Career center provides rental professional clothing to students


Camille Studebaker

Just last week, one UA student did not have the professional attire needed for an interview on campus, so he stopped by the Crimson Career Closet located in the Career Center. The attendees gave him a complete suit to rent for free, and when he returned to drop the items off, he told the Career Center staff that he got the internship he was interviewing for. 

“So, those are the stories that we like to hear, and those are the stories we are beginning to hear a lot more often,” said Adora Hicks, Crimson Career Closet manager and career advisor. 

The Crimson Career Closet offers an array of business professional attire for students and alumni who need it for professional purposes. The clothing includes a full suit or separate pieces such as blazers, ties, button down shirts, skirts, blouses or shoes. Users can rent up to four items per visit and must return them within seven days. 

Beginning as an SGA initiative, the Career Center, located in the Ferguson Center, inherited the Crimson Career Closet this summer with its first students coming in for rentals in August. It had 49 student visitors during the career fair week last week and saw nine on Monday.

“So our numbers have been up,” Hicks said. “The thing is, we just want students to know that the resources are there.” 

The Career Center provides services to students in need of some form of career development, which is typically helping them with their resumes and preparing them for internships. Hicks said in her office, they started having conversations about a student getting ready for an interview and not having the proper attire. As they did more research, they found out a lot of students encounter the problem of not having the professional attire necessary, either because of financial struggles or because their parents are not able to send attire to them in time. 

“And so we kind of bridge that gap or alleviate the stress related to having that suit in order to go into that interview or to even go to the career fair to get that interview,” Hicks said. “So I think it’s important for us to help students understand that you may not have the resources, and this is what we have to offer you.” 

Avery Hooks, a sophomore majoring in news media and apparel and textile design, said he thinks the Crimson Career Closet is a great tool for the University because it offers something most college campuses do not as far as having professional clothing available for students who either do not own them or do own them but cannot get to them. 

He said it is an important resource because it allows students to feel confident seeking the internship and job opportunities they desire because every clothing article is covered and some of those pieces are critical in the interview process. 

“Most [interviewers] usually look at dressing really well as part of it, so if you’re able to dress the part, then you’ll be able to make that job or position long lasting,” Hooks said. 

Hooks has not used the Crimson Career Closet yet, but he has an appointment made to rent a suit for his interview next week. 

To access the Crimson Career Closet, students can make an appointment with Hicks through Handshake or come to walk-in hours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.