When it comes to building a proper wardrobe, it's important to start with the basics:
A comfortable pair of jeans. A few quality T-shirts. Some accessories to elevate the look when necessary.
Because what’s a handsome man without a strong foundation?
Good news for you: we went ahead and rounded up five affordable Chicago brands that’ll upgrade your basic garb posthaste.
Spring is basically here. Time to re-up.
Dearborn Denim & Apparel
Considering you’re a local guy, you might wanna keep tabs on Dearborn Denim. This new denim brand is taking a fresh and local approach to the retail game — cutting and sewing all of its jeans at its East Garfield Park factory, then peddling them straight to you for next to nothing. At $49 a pop, don’t expect the crispy raw denim selvedge variety. Instead, reckon stretchy denim woven in Georgia using cotton from Texas. Comfortable? You betcha’. Big bonus: they offer hemming service at no extra cost. CHECK IT OUT
For a brand whose first product was a Kickstarter for refined sweatpants (the campaign raised $180K and sold 2,000 pairs), Public Rec ain’t doing too bad these days. The athletic-inspired label has expanded since then, adding to its portmanteau of sport and fashion with standbys like the Politan hoodie and Go-To Henley. CHECK IT OUT
Fourth Is King
Launched in 2010 by local designer Jay Byrnes, Fourth Is King makes simple tees, hoodies and ball caps. We’re big fans of the brand’s You Are Beautiful pom beanie, a collaboration with local artist Matthew Hoffman. Speaking of hats, nothing elevates a lazy weekend outfit better — this CHI snapback should do the trick. CHECK IT OUT
What’s in your wallet? This brand’s Clamshell Wallet is designed and hand-sewn in Chicago from Horween leather. They’re simple, minimalist, and all a man needs to keep his loot in check. Keep in mind: you’ll have to ditch all that surplus junk. But hey, it’s about time, anyway, right? CHECK IT OUT
Le Coeur Watches
You don’t have to spend a fortune on a good-looking watch, and it doesn’t have to be a Timex, either. Le Coeur isn’t reinventing the wheel here, nor do they intend to — they make handsome, functional tickers for men who just want something … well, handsome and functional on their wrists. You don’t have to get the watch with the Chicago flag engraving, but hey, then you won’t be able to show it off. CHECK IT OUT