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...
ACCESSORIZING YOUR WINTER COAT
OR WHAT ELSE DO YOU NEED TO KEEP WARM IN THE WINTER?
The last column was about Canada Goose and Norwegian Wool coats. I included photos of various Mayer Brown friends wearing the coats. Any non-professional photos were taken by me; any professional photos were taken by Jessica Fletcher, the Graphic Design Specialist in the Chicago office of Mayer Brown. What I neglected to mention was that page 62 of the Fall Syd Jerome magazine contains a photo of a down red hooded down coat from Canada Goose. Page 63 contains a photo of a light brown coat from Norwegian Wool. Those two pages gives you a much better close up of what the coats look like.
But what else do you need to stay warm this winter? Good boots, gloves, scarves and something to cover your head and ears. Winters in Scandinavia are supposed to be brutal (Just read Jo Nesbo’s book “The Snowman!”) which is why the store carries Swim boots; gloves from Hestra and baseball caps with earflaps from Wigens - all three companies are from Scandinavia.
This year the store carries a storm gaiter with zippers from SWIMS. They are not overshoes. You wear them in lieu of shoes (SWIMS also makes some great lightweight non-leather loafers for the Summer. I have a pair of navy/orange loafers that I wear without socks with jeans and a casual cotton sport coat).
Moving onto gloves. This year the store started carrying Hestra gloves. I bought a pair. The front is light gold leather; the back is gray wool. They have a nice warm lining. One of the photos below has a shot of the Hestra glove collection in the store.
Sample scarves - here I used Mayer Brown models. Lindsay Brown, a finance associate at the firm, who was a student in the class I co-taught at Northwestern Law School makes a very able model by wearing a medium blue matching scarf and beanie cap from FLY 3. Jessica Fletcher, our favorite photographer, who took the pictures of Lindsay, is wearing a multi color beanie from the store.
Lindsay is also wearing a black cap from Wigens of Sweden. The exterior is a synthetic blend that wards off wind, snow and rain. The lining is a fur like polyester. I have had two Wigens caps for several years – the black one and a beige wool one with a quilted polyester lining - also with ear flaps.
The store also carries inexpensive expandable earmuffs that I sometimes wear over the earflaps from the Wigens caps on those days when the wind uncomfortably blows against your ears. If it gets any colder than that…stay home. Don’t wear a balaclava that covers everything except your eyes. The police might mistake you for a bank robber!
Syd Jerome Presents...
CANADA GOOSE OR NORWEGIAN WOOL?
“With a Little Help From My Friends”
It’s getting colder. You need or want a new winter coat. You decide it’s too cold for a topcoat (Good for a Fall day; The store has these). You already have an overcoat for court, weddings, bar-mitzvahs, important business meetings etc. (the store has these also.)
You want something else. Do you want a coat to walk your dog or go hiking in a forest preserve on a snowy day? Or do you want a coat that’s warm but still stylish enough to wear over a sport coat or you can wear to the movies or dinner on a Saturday with jeans and a sweater?
The choice is not limited to “Canada” or “Norway.” The store carries other lines, but I have decided to limit this column to these two companies. I like Norwegian Wool coats. Besides Suzin and I don’t have a dog anymore. I’m waiting for a good snowy day to go tramping along the lakefront or in a forest preserve…but warm footwear will be just as important as the outerwear.
So I enlisted friends from Mayer Brown to model some of the coats. (You’ll note that the more professional looking photos were taken by Jessica Fletcher, the Graphic Design Specialist from the Chicago office of the firm. The other photos were taken by me. I even enlisted a friend, Kathleen Przywara , to model one of the coats - without realizing that the store carries a few Canada Goose coats for women. I also took a picture of one of the windows at the store, which has a Canada Goose ensemble.
The Norwegian Wool coats, as the name implies, are made of a special treated wool to make them practical for a Chicago winter where you can get a bitterly cold rain, sleet or snow. The Canada Goose coats don’t have a wool shell. They come in either a quilted or solid exterior. I never liked the quilted look because it made me feel like the “Michelin Man.” The Canada Goose coats come with a hood; the Norwegian Wools do not. They both come in a variety of lengths. My Norwegian Wool hits me about the middle of my thighs.
Both coats have a down interior. This makes them warm enough to survive a Chicago winter. The down also makes them easier to come on and off. The down also makes them more lightweight. I remember years ago buying from a thrift shop what I was told was a military officer’s coat from WWI. I thought it was historical, stylish etc. The problem was I got a hernia every time I put it on. It was very heavy and to make it even worse it was not very warm! It was discarded long before I started shopping at the store.
Hopefully you will have use for both coats. But for me, if I had to choose one I like the Norwegian Wool look. I bought a similar coat from the store a number of years ago. It has always met my needs. It’s been warm enough for your average Chicago winter day. It battles the diverse Chicago winter elements. It’s lightweight. It’s long enough to cover a suit or sport coat. I can wear it to work or to the movies on a weekend. It does not look or feel too bulky. So this year I bought one of the Norwegian Wool coats in a medium blue shade! Two of the “models” in the photos are wearing the same coat.
AND A FURTHER IMPORTANT DETAIL - BUY A WINTER COAT OVER $500 IN COST BY NOVEMBER 30TH AND RECEIVE A $200 DISCOUNT!
Next column - Let’s continue with winter accessories and talk about hats, gloves, scarves and Swim over boots.
Syd Jerome Presents…
CANALI, CANNOLI AND PHIL CORBOY JR.
Last year around this time I did a column on Canali, an Italian clothing line featured at the store, and one of the scenes from “The Godfather” with the lines “Leave the gun,take the cannoli.”
The picture below was taken with Peter Belci, the Canali sales representative, and me at last Fall’s trunk show. I’m wearing a Canali suit which is still one of my favorites.
So lets talk about this Fall’s Canali clothing and what that has to do with Phil Corboy Jr., a well known plaintiff’s personal injury lawyer in Chicago, whose picture is also set forth below. He and I have been friendly since he was a States Attorney and we opposed each other in criminal cases.
Phil shops at Syd Jerome. He likes Canali clothes. Scott calls him at the beginning of each season when the Canali suits and sport coats arrive. Scott knows what Phil likes.
But many men don’t come to the store like Phil with a clothes line in mind. They come in because they need a suit or sport coat. You can depend on the expertise of the sales personnel to ask the appropriate questions and have you try on a number of suits or sport coats to see what fits best and meets your needs.
The store features many clothing lines ( Take a look at the new Syd Jerome magazine which just came out…and even features an article on this column.) but the store carries a large volume of Canali clothing.
We carry several Canali models. They all feature a softer shoulder with little padding, a slimmer and shorter two button jacket (but not too extreme),side vents and plain front trousers.
The cost of a Canali suit runs between $1800 to $2200.We also carry overcoats, sport coats, dress shirts and ties from Canali.
Phil likes Canali clothing because the various models fit him so well. He occasionally will have a vest made to complement a new suit.
If you want something different such as a three button jacket, an even slimmer cut suit or a double breasted suit the store has books from Canali called Su Misura.You can order something special from the book or look at it to see how Canali puts together a complete look with ties and shirts to go with the clothing.
So come in and look at the new Canali fashions. This year they are showing British inspired fabric with an Italian twist!
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
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.
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...
THE NEW SYD JEROME SPRING/SUMMER MAGAZINE JUST ARRIVED - TIME TO CHECK YOUR CLOSET
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...
The Quintessential Men's Suit Accessory
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...
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.
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.
Syd Jerome Presents...
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.
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,
Syd Jerome Presents...
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!