NEW YORK — Men's Wearhouse will kick off its second annual national suit drive on Sept. 1.

The drive, which will last until Sept. 30, is designed to help unemployed men by providing them with the necessary professional outfits for job interviews.

The Houston-based men's retailer will work with over 200 non-profit agencies across 44 states to collect thousands of suits, sport coats, dress shirts, dress pants, ties, belts and shoes at its Men's Wearhouse and MW Tux locations.

In addition, Men's Wearhouse will donate one tie for every suit that is brought into its stores, the company said.

"It became apparent many years ago that there was a long-standing need to help men who are striving for self-sufficiency," said George Zimmer, chairman and chief executive officer of Men's Wearhouse. "We started a Merchandise Donation Program to provide professional clothing to nonprofit organizations serving these men. However, our program could not meet the demand, so we implemented the National Suit Drive to assist us in our efforts to help less fortunate men by giving them a renewed sense of dignity and respect.

Last year, 125,000 items were donated over a two-month period. This year, the company has set a goal of 150,000 pieces.

The inaugural suit drive garnered 125,000 professional items over a two-month period. This year, the company has set a goal of 150,000 items despite the economic downturn and its shortened duration this year.

"The suit may not necessarily make the man, but if you talk to one of the thousands of men who received a suit last year from our inaugural suit drive, they'll say it definitely made a difference in their confidence," said Zimmer.

"We are very excited to again work together with Men's Wearhouse on the National Suit Drive campaign," said Jerri Rosen, chief executive of Working Wardrobes in Orange County, Calif., one of the non-profit organizations working with the company. "Proper professional attire really makes a difference in our client's life. With these donations, men will have the opportunity to walk into an interview with confidence — an essential step toward economic stability."

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