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ShareWear helps people dress for success | Kitsap Week

Quality clothing and accessories are donated to ShareWear, which helps provide appropriate job interview clothing. - Courtesy Photo
Quality clothing and accessories are donated to ShareWear, which helps provide appropriate job interview clothing.
— image credit: Courtesy Photo

It's old news that our economy is stuck in a recession.

According to the Washington State Employment Security Department, Kitsap County's unemployment rate is hovering around 7.7 percent (better than the state's average of 8.9 percent).

Anyone who has pounded the pavement and updated a resume can tell you: it's hard to land a job.

And when money is tight, as often is the case when one is out of work, having just the right interview outfit may be difficult.

ShareWear, a division of  Kingston-based ShareNet, recently launched a program to help those job seekers whose closets are thread bare.

Mark Ince, ShareNet's executive director, said the idea behind ShareWear is to help provide professional and appropriate workplace clothing. And unlike ShareNet's food bank services, ShareWear is available to people countywide.

As word has spread, donations have begun arriving.

And while Ince appreciates and encourages donations for ShareWear, he requests that the items be "of recent vintage and very, very gently used," he said. "If it's completely out of style, who's going to wear it?"

The task of interviewing is nerve- wracking enough;  applicants need to feel good about themselves, he said.

Ince said the professional-style clothing in Kitsap differs from clothing needed in Seattle. Oftentimes on this side of the water, the dress code is more casual. When in doubt about the dress code, ask.

"Nothing's worse than showing up for the interview and feeling like 'Wow. I'm so in the wrong thing,'" Ince said. "Whether it's being overdressed or underdressed, it doesn't matter."

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