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First Impressions re-opens in-person appointments


Student Coordinator Sarah Zumbrock works a shift in First Impressions.

Last year, the virtual dress code was easy to comply with; dress shirt on the top, sweatpants on the bottom. However as pandemic restrictions start to loosen up, many are unprepared for the switch back to professional wear. 

Luckily for Central Michigan University students, the free professional clothing store, First Impressions, is back on campus to help with any and all formal-wear needs. 

“I want to make sure that all students know they can use this service,” Staff Adviser Erica O’Toole said. “We encourage everyone to use it, and once a semester it is available.”

Due to COVID-19 precautions, all fittings and appointments with First Impressions last year were conducted virtually.  

“During our virtual appointments, we had these video calls, and you're asking the students lots of questions about their size, what they're looking for, how clothes fit their body, anything we could really think of,” Student Coordinator Meredith Wiles said. 

Student coordinators would describe pieces in detail over WebEx and put together some options for clients to come pick up from the store. 

“Last year, people just needed maybe half an outfit,” Student Coordinator Sarah Zumbrock said. “People weren’t really going out much, so we didn't have a lot of student appointments.”

Now, students have the option to get styled in-person or remotely. After being open again for over a month, this year has proved to be more hands-on and interactive for both the employees and the customers. 

“We've been packed, always booked solid, ” Wiles said. “We're getting people coming in and asking for stuff, calling, emailing. It's like how it was before when we were in-person.”

For any CMU student in need of professional wear, First Impressions is the perfect business to help build up a professional wardrobe on a budget.

“The goal is to find a look that makes you feel confident and professional for your interviews and whatnot, but even if you don’t find something, we can direct you to some great services through the Career Development Center, or even just give you advice on what to look for in professional wear,” Zumbrock said.

Appointments can be made by utilizing Handshake.