Your old suit could inspire a woman’s life

By Kayla Walker

INDIANAPOLIS — Lawmakers, legislative staff and state employees are donating gently used business suits to help women become successful in work and life.  

“This is a perfect place to collect suits because people here at Statehouse absolutely look professional in their work,” Secretary of State Connie Lawson said.

During the annual Send One Suit Week, Lawson helps collect hundreds of suits, blouses and other clothing items for Dress for Success Indianapolis. The program promotes economic independence for women by providing professional clothing, a support network and career development tools.

The donated suits will go to women who need the business attire for job interviews.

“It’s pretty amazing,” Suits of Success Program Manager, Leslie Smith said, “many women tell us how empowered they feel and how much more ready they feel walking into that interview.” 

The women are connected to Dress for Success by their partners, such as the Julian Center and Ivy Tech Community College. Some have never tried on a suit before.

“I watch them come out of that dressing room with their suit on and a big smile looking in the mirror and you can just see it in their eyes,” she said.

About 40 percent of Dress for Success Indianapolis annual clothing needs are met through this donation week.

“People will call and ask when we are doing the suit drive again this year and if so when is it,” Lawson said, “because they wait now to clean out their closets so they can contribute to Dress for Success.”

Dress for Success Send One Suit week began Monday and ends Friday. Donors are advised to go to the non-profit’s website to register and receive a printed receipt that can go towards their tax reductions as well.

Indiana Secretary of State’s office will be collecting suits from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Room 201 at the Indiana Statehouse.

Kayla Walker is a reporter for, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.

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