Sartorially Speaking By Marc Kadish

It's old fashioned but people ask me how they can obtain more information about the store and my role. So now I have a business card and the column has a separate button on the top of the home page.

 

I've written the column for a year. I still don't know whether it's called a column or a blog. It's just a hobby. I addressed that in my first column, " Since I Don't Play Golf." 

As I grow older I spend more time thinking about family, friends and my experiences growing up. I started working at my uncle's clothing store in South Orange, New Jersey when I was 14 . I worked there through high school, college and law school. Spending time at Syd Jerome brings back those memories. Sid reminds me of my uncle; Scott reminds me of my cousin Marty; the salesmen remind me of the salesmen from my uncle's store. I like men's fashions; talking about the business with Scott, the salesmen and the sales reps who visit the store.

I also like helping men find their personal style. Last week I exchanged emails with a former associate from Mayer Brown. He worked with me as a high school Summer Intern. We kept in touch while he was in college and law school. He came to the firm and is now clerking for a federal judge. More importantly he is getting married this Summer. The emails went back and forth about what he and the men in his wedding party should wear. 

One other thing I want to express in this column is my love for Chicago. I moved here in 1969 when I received a Reginald Heber Smith Poverty Law Fellowship. My Mother's Day surprise for Suzin was tickets for the play " Shakespeare in Love " at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater on Navy Pier. The play is an adaption of the movie of the same name. The theater space is magnificent; the play was great. It was a bright sunny day. During intermission Suzin and I looked through the huge windows seeing the lakefront and the skyline.

It's easy to celebrate Chicago on such a day. Just as it is easy to celebrate the unique role that Syd Jerome plays in men's fashions in the city.

Feel free to contact me through the store. Remember it is just a hobby. I am still the Pro Bono Advisor at Mayer Brown.


Syd Jerome Presents...

September 29, 2017 


IT WAS SPRING TIME AND A YOUNG MAN’S FANCY TURNS TO…

 

IT'S FALL AND A MAN’S FANCY TURNS TO THE CUBS…

 

AND FALL FASHIONS

 

IT’S TRUNK SHOW TIME AT THE STORE

 

LET’S TALK ABOUT ETON SHIRTS

  

Lindsay Connolly is Eton’s Sales Activator (interesting job description!) for North America.

That’s her with Scott Shapiro and me in front of the Eton shirt display at the trunk show in the store.

Eton shirts are made in Sweden. The company was founded in 1928. Syd Jerome was one of the first stores in the U.S. to stock their shirts. They offer dress shirts, sport shirts, ties, pocket squares, scarves and some jewelry. Eton shirts were featured in a July 5th, 2017 issue of the Wall Street Journal. They have a sophisticated Internet presence so check it out.

I have a number of Eton shirts and ties. I am wearing a pink striped Eton shirt and tie in the photo. The shirts retail from $245 to $285. The ties retail for $145.The shirts are made from wrinkle free cotton. I can wear them two to three times before they have to be laundered (always by hand by a good laundry and never have them starched ) They never shrink. They have perfected a way of embedding permanent stays in the collars which never shift and never show a “stay outline.”

Eton offers slim, contemporary and classic fits. I wear the contemporary. It fits me like a custom made shirt. Their most popular collar style is a moderate spread (which I am wearing in the photo). This fall, they are showing hidden button down collars (e.g. the blue and red plaid in front of the collection in the picture) in patterned designs which are supposed to be worn as sport shirts. They are part of a program called Nordic Getaway featuring outdoor fall colors like rusts and greens. Eton has even designed ties to complement the shirts.

I like the Nordic Getaway look. I would wear them as both a sport shirt and under a sport coat with a wool tie. I like the softer casual look of the collar. The hidden buttons anchor the collars and keep them in place.

ON AN UNRELATED NOTE….I want to do a future column on the perpetual question of what a lawyer should wear before a jury. Any lawyers with thoughts on the subject, feel free to email me at Marc@sydjerome.com


Syd Jerome Presents...

September 8, 2017 

Meet Brian Lighty


He's got to be the guy in the middle, flanked by Gary Palay, who helps pick out suits to go with his extensive collection of bow ties…and me!



I've known Brian for about ten years, but we did not discover our mutual interest in men's clothing until recently. We met through his spouse, Andy Bigelow, who is a history teacher at the Francis Parker school in the city. Both of our daughters were in classes with Andy.

Brian is 52. He was in the Marines from 1982 through 1986. Because of his life long experience with woodwind instruments, he was at the White House as a member of the U.S. Marine Corp President Band. He is the Regional Sales Director for the Lincoln Financial Group.

Brian is always dressed impeccably. He was nominated for the Chicago History Museum's "Men of Style" award. He should have won!

