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  • The Ties that Blind, Blinded by the Light | Sartorially Speaking by Marc Kadish

    Syd Jerome Presents...

    THE TIES THAT BLIND
    BLINDED BY THE LIGHT

    Let me explain the dual title. With apologies to Bruce Springsteen and Manfred Mann, who covered his song "Blinded by the Light," I was blinded by my lack of expertise in the copyright area. Pro bono, mainly criminal defense and inmate civil rights cases is where I spend my time. "The Ties That Blind" was an interesting opinion piece written by Professor Richard Thompson Ford from Stanford Law School. His usual area of writing is in critical race theory, local government law, housing segregation and employment discrimination. But in his opinion piece, he combined two of my favorite interests: fashion and politics. He wondered what the president's badly knotted overly long shiny ties said about his personality.

    I enjoyed the piece so much that I embedded it in my column. I wrote the column and from an abundance of caution checked with one of the intellectual property partners at the firm. I was told to provide a link to the article rather than reprinting it. Knowing that I usually don't go to links myself, I checked and was told that after the passage of a certain amount of time I could post the article.

    But since the column is a fashion blog and not an overtly political undertaking, I decided to check out some of the early Spring shirts and ties from the store. Below are three new shirts with ties. The ties are from Zegna. Two of the shirts are from Eton and one is from Zegna. Bright and Springlike they are; blinding- no!

    Screen Shot 2017-02-16 at 10.49.07 PM

    Thanks to Gary from the store for taking out the box of ties that we then matched with the shirts. From the home made quality of the photos you can see we are not fashion photographers!

    So with apologies to Professor Ford for the snafu, we will include the full opinion piece in about 2/3 weeks. By then I hope that Juan Farfan , from the store, who does know how to photograph fashion, will help with a more professional look to the new shirts and ties.

  • What’s The Difference Between A Fashion Show And A Clothing Show? | Sartorially Speaking by Marc Kadish

    Syd Jerome Presents...

    WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A FASHION SHOW AND A CLOTHING SHOW?

    On Monday, February 6th, Scott Shapiro and I attended the Chicago Collective clothing show at the Merchandise Mart. Scott and his father Sid run Syd Jerome.

    A fashion show? Think "The Devil Wears Prada" and New York Fashion Week; models walking down runways in front of celebrity attendees. A clothing show - where business gets done. Retailers buy clothes from vendors ( in this instance) for men who will actually buy and wear the clothing. While we are still shivering through the current winter weather, the clothing show is not even for Spring 2017. Scott and I were looking at Fall 2017 styles. The show which ran for three days is not open to the public. Close to 500 vendors had booths with displays. Close to 1,000 retailers from all over the country attended the show.

    Scott was at the show for all three days. I was with him only on Monday morning. ( I still had to prepare for the class, "Large Firms and Pro Bono" that Ben Weinberg, the Pro Bono Partner at another large international law firm, and I teach at Northwestern Law School every Monday afternoon)

    Scott uses the show to purchase sportswear, outerwear and accessories. Suits and sport coats are normally purchased by trips to the individual showrooms in New York. At the show, we bought two outerwear lines ( Waterville and Colmar) and one jeans line (MAC of Germany). As you can see from the video, I mainly took pictures of Scott selecting the clothing, offered some advice and modeled some of the clothing to see how they fit.

    The major advances in outerwear continues to be warmth with less weight and technological advances such as better waterproofing nylons and treated wool. I am showing a wool waffle like navy wool outer jacket from Waterville. As you can see from the video, blue in shades ranging from navy to cobalt blue and blue gray called "postman blue," is very popular. Olive is popular for the fall and some orange peeks in.

    The only "non buying " slide is with Dorian Anderson , the rep from Samuelsohn, and I wearing my "semi-retired" navy corduroy blazer with a zip in gray wool vest, gray wool elbow patches and a navy and yellow paisley under collar (hence the yellow shirt and yellow pocket square). Dorian and I designed it at last Fall's trunk shows at the store. We designed it so I could wear it with jeans and boots on days when I am in the office rather than court.

    It's been a relatively mild winter in Chicago, but for any cold days still remaining, remember all outerwear and other fall/winter clothing is half off at the store - but at these prices you have to pay a modest amount for alterations. But I know spring is coming because spring and summer clothing is starting to come in!

