Dress Barn encouraging you to "Send One Suit" - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dress Barn encouraging you to "Send One Suit"

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

Applications for jobless benefits are at the lowest level in four years.  The US Labor Department says weekly unemployment benefit applications are at just over 350,000.  That's down 15 percent since October.  Analysts say that means hiring is picking up.

It's good news, but for those still looking for work, there are still some challenges.  That's why a local business is helping women dress for success, and you can help its efforts.

Clair Metcalf has a master's degree.  But right now, she's running her own daycare business to make ends meet.  That's because the mom of two was worn down by a long job search.

"Two years.  I tried multiple job searches, tried to get on at different companies.  And after two years, I just wasn't finding anything.  I was working retail.  I went to college not to work retail, and I just didn't like it," Metcalf said.

Metcalf's also glad she's no longer buying stacks of resume paper and interview attire, which can make the job search expensive. 

That's where programs like "Send One Suit" come in.  For the 10th year, Dress Barn is partnering with the Dress for Success organization to gather donations of new or slightly used blouses, blazers, and suits, helping women look the part to land a job.

"Your appearance is one of the most important things in a tight job market.  55 percent of how a person views you is how you appear to them when they first meet you.   And you have just 16 minutes with the average executive to create your first impression as to whether you'd be appropriate for that position or not," said Tammi Twedt, manager of the Waterloo Dress Barn.

With the nationwide "Send One Suit" effort, Dress Barn hopes to collect 60,000 clothing donations of all sizes, helping women improve their first impressions.  And there's a reward for every item you bring in to help the cause.

"We'll provide you with a 15 percent off coupon as well as a tax receipt," Twedt said.

That can give you a kick-back to pick up a new spring outfit for your closet, while feeling good knowing that other women will have a shot at success, by dressing the part.

The "Send One Suit" event runs through Sunday at Dress Barn Stores across the country.

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