By Shyama Sri – Project Officer at Dress for Work, Thread Together Charity Partner

The act of putting on a suit

For many men, the ritual ho-hum of putting on a suit and getting ready for work is just another task performed with little consideration or thought –  simply another task relegated to autopilot amongst the slew of other tasks to be done before the real ‘work ‘commences. At Dress for Work the act of putting on a suit is anything but ho –hum.  For some who attend Dress for Work, the occasion will mark the first time ever trying on a complete suit. 

The initial feelings are universal

Whether the clients have experienced homelessness, experienced mental or physical health issues, are refugees or newly arrived migrants or from indigenous backgrounds – the initial feelings are universal: anxiousness, uncomfortable and often weariness. After overcoming the initial doubts and hesitations “I don’t wear clothes like these” or “This doesn’t even feel like me” – and with support from Dress for Work staff – clients slowly begin getting acclimatised to their new look. 

The first, basic opportunity to start re-imagining the future

But it is not just that their look has changed (although in most cases, the physical transformation itself is quite dramatic). For many, the suit will give the first, basic opportunity to start re-imagining their future and give a momentary glimpse into the possibilities they had never allowed themselves to consider previously.

The crucial beginning of a journey

It goes without saying that the suits issued by Dress for Work (via our partners like Thread Together), are crucial but it is just the beginning. Along with Job Readiness Training and our ‘Resumes and Resilience’ courses, Dress for Work clients can begin the journey into employment pathways and training and more importantly, begin to start re-imagining the future anew.

Dress for Work has two sites in Bankstown and Westmead in New South Wales. For more information on Dress for Work and referring clients please take a look at our website www.dressforwork.org.au or call (02) 8709 0200.

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