Dear Santa: College Seniors Need New Clothes

Santa should bring professional clothing to college students


MUNCIE, INDIANA (NEWS) - College students aren't too old for a Christmas morning surprise from Santa Claus — especially when those presents include much needed clothing items for upcoming job interviews. Shoes, shirts, jackets, belts, blouses and socks are among the items that can add the right touch to the professional wardrobe of a college student, says James Mitchell, associate director for employer relations at Ball State University’s Career Center.

"Family members might want to buy something for a college student but often are unsure of what he or she needs," he says. "The holidays provide relatives an opportunity to help students add to their professional wardrobes. A few classic pieces can go a long way when creating a professional wardrobe. Mixing and matching items and knowing what’s appropriate for a specific industry or position are important."

Researching company history and being self-aware are things job seekers can do for free, but professional dress often comes with professional price tags.

"That's why we encourage students to ask for those items as gifts," Mitchell says. "Relatives can help a job seeker afford long-lasting, high-quality clothing that should make a solid impression." Suitable holiday gifts for college students include:

  • suits
  • shirts or blouses
  • ties or scarves
  • dress shoes
  • leather portfolios
  • makeovers for professional image (haircuts, manicure and pedicure)
  • briefcases or handbags
  • watches

Gift cards can also be a great way to help equip a young professional for the world of work, Mitchell says.

“Be sure the gift cards come from stores that sell high-quality, classic items and not trendy, soon-to-be out of date fashions. Professional items can and should last a while,” he said. “Your present doesn’t have to be a one-time gift that someone opens at the holidays, either.

“Another great way to make it a learning and bonding experience would be to offer to take the gift recipient to a few stores and help them pick out appropriate attire. You can make it an experience that may be even more memorable than just giving someone a tie or a scarf.”

Photo credits: Staff Photo