Suit Up event prepares students for professional wardrobe needs

Students and alumni expanded their wardrobe with professional wear at a reduced price at the biannual Suit Up event at JCPenney in collaboration with the Marshall University Career Education Office this past March.

“This event is important for students because it allows them to build of a collection of clothes to important events, interviews or anything career related,” said JCPenney sales associate and Marshall student Emma Kaufman.

Having professional attire in your closet raises confidence during interviews or career events like the ones often hosted on campus, Kaufman said.

“Think of all the times that they have recruiting events at Marshall,” she said. “You might find out about that the day before, and it would be really good for you to have some nice clothes in your closet to wear and feel confident in.”

Jo Tremmel, a Marshall student who attended the most recent Suit Up event, said she thinks it is imperative to have these professional staples on hand.

“I learned about one of the Careers Day’s at Marshall the day of and I was able to pull professional attire from my closet and have more confidence while talking to possible employers,” Tremmel said.

Compiling a collection of clothes to build confidence in different settings can be hard because of the cost and complexity of professional attire, but the Suit Up event can help ease that through discounts and having a trained staff to measure and assist you, Kaufman said.

“As college students, we are used to wearing sweats, sweatshirts, causal entire every day and when you enter the workforce it’s not necessarily like that,” she said. “A lot of us have to rebuild our entire wardrobe, so we are trying to get students those basics.”

Tremmel said she has slowly been able to accumulate a collection of professional attire through events like Suit Up and thrift shopping.

“I’m an avid Goodwill and Gabe’s shopper, and there can be some great finds of professional wear for students or alumni at affordable prices,” she said.

The sale occurs twice a year and extends to other necessities in the workforce like luggage, purses, handbags and briefcases, Kaufman said.

“It just started last semester, but we try to do it before each of the graduations so that the students who are graduating especially get some clothes,” she said. “The hope is that they come in get a suit and find a size that fits them, a style that fits them, and maybe two years down the line, they still love that suit and we can order them a suit in a different color or style.”

The next Suit Up event is proposed to take place before the Fall graduation, she said.

Ralph May can be contacted at [email protected].