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EMU Career Closet

The EMU Career Closet provides students and alumni with FREE and equitable access to professional clothing and accessories needed for conferences, internships, interviews, networking events, job fairs, student teaching, and more!

Our goal is to help our Eagles feel prepared, professional, confident, and comfortable when making a first impression without having to leave campus or spend a lot of money.


Location and Hours of Operation 

The EMU Career Closet is located in 251 McKenny Hall and is open to walk-ins Monday - Friday 10:00-4:30pm.

How It Works

Students are encouraged to drop in for shopping. If you have questions please email [email protected] or call 734.487.0400.

Students may take (and keep) an entire outfit (4 pieces) including shoes and accessories once per semester

    1. Greetings & Check-in: When you arrive in our space, you will be greeted by our staff and asked to check-in using your EID Number and/or Email.
    2. Shop: Staff will be on hand to answer any questions and give advice if needed. We understand that shopping is a personal experience so we will leave you to it unless you need additional assistance. 
    3. Try-on: Our space also offers a private, gender-inclusive fitting room so you can try on items in private to help decide if they are right for you.
    4. Checkout: Once you have decided on your selected pieces, you will check out with our staff (NOTE: students are required to check out even if no items are taken).
  • Donations

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    Clothing donations to the EMU Career Closet are ongoing, so inventory varies based on what we receive. We strive to include items that are representative of all shapes, sizes, and styles but cannot guarantee that they will always be available. Please contact us if additional assistance in finding a style that works for you is needed.

    Accepted donations must be new or gently worn, in good condition, purchased within the last 5-6 years, and cleaned prior to donating. Items must be of good quality: not ripped, stained, broken or missing pieces (buttons, zippers, straps). Please review our donation guidelines and standards document prior to donation.

    All donations can be brought to the University Advising and Career Development Center during business hours (Monday-Thursday, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.). For additional information, contact the UACDC at 734.487.0400 or [email protected].

    If you are interested in making a monetary donation to support the EMU Career Closet initiative, please visit our funding site  Monetary donations are utilized to purchase supplies, racks, and any additional items including underrepresented sizing within the closet.

    Any items that do not meet our donation parameters will be donated to other organizations on or off-campus (Swoops Food Pantry, Children’s Institute, local charities, etc.).

  • Expectations

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    The EMU Career Closet strives to create a welcoming and professional space that includes size, orientation, and gender-inclusive clothing. Each time a student visits the closet, they will be treated with sensitivity and respect. With the understanding that not all students identify with a specific gender, our items are arranged into Masculine & Feminine categories. Within these categories we have multiple item types, sizes, and colors (suits, jackets, blouses, pants, etc). Students should feel empowered to shop and choose pieces in whichever category they feel comfortable. 
  • Understanding Dress Codes

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    There are many terms associated with workplace attire and though most organizations don't have a written set of standards of what is appropriate, it's important to familiarize yourself with these common categories. 

    Business Professional

    Business professional is the most conservative office dress code and typically calls for attire that is in the form of a suit. Industries that are client-facing usually fall into this category - banking, finance, consulting, law and business. We encourage students to dress business professionals for job fairs, interviews, internships, and/or conferences.

    Suggested Attire:

        • Solid/dark pant or skirt 
        • Solid/dark suit jacket or blazer
        • Solid/simple patterned dress shirt or blouse
        • Closed-toe shoes
        • Accessories: tie, hosiery, matching belt and socks

    Business Casual

    Business casual attire can depend on the work environment but universally means "not a suit." Even though the word “casual” is associated, it is still important to keep a certain level of professionalism. Business casual attire is common for student teaching, conferences, and some networking events. 

    Suggested Attire:

        • Button-down shirts
        • Blazers
        • Cardigan or Sweater
        • Khakis
        • Dress pants (non-denim pants)
        • Dresses with short/long sleeves
        • Boots, canvas shoes, boat shoes, flats, loafers

    Casual

    A casual dress code is the least formal, but it's important to remember that you're still at work and not at home. This type of work attire is common in creative and tech industries and on casual Fridays at more formal workplaces. 

    Suggested Attire: 

        • Solid colored t-shirts (dark wash, no rips or holes)
        • Jeans with no holes, rips or crops (be sure that jeans are okay)
        • Sneakers that have little to no wear and tear
        • Casual pants
        • Crew neck sweaters
        • Branded/logo’d attire of the company (t-shirts, sweatshirts, etc.)
  • General Guidelines for Workplace Attire

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      • Model What Your Boss Wears: Your boss can serve as a great guide as to what is appropriate to wear at work. See how they approach professional and casual days to better gauge what is expected.
      • Plan Ahead: You want to present the best version of yourself and not look like you just rolled out of bed. Do your best to plan your attire the night before and be sure that it is clean and wrinkle-free.
      • Comfort: High heels, tight collars and suits on summer days may not feel ideal. When shopping, find more breathable fabrics, lighter colors and footwear that accommodates how much walking/standing you will be doing. Attire should not be too loose or too tight and should fit you “just right”.
      • Working from Home: Follow tip number one: mirror what your boss does. If they are showing up on video calls with a pressed shirt, you should as well. Avoid wearing casual tops, pajamas, robes or anything else that looks too "relaxed." Professional impressions also go a long way over video calls, so it's important to dress the part.
      • Squeaky-clean: Be freshly bathed/showered; use deodorant.
      • Scents: Avoid heavy perfumes, colognes or fragrances of any kind.
      • Distractions: Jewelry and accessories should be minimal to avoid any distractions.

    Should you have any questions or would like to speak with a UACDC staff member regarding the EMU Career Closet initiative, please contact us at [email protected].


What are students saying?

"Love this idea! I stressed about having to buy so many student teaching clothes, but now I have a little weight off my shoulders! Thank you!!"   -Chloe K., Secondary Education Major

"Great selection of clothes! And really friendly staff, super helpful and knowledgeable!"   -Dylan C., Business Major

"I think it was convenient and really awesome to have a place to come to before the job fair and find a suit, so I can have something to wear when I see employers there."   -Nathan G., Physics Major

"I love love love this career closet! These are things that I would have never been able to purchase on my own! Thank you"    -Antrunika A., MSW Graduate Student

"This was so helpful! I really appreciated the chance to get some pieces of clothing I can wear to practical experiences for my classes."  -Alyssa P., Elementary Education Major


Additional Info

Read more about the Career Closet Initiative. 

Eastern Echo Article, September 26, 2022

Read more about the Career Closet Initiative and view photos of the space.

Local Today News of Michigan, September 26, 2022

Read more about the Career Closet Initiative and view photos of the space.


Our EMU Career Closet Donors

We know we wouldn’t be able to continue this initiative without the help of our donors! We want to give special thanks to our corporate and personal donors and sponsors for their monetary and material support.

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