Time to step it up.
As they get closer to graduation, one of the greatest changes our students are about to experience is abandoning their shorts, t-shirts and yoga pants, as they begin to dress for success in their new roles, or as my older daughter stated, for adulting. Dressing for success can be daunting in different ways, but the one that stands out most may very well be its cost.
Starting with the career and internship fairs students are attending, students need to look professional. For the young men, this may mean a suit and tie and for the young women, while they have more options, it may mean a suit, pantsuit, skirt, and blouse or dress. That’s not to mention shoes. For students who may not have the means to go and purchase a new outfit, UCF has The Knight’s Pantry, a lending service where students can rent blazers for five business days. It is open to all UCF students with a valid Student ID Card. Students also can pick out to keep five donated business attire items and enough donated casual attire items to meet their need. It is a donation-driven service so not all sizes and types of items may be available. They can also check out Plato’s Closet (Waterford and Oviedo) and Style Encore in Waterford. Both of these places, especially Style Encore will have business attire for much less than a normal retailer.
Students need to research the companies they will be interviewing with and eventually working for. Some companies are very conservative in their dress policies and require business attire, while others are more business casual. Trends change, but the basics still require that their look should be polished. Most department stores will have suit(able) options. You can check Macy’s, Lord & Taylor, Dillards, Bloomingdales, Nordstrom, and Kohls. And of course, do not rule out some of the discount department stores including TJ Maxx, Marshalls, and Ross.
As they begin to upgrade their wardrobe, they will be happy to know the following stores provide discounts to students.
Necessary Clothing – Students can get a 20% discount on all online purchases of $100 more.
J. Crew – Show college student ID for 15% off all full priced items.
TopShop – Get 10% off online and in store.
Banana Republic – Take 15% off a full-priced purchase with your valid student ID.
The Limited – 15% off every in-store purchase.
Club Monaco – Show your student ID to save 15% to 20% at the store.
Madewell – Students can get 15% off by showing their ID.
Express – Students can get a 15% discount
Kate Spade – According to student reports, students get a 15% discount with a student ID.
Lulus.com – students get 15% off when they join with their college email (or through Unidays)
And for those going on to study in the health sciences; this should help:
Medelita – Lab coats, scrubs, clogs, at a discount of 25% off or more for students. The bookstore on campus also carries labcoats.
Another suggestion is to sign up online and download the Unidays. Once your student is verified, it allows them to easily find out which of their favorite brands or stores offer student discounts.
Finally, check out the Thrift Stores/Secondhand stores. From dresses to skirts, blouses and even jewelry, this is another affordable way to find suitable outfits for interviewing.