Career Services held a soft opening for its career closet initiative, a venture designed to help students have access to professional wear for interviews and events.
For the soft opening on Wednesday, students had the opportunity to pick up to three items from a selection of over 100 clothing items for men and women, some of which have never been worn.
“(It’s) things that are what’s considered business casual, what’s considered business professional,” said Erin Woods, a graduate student of counseling and psychiatry and a career counseling intern from Birmingham. “These items were donated by faculty and staff, so that’s also a great way for us to build a connection between faculty and students.”
“A couple of items do have tags on them,” Woods said. “You know, it’s a great way for students to come get a few items. We have shoes, we have purses, ties … ”
Students who took advantage of this opportunity could take home the clothes for free. The event lasted from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and over 46 items had already been claimed by noon.
Brigham Schellinger, a senior political science and criminal justice double major from Mobile, who heard about the closet from the department secretary, picked out a couple of shirts and a suit coat with a graphic pattern.
“A lot of people like to go the plain route,” he said. “I like a dash of color because you know you can express a lot about yourself by what you’re wearing; that’s why I have a houndstooth suit here.”
Woods also said she enjoys adding color in her business casual attires, while sticking to muted colors in a more professional setting.
“So if I know I’m gonna be in an office setting, and I know that everyone else will be dressing in business professional, then in an interview I’d wear professional attire, neutral colors: navy, black, gray,” Woods said. “So men can wear a black suit with a white top and then like a black tie — very neutral.
“However, if it’s more laid back, more business casual, then you can play around with colors.”
Brittany Taylor, a senior biomedical sciences major from Wadley and a career peer, said the goal for the career closet is to evolve into a rent-based system.
Students will be updated via email when the career closet will open for business more permanently.