From its inception Suited & Booted has helped vulnerable unemployed men get work by providing them with a suit and other appropriate clothing for their job interview. These have frequently been donated by City executives. We are sometimes asked by referring agencies if we can provide additional clothing when a client starts his job. These requests have usually been for another suit or more shirts. However, we are increasingly being asked to help with other workwear, in particular safety boots/shoes. Some clients ask if we can provide them with chef's whites or other clothing that we don’t hold.
To meet this need, we have to buy in safety boots or other necessary workwear for the client to be able to do his new job from day one. It is not uncommon that they have almost nothing to live on, let alone any money to buy shoes or clothing, until they get their first pay packet. On average the cost may be around £50. We ensure that there will be no delay in the client starting his job, that he will be safely and appropriately equipped to do it, and that he will not feel disadvantaged compared with his co-workers.
Suited & Booted is the only charity in London dedicated to providing vulnerable men with clothing and accessories for their job interview and work. Dr Maria Lenn, who founded the charity in 2012, is still CEO and was awarded an MBE in this year's New Year Honours for her work. Maria is assisted by a talented team of volunteer professionals, who include a BAFTA nominee, a former Savile Row tailor and a fashion college lecturer. Suited & Booted helped around 800 clients in its first year and by 2019/20 that had risen to over 1,500.