Walking into a job interview is nerve-wracking enough, even if you feel totally pulled-together and prepared and 100 percent qualified for the position. First impressions are everything, we’re told, so you do what you can to look and act the part. You practice your eye contact and handshake, and you wear your sharpest interview outfit, the one that says “Take me seriously.”
But what about the people who can’t afford to put their best foot forward—maybe even literally because they have nothing to wear but the scuffed shoes they’ve had for ten years? For those who have been out of work, or who come from disadvantaged backgrounds, having an interview outfit they’re proud of can make a huge difference in their self-confidence, and it may even make the difference between a “thanks but no thanks” response or landing the job that will change their lives.
That’s why retailer Dressbarn and national organization Dress for Success are inviting everyone to participate in the 10th annual Send One Suit campaign. Every year, Dress for Success helps disadvantaged women enter the workforce by providing them with new or nearly new suits. Last year they collected 51,000 items of professional clothing, and this year you can help them reach their goal of 60,000 by donating your new or gently used suits, pants, skirts, shoes, or other professional attire. All 825 Dressbarn locations across the United States will be taking donations from March 1 through 4 (that’s this Thursday through Sunday). I, for one, am excited to participate.
Here’s your chance to get a jump on your spring cleaning at the same time you’re helping deserving women achieve economic independence. Deep in the recesses of my closet is a never-worn suit I bought in 2001, back before I knew an editor’s wardrobe was mostly jeans. Now that I have a second kid on the way and am in deep romantic love with the convenience of working from home in my pajama pants, I can’t imagine I’ll ever wear that suit again (even if by some miracle it still fit). I hope giving it a new life in another woman’s hands will also help her find a new and better life too.
What unworn, outgrown, unwanted things can you pass along?