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Alliance of Career Development Nonprofits
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1775 Eye Street, NW, Suite 1150
Washington, D.C. 20006
United States

We’re a growing network of career development nonprofits that provide business attire for women and men seeking work, empowering them to economic independence.





Filtering by Tag: Father's Day

Celebrate and encourage all men this Father's Day

Connie Golds, Executive Director, Desert Best Friend's Closet (Palm Desert, CA) and ACDN Board Member


This June, let’s not forget the dads! Every third Sunday in June, Americans set aside the day to honor Fathers. Alliance of Career Development Nonprofit (ACDN) members also honor fathers and all men who are seeking employment. In fact, the ACDN’s original name was “The Women’s Alliance,” but after realizing that many Alliance members serve men as well as women, the Board of Directors changed the name to better reflect the membership.

Nearly half of the clients served at ACDN member Desert Best Friend’s Closet, located in Palm Desert, California, are men. Men under thirty face a unique challenge when donning professional attire for the first time as most of them grew up wearing baggy, low-riding jeans. Professional clothing, however, is worn at a man’s true waist, which is usually measured two fingers below the belly button. For many young men, this is a new experience and initially requires time to become comfortable with the look. They have found that many men love to wear a little “bling,” so the agency is especially grateful when donors donate cufflinks and tie pins.

Another challenge for many men is learning to tie a necktie (and to feel comfortable wearing it, too). The necktie is the focal point of a man’s look and polishes off a man’s outfit, instantly making him look classy and professional. But mistakes with the tie will take the look from sophisticated to sloppy quickly.

Some Necktie Basics:

1.     The tie shouldn’t be too long or too short - it should end near the middle of the belt buckle. Tip: tall men should find an XL tie.

2.     Stained or wrinkled ties are unacceptable. As the focal point of an outfit, this can show that he doesn’t care about his appearance.

3.     Selecting the right colors and patterns can be tricky. Color should draw from the shirt and suit color in a complimentary way. A tie may also reflect a man’s personality—louder more colorful ties for someone with a big personality and more conservative colors and patterns for someone quieter. Cartoon images on a tie are never appropriate for an interview.


For many male clients, coming to Desert Best Friend’s closet is the first time they have ever worn a suit and tie. They are often overwhelmed the first time they see themselves in the mirror, because the suit is a symbol of adulthood and manhood. As one of their clients simply stated upon seeing his reflection, I have never worn a suit before let alone knew how to tie a tie. Thank you for helping me.  I feel like a man today.”

This month (and every month, really) we celebrate and encourage all men, fathers and those who will be fathers. Enjoy!

Contributed by Connie Golds, Executive Director, Desert Best Friend's Closet (Palm Desert, CA) and ACDN Board Member.  Desert Best Friend’s Closet has outfitted over 2000 clients since 2010.

Every girl’s crazy ‘bout a sharp dressed man! (ZZ Top)

Marianne Jones, Business Manager at College of Human Environmental Sciences, University of Missouri, Columbia and Board Treasurer, ACDN

Well, for me, that guy was my dad!  Marines are well known for their precision in all things, and appearance was definitely one of them!  My Marine Corps dad had the sharpest crease in his uniform trousers.  How sharp you say?  Enough you could have cut bread with them. 

Okay, so maybe I’m prone to hyperbole!  But I do remember as a kid being in awe of how he looked when all decked out in his uniform or dress blues.  He was, and always will be, my hero.

He was a father of three daughters (and one son) but he always told us girls we could do anything the guys could do.   So we all learned to change tires, install drywall, check the oil in our cars, move heavy equipment and mow yards.

He also inspired me to see how wearing the right clothing for the right occasion was important.  When he wore his dress blues, his presence commanded respect.  I think back that this was where I learned how important it was to be sure:  your shoes are polished, your clothes are clean and pressed, look ‘em in the eye and to have a posture that exudes confidence.  Yup, got that from my old man!  Now, sense of style?  Not from him!  Civilian style still befuddles him.  But even to this day, he puts on his Marine uniform (and, yes, he can still wear it) he still makes me stand a little taller and feel empowered when I’m dressed properly for the right occasion.

In honor of the upcoming Father’s Day celebration, I’m not sending a tie, bottle of scotch, or any other of the usual Father’s day suspects for a gift.  Nope, I’m honoring my dad the best way I know and that’s with a donation to ACDN.  The sharp dressed man in your life will appreciate being remembered in the same way.  So, in honor of your GQ dad, make a donation to ACDN so another little girl will look up at her dad with the stars in her eyes and think her dad looks like a million bucks as he dresses for his interview or new job.  Happy Father’s Day!

by Marianne C. Jones, Business Manager at College of Human Environmental Sciences, University of Missouri, Columbia and Board Treasurer, ACDN