Spirit of Alabama: Building legends one outfit at a time
By WVUA 23 News Reporter Asher Redd
TUSCALOOSA – You only get one chance to make a first impression, and one of the biggest ingredients is a sharp, professional wardrobe.
For years, the Denise and Chandler Root Crimson Career Closet has been a resource for young professionals to get the clothes they need for a job interview, career fair or final presentation.
“We’ve gotten some mixed reactions. Some are like, ‘Oh my gosh, you guys have a closet.’ And then others are like, ‘Yes! You have a closet!” said Crimson Closet employee Shatteria Davis.
When students come to campus at the University of Alabama, most of them focus on game-day outfits and school clothes. But interview attire is important, too.
“I had an event to go to. I don’t have any suits, so it benefitted me,” said Lajordan Crittenden, a senior at the University of Alabama.
Crittenden said the organization helps so many students who need a boost with career readiness. And it only takes 15 minutes.
“You can literally see the confidence in their face when they are looking in the mirror at what they’re wearing,” said Diversity Programs and Outreach Manager Tonya Jenkins.
“When students come back to return clothes, they make comments like, ‘oh, I got there and I felt so good in my suit,’ or when they sent their mom a picture of why they’re here in the closet, just showing what they found and what they’re going to wear, those are the types of impacts and interactions that really just make this a tremendous job,” Jenkins said.
Jenkins said many students have never worn professional attire, and, for many, it’s their first time ever putting on a suit.
From button-downs and blazers to belts and ties, this closet remains a laboratory where students can experiment with new looks.
“Watching them come back, ‘I got that job! I got that internship!’ is just really exciting,” said Career Center Executive Director Schernavia Hall.
Students can learn more about scheduling an appointment right here.
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