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.


  1. Sharp tie! Keep up the good work!

  2. Where did you get the Filson tote for $40?

  3. Give'n it a go with Modern Tailor, we'll see how it goes. As for the tie, I've seen it a dozen times on the Canvas website and couldn't figure out how I'd like it; I must say, you put it to good use.


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