Dress for success with JCPenney

Women's clothing is on display for sale at JCPenny. Photo by Sydney Fairbanks / The Jambar

By Sydney Fairbanks

Youngstown State University students looking for professional attire can purchase some for a discount at the biannual JCPenney Suit Up Event on Oct. 8 at the Eastwood Mall in Niles. Students can receive up to 50% off on dress apparel, shoes and accessories.

The JCPenney Suit Up Event first came to the Penguin campus fall 2018. The event happens every semester, and allows students to build a professional wardrobe in preparation for future jobs.

Upon arriving at JCPenney, students check in with YSU’s career staff with a valid YSU ID and receive a coupon and a merchandise list to know what is included.

The coupon is for 30% off the entire purchase. As long as all items are checked out in one purchase, students can bring any family members and friends with them to reap the benefits as well.

Students buying suits can be measured and fitted, and students wanting headshots can visit the beauty station to get their hair and makeup done for a discount. Headshots are not included in the deal but can be taken or scheduled ahead while the event is taking place.

Christina O’Connell, director of the Williamson College of Business Administration’s Center for Career Management, said she heard about JCPenney’s deal from a discussion board with the National Association of Colleges and Employers. 

O’Connell reached out to JCPenney to see how she could bring the program to YSU and expand the opportunity for students to purchase affordable, professional clothing.

“I’ve watched students walk out with one or two suits for between 100 and 200 dollars — that’s the suit, the jacket, the belt, the shoes, the socks, everything,” O’Connell said.

Students can benefit from the program even if they don’t need a full suit. The coupon for the event will also include business casual clothing such as dress pants, blouses, shoes and undergarments.

Judin Balella is a graduate assistant at the Center for Career Management. Balella said he encourages students to take advantage of the deal because it’s important to look the part.

“In any major you’re in, in any year, [you] still need professional clothing for future interviews, weddings, events [or] a nice dinner. The fact that YSU provides that opportunity to students — not just for their careers, but also for their personal lives — makes this event truly outstanding,” Balella said.

O’Connell said JCPenney makes preparing for the event easy. 

“The career offices here at YSU have to promote it. That includes social media promotions to make sure the Marketing and Communication Office receives it, ensuring that posters are displayed around the buildings, [and] providing fliers with the information as well as the merchandise listings,” O’Connell said.

The Suit Up Event will be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 8, at the Eastwood Mall in Niles. For more information, contact the Eastwood Mall JCPenney at 330-544-1331.