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There are a few men in Chicago who truly understand menswear, and Nish De Gruiter is one of them. As VP of SuitSupply, he sees countless pieces of luxury clothing come through his doors and gains national attention. It's safe to say that this pro has figured out what works.
This makes him the perfect person to reflect on the city's role within the menswear industry, which is why we caught up with him to talk trends on SuitSupply's gorgeous rooftop last night. The good news? The men of Chicago get the stamp of approval from de Gruiter.
What have you learned about Chicago's menswear style from being in the store?
If I compare this to other cities, many Chicago men put a lot more effort into style, especially at night. I see it at the restaurants right here in the Gold Coast, downtown, at the Public Hotel—people are really well-dressed. You see a lot of jackets that they pair with ties. They put a lot of effort into looking as good as the women. I think Chicago is one the biggest cities where people really dress.
What are some trends in menswear that you've been seeing?
A big trend that we've been seeing is inspiration the Palm Springs interior fabrics and reinterpreting that in suit fabrics. Lot of texture, wool fabrics. There are a lot of beautiful fabrics, a lot of jewel tones that are going to be big.
Do you think the weather in Chicago restricts style? Or does it help people become more stylish and try new things?
I think the best thing about it is that we layer it up. I mean, you wear a nice chunky sweater and on top of that you wear a beautiful outerwear coat and then a cashmere scarf, hat, gloves. Those are all the categories we're tapping into for next season. We saw a big push towards not only buying suits but also accessories to prepare for the winter.
Are the there any things that sell really well here but wouldn't in another market?
Scarves, cashmere scarves, hats, gloves. We sell that more in Chicago than we do in Atlanta, definitely.
Tell us a little bit about what you're wearing, especially the tie.
It's knit. I like to combine it with a more casual suit so it's balanced. The whole look works. Your suit shouldn't be louder than your personality; I always say that. The suit is woven linen, it has this denim color, like an indigo, so it looks really full and rich. With this tie it looks nice and toned down.
· Suit Supply [Official Site]