The logo for Dress for Success kind of says it – Going Places, Going Strong

Hamilton's Dress for Success is one of seven outlets across New Zealand and part of an international network of 156 branches begun in a New York basement 22 years ago aimed to help women look good and feel confident in their work environment.

Sharon Lourie started as executive manager in July last year.

"I have a passion to see women thrive in their work life. I've worked in MP's offices out of Parliament and in pastoral care for women in Fiji."


All the clothing used by the service is donated by women in the community and funds raised by sales purchase specific garments to complement the range.

What doesn't get used in employment dressing goes back on sale to fund more options.

Lourie says Hamilton Dress for Success helps women from a wide range of backgrounds and walks of life.

"We like to help mothers with children towards economic independence. Employers are looking for people who are confident in their jobs," she says.

"It is a joy for our donors because they can see their clothes going to help another woman."

From India, one client, Sheetal is a Wintec student transitioning into the workforce and looking for a job in administration, reception or front-of-house.

She has been dressed by professional stylist Mary Silverton.

Silverton said many women did not feel confident and the aim of Dress for Success was to make them "look good and feel confident".


"I love it. I've always loved clothes. I have a background in teaching and I've always wanted to feel like I was giving back. But I think I get more out of it than the clients do."

Dress for Success has supplied 1047 'outfits' since January to between 100 and 200 clients.

All its clothing is supplied to its clients free-of-charge along with accessories and the time and services of volunteer stylists who work to suit the clothes to the woman.

Because of the quantity of clothing donated, Hamilton Dress for Success holds four sales a year with the next being November 14 to 16 in the Ibis Tainui Hotel, 10am to 6pm Thursday and Friday and 9am to 12 noon Saturday.