Oklahoma program gives women a chance to get a professional look on a budget

Posted on: 5:02 pm, February 19, 2014, by , updated on: 05:22pm, February 19, 2014

OKLAHOMA CITY – Tracey Rodriguez is a community college student now but soon she will be on the job hunt soon.

Thanks to the nonprofit ‘Suited for Success,’ this single mom of three is ready for the career world.

Rodriguez said, “I want a better future for them and for my future as well.”

Susan Walton, founder of ‘Suited for Success,’ said, “I think statistics say you have seven seconds to make a good first impression and if you don’t do that, you’re probably not going to get the job.”

Walton can relate to the dilemma of having a very tight budget, which doesn’t include a professional wardrobe.

She said, “I had been a single mother working in the banking industry. It was a struggle to have the clothing I needed to be successful in a professional setting and when I saw the Bottomless Closet in Chicago, I told a friend we need one of those here.”

The group lets each woman pick out two suits with all of the accessories.

This week, white-collar working women are volunteering to help women just like Tracey.

Walton said, “It can encourage that, ‘If she can do it, I can do it too.”

Hundreds of women visit ‘Suited for Success’ every single year, referred by multiple agencies, including many colleges.

Once a month, a lot of the clothes are open to the public.

Walton said, “They can come in here, buy a suit for $5, add a couple of blouses for $3-a-piece.”