Brian and I agree on all things of men's fashions except for his love of bow ties. He's been wearing them for 25 years and can even tell you about the history of bow ties. He likes Armani and Canali suits, and Eton shirts. He's wearing an Armani suit and Eton shirt in the picture. For the fall season, Gary will be helping him find a tweed suit.

Me - I've always liked tweed suits and sport coats. But I've never warmed up to bow ties - perhaps because I never learned to tie them properly. But other than a bow tie with formal wear, I just don't like the horizontal look of a bow tie. I like a neckties vertical look under a suit or sport coat.

But good for Brian. He has his own style and that's what is important. He may be the only client of the store who wears a bow tie, but he goes his own way. Gary helps him pick out clothing that complements his extensive collection of bow ties.

GRATITUDE! I met Terry Nordlund at the store when Brian, Gary and I were planning the column. He told me he reads the blog - a nice pleasant surprise. Thanks Terry.


Syd Jerome Presents...

August 25, 2017

SOMEONE YOU SHOULD KNOW - MEET THEODORE BOONE


Last week's blog had a picture of Mr. Boone. I said I would write this week's column on the window displays at the store. Mr. Boone is one of the last of the independent window trimmers in the city.

He will be 67 on Friday, August 25th. He's from the south side of the city. He's been in the men's clothing business since the 1970s, but he did not make a living as a window trimmer until the 1980s. He started doing the windows at the store around 2005.



So what's the how and why of the windows at the store? The store is on the corner of Madison and LaSalle in what we in Chicago call "The Loop." One window runs East and West on Madison; the other window runs North and South on LaSalle. The store is in the heart of the downtown business district. Foot traffic passes by the store all day. To attract the lawyers and other business people who walk through the Loop, the windows are changed three to four times a month to showcase the ever-changing merchandise in the store.

Mr Boone(let's switch to Ted) collaborates with Juan Farfan, one of the salesmen in the store, on the window selections for the store. Ted does the trimming. The windows reflect the seasons. Even though it's the third week in August, the windows are filled with Fall and Winter clothes. The different sections of the window feature either a complete ensemble from a vendor such as Canali or a type of clothing, such as blazers from different vendors.


Writing about the windows, as usual, brings back memories of working in the family stores in New Jersey. I still remember the two trimmers names - Sammy Tuch and Marvin Silber. My cousin Marty chose the window goods for the South Orange store; my cousin Jerry chose the window goods for the East Orange store. The windows were changed monthly. My most vivid memory of the window displays is a long gone custom called Back to School for College Students. Back then, the stores were stocked with college clothing. Now pajamas seem to be worn to classes.

One final thing. In one of the pictures, Ted is shown holding a steam cleaner. I've had a Corby electric pants presser for almost 30 years, but I never used a steamer. One weekend at a friend's house I used their steamer. I was pleasantly surprised by how well it worked. Ted swears by the Jiffy steam cleaners!

Next blog - Brian Lighty, a friend who shops at the store - the column: " We Agree on Everything About Men's Fashions- Except Bow Ties!"


Syd Jerome Presents...

August 18, 2017 

NO COLUMN FOR A FEW MONTHS - WHAT HAPPENED?

Let’s just say I was working on a pro bono murder case and helping our older daughter get ready to start night law school in the Fall. She works as a paralegal in Manhattan and lives in “The Promised Land” – Brooklyn. So she will attend Brooklyn Law School.

But also because the store’s website was being redesigned so the column would have its own button at the top of the home page. Just go to sydjerome.com and take a look. That also made me think about what I wanted to accomplish through my writing. Billy Cavada, one of the salesman from the store, sends out daily information about new goods and events. There is a new feature called SYDTV which already has videos on “HOW TO: Fold a Pocket Square”, ”HOW TO: Tie a Fat Tie” and “SEASON PREVIEW:Etro Fall 2017.” I hope to do something with SYDTV but the blog has to be something different.

OK-so that explains what I did this Summer (The murder trial ended in a not guilty after a jury trial.) What about future columns?

1) What do you wear for a murder trial?

2) A column about a client of the store who is also a friend. His name is Brian Lighty. We are going to call that column “We Agree On Everything About Fashion, Except Bowties!”

3) “Someone You Should Know-Meet Theodore Boone.” Ever wonder who puts together the window displays at the store? Mr. Boone, who is one of the last of the independent window dressers in the city, works with Juan Farfan from the store on the displays. He’s holding a garment steamer in the picture below. Do they really work? Let’s talk about it next week.

 

 

IT'S GOOD TO BE BACK!


Syd Jerome Presents...
May 9, 2017 

THE NEW SYD JEROME SPRING/SUMMER MAGAZINE JUST ARRIVED - TIME TO CHECK YOUR CLOSET
AND WHAT’S AN UNSTRUCTURED SPORT COAT?

