By Serena Sajan, February 28 2020 —
It is not a secret that most university students cannot afford expensive business formal wear that they need for professional events like networking, or for interviews. Especially with increased tuition, it has become even more important to provide as many resources as possible to help students with their expenses. Therefore, when students have the choice to spend money on a good suit or to pay rent or buy groceries, undoubtedly money will go towards meeting necessities and not shopping for business clothes.
Here is where one University of Calgary student club, Suit-Up, comes in. Suit Up provides all university students with affordable, new or gently used business suits that help allow them to dress professionally during interviews and networking events.
Monica Uppal, the founder of the club, was inspired by her mother always saying that if you have clothes you no longer wear, give it away to others that need it more. Using this philosophy, Monica established Suit-Up as a student club in 2016.
Monica expressed, “This club is not just meant for business students, but for all students from every faculty because everyone will apply to a job eventually and give an interview, so they will need business formal clothing to nail that first impression.”
The club’s first event was a “Suits U” professional apparel drive in MacHall. Suit Up gained support from well-known corporations that provided new or dry-cleaned business suits, including blazers, dress pants and ties that were donated by its employees. These items were then sold to students at a bargain price. For example, the average blazer was sold for less than $45 for both men and women and ties started at $2. The items not sold were donated to homeless shelters.
“The suit drive was eye-opening and affirmative. One student told us that they had been using their suit from high school graduation since they could not afford another one, so I was happy that they found fitted suits through us,” Monica said.
Suit Up’s other events consist of Meet N’ Greets, LinkedIn information sessions and collaborations with other U of C clubs. Recently, Suit Up partnered with the student club, World Vision UCalgary to spread awareness about fast fashion and sustainability. Monica hopes that through partnering with other clubs, Suit Up will be able to gain recognition and support to broaden its reach to students in order to help them find affordable business wear.
Suit Up is always looking for new members and is recruiting to fill its executive positions for the 2020–21 academic term. For more information on how to get involved, contact email@example.com or follow them on Instagram @suitupucalgary.