Has anyone mentioned Target yet?

Great comments here from Rachylou and others about knowing the situation you're dressing for before spending money.

In a past life, I worked a job where one of my responsibilities was purchasing wardrobe items for video shoots and Target was my go-to for budget-friendly, fresh looking, camera ready clothing that fit a range of body types and scenes (from office, to medical, to at-home, to hospitably, retail, media-host, etc.). Seriously great if you're seeking to dress the part.

Realistically, most of these women will be getting entry level positions where they will be on their feet all day, and many will need to wear a uniform. Jobs like retail/customer service, wharehouse or assembly lines, hospitality/food service, etc.
The only dress codes they are likely to be dealing with are casual or smart casual. I think that makes things easier, actually.

So tailor the info to what they need. Can they wear sandals? Capris? Will they get promoted if they wear fancy dresses? If they’re going to wear uniforms, then what advice are they seeking?

Your program sounds like a good one!

My experience was with a similar program run as a community outreach service by the university where I taught. Our clients were also trying to re-enter the regular workforce after several years because of variety of personal, psychological, and situational issues. They were also mainly looking for entry-level positions even though the age range was 30-45.

Interesting to me was, when we were asked for wardrobe help, it wasn’t so much about buying items as it was about how to fit into a new situation where our recovering clients felt like strangers. A breakthrough moment for many of them was a “spa” day where a local hair salon offered free haircuts and manicures/pedicures, along with skin care and makeup advice. For some, the image they saw reflected back in the mirror marked the beginning of envisioning themselves in a new role. It struck me then that it’s not so much the actual clothes as it was the way the person wore them.

Gaylene, yes, I wonder if that sort of thing might be what CS’s client was trying to formulate with this request.

A ‘spa day’ sounds very smart, Gaylene, a day when you actually put it together and you’re not left floundering on your own.

Exactly. The difference, even when our clients were wearing their own outfits, was startling. It was the confidence and polish provided by a flattering haircut and good grooming which elevated the clothes, not vice versa.

That’s why I think Angie’s mantra about starting a style “refresh” by updating one’s haircut, glasses, undergarments, and shoes is genius.

And one more, speaking of Targets - the bigger Walmart’s are good for hard wearing and good-looking realistically priced clothes. The work shoes are also real work shoes. But it does have to be a big one, otherwise everything is mint fleece.

Actually, the other week I watched 2 episodes of the British programme “10 years younger in 10 days”. It was pretty awful and cringey, but what interested me was the hope that the men and women seemed to get from the professional help, the haircuts especially? And beard trims or shaves for the guys. It was almost like they had totally forgotten how to do any self-care?
I am disappointed they always seemed to dye their hair for them, but that’s my particular bias…
I like the Target idea.

Examples of clothing items mixed and matched, maybe with a handout that shows each item, and then shows all the possible combinations.
Information about how to dress for the seasons-sleeveless tops become warm under layers, etc.
How to figure out how much of any one item they need.
To include cost of laundry bag to transport clothing to laundromat, laundry supplies, etc.
Airing out clothing after wearing.