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Smokey's Closet, a UT program giving students professional clothing, celebrates fifth anniversary

Smokey's Closet opened in the fall of 2016, and officials said they have provided professional clothing for more than 2,200 students.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The University of Tennessee aims to prepare students for a demanding and diverse workforce, giving them skills and knowledge to help advance their careers. They even give them professional clothing so they can dress for success.

The program that provides the clothing, Smokey's Closet, celebrated its fifth anniversary on Thursday. Ever since the fall of 2016, it has given out free and gently used professional clothing to students who may not be able to get it otherwise.

Officials said the program has provided professional clothing for more than 2,200 students and distributed more than 2,700 clothing items. Most of the clothes they give away come from donations from alumni and community partners.

"Students need this assistance," said Mary Mahoney, the assistant director of the Center for Career Development. "Because all of a sudden, they're reaching that point, 'I need to interview for an internship, I need to graduate.' If that's something that's holding them back, not being to make a good first impression, well, we want to help them with that."

It is located on the third floor of the Student Union, in room 376C. The specific times when it is open during the fall 2021 semester are listed below:

  • Monday: 3:00-5:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday: 1:00-2:30 p.m.
  • Thursday: 1:00-2:30 p.m.
  • Friday: 2:00-4:00 p.m.

Students can receive one free outfit when they check-in. All students, including graduate students, are welcome at Smokey's Closet.

Anyone who wants to donate clothes can fill out a form online to schedule a drop-off time and date.