When I was in law school, students taking part in a trial program who did not wear “professional attire” had points deducted – prompting me to have a conversation with the professor. I said the term is understood differently by people from different backgrounds. The rule was changed. Instead of deducting points, the professor approached students and explained the meaning of the term.
However, the rules of life don’t necessarily come with an explanation. As I have grown in my career, I have noticed the importance of clothing to success. Showing up at an interview, a courtroom appearance, a meeting with a witness — all necessitate an understanding of the appropriate way to dress professionally. Despite the importance of professional attire, the topic is not addressed in school and is often not discussed until it has become a concern.
This spring, you can partner with Sharp Dressed Man and Dress for Success Greater Baltimore, two nonprofit organizations devoted to empowering individuals to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and the development tools to help men and women thrive in work and in life. These groups will be partnering with several law firms, banks and local organizations to teach children at an afterschool program in Baltimore’s Sandtown neighborhood about professional attire. The highlight of the program will be a fashion show of professional outfits and a “shopping spree” for the youngsters, who can choose from the outfits shown. All clothes not selected will be donated to Sharp Dressed Man and Dress for Success.
Do you have any suits or other professional clothes that don’t fit you anymore? Do your colleagues have extra clothing to donate? If so, please consider making a donation and spreading the word. Donations can be dropped off curbside at Dress for Success’ downtown Baltimore location – 22 Light St., Baltimore, MD 21202 – on Wednesdays, Thursdays or Fridays between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Please call the program office at 410-528-1799 to ensure we’re open on your intended drop-off day. Also, if possible, call when you’re five minutes away — this ensures we can have a volunteer waiting to collect your donation when you pull up.
If you want to participate in the April 10 fashion show, it is important to let the volunteer know that your donation is for the Spring Cleaning Drive. Also, please donate before April 9! But anytime is a good time to donate to a good cause!