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Brittany Cole, right, image consultant and owner of STYLEbyBritt, helps models match their apparel on Monday for this weekend's The Next Door Chattanooga fashion show. From left are models, Dominique Williams, Sarah Lane, Ruth Hickman and Cole.

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For more information, to donate clothes, to donate money, or to register for the luncheon go to http://www.stylebybritt.com

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Brittany Cole, left, image consultant and owner of STYLEbyBritt, assists model's Judy Tankersley, center, and Nikki Nicholson with their apparel for this weekend's The Next Door Chattanooga fashion show.
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Miranda Chubb, a case manager with The Next Door, speaks to a client who is being released about developing an after care plan while at the local nonprofit on Wednesday, September 16, 2015. The local nonprofit works to reintroduce incarcerated women into society.

Women come to The Next Door Chattanooga after being incarcerated, sometimes with only the clothes on their backs.

They wear traditional blue denim jumpsuits daily in prison, but at The Next Door they have an opportunity to work, and they need clothes for job interviews.

To help provide business attire, local image consultant Brittany Cole will join with other business women here to host a fashion show and panel discussion about supporting women at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Bluewater Grille on Broad Street.

"There is a lot The Next Door does to make sure that when the women are released they are able to have a smoother transition," said Cole, owner of Style by Britt.

The event, called Women of Style and Substance, will benefit The Next Door Chattanooga with clothes and financial contributions.

White House Black Market is donating clothes to The Next Door.

The event will include a clothing swap for those who bring clothes to donate, and women may register online to attend.

Donna Christian Lowe, chief operations officer of Main Street Innovations, will moderate a panel discussion about women in business supporting each other. And Cole gave several talks at The Next Door to women about the importance of confidence and being aware of how they present themselves to potential employers.

Summer Colbert, coordinator for volunteer partnership, said the community's efforts to help the women at The Next Door are needed.

"You have to understand that our women are incarcerated when they come to us; so many of them come to us with nothing. And while they're here with us, they have opportunity to wear everyday clothing, something many of them have not been able to do in years," she said.

The Next Door has a clothing closet where women can select clothes once a month, but Cole said some women have trouble finding clothes that they like. The donated clothes may be older styles to some younger women. Also, larger sizes are needed, Cole said.

The Next Door Chattanooga, a faith-based nonprofit organization, has served more than 450 women since opening in 2011. The women are still considered prison inmates awaiting their release date. Most have a history of trauma, emotional, physical and/or sexual abuse, mental health disorders, generational poverty and criminal histories and substance abuse disorders, according to Next Door publication.

"It's all about equipping them to be healthy, successful and reduce the recidivism rate for the state of Tennessee," Colbert said.

Contact staff writer Yolanda Putman at yputman@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6431.

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