UNIFORM: Work From Home

When you work from home, you sometimes have to come up with elaborate ways to actually trick yourself into, you know, working. (Yo freelancers, you feel me?) One of mine is actually getting dressed. In the words of the wise scribe Blake Royer, "If you don't have pants on by 9 a.m., you're finished."

I can drink to that, Blake. It might be a throwback to the days of my high school dress code, but I do better work when I'm dressed for it. (Mention that you're a freelancer, and be prepared to hear how jealous people are that you get to work in bed wearing your underwear. That can work for some folks. But not me; I'll just end up power-eating dry pasta [think I'm kidding?] and marathoning FIFA's career mode all morning.)

That's why I put on clothes. And sometimes a tie—when I really need to make it rain.

So, when Jeff sent me his favorite one-word text ("Photoshoot?"), I was able to grudgingly hop on my bike and head straight to Logan Square to meet up with him and John.

A quick word about the tie: It's a stunner. I nabbed it from Lands' End Canvas on sale (you can, too), and I've been wearing it almost non-stop. I'd been looking for a bright tie, but what really made me notice it was the dual pattern on the narrow end. A subtle but fun detail. The only downside is that it wrinkles easily because it's cotton—but that's nothing a quick steam can't fix. Oh, and here's a bonus: It's made in America.

The shirt: I kept hearing about Modern Tailor (and other online made-to-measure clothing companies), but I was a little skeptical. Places like Reddit and StyleForum originally seemed to share my uncertainty about whether this was a good buy, but recently people have been more positive about the results. When I saw that first-time customers can customize a trial shirt (white, blue or black) for just under $20, I figured I'd take the plunge. 

I knew the blue would last longer than the white, so I took measurements from a few my best-fitting shirts. It ended up being a hybrid: the sleeves and shoulders of one, the torso of another, the tail from a third. My total came to $30, because I opted for a couple of upgrades, including mother-of-pearl buttons. I also went with the spread collar and notched cuff.

My only complaint is that the arm holes are a little high. They're snug in my pits, but that's because of the way I measured, and I can tweak it on the next one if I decide to go this route again. Otherwise, perfection. So far (after probably a dozen wears), the construction seems to be holding up—and slipping on a shirt that's made for your body creates an inexplicable feeling of invincibility. Of course, the price gets steeper (starting around $50 and going up from there except for the occasional sale), but I imagine I'll be going back.

On Seth: Spread-collar dress shirt ($30, promo) by Modern Tailor; cotton tie (sale $35, reg. $50) by Lands' End Canvas; "Kane" trousers in Aged Greystone courtesy of J Brand; self-made natural leather belt with help from Cause & Effect; woven and stitched loafers ($6, thrifted) by Giorgio Brutini; red tote (sale $40, reg. $150) by Filson; "Weekender" watch with olive strap ($29, Amazon) by Timex.

Photos by John Stoffer.


ESSENTIALS: The denim jacket

You loved your denim jacket in elementary school.
Perhaps even in that grungy '90s phase you went through (because you had an older brother who lived in the basement constantly blasting Nirvana and claiming to be misunderstood for wearing a ball-chain necklace and JNCOs.) 

Ok, maybe your older brother wasn't the sartorially suave guy you thought he was in hindsight.

Regardless, he wore a denim jacket. As did all of your other favorite (read: terribly awesome) '90s stars as well as the badasses from years ago. It's a classic and worth your wardrobe investment.

Rekindle with your beloved hand-me-down again—or throw down the dough for a classic that lasts. Denim jackets are making the rounds again these days on street style blogs and fall runway presentations. Of course, this is nothing new for you denim jacket veterans who've had a tried-and-true jacket to show for it (looking at you, Brad).

BUT: If you're new to the world of denim jackets, opt for a blue then go for a black or grey next. Don't start with a nearly-cropped bleached denim jacket like I did.

