When newly separated Veterans are scrambling to prepare for their first post-military job interview, they often find that their wardrobe is lacking. Many Veterans find that they can’t afford a new suit for that first interview. The Junior League of Richmond has launched a campaign in an attempt to help.
Most men and woman who serve in the military adjust to living a Spartan lifestyle. After multiple deployments and a few PCS moves, it’s easier to live and travel lightly. When most service members transition out of the military, they usually have a full assortment of uniforms, and some casual civilian clothing. Since the need for formal attire, outside of a dress uniform, wasn’t a necessity while they served, business suits are often missing from these wardrobes. So while they were able to wear their military uniform to a wedding or formal event, Veterans must now wear appropriate business attire for job interviews.
New suits cost an average of $200, and can go up as high as $1,000. Veterans also have to make sure that they have appropriate shoes, socks, shirts, and ties. Having to purchase these items, even on the lower-end of the price spectrum, could break the bank for single Veterans, and especially for Veterans with families.
To help Veterans to be at the ready to interview in the proper attire, the Junior League of Richmond launched the BOOTS TO SUITS program on Veterans Day, 2014.
The program is administered through the league’s thrift store, appropriately called The Clothes Rack. The store issues vouchers to Veterans that entitle them to receive two career outfits. Veterans can chose to have one suit and one business casual outfit, or two business casual outfits.
The BOOTS TO SUITS program is stocked solely from clothing donations made by caring individuals. The program is always in need of donations for both men and women. Items needed include dress pants, blazers, skirts, slacks, button up shirts, blouses, ties, khakis, polo shirts, sweaters, belts and shoes.
The Clothes Rack also accepts other clothing items for men, women and children, as well as home decor, small furniture and jewelry. Please see the store’s Donations Guide for complete details. Donations are tax deductible.
If you are a Veteran in need of interview attire, or an individual interested in donating items to the BOOTS TO SUITS program, please visit or contact The Clothes Rack directly at their two locations:
The Clothes Rack at Cary Street
2618 West Cary Street
Richmond, VA 23220
The Clothes Rack at Stratford Hills
6780 Forest Hill Avenue
Richmond, VA 23225
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Military Connection: Suits for Richmond, VA Vets: By Debbie Gregory