bo kim style profile
exclusive unpublished interview with bo kim by elaine shen
How would you describe your style?
In one sentence, I think I generally operate on a higher baseline level of formality than most others. I know people who never wear any shirt with a collar unless they have to 'dress up,' and for me an oxford or something is probably a lot more normal.
I think my style is pretty boring—if I were a little more pretentious I might go for 'classic' as a descriptor, mainly because I don't think I have a great eye for really groundbreaking combinations of colors or patterns. As a result, I own and wear relatively conservative, tried-and-true combinations. I own a lot of blues. I wish I could buy more of my shirts from J. Crew.
What or who are your fashion inspirations?
I'm probably most inspired by 'normal' people my age that I know. As much as I admire fashion icons, I really appreciate it when someone I know puts together a killer outfit because it's great to see your friends looking sharp.
Also, seeing nice dress shoes inspires me to work harder in school so that I can get a good job and make enough money to afford them later on in life.
This is basically my way of saying that I don't know enough about fashion to have a real answer to this question.
Where do you like to shop?
I think probably 95% of my closet is from Gap, Uniqlo, J. Crew, or Korea.
What are your favorite trends?
I like the positive correlation between age and sweaters. I really like sweaters, so the fact that you seem to wear more of them as you get older really gives me something to look forward to.
Now for a real answer: I used to be fundamentally opposed to joggers until I tried them. I understand the appeal now, even though I'm still not super sure about the trend's longevity.
What is your go to outfit/item?
I have this J.Crew navy and magenta striped knit tie that I wear to like 80% of all business casual events I ever attend. I think some of my friends have called me out for wearing it so often. It's a great way to make an otherwise boring business casual outfit a lot more interesting without having to commit to the stuffiness of a 'normal' tie.
Tangentially related story: I have these dinosaur socks that I've grown pretty fond of. I was in LA visiting family and thought I had lost these socks in a hotel in San Francisco. I was pretty distressed so we called the hotel to see if they had found anything in our room. The employee was really helpful but a little weirded out when she learned that it was a 19-year-old who had lost his precious dinosaur socks and not some small child. It turned out they were under my bag the whole time, but since then I've made sure to keep good track of my dinosaur socks.
I also like blazers a lot, and I'm trying to make casual blazers more of a thing in my life.
I have an identical twin brother at UPenn who is way more into fashion than I am. I can tell he's really getting into menswear because he talks a lot about these brands that produce tons of black and white clothing at prices I'm not sure either of us can afford even if we pooled all our money together. He's also started wearing a ton of black all the time. I think if I tried that in Houston outside of December I would probably dissolve into a pool of sweat.