It’s everywhere on the runways and grey is always in style when it comes to the courtroom. BDMOTP photographed and interviewed three future Best Dressed Lawyers On The Planet: students from the prestigious Loyola University Law School in Chicago. The suits and ties all come from a store that’s helpful to law students and other budget conscious dapper dressers: Cosmo’s Designer Direct near Chicago in Villa Park, Illinois.

Meet Conor, Fredrick and Michael, three Loyola Law students willing to suit up.

Meet Conor, Michael, and Fredrick, three Loyola Law students willing to suit up.

Cosmo’s Bettina Gallo created looks that work for men of various builds. For taller, leaner guys, Gallo says a vested suit can be a sharp look; shorter and stockier men are smart to avoid most vests and double breasted suits; while a single-breasted, pinstriped suit will look more flattering.

TIE TIPS: think about choosing a wool tie with a tartan print to go with a suit that has a thicker weave. Jewel-toned silks always work well: Amethyst, Emerald or Garnet ties look great with grey. For a livelier look – think about a bright tie with light blue, yellow or white accent colors.

Our legal eagles were photographed at the Loyola University Chicago Law Center, just a few blocks away from some of the world’s best shopping on Michigan Avenue.

Thank you to Loyola University’s Elisabeth Brookover and her team and Bettina Gallo from Cosmo’s Designer Direct.

Desmond is a first-year law student in the Public Policy program and an extern in the Lt. Governor’s office. Conor’s planning a career in politics and hopes to be governor of Illinois some day.

Conor Desmond is a first-year law student in the Public Policy program and an extern in the Lt. Governor’s office. Conor’s planning a career in politics and hopes to be governor of Illinois some day.

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Conor currently owns three suits including a charcoal gray one. He likes to incorporate something personal into his look. “I regularly wear a Loyola, Illinois or other tie that is connected to what I am working on at the time. When I used to work on environmental issues, I would wear a green tie. Conor nearly always wears a pin on his suit jacket: either his grandfather’s US Air Force Pin, an American Flag or a pin from his fraternity. “I want to feel connected to what I am wearing,” he said.

MichaelTien

Michael Tien is a third- year law student from Lansing, Michigan, concentrating on Employment & Labor Law; Litigation & Dispute Resolution. “My ultimate career goal is to end up in a position where I can use my legal skills to advocate on behalf of a person or group,” He said. “And most importantly, love what I do every day.”

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Michael owns six suits and takes his fashion cues from blogs like BDMOTP. He says that lawyers always have to dress-to-impress. A lawyer should generally dress in a conservative, sophisticated, and professional manner, but still find a way to insert their personality into their wardrobe, like the color or pattern of a tie,”Michael said. “Even the smallest details and accessories of the wardrobe are important, like cufflinks or a tiepin.”

Frederick Joseph III is a third-year law student originally from Cuba, NY. Before heading to Loyola to become a litigator, --- studied music in Boston and worked as an opera singer.

Frederick Joseph III is a third-year law student originally from Cuba, NY. Before heading to Loyola to become a litigator, he studied music in Boston and worked as an opera singer.

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Frederick owns seven suits and has been a subscriber to GQ since he was 15 years old. He generally is wearing a suit in class because he often comes straight from his job at the high-powered law firm of Schiff Hardin LLP, where he’s learned a lot about looking like a lawyer. “I think a “power” look comes from the details,” Frederick said. “A perfectly fitted suit, crisp white shirt, understated pattern on the tie. Colored socks and a beautiful pair of bench-made shoes. Can’t go wrong there.”

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Posted by Steve Oldfield.

Nick Roy has been a successful magician for years. Now he’s creating some real magic – helping men of all shapes and sizes look their best in custom-made garments that won’t break the budget with the Gentleman’s Cooperative. He’s selling them in a “clubby” atmosphere – John Allan’s (111West Jackson Blvd. South Loop, Chicago), a penthouse spa in Chicago where men can get a haircut, massage and manicure and then a shoe shine, a game of pool and a beer. Nick was recently seen on the latest season of “The Bachelorette.” While he didn’t get a rose that first night, his business is blooming.

Here’s a Q&A with Nick Roy about his concept and his (brief) time on the Bachelorette.

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 1. This may seem obvious, but what are some advantages to getting a custom-made suit?

