Fashion show benefits low-income workers
Proceeds from the event benefitted Dress for Success and CareerGear, organizations dedicated to providing business professional clothing to low-income men and women, said Sowmya Banda, president of Lambda Kappa Sigma.
“We want to help people in professional aspect, and everyone can benefit from something like this. It’s one of our favorite events,” said Banda, an Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy fourth-year student.
The last event was held two years ago, she said. In the show, faculty members critique outfits and provide students with the dos and don’ts of dressing professional.
Joseph Barone, dean of the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy and Rolee Pathak Das, a clinical assistant professor for the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Administration, provided insight for dressing and judged the event.
Before the fashion show, Barone and Pathak Das provided the audience with basic tips.
“Dress above your audience and look better than everyone at your meeting,” Barone said. “Dress better, even if they say business casual. You will be noticed. If everyone is wearing the same khakis and polos, you don’t distinguish yourself.”
Pathak Das said when dressing, keep patterns simple, and do not reveal too much. When going to a meeting or interview, also keep in mind that appearance can send the wrong message.
Barone also said students should dress comfortably when going to a meeting or interview, but they should not be wearing their pajamas. They should also not wear something for the first time when trying to make an impression.
“You never get a second chance to make a first impression, as cliché as that sounds,” he said. “Think about the color you use to express yourself. Do not wear something too loud or too bright — people may not go for it.”
Alvin Zhang, assistant treasurer for Chi Psi, a social fraternity on campus, said the event was co-sponsored by the two greek organizations. Lambda Kappa Sigma was looking for male models, and the brothers of Chi Psi were willing to help out for a good cause.
“This is our first year co-sponsoring this event,” said Zhang, a School of Arts and Sciences junior. “I was asked to speak before hand and model for the event by [the] president of Lambda Kappa Sigma. We are also here because we were able to get enough to people to participate.”
While not his first time modeling, Zhang said he was really looking forward to the event.
Some of the brothers of Chi Psi were also excited at the chance to help out an organization dedicated to getting people into the workforce, and James Perucho, a School of Arts and Sciences senior, said he was happy that Lambda Kappa Sigma reached out to people outside the pharmacy program.
“It’s really nice they reached out to a non-pharmacy organization,” he said. “This is something I think everyone can benefit from. Professional clothing is something that is not accessible to everyone.”
The judges also commented on other things that students should pay attention to when going to professional meetings of any kind, including knowing the office atmosphere and personal hygiene.
“Make sure you are well groomed and you have fresh breath,” Pathak Das said.
According to the CareerGear website, the organization empowers men to overcome barriers and move from poverty to self-sufficiency. Along with providing professional clothing, the organization also partners with job training programs and community-based organizations to help ready people for the workforce.
The last piece of advice the judges had was simple — do not forget to remove tags and stitching from clothing before an interview.