First off, what will they need to get started. Both young men and women will need basic blazers in either navy, black or brown. Shirts don't have to be colorful some basic white button down shirts. Young women can either get skirts, pants or pantsuits. Young men can get the basic black dress slacks and khaki's. Shoes don't need to be fancy but definitely no open toed. Personally I prefer flats and the program I was in wanted heels. I tried it one time. I wore two inch heels and had a rolling back pack filled with fifty pounds of medical books (well maybe not fifty pounds it just felt like it). My classes were on the third floor and the only way to get there was to go up three flights of ramps. I felt like I was going to fall over. I told the director I don't care if you dock me for this I'm not wearing heels. My motto whatever looks good and feels good is the best way to go. You want to be relaxed not more self-conscious then your already going to be.
Finding the clothes they are going to need, I would start by checking the goodwill and thrift stores. Start by going to goodwill and thrift stores in the better part of town. A lot of nice things that may have not been worn or only worn once end up at goodwill. I'm talking designer clothes at a fraction of the cost. When your shopping this way look for holes, stains and tears that can be easily repaired. Otherwise pass on the items. These stores will also have discount days. Goodwill has 1/2 sales on holidays and some thrift shops discount at the end of the month. So check them out.
Consignment shops are another area to hit for clothes. They only take clothes that are in good condition.
You can also take their old clothes in and get store credit and get what you need. But be warned these stores are very picky about what they take. It has to still be in season.
E-bay is another area to get clothes. You have to be careful about sizing. You can get a large lot of clothes at a fraction of the cost. But be careful what you get. Yard sales are another place to check for clothes. But again check for stains, tears and missing buttons.
Big box stores like Wal-Mart, Target, Sears etc. have clearance racks check these often. Look online for discount codes. Kohl's occasionally sends out a $10 gift card in the mail go check the racks. Go online and look for codes for your favorite stores. Target has that wonderful little promo every week where you buy such and such item and get a $5 gift card. You can save them then go shopping the clearance racks.
Another place you can check is the clothing banks. Some college career centers have clothing banks where you can get one suit for free. I got a lovely navy blue barely worn bolero jacket and pants. So give it a try. Hope this helps save some money on college.
Ma call friskies I'm ready to go to work
Stickem up and Dress for Success