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Hofstra University’s career closet gives students free, secondhand professional clothing to dress them for success.

Hofstra University

Career closets are one way institutions are making sure their students are dressed for success. By offering free rentals or just giving away clothing, colleges and universities are gifting their students a new flair for the professional world—without making them pay for it.

Inside Higher Ed took a look at how three different institutions organize their career closets.

Virginia Commonwealth University—Suit Yourself Closet

At VCU, students can shop the clothing collection twice per month by appointment.

Each student is allowed to take, and keep, four items during their closet visit. Both the university’s Monroe Park and MCV campus closets are by appointment only, with scheduling on certain afternoons each week.

VCU also offers a professional dress style guide, with different details for students, whether their style is feminine, masculine or gender-neutral.

To dress its closet, VCU accepts gently used clothing donations or monetary donations, and outside organizations have helped stock it via donation drives.

University of Washington—Husky Career Closet

The University of Washington’s Husky Career Closet is open on a drop-in basis, Monday through Friday, from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. One person shops through the closet at a time and can pick one “complete outfit,” including accessories. The career closet is open to both undergraduate and graduate students, and there is changing space on-site for students to try on clothing.

The Husky Career Closet also comes with a style guide and resources, such as contact info for local cleaners and tailors if clothing alterations are needed.

UW’s career closet is filled using monetary donations, by purchases from the Career and Internship Center’s Amazon Wishlist, and by item donations from alumni, family and community members.

Hofstra University—Career Closet

For several years, Hofstra’s career closet was a temporary fixture, appearing during different events put on by the university’s Career Design and Development Center. Now, it has a permanent home in a Campus Living and Wellness Center room previously used for interviews between recruiters and students.

Hofstra’s closet is also free, and students can book 15-minute shopping slots.

Sponsorships provide funding, with companies receiving advertising through the career closet, like their company logo on shopping bags and a link to the job listings from the career closet website.

Read the full original story here.

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