There are several advantages to going the custom route. I would say the #1 reason guys go custom is for the proper fit. The obvious candidates for custom are the gentleman who are big, tall, short, or skinny, but there are plenty of guys in between. When most men say they are a “perfect fit” off the rack, there are usually a number of alterations that can be done to make it an even better fit that they just aren’t unaware of. If you are willing to spend at least $795 on a suit, there’s no reason to go to shop off the rack, and that’s not a sales pitch, it’s a fact. You can get a much better fit and a higher quality fabric by going custom, so long as you have the 4-6 weeks to wait for the turnaround time. Once you get your perfect fit down, reordering is such a breeze since our tailors keep your pattern on file. The other reason men go custom is for the customization options. Choices on pocket styles, pic stitching, contrasting thread, linings, and even a monogram, are non-existent in the off-the-rack world. Men also take more pride in their garments when they’ve had the luxury to design their own, since it has been made entirely for them.

2.What are some sizes and body types that particularly benefit from the service?

Tall guys have a hard time finding clothes to fit their arms, and pants that are not high-waters. Big guys have a hard time finding clothes that actually fit them and don’t make them look even bigger than they actually are. Most larger men have been told their whole life they can’t wear flat front pants because they need the added room from the pleats…not true in the custom world. Short guys have a really hard time finding a range of fabrics since the selections are very slim off the rack. Guys who work out a lot and have a big upper body but a slim waist have a very difficult time finding separates, and by the time the alter the pants that go with a jacket they’ve bought, their side pocket are almost in line with where their back pockets should be…not a good look. Another problem athletic men, and slim men have is finding shirts that don’t make them look like a kite billowing in the wind. Shirts here in America are made for overweight people generally, so a proper fit can really be a nightmare to find.

3. What inspired you to get into this line of work?

I have always been in sales, and always had a eye for fashion, so when Tom James had asked me to interview out of college, I checked it out. What I love about my job is that no day or client is the same, and you get to meet so many different walks of life. I’m definitely a people person, and everyday I get to outfit some of the most interesting people you could imagine. I also love the fact that at the end of the day, it’s just clothes. If your Northwestern Mutual guys screws up your account, it’s a lot more serious than me just having to let out a side seam. I’m a really easy-going down-to-earth kind of person, and this line of work fits perfectly with my personality.

4. Tell us about your space?

Our shop is located in the penthouse suite at 111 W Jackson in Chicago. We have partnered with a high-end men’s hair salon, so in addition to all of our custom outfitting, men can get a haircut, shoe shine, manicure, or even play a game of pool, relax in the lounge, or smoke a cigar on our rooftop patio. The space is really special.

5. What kind of experience are you trying to create?

Whenever I meet with a guy, it’s completely different than walking into a Nordstrom’s. I take the time to understand what each person does for work, who they see, and what image they try and portray, because as we all know, we only get 7 seconds to make our first impression. Going the extra mile is what distinguishes Gentleman’s Cooperative from our competition. Most retail stores don’t give men a reason to be loyal. We have created an environment where you will never have to worry about a pushy or incompetent salesperson. It’s a place where you feel at ease, and more like a member than a customer. Through our model of reciprocity, men quickly understand that it’s not just about the clothes with us…it’s about the lifestyle. After being in the industry for several years, it’s astonishing how much of a markup people will charge their customers. Granted those people will just say “it’s business”, but our philosophy is to give our guys a high-quality product we can stand beside and the epitome of customer-service, in exchange for their loyalty.

6. What did you learn about men’s fashion from your time on the Bachelorette?

Ah, the bachelorette. Well honestly I didn’t really learn anything about fashion from that experience, except that I had the best suit out of all the guys…which should be expected. I legally can’t speak to most of the behind the scenes stuff, let’s just say reality tv is not what you expect, as I’m sure most people are well aware of.

7. How does your own sense of style inform your work?

As in any field, it’s crucial to know your craft. I’ve never been one to follow fashion blogs, and stay on top of what’s trendy, but over the years I’ve read many publications on the do’s and don’ts of timeless fashion. I am definitely an outside the box thinker and have an intuition for what works. I would classify my sense of style as bold and timeless, because as we all know, fashion fades and style is forever. I love bright colors and loud patterns, which I would attribute to my personality, but my fashion sense has been more innate. A crucial rule for how I coordinate outfits is: Major Minor. What I mean by that is the minor color of a shirt should be the major color of a tie. The major color of a shirt could also be the minor color of the pinstripe in a suit. The major color of a pocket square could be a minor color of your shirt and tie. When your coordinate outfits according to this rule, things pop, they work together, and really turn an outfit into a wow-fit.

8. What’s your advice to clients on becoming one of the BestDressedMenOnThePlanet?

One rule I live by, is to be the best dressed man in the room by 10%. I’m very humble and not loud our boisterous, but you will certainly turn heads in a Gentleman Approved way if you shoot for dressing 10% better than your peers.

 

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Prices:
Ties: $75+
Shirts: $99+
Pants: $249+
Shoes: $400+
Sport Coat: $625+
Suits $795+

Interview by Steve Oldfield

A Seasoned Nail Technician Talks The Trade & Offers Some Tips

He’s one of the toughest guys in Chicago but even former Chicago Bear Brian Urlacher has been known to get a manicure – it comes with the territory when you’re pitching products on television, print or online. He definitely puts the MAN in manicure – and he’s not alone.

