Confidence Inside and Out

Confidence Inside and Out
November 13
00:00 2014

Agency gives job-seekers the look of success

(pictured above:  Glynis Bell stands in one of the clothing rooms.)

Sylvia Jones started her new job last week with a new set of threads courtesy of Dress for Success Winston-Salem.DSC_0029

Sylvia Jones

Sylvia Jones

After being unemployed for six months, she didn’t know quite what to wear. In her previous customer service job, she dressed casually. Her new job, also in customer service, requires business professional attire. She found just what she needed in Dress for Success’ extensive wardrobe.

“It was like I was going shopping. It’s top-of-the-line clothing,” she said.

Dress for Success is a national nonprofit that helps prepare low-income women for job searching and careers by providing clothes, shoes and accessories free of charge. The local affiliate also offers interview coaching and resumé help. After clients land a job, they receive a week’s worth of clothes and an opportunity to join career development networking groups.



“We give the women we serve a hand up and never a hand out,” said Dress for Success Winston-Salem Executive Director Glynis Bell. “We assist them with being the best that they can be in order to successfully obtain employment and help them with the skills that they need to stay employed and ultimately become self-sufficient.”

Many of the agency’s clients are referred by domestic violence programs, homeless shelters and job training programs.

Jones was referred by the Winston-Salem Urban League, which offers an array of employment services. She said she was made to feel welcome as soon as she walked through the doors of Dress for Success, one of the nonprofits located in the newly dedicated Winston-Salem Center for Education and the Arts on West Sixth Street.

“It was a wonderful atmosphere with wonderful people, and they were just happy to help. Everything you would want or need is there,” Jones said.

Bell said giving a woman clothes may seem like a small thing, but that clothes boost confidence and self-esteem.

Many of the clothes the agency gives are donated.

Many of the clothes the agency gives are donated.

“When I see ladies look in the mirror, and they’re dressed in their suits and realize how beautiful they are, it causes tears. We are excited about helping them see their true value,” Bell said. “We treat the ladies that we serve like the mothers, daughters and sisters that they are versus a client.”
Jones agrees and was so impressed she plans to become a Dress for Success volunteer.

Women try on clothes in a beautifully decorated dressing room like this one.

Women try on clothes in a beautifully decorated dressing room like this one.

“They not only dress you from the outside but from the inside, spiritually, because they motivate you. They make you see yourself in a different light,” she said.

Dress for Success also came through when Terresha Simmons needed help. The student and single mother of a one-year-old son said clothes were not a main concern until she landed a job that required a certain standard of dress.

“The clothes fit. Being dressed in the right clothing helped ease my nerves,” said Simmons, who was referred by the Forsyth County Department of Social Services’ Work First program. “I think it is a great program, and them helping me took one less thing off of my mind.”

The organization is always looking for donations of business-appropriate clothing, shoes, toiletries and accessories. Volunteers are also needed.

“We need volunteers’ time and talent. We would love for people to make a monetary tax-deductible donation of any amount,” Bell said.

For more information about the program, visit or call 336-970-0374.

About Author

Chanel Davis

Chanel Davis

Related Articles


Featured Sponsor

Receive Chronicle Updates

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.



More Sponsors