I was looking for inspiration for this column when the new issue of the magazine arrived. I had already been looking through my closets to see what needed altering and what needed discarding (A suit and sport coat were donated through Mayer Brown to the Urban Alliance which requested “gently used professional clothing.”)

Given my supposed slow down and transition to Pro Bono Advisor (I’m a failure at slowing down, but I still enjoy being a lawyer and dressing for court - albeit less than before.) did I want or need a new suit? And if so…vested or double breasted? But while I like both styles, they could be too uncomfortable on a hot Chicago summer day.

So, what about a new navy blazer? They never go out of style and they can be dressed up or worn casually. But I did not want a navy blazer that looked like I was wearing a navy suit sans trousers. I wanted a more relaxed looking fabric.

SO STRUCTURED VS UNSTRUCTURED?

I stopped in the store thinking I would look at fabric samples to design a sport coat. I knew I wanted an unstructured sport coat. A structured sport coat will have some shoulder padding and a full lining. It will also have canvas between the fabric and the lining. This gives it a more structured look. An unstructured sport coat will have little or no shoulder padding. You will only feel fabric when you touch the shoulders. It will also have either a partial lining, known as a butterfly lining, in the upper part of the jacket or no lining. The butterfly lining makes it easier to take the coat on or off. No lining reduces the weight of the jacket and makes it cooler to wear. The other look I like in an unstructured sport coat is open patch pockets. Flap pockets give the coat a dressier look.

I was looking through fabric selections when Scott brought over an unlined Pal Zileri jersey lightweight wool blazer. It was just what I was looking for - no waiting for a coat to be made. The only change we added was to substitute a lighter button for the ones that came with the coat. This makes it look even less like a suit jacket and adds to the casual look of the coat. As you can see from the photo below, we put together a complete outfit. Paired with a blue Eton shirt, a light colored striped silk tie from Senstroms and a blue denim pocket square from Paolo Albizzati (I like cotton or wool pocket squares because they don’t sink into your chest pocket and they look more casual than silk pocket squares) and dress wool trousers, I am ready for any occasion - even court; so long as I am not in front of a jury! I can dress the jacket down by pairing it with jeans or khaki (chino) trousers and a sport shirt or even a t-shirt.

So stop in and see the large collection of unstructured sport coats. But there are plenty of dressier structured sport coats - if the mood or occasion demands it.

P.S. – As usual, Juan is responsible for making certain the outfit looks presentable in a photo!


Syd Jerome Presents...
May 13, 2016

The Quintessential Men's Suit Accessory

Different styles of pocket squares

A pocket square fits into the breast pocket of your suit coat. Look at any movie where Cary Grant is wearing a suit. You will always see a pocket square. I've been wearing them since I worked at my uncle's clothing store as a teenager. I wore them with both suits and sport coats. For many years I wore a solid color silk pocket handkerchief's, but in my old age I have gotten more adventuresome. As long as the colors coordinate, I'll use patterned squares to coordinate with patterned ties, shirts and suits or sport coats.

One thing that did frustrate me was that the silk squares slid down and disappeared into the breast pocket. So I really appreciated it when fabrics, other than silk, have recently become popular. The new issue of the Syd Jerome magazine had a short story on "Pocket Rounds," which are easier to fold and stay up. Scott and I picked out one with a new suit I ordered last Fall. The pocket round worked just like the article said it would!

A patterned square adds a dash of elegance to your outfit. Try one out for yourself.


Syd Jerome Presents...
August 29, 2016
 

WHAT DO YOU WEAR ON VACATION?

My wife , Suzin, our younger daughter Izzy and I are on a nine hour flight back from a ten day vacation in Hawaii. Originally, I thought I would take a vacation from writing the column. But I also thought before leaving that if inspiration struck I would comment on the traditional aloha shirt. But other than service people such as wait staffs at restaurants and the people working at the car rental agency, I did not see enough people wearing them to feel comfortable commenting on that fashion item.

It's a long flight. I've already read five or six books during the vacation and watched three films on the flight to Honolulu. I should use the flight time constructively.

OK-so what do you wear on vacation? Obviously that depends on when and where you are going and what you intend to do on the vacation.

We decided to go to Hawaii because we had never been there and it is supposed to be gorgeous. We chose the island of Oahu. We don't like to go to large resorts. We rented a very nice two bedroom house on a hillside overlooking the ocean in a beachfront neighborhood called Lanikai which is part of a town called Kailua. There are no high rise buildings or hotels in the town.Its about forty minutes outside of Honolulu. But other than a trip to Pearl Harbor, the closest we came to Honolulu was arriving and departing from the airport.

