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Buckeyes Dress for success at Career Closet

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Jason Lam, a fourth-year in fashion and retail studies, fits students for business clothing at the third career closet. Credit: Owen Daugherty | Lantern Reporter

Banana Republic, Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren were among the labels available at the third installation of the Office of Student Life’s of Career Closet, but students did not have to pay designer prices.

For many students living on a shoestring budget, such brands would normally be out of reach, but thanks to Career Closet, held in the Ohio Union on Monday, those brands, and many others, were available for free to hundreds of students.

Career Closet events have occurred once a semester since Spring Semester 2016. Aisha Echols, a career-resource coordinator for Student Life and the event’s lead organizer, said the event is for Buckeyes who might not have the budget to purchase high-end clothes for professional events.

Echols said the entire OSU community was a part of this event, with faculty, staff and even students donating clothes, with donations continued to pour in all the way up until the day of the event.

“Resources are definitely slim nowadays as a student,” said Nick Runyan, a second-year in marketing who attended the event. “It’s a chance for free clothes, and I could use them to spice up my outfits a little bit. I only have one suit right now, so the more options I think it would help me dress a little bit better for success.”

With career fairs right around the corner — including one for the College of Food, Agriculture and Environmental Sciences on Thursday and one for the College of Arts and Sciences on Tuesday — and summer internships opening up, many students said they felt as if the event could not have come at a better time.

Deborah Eshun, a first-year in political science, said she was excited about an internship she just got at the Ohio Statehouse, but needed professional clothes.

“I went shopping and suits were over $100, for just one,” she said. “They are obviously aimed at professionals, but we’re students, so it’s not realistic for us. You come here, and it’s all free. So it’s just a great resource.”

Along with being able to find high-end, professional clothes for free, “shoppers” were also able to get advice and fashion tips from fellow students involved in the fashion industry.

Jason Lam, a fourth-year in fashion and retail studies, said his experience as a senior creative stylist for Abercrombie & Fitch allows him to give back to the OSU community.

“There’s no better way to get your foot in the door than with your first appearance,” said Lam. “I’m just here to help students throw together some outfits for whatever occasion.”  

Students who stopped by the event could get up to three items of clothing, but each full suit set only counted as one, allowing students to further stock up on a lot of their needs. There was also a small selection of belts, ties, shoes and accessories.

Any leftover clothing would either be donated or saved for the next Career Closet in September, Echols said.

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