Dressing for success and making a good first impression is a must-have for job seekers, but it can be a challenge for college students on a budget. The Hanger Career Closet held its Grand Opening on Tuesday, giving students a solution by offering professional outfits for free.
The Hanger Career Closet offers full professional outfits, plus various accessories (such as handbags and jewelry), dress shoes, socks, underwear, and unused hygiene supplies for free. The items are new or gently used donations.
Students from all majors may obtain up to six items per semester. The items are free of charge and students can keep all the items. Students enrolled in at least 0.5 units are eligible and will have six points associated with their student number at the beginning of the semester. They can earn an additional four points by bringing in fellow students for a total of 10 points per semester.
Originally created by Fullerton College’s Business department and run by Professor Kathy Standen, the Career Closet service offered students new wardrobe items for job interviews, career fairs, and networking, as well as class presentations.
“Making the right first impression is crucial to landing a new job or internship,” said Standen, when the original Career Closet opened. “We want to make sure that students walk into interviews and other professional settings prepared both intellectually and dressed in a way that helps them build confidence.”
The original Closet was shut down amid the COVID pandemic closures and just reopened under Career Center leadership, “I’m very happy the Closet is a continuing thing, and we have a focused group to keep it updated,” Standen said.
Rabia Khan, a staff worker at The Hanger, explained the points system, “each student starts out each semester with 6 points,” she said. “We have some free things, such as hygiene items, that won’t cost a point.”
A top, bottom, a pair of shoes, belt or jewelry will each cost one point. The Hanger might allow special circumstances, especially if a student had a pressing need. If a student lacks enough points, they should discuss it with staff.
Future services will include haircut vouchers, professional LinkedIn headshot photos, and gender-affirming garments (binders, compression underwear), expected to be available at a later time, pending funding. Students may inquire and order with discretion.
Sophomore Communications major Dominic Craddock, president of the Speech and Debate Club, came to find a professional outfit and scope out the selections to inform his club members and colleagues. He had accessed the Career Closet back when it was in the 500 Business building and said this new room was more expansive, with more selections.
The Hanger is located in room 2026, across from the Counseling Center on the second floor of the 2000 building. Walk-ins are first-come, first-served, Monday-Thursday, 8:30-10 a.m. A maximum of three students at a time can shop for 15 minutes, but if more time is needed, students can opt to return during other walk-in hours or shopping appointments can be made online.
Standard shopping appointments are 30 minutes long with a three-student maximum in the same appointment slot.
Those interested in making donations should check The Hanger webpage to see what they need.