Finding a work wardrobe that actually works

Boston-based personal stylist SooJin K. Chu

SooJin K. Chu is the founder of Swagger & Glide (www.swaggerandglide.com), a Boston-based personal shopper/fashion consultant company. Chu specializes in customizing wardrobes to specific professional environments while incorporating personal taste.

What’s the first thing you address when working on a client’s professional wardrobe?

Most people don’t realize that the way your clothes fit is a huge part of how you’re perceived by others. If the shoulders of your suit are ridiculously big, you’re giving the impression that you don’t belong in it — like you borrowed your dad’s suit. So I work a lot with my clients on making sure the clothes you have on really do fit you and your body type.

How do you balance feeling like yourself and fitting into a business environment?

Sometimes people want to hold on to how they dress as their own creative outlet. And I encourage that in small doses: a fun tie, suspenders instead of a belt or an unusual pair of socks. But, especially with first impressions, nobody ever says, “This person looks too professional for this setting.”

Is there a purpose to dressing for work, beyond just getting the job and looking professional?

Oh yes. For starters, if you make yourself stand out in a work environment that creates a subconscious reaction in others: You feel less approachable to them. At the same time, you don’t want to feel like you’ve lost your personality. You want to let yourself think outside of the box. It’s a constant balance.

What to buy

Personal stylist SooJin K. Chu recommends the following for a professional wardrobe starter closet:
   
Men: Total budget: $3,000, including one amazing suit ($600-$800), a pair of terrific shoes, eight dress pants and a lot of really good shirts
   
Women: Total budget: $2,500, including six dress pants, three to four skirts, three jackets and “a whole mess of blouses.”


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

National

Chelsea Clinton pregnant with first child

Chelsea Clinton is pregnant with her first child.

National

Divers struggle in search for South Korean ferry…

By Jungmin Jang and Narae KimMOKPO/JINDO, South Korea (Reuters) - Rescuers struggled with strong waves and murky waters on Thursday as they searched for hundreds…

National

New Hampshire moves to decriminalize adultery

For the first time in hundreds of years, it's about to be legal to cheat on your spouse in New Hampshire.

Television

Dick Wolf to bring fictionalized world of 'Law…

A&E has ordered a pilot called "D.O.A." from "Law and Order" mastermind Dick Wolf that will focus on real detectives reexamining cold cases. A trio…

Movies

Review: 'Transcendence' is not stupid but sometimes lacks…

The cyberthriller "Transcendence" explores artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and other ethical quandaries, but has too much ambition, if anything.

Television

Shane West talks WGN America's 'Salem'

The actor on history lessons, a new network and showing his butt.

Movies

Review: 'Fading Gigolo' finds few jokes in women…

John Turturro writes, directs and stars in "Fading Gigolo," in which he plays a prostitute whose pimp is Woody Allen. And there's still very few jokes.

NBA

Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

NFL

Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…

NHL

Rangers' speed versus Flyers' size makes interesting playoff…

Among the myriad aspects that will make this Metropolitan Division semifinal series fascinating will be the battle between the Rangers' speed and the Flyers' size,…

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.

Travel

Earth Day travel in the Florida Keys

See why this eco-friendly destination deserves your attention.

Tech

Sorry, Facebook — FarmVille goes mobile with 'Country…

Zynga has released a version of the hit "FarmVille" tailored for smartphones and tablets in the hope of reaping a bumper crop of players.