Dress For Success: Guest blog

So much more than clothing.

For many of us, our daily routine is pretty standard, wake up, brush teeth, get dressed and out the door for another day. Simple, right?

What if you have all the tools you need to succeed but when you’re standing in front of your closet the clothes on the hangers don’t represent your true talents? What if you have tough choices to make about where money needs to go first?  If this is your reality, odds are that smart blazer or an executive pair of shoes will always need to wait for another day.

Enter Dress for Success Calgary.  Our mission is to empower women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and development tools to help women thrive in work and life.

As an affiliate of Dress for Success Worldwide, Dress for Success Calgary started in 2012.  We collaborate with 30 local partner agencies such as Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association (CIWA), the YWCA, Brenda Stafford Centre and the Women’s Centre to identify the women who need our services.

At the core of our Dress for Success Calgary Suiting program, we get donated professional attire into the hands of our volunteer stylists and merchandisers to facilitate one to one suiting sessions with women in our beautiful Inglewood boutique.  

Six years on from where we started and we are very proud of the fact that Dress for Success Calgary is 100% volunteer-run, from our Stylists, Merchandisers and Client Coordinators to our Board Members.  

Every woman has a different inspiration for their connection with DFS.  For Board Secretary Reanna Dorscher, it is her grandfather Elvin Dorscher.

“From a young age, I saw my Grandpa avidly volunteering for many causes whether it be raising money for heart and stroke or cancer awareness, volunteering with his community association or on the campaigns of local politicians, or working with the Kinsmen Club and other organizations on their fundraising efforts. In 2012 he was honored with the Diamond Jubilee medal from the Governor General recognizing significant contributions to the community, and he has also received The Alberta Centennial Medal in recognition of outstanding service to the people and province of Alberta.  He has always inspired us to continue his legacy of giving back. I first began volunteering when I was 14 with the YMCA and have worked with a number of different organizations prior to joining DFSC in 2016 and the Board in 2017.” 

“Community has always been important to me, I get my energy and am inspired by the people in my life. In addition to my full-time job downtown as an executive pay consultant, I teach classes at Barre Body Studio, an amazing studio where we get together to sweat, move and share our energy. No matter how long or tiring a day may be, once the music is on and we start moving it is impossible to feel anything but strong and happy.”

Photo Credit: Mark Shannon @mark11photography

Photo Credit: Justine @miltonphoto

“The people I surround myself with on a daily basis (including the incredible team from Dress for Success!) push me to grow and constantly be the best version of myself. I feel so fortunate for the life I was given, I never take for granted the opportunities that have been provided to me from being born in Canada and having a wonderful family. As Canadians/Calgarians I truly believe we all have a role in giving back to our community to continue to ensure it is a great place for all to call home. I love to travel, it is my passion and I get away as much as possible. I love that Local Laundry provides me an opportunity to represent “home” while I am away. As much as I love traveling and experiencing different cities, knowing I am returning home to Calgary always provides a sense of comfort and pride.” 

As Dress for Success continues to grow in Calgary, this year marks another first as we participate in Birdies for Kids presented by AltaLink donation matching program as part of the Shaw Charity Classic.  Donations to Dress for Success Calgary via the https://shawcharityclassic.com/donatenow/ portal will be matched by 50% - an incredible impact for us.  These funds will be used to launch a pilot program of outreach with a selection of Calgary High Schools, creating pop-up opportunities for female students to obtain clothing for their working experience along with a speaker & stylist on dressing for the workplace, current trends and how to be both professional and fashionable. Young women are exposed to so much information and conflicting ideas about how to look and what is and isn't appropriate, so this outreach provides an in-person, trusted mentor from Dress for Success like Reanna to engage with and ask questions.

To learn more about Dress for Success Calgary, visit our website at www.calgary.dressforsuccess.org and follow us on social media at @DFSCalgary and @dressforsuccessyyc. 

Contact Info:

Dress for Success Calgary Centre

Charitable Registration # 81609 8883 RR0001

Contact person: Amanda Coates, Director Fund Development

Mailing address: 1008, 14 St SE, Calgary T2G 3K3

Telephone: 403-225-8555 or 587-215-4740   

Website: www.calgary.dressforsuccess.org

E-mail address: fundraising@dfsc.ca