The Truth About Men

Four leading men’s store owners and managers take on the latest styles—and talk about how the outré and the avant-garde might fly in Chicago

OUR JUDGES:

JIM WETZEL, an owner of Jake, 939 North Rush Street, 3740 North Southport Avenue, and 565 Lincoln Avenue, Winnetka

ANNE LIU, a manager at Akira Men, 1910 West North Avenue

ADAM BELTZMAN, the owner of Haberdash, 1350 North Wells Street

FATIMA MOHIUDDIN, a manager at Apartment Number 9, 1804 North Damen Avenue

 

DOLCE & GABBANA
DOLCE & GABBANA

 

PRADA
PRADA

 

THE LOOK: 
THE BLACK SUIT, A REINVENTED CLASSIC

WETZEL: “We always have a black suit in each collection at Jake. It never goes out of style. This investment is so versatile and pure 007! Every man should own at least one killer black suit.”

LIU: “The classic black suit can make any man look distinguished.”

BELTZMAN: “The cut of the suit and the skinny tie make it modern and hip, confident and cool.”

 

 

THE LOOK:
PATTERN CLASH; PLAYING WITH COLOR

WETZEL: “­This is  dangerous fashion territory. There are so many ways this can go wrong, and you have to have the personality to pull it off. For Jake, I like to keep it more sophisticated and sexy. I never get behind the geek-chic look.”

LIU: “I think it is great to play with contradicting colors and patterns. The problem is knowing when to stop. It can quickly go from fun and interesting into a big mess.”

MOHIUDDIN: “I can’t think of a single man who shops at Apartment Number 9 who would want anything to do with this collection.”

 

FENDI
FENDI

 

MICHAEL KORS
MICHAEL KORS

 

THE LOOK: 
SKINNY PANTS, FOR THE STRAIGHT AND NARROW

WETZEL: “When they get too skinny, you are  in the danger zone. I would be careful and keep it straighter rather than ankle-grabbing. It can work, but it is all about proportions.”

BELTZMAN: “Let’s just say that not many men can wear a pant this skinny, especially in Chicago. We have tried the skinny pant at Haberdash with limited success. The average customer is not comfortable in them.”

MOHIUDDIN: “A man who might feel his frame is too thin to be able to pull off the look sees that when he puts on a well-cut skinny jean, he accentuates his trim physique and cleans up his look.”

 

 

THE LOOK: 
THE SUIT JACKET PAIRED WITH SHORTS; A NOD TO MIXING IT UP

WETZEL: “It reads fashion yet has a sexy edge. Very cool, but make it simple and straightforward.”

LIU: “This is very reminiscent of Zack Morris from Saved by the Bell.”

BELTZMAN: “Very few Chicago guys can sport this look—it’s cool if done right, dangerous if left in the hands of an amateur.”

MOHIUDDIN: “This look would be perfect on someone with a slim build—a fashion enthusiast willing to take risks and be subject to some criticism from the more conservative Chicago market.”

 

 

GUCCI
GUCCI

 

CALVIN KLEIN
CALVIN KLEIN

 

THE LOOK: 
THE MAN BAG— SOMETHING FOR WOMEN TO ENVY

WETZEL: “The right masculine bag is a fashion statement that reads cool and sharp. I always carry a great bag. It is an extension of one’s style.”

BELTZMAN: “I think more men would embrace the man bag if it was not called that. By qualifying it with the word ‘man,’ society is saying that the use of a bag is inherently effeminate. It is not—it is simply a bag that can be either masculine or feminine depending on its shape, color, design, et cetera.”

MOHIUDDIN: “I have one friend who has just as much macho bravado as anyone while carrying a beautiful man bag and wearing skinny jeans.”

 

 

THE LOOK:
MONOCHROME; KEEPING IT CLEAN

WETZEL: “Monochromatic dressing is chic and easy. I really like this for men—it reads sophisticated and sharp. It’s an easy, urban look that can be used day or night.”

LIU: “Don’t you think this looks like hospital scrubs?”

BELTZMAN: “A monochromatic look can be slimming if done in darker neutrals.”

MOHIUDDIN: “I think this look can work on any body type, especially on bigger or athletic frames because it can be more forgiving.”

 

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