Azul’s Attire Provides FGCU Students with Professional Attire

Photo+by+Emma+Rodriguez

Photo by Emma Rodriguez

Emma Rodriguez, Staff Writer

The Office of Career Development Services launched Azul’s Attire, a professional closet available to all FGCU students earlier this semester.

Azul’s Attire aims to give students professional wear, advice on how to dress for certain occasions, and much more. To create an appointment at Azul’s Attire, students must schedule a visit on the Career Development Services page on the FGCU website. At the provision of a valid student ID and UIN number, students can access the space, and ask a clothing advisor any questions they may have.

“They show up, and they ideally have about 45 minutes to browse through what we have, and pick an outfit,” Assistant Director for Career Advising Keith Davidson said. “Depending on what they’re going for, we’re also going to do that career counseling part of it… we’ll have a conversation with them to try and pick out what’s best for the situation.”

The presence of a clothing advisor allows students to have guidance when deciding what outfit is right for them. A student’s needs can differ depending on what occasion they need an outfit for, and Career Development Services is fully equipped to handle a variety of those scenarios.

Several articles of clothing are made available. From blazers and slacks to ties and bracelets, the closet has anything an aspiring professional could need.

Azul’s Attire is split into two rooms, one for masculine attire, one for feminine attire. Clothing advisors stress that students choose outfits that align with the presentation that they feel most comfortable with, as it boosts confidence in the workplace.

“Confidence is a huge thing,” Project Manager Madison Franz added. “Seeing students come into the appointments, and then leave with professional attire, they get so much more excited about their prospects, and I think they see themselves a lot more in that setting.”

Franz also described her experiences with helping her peers as a student staff member. She says that leading appointments for her fellow students have exposed her to the diverse FGCU population, and a major problem that many college students know all too well: financial need.

Professional attire can be expensive. Many college students have to juggle several expenses, and purchasing the clothes they need can be extremely difficult. Because Azul’s Attire is free, it gives low-income students an opportunity to find attire that is right for them at no cost.

“Joining the workforce or looking for internships is something that’s already so stressful, and if you have to worry about the financial aspect of that too, it’s another stressor,” FGCU student Lindsey Smith expressed. “I think having something accessible on campus will take that pressure off of students.”

Additionally, Smith shared her experience with food insecurity, and how the campus food pantry was an excellent resource for her. She hopes that students who struggle with clothing insecurity can find Azul’s Attire useful in a similar way.

Tuition, textbooks and living expenses are essential to life as a college student. When a student is trying to enter the professional world to help alleviate their financial stress, purchasing professional attire is yet another swipe of a card.

Lack of finances and clothing insecurity are often proportional. If a student is struggling financially and dedicating their income to basic necessities and nothing else, they would most likely be unable to purchase the attire they need, professional or otherwise.

According to the Florida Department of Education, FGCU currently has the second-highest graduate employment rate in Florida, with 71% of graduates being employed following graduation. 80% of those graduates are working full-time.

When asked how Azul’s Attire could help those numbers increase, Davidson suggested that the closet could not make the graduate employment rate higher on its own. However, it could support the number, and allow students to graduate more prepared for the workforce.