The UCA WOW Closet, sponsored by Magnolia's Consignment, located on the 4th floor of Bernard Hall, provides the necessary outfit needed for a successful interview.
The WOW Closet is a judgement free zone in which “students can choose anything off of any rack for one complete outfit,” Sharon Cossey said.
The correct outfit for an interview is an important factor in the success of any interview.
“How you present yourself is going to give the employer an idea of what type of employee you might be," Renee Little, owner of Magnolia's Consignment said.
The WOW Closet can assist students with an outfit that would best suit their interview.
Free pamphlets are provided that explain the do’s and don’ts of dressing business professional to help students choose what to wear.
If an interview doesn't call for business professional, “pretty much anything else in the closet is business casual,” Cossey said.
Cossey also said she would help students or alumni who asked for her advice on what to wear.
However, “everyone has their own sense of style and we have to respect that,” Cossey said.
Clothes that are taken by students and alumni are recorded in an electronic system so students and alumni can keep track of items that they have taken.
“You're allowed one complete outfit per academic year head to toe, free to keep,” Cossey said.
So, “we keep a digital copy of the items that were taken so if another student comes back they're still eligible to receive these other items,” Cossey said.
The most common outfit combination is slacks, a blazer, a nice top, and shoes.
The process to obtain one of these free outfits has been accommodated to deal with the current pandemic and help prevent the spread of COVID.
The WOW Closet is available by appointment only through Handshake to provide proper social distancing. After every appointment the fitting room is thoroughly cleaned with Clorox® wipes, and, any clothing that is tried on will be quarantined for a week.
“It's completely contactless,” Cossey said.
Little added that the chance to assist students brings her joy. "I'm happy for this opportunity to help the WOW Closet,” she said.
Magnolia's Consignment is a thrift store that is organized much like a boutique. The clothes are high quality and perfect for interviews.
The business donates up to “three 13 gallon kitchen bags worth of clothing [to the WOW Closet] every week,” Little said.
"We've always donated items that have gone past their time to various charities in town,” Little said.
Along with the WOW Closet, Magnolia's Consignment also donates to the Warehouse of Hope, out of Antioch Baptist Church. Little and her family have been going to Antioch Baptist Church for 26 years.
Individuals in the community can also help donate to the WOW Closet.
Slacks, button up shirts, blouses, and blazers are the most popular items donated.
Among those, the men’s clothes in a small, medium, and extra small are needed the most. Blazers are also in high demand for both men and women.
“We cannot keep [smalls and extra smalls] on the shelf... because those are such a high demand for the men,” Cossey said, adding “we appreciate everything that's donated; all sizes.”
"It's a really great thing that we offer the students here and alumni," Cossey said.
The WOW closet is open Monday through Thursday from noon to 2:30 pm. and each appointment lasts 20 minutes.