Our mission

Our mission is to empower women in transition by providing programs that inspire the confidence necessary to achieve self-sufficiency and pursue a productive career. We do this by providing professional work attire, educational programs, and networking tools and opportunities.

Career Wardrobe is the nation’s largest independent, community-based nonprofit organization serving women transitioning into the workforce by providing professional attire. Since 1995, Career Wardrobe has assisted nearly 80,000 women by inspiring the confidence necessary to achieve independence.

Career Wardrobe owns and operates The Wardrobe Boutique, which sells recycled clothing to benefit our programs and services. Located at the corner of 19th St. and Spring Garden St. in Philadelphia, The Wardrobe Boutique offers everything from formal to casual clothing at discounted prices. Donations that are not suitable for Career Wardrobe’s programs are sold at The Wardrobe Boutique to women, including former clients who are now working.

A system of support for women transitioning to work

Career Wardrobe uses each appointment as an opportunity to educate women about the importance of professional appearance, personal responsibility, and business etiquette.

30% of women referred for dressing services go on to voluntarily take advantage of Career Wardrobe’s educational programming, which includes:

In 2011, referred women accessed the following services:

Programming that improves preparedness for work

Career Wardrobe’s programs are designed to help women increase their levels of self-confidence, professionalism and preparedness for employment: all factors that are critical in long-term employment success. Career Wardrobe strives to break the cycle of poverty by providing support to women that encourages employment and personal responsibility.

Based on their increased self-confidence and preparedness for employment, Career Wardrobe clients are better positioned to successfully transition to work more quickly than other job applicants. For example,

    • 59% of our clients report having sent out more than 7 resumes.
    • 46% have been called in for more than 2 interviews in the 6 months following their appointments.
Having the support of Career Wardrobe is a critical element in employment success for women who have limited resources and an ever-decreasing network of supportive services.
  • 49% report securing employment within 30 days of their appointment
  • 87% are earning above minimum wage
  • 46% work in positions not classified as entry level