The Clothing Closet is stocked with professional clothing for students

The Clothing Closet allows students to select three garments per semester from a selection of professional clothing donated by students, alumni, staff and community members. (Melina Kazanjian/The Collegian)

The Clothing Closet is one of many resources offered by Fresno State’s Career Development Center, and it’s open through the summer to help students and recent alumni put together professional outfits.

Audrey Munoz, a full-time employee and student at Fresno State, took over the closet after its founder and former center director Debbie Young retired during COVID-19. She said the closet, now six years old, is “still going strong” and provides an alternative to oftentimes expensive garments. 

“This stuff can be really costly and expensive, and we just don’t want [students] to worry, or have that burden or stress of not being able to afford something for an interview. They just need to go in, be prepared and feel good about themselves,” Munoz said.

The Clothing Closet offers professional clothing to students year-round, offering three garments per semester. (Melina Kazanjian/The Collegian)

Fewer students came to the closet during the pandemic, but donations kept coming in. To streamline the donation process, Munoz has reduced dropoff locations to just one behind the Satellite Student Union. 

According to Munoz,  smaller sizes of clothing, men’s shoes and shirts are frequently in need, but donations often come in daily and give students more opportunities to find the clothes they need. Other garments are so commonly donated the overflow is donated weekly to Hinds Hospice, she said.

Students were once limited to three garments per year, but Munoz changed the limit to three per semester due to the overflow.

“[Students] check in with their ID to let us know what they took, and then that way if they only came in and got one dress they’re still allowed to come in and get two more items. We try to keep track of it the best we can,” Munoz said.

 After checking in, students receive guidance from a student assistant on putting together a professional outfit while making their selection.

The Clothing Closet is available to students in need of professional clothing, particularly for instances such as classroom presentations, job interviews and more. (Melina Kazanjian/The Collegian)

Two-time Fresno State alum Alondra Londy visited the clothing closet as a student and said she found the resource helpful.

“I enjoyed going to the closet because it’s nice to have access to essential things like clothes for any occasion or an interview,” Londy said. “It helped me know I was supported by my school.”

Cynthia Escoto, who graduated from Fresno State in August 2021 with her master’s degree, first heard about the clothing closet in her undergrad years and recalled visiting at least five times during her academic career to pick up items she said she still uses today.

“I appreciate Fresno State for thinking about us and providing this clothing for students. I remember feeling joyful because I saved money,” she said.

Munoz said she wants students to know that the Career Center can help with more than just the outfit. Students can visit to work with counselors to determine internship or job openings, get their resumes or cover letters checked and have mock interviews based on unique position descriptions.

Students are able to select three items per semester, which can include accessories such as ties, jewelry, purses and more. (Melina Kazanjian/The Collegian)

“I really hope [students] can come and take advantage of all the services and stuff that we have to offer and come get some clothing, please,” Munoz said.

The Clothing Closet is located in the Career Development Center in Thomas Administration Building Room 103. It is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

Donations are accepted on Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays between 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. or by appointment. Appointments are preferred. To schedule an appointment, contact Audrey Munoz at (559) 278-2381 or via email at audreymunoz@csufresno.edu.

Acceptable donations include blouses, button-ups, slacks, skirts, blazers, jewelry, purses, belts, scarves, ties and dress shoes.

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