Campus Life, Finance, News

‘Sebastian’s Closet’ at Toppel provides professional attire for students

From job interviews to Greek life to career fairs, college life is packed with events requiring business-professional attire, but finding formal clothes can be difficult on short notice. Suits and dresses can get pricey, and bargain hunting can be time consuming.

Toppel Career Center – whose motto is “Hire A Cane” – not only helps students find jobs and internships but gives them a chance to “dress for success” through an initiative called “Sebastian’s Closet.”

Created in September 2015 as the result of a collaboration between Toppel and Student Government, Sebastian’s Closet allows students to borrow professional attire that has been donated from the greater UM community. The closet, housed at Toppel, offers a variety of professional attire, including suits and shirts for women and men.

“We understand that not all students have the financial means to be able to afford the clothing, and so our idea is to really address that need,” said Edmund Cruz, director of Career Education at Toppel.

About 400 students, including Michael Brennan, have used Sebastian’s Closet since it opened.

Brennan, who rushed Alpha Kappa Psi, a professional business fraternity, said he scrambled to find a suit after not bringing one of his own to college. He said he asked friends but found few people who had brought a suit and none who had one in his size.

“I was unsure at first,” Brennan said. “I always thought that programs like Sebastian’s Closet would lend me a suit, but that it would be 10 sizes too big or six sizes too small.”

A few days before the event, Brennan had run out of options and finally decided to take a shot at finding one at Toppel.

“Within 30 minutes, the student assistants at Toppel had me looking like a million bucks,” Brennan said. “I was pleasantly surprised with a suit that fit perfectly. I later nailed the interview, got a bid and became my pledge class president all while wearing Sebastian’s suit.”

Before the project came to fruition, Toppel had been collecting ties for students to use for years, Cruz said. Sometimes members of the Toppel staff would give students the clothes off their backs to help them through job interviews and career fairs.

Now the professionally stocked closet can be accessed by students all year long, even during the summer. During the 2016-17 school year, the initiative was expanded to include larger and smaller sizes, as well as business-casual attire.

The closet is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Clothes can be borrowed for up to seven days on a first-come, first-served basis.

Featured photo courtesy Flickr user Robert Couse-Baker.

August 3, 2017

Reporters

Nathalie Mairena


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Mark Richt said he’s spending the bye week evaluating everything about Miami’s offense, a process th ...

Mark Richt is sticking with the veteran. The Miami Hurricanes coach announced during the weekly Atla ...

Is there an apt comparison for this year’s American League Championship series between the Boston Re ...

If the University of Miami defense isn’t boiling with frustration by now, it must be simmering in an ...

Miami Hurricanes redshirt senior Gerald Willis was the lone UM football player chosen for the Associ ...

Through an innovative program, Miami Law students are empowering local high schoolers to think like ...

A grant from the German government will support a series of roundtable and networking sessions on U. ...

As BioNIUM’s new director, the chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology plans t ...

Fareed Zakaria, a CNN host, journalist and author, tells UM students that globalization and technolo ...

The program, in which UM students mentor high school students, aims to get first generation students ...

For the second straight year, all of the Miami women's basketball teams will be televised and f ...

The University of Miami soccer team heads to the Tar Heel state for a pair of road matches beginning ...

Get to Know U is a series that introduces the newest members of the Miami Hurricanes track and field ...

The Miami Hurricanes volleyball team improved to 10-5, 6-2 in the ACC, with a 3-0 sweep of Boston Co ...

The Miami women's tennis team closed the Bedford Cup with a perfect day, winning each match in ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.