    Next week? A riff based on an opinion piece in the Saturday New York Times called "The Ties That Blind" on "What do those shiny , badly knitted neckties say about the president?" I imagine to make it politically inoffensive we'll talk about new spring ties.

  • Valentine's Day Cuff Links | Syd Jerome

    Screen Shot 2017-02-13 at 10.27.45 AM

  • No Fashion This Week | Sartorially Speaking by Marc Kadish

    Syd Jerome Presents...

    NO FASHION THIS WEEK

    Shawshank Redemption and a Mid Winter Break on the West Coast of Mexico

    It's one of my favorite movies. Watch the clip of the end of the movie. Morgan Freeman finds the letter hidden in the field that Tim Robbins left for him. He leaves money in a box so he can join him in Zihuatanejo.

    That's where Suzin and I are going in two weeks. We've been to the area several times with our daughters and family friends. But this time we are not staying in the neighboring town of Ixtapa. We did not want to stay in any large all inclusive resorts. Zihuatanejo is a pleasant city, but we wanted to drive a bit north of Ixtapa to the small town of Troncones which has about 500 residents. We are even staying outside the village. We are staying at the Inn at Manzanillo Bay, which has about ten cottages on the beach.

    The weather should be perfect- sunny every day, no rain, temperatures in the 80's with low humidity and no bugs. Even the flight time is doable. But here's the secret. Go to a local travel agent (we used Cassandra Piunti from Traveloni. They are a block from our house) and arrange to take a charter flight. Commercial airlines from Chicago have no direct flights, so your travel will take longer. We leave O'Hare at 6:30 a.m. and land 4 hours later in Zihuatanejo. However, we were told we needed to stay a week in order to use the charter - my response: "That's a Problem?" So the flight time is less and the tickets are cheaper than flying on a regular airline. One final tip - since it's the winter and it's international travel, I always buy trip insurance. Even the insurance and cost of a rental car was reasonable.

    No fashion tips for this trip? No - I bought a new lightweight smaller trolley suitcase on sale at Bloomingdales so I can't pack a lot of clothes.

    For those of us dismayed by the election results remember what Morgan Freeman said; "Hope is a good thing and hope never dies." He also said "I hope to make it across the border to see my friend." We hope you make it across the border. We in Chicago are your friends.

  • What To Wear at the Womens’ Marches | Sartorially Speaking by Marc Kadish

    Syd Jerome Presents...

    What To Wear at the Womens’ Marches

    Mel Brooks in “History of the World Part 1” turns to the camera in a number of scenes and says “It's Good to be the King.” Well, look at the picture below. That’s me in 1970, most likely at an anti—war gathering. “Its Good to Make Fun of Your Self!” I try not to take myself too seriously these days.

    Screen Shot 2017-01-27 at 9.03.39 AM I'm on the right with the glasses.

    My wife Suzin and our older daughter Amanda traveled to Washington to participate in the Women’s March last weekend. Izzy, our younger daughter, who lives and works in LA, went to their march. I stayed home, but I thought it behooved me to participate in the Chicago march. I and about 250,000 people thought it was time to march again.

    So what did I wear? Ah, how times and appearances have changed. No - I did not wear a pink cap, but I had to ask Amanda what they stood for. She told me. I said I couldn’t put that in the column. She insisted I had to call them by their right name. I’m still reluctant, but as per my marching orders: I did not wear a “Pussy Cap.” Look at the picture- Then and Now….hair much much shorter; even Lon Chaney Jr. in “The Wolfman” had a more neatly trimmed beard; and glasses much smaller these days. The clothes then - worn with reckless abandon. Saturday, I wore a dark gray sweater with blue trim, a t-shirt which matched the blue trim and jeans - all from the store.

    But no one really cares how fashionably attired you were for the event. It was more important to be there. But my main thought - make sure you wear comfortable sneakers for the marching!

    P.S. Thanks to Brooke Bobb for the inspiration. Her mom, Patti Bobb, has been a good friend for longer than I care to say. We met in the beginning of our careers as lawyers when we opposed each other in a murder case. She was the states attorney and I was the defense attorney. Patti and I met each other at the Chicago march. Brooke, who lives in New York, writes for Vogue magazine. She wrote a column entitled “What Does a First-Time Protester Wear to the Women’s March on Washington?”

