Being professional always starts with looking the part.

I never take for granted the fact that I am lucky enough to have a job where I can wear pretty much whatever I want. It hasn't always been the case. In my kitchen days, I always had to wear some kind of chef wear. Coats, aprons, clogs... The whole deal. And even in kitchen work, more often than not, I had to supply my own clothing.

That's gotta be one of the toughest parts for people just graduating college and preparing to enter the professional world. As it is, they're usually in their first homes outside of their parents, they have mountains of student debt, and now they need a whole new wardrobe to get out and start working. Seems counterintuitive to me.

Three local businesses are collaborating to help out with just that.

Fusion:Bangor announced on their Facebook page that they've launched an effort with Gold Star Cleaners, and Orono Brewing Company to create a community closet of sorts for young folks in the area who need new professional/nice clothing for their new jobs, and new clothes just aren't in their budget.

All involved are asking that you drop off any "wear worthy" professional clothing to Gold Star at 200 Wilson Street in Brewer. They'll be accepting donations from April 1st - 13th. Then they'll be hosting an event on April 19th at Orono Brewing Company in Orono from 5 pm - 7 pm.

Specifically, they're looking for dress pants, business shirts/blouses, suit jackets, ties, dresses, and skirts. Now is the time to dig through and see if you can pass some of these items along to a young pro that just needs a little help. We've all been there, so here's your big chance to help out.... Plus, you'll feel wicked good about yourself.

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