try on the attire. The event always has a lot of upbeat energy.”
Those who attend this year’s event will walk away with one free outfit consisting of a shirt, blazer, pants or skirt, and a tie if needed. Director of Career Services, George Lantzounis, says that last year more than 275 students received a professional outfit, and they plan to exceed that number this year.
With the popularity of the program growing, Career Services is in need of more clothing.
Mr. Lantzounis says that donations play an important role in the success of this annual event. “The community is a huge factor in making donations for the clothing closet. We have received donations from families living throughout Georgia and South Carolina, to small and big businesses like the Rotary Club and Gulfstream.”
Well-known clothing distributors like Express, The Limited and Belk have also contributed to this event in the past. In order to assist students of all shapes and sizes, the clothing closet is asking for gently used professional attire in various styles and measurements. Those who would like to donate from their own closets can drop off the clothes in Room 101 of the Memorial College Center.
To receive a free outfit, Career Services asks students to register online by Feb. 17. Those interested can sign up by visiting the Calendars and Events section of the Armstrong webpage. If you would like to know more about the event or how you can volunteer, call the Career Services office at (912) 344-2563.