There’s an expanding class of homegrown men’s clothing and accessories lines in Chicago, and many of the designers are looking back to 20th-century Americana as inspiration.
“I try to do a little something extra on each piece, but not too much—men don’t like a lot of detail,” says Jonnie Rettele, the designer behind Nonnie, which got its start three years ago with a run of heritage-style shirting. With this season’s collection, Rettele introduces shirts in herringbone twills and Japanese-milled cottons, including the side panel shirt ($180) at left, as well as quilted vests, waxed cotton jackets, and tab-collared coats—all of which are reminiscent of 1960s and 1970s work clothes.
Brian and Autumn Merritt are the husband-and-wife team that produces Sir & Madame, a line of tailored separates (with styles for women) that features updates on Anglo-American sportswear staples—such as oxfords, riding pants, and letterman jackets—and accessories, including the rucksack ($300) at left. The Merritts sell their subtly jaunty designs in the Ukrainian Village boutique—also called Sir & Madame (938 N. Damen Ave.; 773-489-6660)—they opened in 2010.
A tag declaring “Chivalry Is Not Dead” is sewn on the back of each of the ties ($80, left) designed by Shannon Eaton. Eaton, a DJ for the @Superfun crew (Virgil Abloh, above, is also a member), started the Chivalry Is Not Dead label late last year after getting compliments on old-school collegiate-prep ties he had made for himself. “It’s definitely rooted in Ivy League tradition,” says Eaton, who chose ginghams, colored chambrays, and silks printed with crowns, crests, and other gentlemanly patterns for this fall’s batch.
Finds Men’s clothing and accessories designed in Chicago
Photography: Courtesy of vendors