11.16.2010

November of Dressing Nicely -or- Guys in Chicago Don't Care How They Look

I've recently had the pleasure of meeting (online but soon to be in person) a writer/social media director for Metromix, which is somehow related to RedEye, which is a faction of the Chicago Tribune essentially concerned with cool stuff for younger adults in the city. Ernest Wilkins could tell you better about what he does than I can.

Anyway, he is someone who has an interest in dressing better and wants to bring as many people as possible along for the ride. Much like Will over at Momentum of Failure with his 100 Days of Ties Project, Ernest has launched his own initiative. Enter November of Dressing Nicely (NoDN). The movement was inspired by a visitor to his office:
A guy from LA came into the office a few months back to take some meetings with my bosses. He was the best-dressed dude I've seen in years. I mean, suit was tailored, shirt had a monogram, sick longwing brogues, and a clean shave. The women went bananas. "Who is that guy?" "Is he working here now?" *wolf whistle*. A comment rang out that stuck with me. Upon finding out the gent was from LA, a co-worker stated, "Oh of course, no guy who lives here would look like that."
One of Ernest's #NoDN photos
Disturbed by this comment, Ernest asked his peers about Chicago men and their apparent disregard for dressing well. The general consensus was that "Guys in Chicago don't care how they look". Hell bent on being the exception rather than the rule, Ernest vowed to dress better for at least an entire month beginning November 1st, 2010. He has posted his photo every work day and has invited any one else to do the same. I've been submitting my self-taken photos and it's really encouraged me to avoid falling victim to laziness when I dress myself in the morning. It has already been a very positive exercise.

As I've stated before, my office environment is very casual and it would be easy to slip into a groove where a t-shirt, jeans, and sneakers become a uniform. I now refuse this possibility and try to look good all the time. However, I still lean toward casual dress (I'm not wearing suits to work) so I'm not scaring my coworkers too badly. In fact, I'm probably wearing jeans more often than not. Even so, the ignorant will still assume I have a job interview if I'm wearing a coat and tie as well. Anyway, it is interesting to see the photos submitted by the others who participate (there's a loyal community of maybe 6 people) because of the range in level of formality and perspective on what "dressing nicely" is to them.

I see NoDN as a continuation of the Tie Tuesdays I've observed since last fall. It serves as a reminder to take extra care in laying out an outfit that I know will look good. I'm not sure how many of you follow my Tumblr but I've been posting most of the photos I submit there along side the ones that end up on the NoDN Gallery that Ernest has set up. Below are some of my better submissions (please excuse myself looking like a complete ass in most of these, it's just the way I am).


If you're a Chicagoan trying to get in on the action, e-mail Ernest with your photo attached and he should post it right up. Prove to the land that you care about what you look like!



 




12 comments:

  1. All wonderful choices! Fantastic looks!

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  2. I hate when people think I'm dressed up because I'm wearing a tie. They ask "What are you all dressed up for?", I say "Work.". I think you do a great job at the fit of your clothes. You gotta loose the d-bag face in photo #5, just smile and show teeth.

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  3. Great looks and great fit all around!

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  4. Also, the "don't care how they look" epidemic is not impacting Chi-town only. Living in SoCal I could tell you that L.A guy was the exception not the rule.

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  5. Great outfits Tommy. Particularly like the jacket and boots in pictures #2 and #7 - mind sharing their origins? Thanks!

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  6. Thanks guys.

    Junctioned: I've been to LA and I can see why its reputation for well-dressed guys is sub-par. Chicago's is arguably worse.

    Ian: The jacket in #2 is a Levi's cord trucker jacket and the boots in #7 are Alden 403s.

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  7. Great fits, man. Gotta' love the Alden 403s!

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  8. Great blog. While I'm not 6'4" (I'm 5'8"), I have incredibly disproportionate thighs thanks to genetics (narrow shoulders) and a 300lb squat. As a fellow lifter, have you been able to find dress pants with seam pockets/slash pockets that don't pucker? Finding proper fitting pants is hard enough as-is, but finding dress pants that don't have "pocket ears" is damn near impossible...

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  9. Glen,

    Pants with pocket ears have been a problem for me too. When this happens, it is usually because the pants are too tight in the upper thighs with a rise that is too low. Seam pockets seem to be more prone to it. Maybe try one size larger in the waist, pants with a higher rise, or go the custom route if that is an option.

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  10. What are the pants in your third photo here? They're a great color and fit.
    -Drew.

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  11. Drew, they are Levi's 201s in brick(?). The photo makes them look more red than they are in most light. They're brown (with maybe a hint of rust color).

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  12. I can't believe how nobody has commented on how bad that Ernest's guy attire is. The jeans almost look like True Religions (unforgivable in my book), the shoes clash awfully with the belt leather and the shiny tie is in an ugly color and looks out of place with the better fabrics of the vest and shirt. I hope he did dress nicely later.

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