This is the third year in a row that I’ve covered the good works that is the Men’s Wearhouse National Suit Drive. In its 10th year, the National Suit Drive is a month-long initiative that collects gently used professional clothing that will be donated to good causes that help Americans transitioning back into the workforce.
One such beneficiary is Chris Bellegia. A retired U.S. Air Force veteran, he struggled with depression, PTSD and addiction, which prevented him from returning to his life and maintaining any normalcy. A local good cause provided training to help him overcome adjusting to civilian life and re-entering the workforce.
Despite developing new skills, Bellegia still lacked one thing: a professional attire to ace the interviews he worked so hard to secure. That’s where Working Wardrobes based in Irvine, CA. stepped in.
Working Wardrobes is one of the recipients of Men’s Wearhouse National Suit Drive donations. Through Working Wardrobes Bellegia worked with a personal shopper “who started tailoring colors, shirts, slacks and styles with me,” he recalls. “It brings tears to my eyes to think about the experience. I felt ‘normal.’ The Men’s Wearhouse National Suit Drive and Working Wardrobes helped change my life.”
Donations collected at Men’s Wearhouse stores throughout July are distributed to over 170 local non-profit organizations across the country—organizations like Working Wardrobes—that help disadvantaged individuals regain employment through job readiness programs and workforce assistance. Over the past nine years, the National Suit Drive has collected more than 1.3 million items of professional clothing.
People can donate their gently used professional clothing, including men’s and women’s suits, ties, jackets, shirts, pants, belts and shoes at over 750 Men’s Wearhouse locations across the country. As a thank you, donors will receive 50 percent off their next purchase of regular priced retail items (excluding shoes, clearance and Exceptional Value items).
Each year Men’s Wearhouse partners with a celebrity to help get the word out. This year’s partner is professional dancer and “Dancing with the Stars” alum Derek Hough. I was able to have an email Q&A with Hough regarding his involvement with the National Suit Drive.
Q: Why did you decide to get involved with the National Suit Drive and…