Workshop method

NMSU Workshop Turns into “Dress to Succeed” Video

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — When funding became available three years ago for Kelley Coffeen, an assistant professor in the department of family and consumer sciences at New Mexico State University, she jumped at the chance to create a resource that would empower professionals of all ages to think more strategically about their clothing choices.

The resulting project is a 27 minute video which offers a wealth of expert knowledge on building a capsule wardrobe with 15 interchangeable pieces, as well as styling tips.

I’ve always believed in helping working professionals build an economical and resourceful wardrobe for upward mobility in the workplace.

Kelley Coffeen, asst. Professor, Department of Family and Consumer Sciences at NMSU

According to NMSU, Coffeen said she originally envisioned in-person workshops delivered by her students in Doña Ana County, and development began in 2019. The pandemic halted her initial plan.

As a result, Coffeen set out to revamp the studio, leading her down a path of innovative media research and extension at NMSU, where she partnered with the director of the department’s video unit, Tomilee Turner.

Kelley Coffeen developed the video content with several students in partnership with Walmart and two thrift stores in Las Cruces.

Together they turned materials from Coffeen’s workshop into an educational video.

Filming took place during the Spring 2020 semester and post-production wrapped in November 2021. The video features Coffeen and three college students explaining the importance of having a capsule wardrobe while showing viewers what essential clothes should be in their closets. The video follows the students creating two capsule wardrobes with clothes bought cheaply from Walmart and thrift stores. Throughout their shopping sprees, students provide practical advice – for both men and women – on selecting items for maximum utility.

“In the video, the students take these interchangeable parts and create 30 men’s outfits and 25 women’s outfits,” Coffeen said. “The bottom line was that we wanted to give the citizens of New Mexico information and knowledge on how to build a wardrobe without having to spend a lot of money.”

Coffeen said people looking to upgrade their wardrobe for a job should research their work environment to determine if it’s formal or casual.

From there, Coffeen said individuals should check out the list of wardrobe staples in the video, take inventory of the pieces they already own, and buy the pieces they need.

“The idea is to have an interchangeable wardrobe, so it takes less time and money, and it takes the stress out of getting ready for work every day,” she said.

Coffeen said reworking the studio into a video over the past two years has been a “blessing”.

“It’s more powerful and it’s going to affect a lot more people,” she said.

Turner said video gives extension agents options when conducting workshops in person and online.

“They can view the video and set up their own workshop in person, or use the entire video as it was created. They can also choose sections to show, which is a really cool way to use video,” Turner said. “It adds a level of flexibility, and that’s very useful these days. With health issues in mind, we really never know if we’re going to be working in person or online or in a hybrid situation.

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