Brian Urlacher Chicago Bulls

Yes-this tough guy gets manicures!

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More men of all ages and backgrounds are paying someone to keep their hands looking good, according to Martine Fung-Cap, Nail Department Director at Studio 110 Salon in Chicago’s Gold Coast area.

Studio 110 salon Chicago

“I’ve had everyone from a construction worker to a retiree.”  Not to mention music moguls and business executives of all ages.  About 20-25 percent of her clients are men and the price is the same whether you’re a Joe or a Jane:  $23. Pedicures go for $45.  Martine says those are more popular in the summer when flip flops are likely to expose problems that can turn-off a date.

The self-confessed former nail-biter says she never intended for manicures to become her mission.  Martine worked as an office-manager before trading in her desk for a station at the salon.

“Every day is different,” she says. “I love it!“ Quite a few clients are referred by wives and girlfriends who want to hold a more tailored hand to go along with that Patek Philippe watch and Zegna suit.  Martine has plenty of regulars but she also meets traveling businessmen from around the world who are staying at the neighboring Four Seasons Hotel.

“I love the interaction with people,” she says.

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Martine sees regulars about every two weeks; some also opt for a pedicure once a month. Many clients schedule their manicure to coincide with monthly haircuts, hopping from the stylist’s chair to the nail technician’s in a visit that can last an hour-and-a-half.

“We also offer express service for people who just want a touch up instead of the full-treatment,” she says. The half-hour express service is $30 for a pedicure and a combo manicure/pedicure express is $45.  While a standard tip is 20-25%, Martine has also had clients tip her as much as 100% of the bill.

“I’ve found many clients don’t mind spending money if they feel it’s money well spent,” she says.

Right from the beginning, you know this is NOT your Grandma’s manicure – or the one you used to see in those Palmolive commercials if you’re over 40. You don’t start by plopping your paws into a bowl of soapy water – or “bath” as it’s called in the biz.

Martine sanitizes your hands and then she sprays them with a conditioner.  For men with tough cuticles, she’ll also wrap your hands in a warm, moist towel before going to work, using a brand new nail file for every client.

“That costs us a little more, but we want to make everything as sanitary as possible,” she says.  Martine always wears gloves during pedicures.  She says you should also make sure you’re going to a “Certified Nail Technician,” who has an active license with city or state.  While many customers find a technician by word-of-mouth, she also recommends checking websites like ‘Yelp!” for reviews.  Martine says once you arrive at the salon the first time, take a quick look around and make sure the place is spotless BEFORE you sit down and surrender your hands. “You just can’t be too careful when it comes to being clean and sanitary,” she says.

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KNOW THE LINGO: Martine will ask you if you want “a free edge” (showing a little of the white part of the nail) or only pink.  And just like when you get your shoes polished, you have a choice of a “buff” or “shine,” finish to the nail.  Some men may opt for a coat of clear polish. You can even get a polish designed just for guys, “Matte for Men,” that dries quickly without any trace of a shine.  While many men want a manicure that isn’t obvious, some clients are happy to show off their lacquered nails.

“It’s just a matter of preference,” Martine says, adding that even the most masculine clients have nails as shiny as the finish on their sports cars.

Martine prides herself on getting all of her first-time clients to settle down and enjoy the experience.  For the nervous ones, she often completely finishes one hand before starting on the other.

“That way, they can see that this girl knows what she’s doing,” she says. “Then they settle down and it’s fun.”

Image Credist:  Brian Urlacher Photo: Watercoolersports.com, Salon Exterior: Giltcity.com

Posted By: Steve Oldfield

 

For some men, fashion is a way of life. They eagerly wait for the newest issue of GQ or take notes during Fashion Week to keep up with what the season’s hottest looks are. They, like many of their female counterparts, view shopping as a social activity and fun way to spend a Saturday afternoon. But, for many dare I say most men, this is not the chase. The chaos of daily life impedes the ability to focus on fashion and leaves them struggling to find the balance. They dread the idea of spending more than 5 minutes at the department store or have no idea where to begin when it comes to looking good. Now, however, there is a new company that is hoping to help solve this problem. Enter — Trunk Club!

