NDSU students show peers how to dress for success
Published March 21, 2016
Cue the music and lights. Models walk the runway sporting professional dress pants, skirts, suits and ties. The emcee describes each outfit as ideal to wear for a job interview, internship opportunity or professional networking event. This isn’t a typical fashion show.
NDSU classmates styled outfits, incorporated professional dress expectations and worked together to produce the Career Closet Fashion Show. Students in the audience learned the ins and outs of selecting professional attire.
The runway clothes were from the Career Closet, a free program sponsored by the Career Center that allows NDSU students to borrow professional attire to wear for interviews and career events. The NDSU Career Center and students from the College of Human Development and Education hosted the event.
The Career Closet works much like a library for clothes as NDSU students can check out items to wear. The closet opened in January 2015 and has been used nearly 100 times by students.
“Our goal was to promote the Career Closet so more students know about the opportunity and make use of it,” said Sara Sunderlin, senior lecturer of the Aesthetics and Visual Analysis of Apparel Products class.
The link between dress and success has been studied extensively and reported on by several news outlets throughout the years. Students who use the Career Closet report an increased sense of confidence while wearing the attire, according to assessment results from the Career Center.
NDSU helps students prepare for the workforce in many ways. Students in an apparel class teamed up with the Career Center to present a professional attire fashion show. The apparel students gained real-world experience planning and executing the event, while students in the audience learned about selecting professional attire.
Confidence is important for students as they move from college to the workforce. NDSU is committed to student success and on-time graduation. The Career Closet is one way NDSU helps students succeed by guiding them on how to dress appropriately for professional events and giving them access to professional business attire.
“We have yet to have a student not be able to find an item that fits or works for them,” said Kate Nelson, career specialist at the Career Center.
The students who put on the fashion show picked the music and organized backstage logistics and the models. Most are first-year students, so the experience of producing a fashion show as part of their introduction apparel class provided real-world experience.
“I think it is really awesome how I can be so hands-on this early on in my major,” said Sydney Benda, a freshman retail merchandising major. “I think it will be very beneficial for me to have experiences like these throughout college.”
This was the first collaboration between the Career Center and a Department of Apparel, Design and Hospitality Management class, with hopes of similar events in the future.
“We continue to improve and update the quality of professional clothing items in the closet,” said Nelson. “We want to continue to increase students’ confidence at professional events.”