  • Modern Soundtrack for Romance

    romanceValentine’s Day is fast approaching, but not every romancer has the talents of a bard (not to mention that courtyard mandolin odes have gone out of style). Fortunately, love is still a fairly common theme in today’s music. Play these tracks for your muse, even though you didn’t write them—it’s the thought that counts, after all.

    Carly Rae Jepsen – Run Away With Me
    Ok, it’s a bold beginning, but tell us that saxophone doesn’t sound like the uncontrollable grin of infatuation. Perfect for spur-of-the-moment weekend excursions.

    Anderson .Paak – The Bird
    Smooth and sunny, appreciative of the one who came into your life (to you, it feels like they flew).

    Angel Olsen ­– Shut Up Kiss Me
    Opening lyric: “I ain’t hanging up this time.” Subverting the cutesy “no, you hang up first!” line, the track shows that love can be cool, sassy and still just as true.

    Frank Ocean – Self Control
    Sometimes being in love’s pretty, sometimes not so much. Sometimes both at once. Aching, but oh so honest.

    Courtney Barnett – Depreston
    Love is exciting, but sometimes it can be about fending off suburban ennui by focusing on bits of domestic bliss. Moving into a new place, stressed but together. Barnett makes a simple French press into a symbol of shared mornings and lives.

    dvsn – Hallucinations
    Soulful falsetto that captures how you feel when your lover’s not around, an icy beat that’s like driving a long way to visit and staying patient until you arrive. Unfortunate but real, this is a long-distance jam.

    Beach House – Take Care
    A simple promise that holds a lot of weight, looking into the future but not too far. This one is a modern waltz for quiet living-room swaying.

  • Must-Have Spring Palettes

    pantone“What’s your favorite color?” Quite the loaded question, we think. The folks at Pantone don’t claim to have a favorite, but their biannual reports shine some light on hues that have captured the collective consciousness. Things start off with the Spring 2017 Fashion Color Report, showcasing the most popular colors to have graced the recent runways.

    A range of blues kicks off the lineup: Lapis Blue, a rich hue whose stone has inspired artists for centuries; Niagara, a muted slate blue with a soft coolness, and Island Paradise, an aquatic getaway for the eyes. Chambray shirts and beachy shorts in these colors will capture the spirit of any spring day.

    Also on the list: Two nature-inspired greens. Greenery is a leafy shade, a cheerful yellow-green that evokes open spaces. Kale, its verdant sibling, offers a deeper forest tone. A pair of trousers in the latter color will have an effect similar to an olive pant: a strong foundation that’s neutral, but with a bit more brightness.

    Designers have been using bold colors that still carry lots of warmth: Flame captures confidence, while Pink Yarrow lends some attitude. Primrose Yellow is like laying in a sunbeam. Pocket squares, scarves and other ‘pop’ items are excellent choices for bringing these shades into the fold.

    Two neutral tones tie the group together: Pale Dogwood, a soft pink that’s low-volume but high-comfort, and Hazelnut, weighty yet airy—like a good blanket. Both colors look soft to the touch, so imagine a supple pair of trousers that lives up to its visual promise.

    Come in and see if you can pick out Pantone’s spring palette in our new lines, and keep your eyes open for fresh color combinations that capture the excitement of the season.

  • Hidden Ski Gem: Wyoming's Grand Targhee

    targheeTwo hundred and forty-two. At the time of writing, that’s how many inches of snow Wyoming’s Grand Targhee has been blessed with this season, and you can bet skiers and boarders have been clamoring to stake their claims. A jewel of the Teton Range, Targhee should be your next destination in the eternal quest for airy powder, soul-satisfying mountain views and classic winter fun.

    The race for powder can be an intense one, but it’s about a lot more than bragging rights: Without cameras or social media, hounds would still be up in the wee hours to chase after pristine blankets of snow. Carving fresh cheddar is one of those feelings you just can’t get enough of.

    Grand Targhee is more than equipped to handle your cravings: Take the lift up Fred’s Mountain for some wide cruisers, or test your skills down some of the double-blacks on Peaked Mountain. If you’re still not satiated, book a Snowcat or backcountry tour for the best in untouched terrain.

