Dress for success: K-State’s Career Closet provides students with professional clothing

The Career Closet at Kansas State University provides professional attire for students free of charge. (Archive Photo by Saya Kakim | Collegian Media Group)

The Career Closet is one of many services provided by the Kansas State Career Center. The center aims to help students look towards their future careers. Students can search through racks of gently used professional clothing and take items home at no cost.

“The Career Closet is something a lot of students don’t know about,” said Dalton Mitchell, senior in communication studies and Career Center employee.

“Basically it’s a resource for students to get professional clothing and apparel,” Mitchell said. “Suits, ties, slacks and stuff like that to dress professionally for an interview or anywhere they want to look presentable for.”

The Career Closet aims to provide professional clothing to be worn in interviews for jobs and internships. Looking the part is an important aspect of an interview.

Mitchell said he has been working for the Career Center for more than two years and has seen many students come and take advantage of this service.

“We have the Career Closet itself, but we also have fitting rooms and mirrors and students often ask our opinion on what they should get and if it matches,” he said. “The whole process is pretty cool.”

Mitchell recalled one time in particular when he was able to help a fellow student find the perfect outfit.

“At the beginning of the school year a kid came in two days in a row and was having the hardest time trying to decide if a suit matched,” Mitchell said. “He would come out and ask my opinion and I would help him put together an outfit. It was really cool because now when I see him there’s a bond formed and I enjoyed being able to help someone in the unique way of picking out a professional outfit.”

In order to allow students to pick out professional clothing at no cost, the Career Closet relies on donations.

“The cool thing about the Career Closet is we are constantly getting donations, but everything is free for students,” Mitchell said. “So if they like something and it fits them they can take it and keep it forever. It’s a pretty cool resource and helps students out, especially because dress clothes can be pretty expensive.”

The closet also goes beyond providing clothing options for career fairs and interviews. Courtney Onnen, freshman in environmental design, and Alexa Busby, freshman in environmental design, came to the career closet in search of professional clothing for their final project critiques.

“I heard about the career center through my roommate, she did some research online,” Onnen said.

With students getting ready to graduate this December, the closet is a resource that can be utilized for interviews and future business clothing.

“It’s a good avenue to look good for an interview, or anything professional,” Mitchell said.