Trunk Club HQ2

Photo Credit: Trunk Club Website

Based out of Chicago, IL this growing company is the newest trend to hit the fashion scene. Designed for the fashion conscious man who simply does not have enough time, Trunk Club pairs each client one-on-one with a specialized stylist who will do all the work for you. You can either set up a consultation in their beautiful, open-air loft space in River North, or are able to speak with a stylist online or via email if you reside in another part of the country. After a quick understanding of your measurements and lifestyle, you are shown a variety of items. The inventory covers everything from dress shirts and ties, sport coats, weekend wear and basic accessories and comes from over 50 high-end brands such at Eton, Jack Spade and Gant. Since many of their customers are not located in Chicago, a majority of their business works by sending their customers customized trunks full of 10 or 15 hand selected items in order to try on the clothes in the privacy and comfort of their own homes. Service and shipping are free, so items are easily shipped back at no additional cost and you simply pay for the articles of clothing you wish you keep.

inside trunk

Photo Credit: Trunk Club Pinterest Page

So if you’re looking to freshen up your wardrobe this season or simply invest in a few basic staple items, visit the Trunk Club Website to learn more and sign up!

Posted By: Rachel M.G.

Chicago might not be associated with high fashion like New York or Los Angeles, but look no further than the city’s incredible, Magnificent Mile if you want to dress like the best of the fashion elite. This 13-block stretch of North Michigan Avenue is the ultimate Chicago experience and home to some of the best restaurants, luxury accommodations and best shopping the city has to offer. The area begins near the famous Chicago Water Tower one of the only buildings that survived the Great Fire of 1871 at the edge of Oak Street and extends south until the banks of the Chicago River. Over time, the area has expanded and now includes a full square mile from North Michigan Avenue. When you are looking for a place to pick up a few items or revamp your entire wardrobe, no need to look further for the best trendy boutiques, premier retailers and upscale department stores in the city.

With over 450 individual retail stores, it can be hard to narrow it down to the best. Besides the big department stores and brand names (Neiman Marcus, Brooks Brothers, Hugo Boss), here are a few top selections to get you started as you window shop your way down North Michigan Avenue.

George Green

49 E. Oak Street (between Michigan Ave & Rush St)

Tel: (312) 654-2490

George Greene Website

Enter this shop and feel as though you’re walking into a world of luxury. Sales representatives are attentive and helpful, eager to guide you to the latest fashions by Luciano Barbera, Band of Outsiders or Yohji Yamamoto. If you are looking for a more personalized touch, visit their in-house tailor who will happily fit your new Kiton suit to perfection. Unless you have the option to travel to Italy or Paris, stop by this family business and pick up all the same fashions right in the heart of the Magnificent Mile.

Magnificent Mile

Photo Credit: www.styleforum.net

Topman

830 N Michigan Ave
(between Pearson St & Chestnut St)

(312) 280-6834

Topman Website

This famed British fashion retailer recently debuted their flagship Chicago location right in the heart of the Magnificent Mile. With European styling and fashion-forward pieces on a budget, this open floor plan covers three floors, the top of which is dedicated to men. So if you’re looking to make a statement with a pair of fresh kicks, some wayferers or a graphic printed t-shirt, check out the ever-changing and ever-trendy collection at Topman.

Magnificent Mile

Photo: www.yelp.com

haberdash

607 N State St (at Ohio)

(312) 440-1300

haberdash website

This Chicago hidden-gem is a blend of classic cool style with a modern twist. The store itself was founded by Adam Beltzman a former lawyer who felt that the traditional men’s store of yesteryear was missing from the retail landscape of the city. Offering a one-stop shop for men, their two locations throughout the city offer excellent service in a comfortable and inviting atmosphere. Carrying brands from Aesop to Wolverine, this outfitter has everything to dress you with style from head to toe.

Magnificent Mile

Photo credit: www.refinery29.com

Posted By: Rachel M.G

Many websites have the objective of helping men improve their style. Consequently, much of what you will find here is available in other places and in other forms. What we hope to do is to synthesize, package and deliver this information in the most efficient and helpful manner to men around the world. The basic premise is to inform, educate, and entertain men (and women). Ultimately to help men identify and embrace their personal style.

Cities Posts

Our staff covers everything men’s style in more than 30 fashion markets on 6 continents.

How To

We offer tips and step-by-step guides on style and grooming. Also an evolving glossary of style related terms that every man should know.

My Style

In an effort to foster a robust community and bilateral communication the My St…… We hope that you are comfortable and confident enough to share your philosophy…… Be on the look out for our contest…..

Total Package

Once you are informed and educated and presenting your best self, we offer insights and encouragement on gentlemanly behavior in a myriad of situations. We call this our ‘Hitch” page and we are playing the Will Smith role.

Products

Here we review a curated host of designers and products. We share our unabashed opinion as opposed to just passing on advertisements and press releases.

There are also on-going features that span our demographic.

Intrepid Executive – for guys that have been around the block(or the world for that matter) and attained a certain status. They have a few extra bucks to spend.

Thrift Etiquette – for guys that are just starting out and are frugal by choice or necessity.