    There are plenty of other ways to satisfy the need for speed at Targhee. Kids will have fun shredding the Shoshone Adventure Zone or Tubing Park, and less vertically-obsessed skiers can glide along the Nordic Connector and Snowdrift Loop.

    Once the sun sets or your legs give out, whichever happens first, bring everyone down to the arcade for some coin-operated competition. If you have something more rustic in mind, a sleigh ride through the Caribou-Targhee National Forest will shuttle you to a hearty alpine supper, where you can refuel for your next big day on the powdery slopes.

  • How to Pull Off Bold Socks

    socksDon’t let socks become the afterthought of your ensemble. Rocking a patterned sock is one of our favorite gambles in modern fashion.

    Sure, you have nothing to lose by playing it safe and picking socks that match your pants. But pulling on a brightly patterned pair can bring your look to a whole different level. The key is balance.

    It can be tempting to show off a daring pair, but avoid making socks the focus. Instead, think of them as a garnish and thoughtfully work them into your ensemble.

    A term we like to use is ‘echoing’—where a color from the torso reappears a shade or two lighter around the ankles. If you have a pair of socks with an echoed color, plus a stripe of contrasting hue, even better.

    Consider how to harmonize trousers, socks and shoes. Purple socks with grey trousers and black footwear is a new classic combo, and the right pink socks with a pair of brown brogues and khaki trousers will make everything pop. Switching out the pink for a rich blue shows how a simple color change can shift the feel of things.

    When it comes to patterns have a little fun, but don’t overload your look. A striped sock with dark denim and canvas sneakers is smart but leisurely, while an argyle sock with a corduroy pant produces some fun vertical/diagonal interplay.

    Once you’re feeling extra confident in your sock game, you may even want to add some large polka dots to the mix. One of our favorite patterns, however, is the ‘pinprick’ polka dot. Like a pointillist piece, it offers a great balance between color and texture.

    Stop in at Syd Jerome to check out some of our favorite patterns and palettes. We’re happy to help you find a pair of socks to enliven your ensemble, whether it’s the one you’re wearing when you walk in or the one you’re shopping for.

  • TOP (your hair) TO BOTTOM (keeping your shoes shined) | Sartorially Speaking by Marc Kadish

    Syd Jerome Presents...

    TOP (your hair) TO BOTTOM (keeping your shoes shined)

    This is Nick. He's my... do we be old fashioned and call him a barber, or refer to him as a hair stylist? He prefers barber. He works at the 316 Club on West Jackson in the Loop. He's looking at the most recent issue of the Syd Jerome magazine which had the article on this column.

    IMG_0352-2

    When I first met Nick, we talked about the best way to cut and style my hair. I appreciated this because he took his time and asked for my opinion. I'm not sure I had an opinion other than to state I do not like a part and I thought I was lucky to still have hair at my age.

    I really don't know enough about this topic to give grooming advice. I just figured it's a waste if you have a nice outfit on and your hair looks like you just woke up from a restless night's sleep. So give Nick a call and have him style your hair.

    But I started to think about my hair styles through the various stages of my life and how they reflected prevailing, or at least some, societal values. Growing up in the 50's, I looked like a younger version of "The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit" - think Don Draper in "Mad Men."

    The 60's - I looked like Lon Chaney Jr. in "The Wolfman." (Everytime I hear the old Warren Zevon song " The Werewolves of London," I think of the line - "The hairy headed gent who ran amok in Kent" - and I was still teaching at Kent Law School!) I still had a beard and my hair was fairly - let's say fashionably - long. I became unhappy with my beard because it grew faster than my hair. It looked too long and unkempt. (I won't even comment on the current bartender or waiter vogue for long beards - other than to say not for me).

    So here I am- approaching 74 and my hairstyle seems to have reverted to a Don Draper look alike - except no part and a goatee. I joined Mayer Brown in June 1999 and grew the goatee... Why? I don't really know, except perhaps it helped people remember who I was in a huge international law firm... "Oh yeah, the guy with the goatee." My pet peeve? When my goatee gets too long and I feel like the old Russian Bolshevik, Leon Trotsky.

    The Bottom - whenever I start a trial - it's superstitious - I make certain to have my shoes shined. Besides, shoes last longer when they are regularly shined!

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