An online community of nonprofit organizations in western PA

Dress For Success is Much More Than the Clothes

“We focus on helping each woman prepare for the journey ahead.” When Dress for Success Pittsburgh opened, we set out to address the catch-22 that confronts disadvantaged women trying to enter the workforce: “Without a job, how can you afford a suit?  But without a suit, how can you get a job?”  We quickly became well known for providing suits to disadvantaged women returning to or entering the workforce. This, in turn, has enabled us to suit more than 10,000 women in Southwestern PA since 2005. As our organization has grown, so too has our ability to serve the total needs of our clients. Today, Dress for Success has five signature programs worldwide that enable us to help make sure each of our clients is Going Places. Going Strong. Job-ready women come to Dress for Success Pittsburgh by referral only from a range of non-profit organizations for our Suiting Program. Each client works one-on-one with a highly trained volunteer personal consultant who helps her select professional at tire and also provides support and encouragement as she prepares for her upcoming interviews. DFS Pittsburgh provides each client with a career suit, cosmetics, footwear and accessories—and most importantly, positive reinforcement and a boost of confidence. After a client finds work, she can return to Dress for Success for a full week’s worth of professional attire. The clothing that DFS Pittsburgh provides to our clients symbolizes our faith in every woman’s ability to succeed. Our Career Center takes women’s job readiness “beyond the suit” to help raise their chances of success in a competitive job market. Our Career Center promotes confidence and professionalism by pairing our clients with volunteers who work one-on-one with them. Our professional women volunteers help create superior résumés and cover letters, provide career counseling, conduct mock interviews, and facilitate access to our professional skills training course. Many DFS Pittsburgh clients have been negatively affected by today’s job market and face circumstantial challenges in finding a new position. The Going Places Network by Walmart offers a 6-week safety net of support to women who have participated in our Suiting Program but have not yet secured employment. Clients meet for five hours each week, attend a workshop series on relevant job search topics, network with fellow participants, and receive additional one-on-one job search support in the Career Center. Along with the success of landing a new job, newly employed women often encounter an unfamiliar set of employment obstacles. From understanding corporate culture to managing personal finances, career novices are often left to navigate the unwritten rules of the workplace with little or no support. The Professional Women’s Group (PWG) bolsters the careers of successfully employed Dress for Success Pittsburgh women by providing them with a network of support, practical information, and inspiration to remain employed so they can truly thrive. Earning a living is only half of the journey to financial independence. A truly successful woman must also understand and be a good steward of her finances in order to support herself and her family. Because the mission of Dress for Success Pittsburgh is rooted in the economic independence of our women, clients are eligible to enroll in our exclusive 6-week Financial Literacy Program. This program is sponsored by BNYMellon and each session is taught by a member of BNYMellon’s Women in Networking   Designed with the unique needs of Dress for Success Pittsburgh women in mind, the program ensures that each participant learns to make sound financial decisions, develops a plan for her future and is sufficiently empowered to reclaim her financial freedom. To learn more about the programs of Dress for Success Pittsburgh, call 412-201-4204 or visit

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