Very interesting but what does this have to do with the clothes you wear on vacation ? Stay with me a bit longer. The house was an excellent base to do outdoor activities, cook dinners at the house and even play a bit of Scrabble. We explored the North Shore where the famous surfing contests take place during the Winter. We swam at the beaches at Lanaki and Waimanalo. We kayaked , snorkeled, swam with the dolphins and went on short but hot hikes.

The picture below was taken by Izzy on one of the balconies at the house with Kailua beach in the background. I'm wearing Paul and Shark white jeans, an Agave t-shirt and Swims boat shoes ( All from the store.) That's the only time I wore long pants and a long sleeve shirt. I wore less than half the shorts and shirts I packed for the trip. I brought along a pair of sweat pants and three sweaters but the only time I wore them was on the plane because I am always freezing on long flights. I basically lived in two bathing suits, two work out shirts and flip flops.

My casual look overlooking the Kailua beach.
My thoughts- Oahu is great; the house we rented was ideal (Contact me through the store if you want information about Oahu and the house we rented-Pro bono clothing consultant and pro bono travel consultant are fun activities for semi-retirement). Get a light weight suitcase. Pack your suitcase and then leave half the clothes at home. So what if you wear the same clothes during the vacation. You are wearing clothes for yourself not others, and above all, feel comfortable with what you wear. 


Syd Jerome Presents...
May 13, 2016 

SPECIAL NOTICE TO COUNSEL WHO WILL PRESENT ORAL ARGUMENT:

DO SEVENTH CIRCUIT JUDGES CARE HOW YOU DRESS?

Paragraph 8 –“ Appropriate attire for counsel is conservative business dress in traditional dark colors (e.g. navy blue or charcoal gray)”

For those of you reading this who are not lawyers, the United States Supreme Court is the highest court in the land. The intermediate federal courts are the Circuit Courts of Appeals. The trial level federal courts are the District Courts.

The Seventh Circuit sits in Chicago and hears appeals from Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin. The court is filled with bright and caring judges, but I’ve never seen any of them mention paragraph eight at a closing argument.

In my 16 ½ years as the Director of Pro Bono Activities and Litigation Training for Mayer Brown, I’ve attended close to 150 oral arguments because our Seventh Circuit Project is one of our main pro bono projects. Perhaps it's because I sit at counsel table supervising the arguments of our young associates rather than making the oral argument, but no judge has ever looked askance at the light gray Samuelsohn suit I’ve worn to a number of oral arguments.

Marc Kadish featured in Syd Jerome Magazine
But if you feel uncomfortable with the suit you are planning to wear for a Seventh Circuit oral argument, contact me through Syd Jerome. I’ll help you pick out an entire outfit for your oral argument.

I can’t guarantee your outfit will win the case, but at least looking well will permit the Court to concentrate on your argument rather than your appearance.

Until next time,
-Marc Kadish


Syd Jerome Presents...
April 29, 2016 

Welcome to my first column for the Sartorially Speaking by Marc Kadish men's fashion blog series. Allow me to introduce myself.

I recently stepped down as the Director of Pro Bono Activities and Litigation Training at the law firm Mayer Brown LLP this past January. I continue to work at the firm on a part time basis, but now I feel it is time to expand my horizons.  Since I don't play golf, I decided to spend my time launching this fashion column.

So why fashion? Since as long as I can remember, I have always loved fashion. Since childhood,  it was always a way I expressed myself. Throughout high school and college, I was dressed to the nines. My fellow classmates even noticed, as they voted me best dressed in our high school yearbook.



I've been a long time customer and fan of Syd Jerome Menswear. So much so that I've even been featured in the Syd Jerome magazine and on recent television appearances modeling Syd Jerome's latest styles from in store.

When I was 14, my family decided I should work at my Uncle Harry's menswear store. I worked there throughout high school, college and law school. I even asked my uncle if I could join the family business, but he said there were already enough family members working in the store. By then, I had my own clientele that included doctors, lawyers and accountants- all inspiring potential professions as I thought about college. At that point, however, I still couldn't do simple math; I hated the sight of blood (despite going on to do criminal defense work for most of the career) - so I decided on law school!

Forty six years later, I'm still a lawyer. But, the love of men's clothes from my time at Uncle Harry's store has continued to stay with me. My wife, who is a long time public defender, even teases me that the only reason I agreed to have Chocolate Labs as part of our family was because their color complemented the earth tones of Fall and Winter clothing that I like.

In my forthcoming blogs, I hope to answer some questions that guys, like myself, have when it comes to clothes: What types of shoes go with the outfits you are wearing; how long should your pants be; how do you decide whether your pants should be cuffed or uncuffed; what kind of socks should you wear with suits and much much more. 

I hope to answer all these questions, and then some. Again, I thank you for reading my first ever blog and I hope to become your source for fashion advice. Stay tuned!

-Marc Kadish