Garments to Go helps new grads dress like pros

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Within the month, recent Pacific grads will venture into the world of job hunting, resumes and interviews. English professor Darlene Pagán has made it her mission to help students make the best first impression.

Pagán has been hard at work to prepare Garments to Go, a place for students to borrow professional clothing for presentations, First Year Seminar outings and job interviews.

Garments to Go, which is in the basement of Bates House, will have an open house on April 25, the Monday before Senior Projects day, from noon to 4 p.m.

Garments to Go is still ironing out other details including operating hours. According to Pagán, there will be regular hours in the fall but for now, someone will run it for a few hours two days a week. Additionally, both Pagán and Stein have offices in Bates and will be available to any students in need of a wardrobe facelift.

The facility will feature clothes, accessories and jewelry, which students can borrow. Clothing for men and women will be available.

Pagán said she used to work with an organization known as Dress for Success, which provides low-income women with interview attire. After talking to others on campus, including the Career Development Center’s Associate Director June Dressler, Pagán said she realized there was a definite need for Garments to Go on campus.

The CDC hosted its own Dress for Success workshop at Banana Republic in March, which included a 15 percent discount off any purchases during the event. However, Pagán said, “our students don’t have that kind of money,” which is why Garments to Go offers its services free of charge.

Pagán is spearheading Garments to Go, but donations have come from people on and off campus. Philosophy professor Ramona Ilea provided a full-length mirror. Humanities Administrative Assistant Windy Stein brought in hardware. Pagán outfitted the venue with unused furniture from Scott Hall.

So far, Pagán has received donated clothing from her colleagues, students and professionals from off campus, in addition giving from her own wardrobe.

“When I looked, I had a closet full of clothes I wasn’t wearing,” she said, “We’re going to have a room full of nice clothes.”

Pagán also said she would like to have a clothing drive in April and May to increase the inventory available to students and to get all different sizes.

Once donations are received, Pagán said the clothes will be professionally laundered so that students won’t be responsible for dry cleaning. She said there is no plan yet for financing the dry cleaning, but “we’re going to have to come up with something.”

Pagán said she hopes to work out a discount with the dry cleaners in Forest Grove to help out with expenses.


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