LONGVIEW — Some East Texas college students‘ closets are a little fuller today after taking advantage of the second annual Suit Up shopping event hosted Sunday by JCPenney in the Longview Mall.
Students from Wiley College, East Texas Baptist University, Texas State Technical College in Marshall and LeTourneau University all showed up to fill their closets without emptying their wallets on Sunday.
The event allowed students to pick out professional attire, including shoes, belts, scarfs, briefcases, suits and ties, with an extra 30 percent discount voucher on top of the sales already going on with JCPenney.
The students then use the dress suits, outfits and shoes to apply for professional job interviews, internships and graduate programs. The store closed its doors to the public Sunday allowed the students free reign to find deals.
Sephora also offered free make up consultations.
"I'm a junior and this is the time when internships are crucial so I'm here looking for a suit for interviews for internships," LeTournea University junior Jessica Nelle said. "They gave us a guide that shows how to put together certain outfits and what goes together."
Wiley College, which partnered with JCPenney for the event, decided to spread the love with its fellow East Texas students and invited ETBU, TSTC Marshall and LETU.
Wiley College’s Director of Career Services Kendra Sharp set up the shopping event last year for the first time with JCPenney and said the store agreed to close its doors to the public for the event to allow students free run of the store for their shopping.
Sharp said the event was open to all of its students, in all grades and all majors. The idea for the shopping event came from students expressing a need for business attire to Sharp.
"We have students that don’t have the necessary attire for internships, interviews or grad school," Sharp said previously. "We have graduates who tell me they have the education, they have the qualification, but they don’t have the look and they can’t afford the look."
Sharp said the students should have left the shopping event with at least one go-to outfit. There was a seamstress on site Sunday to help students with their fittings and purchases.
"I think this Suit Up event is nice because sooner or later we're all going to be going into the real world," Wiley College senior Kamren Cohn said. "I have some suits but I'm here to upgrade them. Having some sort of professional attire will help out a lot with interviews."