It’s no secret at Dress for Work that we love a good ‘Before and After’. And our boutique showroom in Bankstown is no exception. Once a white, drab room devoid of any character or charm (or carpet for that matter!), the Dress for Work showroom has transformed over the last several months into an amazing space which has now seen countless client transformations of its own.
The showroom itself evokes a feeling of a classic men’s store in uptown city centre, and clients are encouraged to see themselves as empowered individuals taking the first, crucial step in entering into the job market, rather than just individuals facing unemployment or other life difficulties. As a social work student, I feel privileged to observe the Dress for Work team adopt a client-centred approach with each and every client as they work to ensure everyone is respected and empowered when they enter the Dress for Work space.
One of the highlights of my placement has been witnessing the camaraderie amongst our groups as they enter the showroom for a fitting. Young men who just minutes prior were aloof and shy, now channel their best Anna Wintour as they exclaim “That tie is on point!” or “Wow, I love that European slim fit on you!”. It has been both fulfilling (not to mention entertaining) to observe young male clients encourage each other with supportive feedback and share a few laughs in the process.
Ultimately, I believe it is a combination of the staff and the unique space that makes the Dress for Work experience such a memorable one for our clients. Everyone is made to feel comfortable which is critical to establishing trust and rapport – the two elements that form the cornerstone of effective case management. Once trust and rapport are achieved, ascertaining the needs of the client often occurs organically, allowing us to effectively assist the client and refer them to other services if required.