Top: "The Indigo" jacket by Gant Rugger ($248 at Park & Bond); slim-fit washed denim jacket by Nudie Jeans ($286 at Mr. Porter); raw denim jacket by Jean Shop, ($280 at Mr. Porter)
Bottom: slim fit "Commuter" trucker jacket by Levi's, $128 (Levi's); slim fit "2 Year Anniversary Wash" by Spurr, $275 (Scoop); bleacher light slim fit trucker jacket by Levi's, $78 (Levi's)

You'll notice that some of our picks (except that Levi's swag) are a little pricey. If you've got the cash and think this is something you want to splurge on, go for it. But if you're looking for a way to recreate a similar look on the cheap, here are some other resources for denim jackets:
  • Urban Outfitters has a nice, budget-friendly denim jacket.
  • Search on eBay, Etsy or through your local Goodwill or Salvation Army.
  • Raid your friend's closet or your dad's packed-up boxes in the attic.

On Jeff: slim-fit "2-year vintage wash" jacket by Spurr; chambray club-collar shirt by Lands' End Canvas; "Davis" pineapple chinos by Club Monaco; desert boots by Clarks; "Preston" frames in Gimlet Tortoise by Warby Parker.

Photography by John Stoffer. Drinks at Longman are on us, sir.



Fair warning: this post is all over the place. Each season, I always have a wishlist, rather a checklist, of items that I want to get. Some I'll thrift, some I'll casually eBay snipe or order offline and others I'll have to throw down the money to nab.

For spring, I was inspired by these three looks. 
  • Summer wedding or "Is this even considered business casual,  or is it just slummin'?"
  • Casual cool or "Hey kid, you wanna buy some weed?"
  • Night out or "So you're going to Capsule this year, right?"

  1. Summer wedding: A very casual summer wedding but really just going to Whole Foods after work. Lately, I've been really into the idea of having a pair of trousers with drawstrings. But really, let's be honest. These are tailored sweatpants with a drawstring. I mean, I believe dressy sweatpants function in the same category of striped tees. 
    Example: The T-shirt's all like, "I'm just a tee, but I have a little jazz to me that is refined and cool" and the slim sweatpants are like, "I'm a skinny sweatpant that hasn't been slept in and used as a napkin for Doritos." I wouldn't wear this to a wedding, but I would wear this to Whole Foods for a 2-for-$6 pizza special.
    • (Seth's editorial thoughts: Sweatpants don't strike me as being in any way appropriate for summers OR weddings.)
  2. Casual cool: Last night's outfit that I slept in after three rounds of 'gritas at Big Star and now need a morning after hangover cure and my friends want Bongo Room but really I'm just going to Whole Foods breakfast instead of waiting in line for some eggs and sexy salad.
    Striped tees are so versatile. Unlike a plain tee, you can't just sleep in them because the get wrinkled. The stripes hide wrinkles and stains, so you can easily sleep in them and layer them under shirt and jackets. Roll out of bed and go, bro. Striped-tee-and-anything all spring and summer and fall and winter. All year, baby.
  3. Night Out:  It's the kind of night where a date showed up an hour late, stayed for 30 minutes then left me with the check because she had to go pick up a "friend" from the airport. 
    Some say that women get dressed to impress men. Others say women get dressed to impress other women. I think it goes the same for men. I've been hunting for a double-breasted jacket for a while, and you know I'm feeling the camo anything, like every other menswear blogger. So with the hunt continuing, I'm just waiting to find the perfect mid-weight jacket that I can wear just about year 'round. However, if you want to go hunting for cougars, go to the Whole Foods bar in an afternoon in Lincoln Park. And always get the grab-bag drink special. 
Summer casual sweat suits, jean jackets, striped tees, camo pants and double breasted blazers. Those are my jam right now and what I'm looking to incorporate into my wardrobe. 

What about you? What are you on the hunt for this spring?

Oh, and Whole Foods, holla at me if you want to fund my lunch breaks, hangover cures and impulse snacking habits.
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