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Dress for Success Worldwide

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Centers to Support the Independence of Specific Populations, Economic Development, Employment, Human Services, International, International Economic Development, Job Training, Microfinance

Mission: The mission of Dress for Success is to promote the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and the career development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.

Target demographics: While the women who are referred to Dress for Success come from many different backgrounds, they all have at least two things in common: They are not currently economically self-sufficient and they are seeking to obtain and maintain meaningful employment. Over half of these women (57%) receive public assistance. The low-income, underserved, and under-represented women that we support encounter multiple barriers to employment. Some of these barriers include a lack access to technology and professional skills training, financial literacy, and a higher education. In addition to those barriers, many of the jobs available to these women are in low wage industries that offer no benefits and little or no chance for advancement. Dress for Success helps women to overcome these barriers by providing lifelong support that enables them to develop professionally and reach their full potential in all stages of life.
Our clients range in age from 16 to over 75. Of the women who have been referred to Dress for Success, 43% of them do not have any post-secondary education and 53% have less than a high school or equivalent degree. Nearly 84% are single mothers raising, on average, two to three children under the age of 18. Additionally, many of our clients have older children still living at home and an increasing number have reported that they care for their parents or grandchildren as well. In addition to family concerns, the underserved women that Dress for Success assists most often come from equally neglected communities, in need of a well-trained and confident workforce.

Direct beneficiaries per year: Dress for Success serves more than 50,000 disadvantaged women around the world each year.

Geographic areas served: International

Programs: The mission of dress for success is to promote the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and career development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.

same as mission statement

Community Stories

4 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

When I saw that Michelle (https://www.linkedin.com/in/michelemstahl)was a representative for Dress for Success I was overcome with sadness and compelled to share my story. In 2004 I was an intern under Michelle, meaning I worked for free my final senior semester at the company she was employed at in exchange for college credit. I was an A student, but Michelle completely broke my spirit on a daily basis when I had to work side by side with her and by the time I finished my internship I felt like an F student. Not once did she offer me advice, encouragement, or share her knowledge in regards to job skills. In fact quite the opposite. She would have me make copies or foist me onto the buyer below her so as to not have me be a bother to her. She made me feel stupid. If I asked her a question the short answer was usually accompanied by an eye roll and a sarcastic remark. I actually found it hard to interview with other companies after working with her because my confidence was affected by her treatment. I find it incredible ironic that she is giving workplace attire advice as well. I can clearly remember a day that she and her boss Mitch called me into the office and scolded me for dressing inappropriately because I kept tugging on my blouse. They said if I had to fidget like that all day that it obviously didn't fit properly and was unprofessional. Her boss Mitch did most of the scolding but I do remember her giggling and whispering to him "how embarrassing" before I had completely walked out the door. Being only 20 years old and this being one of my first work experiences I can't express to you how insensitive this was. I went home and cried that night and it took everything in me to continue to work there. I implore you to reevaluate Michelle as a choice to represent Dress for Success. She has made a negative impression on me that still lasts until this day and it would be a shame for her to spread her hatefulness and insensitivity through your company on others who are struggling to find their way in the workplace.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Dress for Success is a global not-for-profit organization that promotes the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and the career development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.

Since starting operations in 1997, Dress for Success has expanded to more than 140 cities in 19 countries and has helped more than 850,000 women work towards self-sufficiency

We have programs that address and eliminate the frustrating obstacles that may arise during a search for employment. Women meet regularly to support and encourage each other through building confidence, networking and discussing workplace-related topics. These meetings help participants stay motivated and optimistic.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Dress for Success is staffed with intelligent and informative volunteers and employees. They really care about your future as a successful individual on your way to self sufficiency. The guidance they provide helps numbers of women become more polished in their overall presentation on a regular basis. These women help others as part of their daily function main focus. As Alumni of their Professional Women's Group, a division of Dress for Success; I am now more educated, involved, much more professional as I present myself in the day to day operations of business successes.

4 creation-of-a-cause


Rating: 5

Dress For Success has helped many people in many ways i just love the services the have keep up the good work.