Career Wardrobe Expansion Offers More Ways to Do Good with Donated Clothes

Now there are even more ways to help and empower job seekers in Philadelphia – and you can help just by cleaning out your closet!

After more than 20 years of empowering women in Philadelphia by providing free or low-cost professional clothing and job search support services, Career Wardrobe was hand-selected by the PA Department of Human Services to run the PA WORKWEAR program. With the increased funding and responsibility, Career Wardrobe expands its successful model to the five county area surrounding Philadelphia including Delaware, Chester, Montgomery, Bucks, and Berks Counties, providing professional clothing to aid job searches for unemployed Pennsylvanians receiving public assistance benefits.

Under this new expansion, Career Wardrobe expects to see its client services and budget to double over the next year. Career Wardrobe has opened two new boutiques, providing professional clothing to job seekers in Delaware County and Bucks County. They will also oversee PA WORKWEAR programs operated in Chester, Montgomery, and Berks Counties by Wings for Success, Montgomery County Workforce Investment Board, and Berks Counseling Center respectively. Last year in Philadelphia, Career Wardrobe provided professional clothing for 3,175 unemployed job seekers, with 60% referred through the PA WORKWEAR program. In the coming year, the organization could see up to 7,000 individuals with 80% coming through a referral from the PA WORKWEAR program.

Open House Invites

This new opportunity expand within the region comes on the heels of Career Wardrobe’s co-location with its successful upscale resale shop The Wardrobe Boutique at 1822 Spring Garden St. in the Logan Square/Fairmount section of Philadelphia. Combining locations gave the organization a 9,000-square-foot footprint that includes office and boutique dressing space for both men and women.

The expanded Philadelphia location also allowed Career Wardrobe to make permanent two successful programs it piloted in 2015 in an effort to ensure that more people, including men and underemployed women, have access to services they need to transition to sustainable employment.

  • The Open Access Program allows any unemployed man or woman to receive a professional outfit, resume review services, and job search advice from the organization for a small fee, much like a healthcare co-pay. Open Access Mondays allow walk-ins without an appointment at The Wardrobe Boutique in Philadelphia every Monday – all one needs is a resume on hand.
  • The Make It Work for Men program expects to serve 500 men in 2016, providing professional clothing in a private dressing suite separate from the women’s boutique. As part of the PA WORKWEAR contract, the men’s program will be expanded to Chester and Bristol, PA as well.

Along with clothing services, Career Wardrobe offers professional development education programming that is free and open to the public. Seminars focus on job readiness skills such as communication, time management, problem solving, self-advocacy and financial literacy.

Hope On The Move Annual Cocktail Reception and Auction

You can also support Career Wardrobe by attending the annual cocktail reception and auction, “Hope on the Move,”  Thursday, June 9, 2016 from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Crystal Tea Room in Philadelphia.

Career Wardrobe’s premier annual fundraiser brings together more than 300 of the region’s corporate executives and community leaders, and features a 150-piece silent auction, networking reception, and presentation highlighting the organization’s impact in the community. The event raises more than $100,000 to empower people to work and independence.

Hosted by longtime Philadelphia radio personality and BEN FM radio host Marilyn Russell, attendees will be treated to a Hope Walk featuring community leaders and media personalities who donate an outfit from their closet to one of Career Wardrobe’s clients. Models scheduled to appear include Karen Hepp, Sue Serio, and Jennifer Joyce (Fox29); Monique Braxtion (NBC10); Cherri Gregg (KYW Newsradio) and Rick Williams (6ABC).


Signature cocktails will be created for the event by Pravda Vodka, Dreamcatchers Toasted Chestnut Liquor, and Bartenders I’m Coconuts Over You Rum. Individual tickets must be purchased in advance for $100, and corporate and individual sponsorship packages are available.


Career Wardrobe is one of the nation’s largest independent organizations empowering women and men transitioning to work with professional clothing, job search support, and professional development. In the past 21 years, more than 80,000 individuals have transitioned from poverty, violence, or incarceration to employment and independence with support from Career Wardrobe.  Clothing donations are accepted Monday through Saturday in Philadelphia, Fridays in Chester, PA and monthly at partner locations in East Falls and Haverford, PA. To learn more about how to donate, volunteer or shop to support Career Wardrobe, please call (215) 568-6693, visit

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