Chicago | July 18, 2016 9:00 am

Under the Influence: Rob Washington

Our man over at Sir & Madame on five labels you should know

“What are you wearing?”

Preferred icebreaker of 900-number operators and yours truly — at least when he’s talking to stylish fellas like Rob Washington, born-and-bred Chicagoan and manager over at Sir & Madame, that damn fine streetwear boutique in Hyde Park.

For the uninitiated, S&M’s something of an institution when it comes to Chicago menswear: opened in the Ukrainian Village in 2009 and moved to Hyde Park last year. The look is refined and easy, with a heavy lean towards streetwear and an in-house brand that reflects said style.

From foundational basics to a heavy-hitting labels you’d do well to sprinkle into your fit, here are five brands Washington recommends to help you get right for summer.

“I’m big on construction and detailing and Kapital has those in spades. Their Ring Coat is a staple every season and they’ve recently taken it deeper into their Japanese roots by adding an extensive amount of boro detailing.”

BLR Design
“Often for me less is more, but somehow BLR Design manages to give us both. His pieces are clean cut and minimalist, yet are well balanced with a good amount detailing. The denim pieces are works of art.”

Sir & Madame
“The owners are stepping out of their comfort zones and have increased design and production. My favorite piece is the crewneck sweatshirt. It’s something that I keep within arm’s reach year round.”

Ralph Lauren 
“I’m a Ralph Lauren fan from way back and he’s been nailing the classics for nearly twice as long as I’ve been alive. My favorites at the moment are RRL jeans. I have a handful of fits and I love them all.”

“Within the Comme des Garçons fold, Fumito Ganryu is holding the torch high for wearable art. He’s mastered the fundamentals of fit and fabrication, especially in his button-down shirts, but continues to offer accessible avant-garde options.”

Main Photo: Chuckstrphoto