After months of campaigning, the Illawarra is set to get its own Dress for Success service to help women achieve success.
A registered charity, Dress for Success aims to assist women by providing free professional clothing, accessories and styling advice, to enable them to attend training courses, job interviews and subsequent employment, feeling confident and appropriately dressed.
Illawarra Dress for Success chair Nicki Bowman, who has been the driving force behind setting up a branch in the Illawarra, said the local committee was now in the final phase of setting up operations in the region.
Following a Mercury story in February, Ms Bowman was overwhelmed with offers of help to get the project started, with many businesses offering support.
“This is the first time Dress for Success Sydney has set up a branch outside its main operation in Marrickville,” Ms Bowman said.
“A lack of suitable clothing can be a silent barrier for women returning to the workforce,” Ms Bowman said. “Dress for Success is a wonderful service that helps break down barriers for women who have been out of the workforce.” She said the Illawarra branch will be run by a local committee and work with employment and welfare agencies to ensure as many women as possible access the service.
“We plan to have our first pop-up client styling session soon, and are working on fitting out space for a permanent operation at the Hope Centre in Warrawong.
“Being dressed appropriately is a tool of empowerment for women getting back on their feet.”
Illawarra business women Rebecca Armstrong of Culinarious and Michelle Taylor of Get Dressed Designer Dress Hire have invited Dress for Success to be their charity partner for a high tea event at Wollongong Art Gallery on Sunday 28 August from 12 noon to 4pm. The Spring Fashion Parade and Sparkling High Tea will include Moet champagne on arrival, a fashion parade and stalls.
Tickets are $85 with $10 going to Dress for Success. Tickets at: www.eventbrite.com.au/e/spring-fashion-parade-sparkling-high-tea-tickets-26299957882.
Businesses interested in sponsorship or volunteers able to help with styling can contact Ms Bowman on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Being dressed appropriately is a tool of empowerment for women getting back on their feetNicki Bowman