Dress for Success Re-imagines the Suiting Experience in a COVID-19 Era

Partners: Dress for Success and Grange Insurance

The Challenge:

Virtually support and empower women during their suiting experience for their job hunt since visits to the DFS boutique were limited due to social distancing.

The Outcome:

An accessible intake form to create a positive sizing process for the clients and stylists.


DFS Design sprint engaged 10 DFS clients and employees to create three prototypes.


As a small non-profit that provides critical workforce development in our community, it is essential to our community for Dress for Success to continue to offer services to women. Those they serve are working to enter the workforce or getting the skills she needs to keep her job or grow into a new role.

Many of the women at Dress for Success are entering roles on the front lines that are critical to keep the economy moving forward, 65% are working to emerge from generational poverty, and 100% say that when they come to Dress for Success, they have increased confidence in their job search. Dress for Success has been able to transition their workforce development programming to virtual platforms. Their suiting services, however, are still a hybrid virtual/telephone/in-person process that still requires clients to come to Dress for Success to pick up their interview and workplace attire.

We helped create an end-to-end virtual experience so the women at Dress for Success can request and receive their items without leaving their homes or having to have a follow-up call.


Can’t Stop Columbus volunteers collaborated on a two week design sprint.

Community Insights

We set out to learn about the space in eight 30-minute interviews with staff and clients through a two week design sprint. This research informed us on suiting experience insights, client journey, pain points, moments of empowerment, and brand value.

We uncovered that DFS should find ways to drive as much human connection as possible in these new formats. Whether it is over zoom or personalized letters, it was clear the value of the people providing the service.

“I felt like a millionaire with a personal stylist


Dress for Success Client Interview

The next phase of the design sprint was to prototype three storyboard concepts in order to learn, not solve. They were a powerful tool for gaining empathy because they helped the interview team uncover stories about the experience and generate a dynamic conversation about the problems and potential solutions simultaneously.

The Intake Form prototype blended questions about the person and their style to test if that would be the best proxy for an in-person sizing. This intake form alleviated the client’s pain point of not knowing their sizes and style while also reducing the need for an in-person experience and phone call.

What started as a Storyboard Prototype later became a working Client Information Form for Dress for Success.