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Professional clothing closet helps students dress to impress

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

LAWRENCE — Sweatpants are quickly becoming a thing of the past for thousands of students at the University of Kansas who are preparing for the transition into the professional world.

With no incentives to dress impressively, students could be less-concerned with how they dress for class, which may cause some adjusting when applying for internships and jobs.

"Students should start building a professional wardrobe as soon as they can—preferably before they start applying for internships," said Jolene Phillips, assistant director at Business Career Services Center.

Fortunately, there are opportunities on campus for students to jumpstart their professional wardrobe.

Delta Epsilon Iota (DEI), a career-focused honor society, provides a professional clothing closet in room 110 of the Burge Union, Monday through Friday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

It is available year-round, which provides students with free professional attire donated by KU faculty and staff.

Since its launch February 2011, it has provided over 300 students with professional clothing items to make positive impressions at career fairs and job interviews by dressing in business professional attire.

"For a career fair the student should wear a suit," Phillips said. "If the student does not own a suit, he or she should wear whatever they have that is closest to a suit—dress pants/skirt and a nice shirt/sweater, for example. Students should not wear jeans, shorts, t-shirts, athletic wear, flip flops, etc."

DEI developed this program as a way to give back to the KU community and help students with their career development.

"We know that business attire can be very expensive, and this service helps lighten the expense," said Erin Wolfram, DEI advisor and assistant director at the University Career Center.

Each student is allowed up to five items at no cost. Monetary donations are welcomed. All donations made this spring will be donated to St. Jude's Children's Miracle Network.

Professional Clothing Closet items can be accessed at KUCareerHawk.com/clothing.

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