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
Local

NYPD looking for man they say assaulted elderly…

      The New York City Police Department is asking for the public's assistance in locating a Hispanic male 20's wanted in connection with…

Local

Three arrested after allegedly assaulting off-duty officer in…

Three men were arrested early Saturday morning after allegedly assaulting an off-duty officer at a Bronx bodega, and the NYPD is asking for the public's…

Local

Healthcare union creates vibrant West Indian Day Parade…

Volunteers worked almost around the clock through the weekend, putting the flashy finishing touches on hundreds of costume pieces 1199SEIU members will wear while marching…

National

Top 10 most hipster college campuses

Hipsters are everywhere these days. You can't walk down the anywhere anymore without seeing a pair of skinny jeans on a handlebar mustachioed 20-something, a…

Arts

Theater: Discouraging 'Poor Behavior'

Theresa Rebeck's latest off-Broadway play, about two couples sparring on a weekend getaway, repeats a few mistakes of her past.

Gossip

Chef Todd English arrested for DWI in the…

Celebrity chef Todd English is facing DWI charges after a traffic stop on Sunday.

Movies

Box office: 'Guardians of the Galaxy' is 2014's…

This weekend "The Guardians of the Galaxy" passed the fourth "Transformers" movie to become the highest grossing film of 2014.

Gossip

Spears back with controversial ex?

Is Briteny Spears back with Adnan Ghalib?

Sports

Novak Djokovic feeds off US Open crowd to…

Novak Djokovic isn't a native New Yorker, but he sure knows how to use the U.S. Open crowd to his advantage.

NFL

Odell Beckham still 'weeks away,' Tom Coughlin angry…

Giants head coach Tom Coughlin has fought a losing battle against the media all preseason over the status of wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

Education

These college students think breakfast is the most…

  It should be no surprise that the city that never sleeps is also home to the most students who like to order food in…

Sex

When it comes to dating, height matters

Does a man’s height really matter when it comes to dating? Unfortunately - according to a new study - the answer looks like it’s yes.…

Travel

10 free apps to make traveling easier

Finding the nearest bathroom, calculating currency exchanges and locating your departure gate must have been difficult for travelers of previous generations. But we wouldn't know,…

Travel

How to get a seat upgrade to business…

It used to be much easier to upgrade your coach seat to business or even first class, but rigid rules and tighter schedules have made…