For the first time, NAU Career Development sponsored a dress-for-success event for students in need of professional attire at JCPenney on Sept. 24.

According to Emily McCarthy, director of career development, this was the largest Suit Up event to date in the southwest region, beating University of Arizona’s turnout of 230 participants in Tucson.

“I was hoping for 100 students, and we had 408,” McCarthy said.

Participating students, who were shuttled to the Flagstaff Mall from NAU, received a coupon at the door for 40 percent off men and women’s career and dress attire. They also had the opportunity to attend miniature makeover sessions and hair consultations.

One student McCarthy worked with said he saved more than $400 during this event.

“I think the event goes a long way in leveling the field by breaking down the economic barriers some of our students may have when purchasing a professional wardrobe,” McCarthy said.

NAU Career Development hopes to continue offering this opportunity to students in need and plans to hold another Suit Up event in mid-April.