Friday, April 19, 2013

Dress for Success

The suits I can no longer wear (or want to) came out of the closet. Finally. When I moved in 2004, I donated armloads of business suits to Secondhand Rose in Mt. Clemens, keeping the vintage designer suits. I took the remaining suits to the local resale shop last week. The young woman said the shop wasn't taking long-sleeved items. I didn't comment. Maybe I was wondering how many short-sleeved business suits are out there? If you keep quiet, people will fill in the empty space with something, because people don't like quiet. So while I thought about next steps, she offered, "And these are dated." I laughed. One person's dated is another's vintage coutiere. Asked around to find a local shop that will allow women reinventing their lives to choose outfits for free. Dress for Success in Catherine's House on the Saint Joseph Mercy Health System campus in Ann Arbor, Michigan does that. I talked with a woman (and lost the note with her name!) who started as a volunteer, and now does interview training for women job seekers. Dress for Success will take donations of business suits, accessories (not jewelry), make-up (new), shoes, handbags and briefcases. She said their success rate at getting women hired is about 85%. For those women who are clothed and trained in business schools, the job acquisition is in the 90th percentile. Dress for Success is a national organization, and one I am going to support wholeheartedly as best I can. Women helping women. What a divine concept! The website's tagline is Going Places. Going Strong. Yes, ma'am.

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