Q/A with Style Savant - Ryan Beshel
Our man about town and Windy City fashion authority Ryan Beshel talks style tips, his day to day, and being an ambitious man of style. What are your biggest wardrobe challenges? Proper fit is tough for me. I stand 6’ 4” and I’m quite slim – so sleeve length, chest fit and inseams are my worst nightmares! Is it difficult finding, selecting and buying clothes that fit properly? Always. I think it’s a challenge that everyone faces – no matter your size. For me, fit is everything. Most men would look half as sharp, if only their shirt/blazer/denim fit perfectly. It’s more than half the battle to maintaining a proper style aesthetic – and it can be the most difficult thing to achieve with so many different cuts and brands and options. Finding the perfect fit for your body gets very overwhelming for anyone, including myself. Can you take us through a typical day for you? What challenges does your schedule present for the way you dress? One day is never the same as the one before. With such a range of clients to service, I can find myself at the gym in the morning for a workout, then off to meetings with new clients, current clients and/or humans that inspire me. I try to take one meeting a week with someone that I know very little about, but am slightly social-media-obsessed with. Once the workday is over for most, it may be just starting for me. (Restaurants open at 5p and I rep quite a few of them!) My office hours usually begin at 6a and end around 1a – so, yes, there are definite wardrobe challenges to navigate from day to day! (I carry a big leather bag that hides all my secrets.) How has being known as a “man of style” influenced how you shop and style yourself? That is a flattering title and quite a lot of pressure comes with it. I try not to take it too seriously, because I just dress for my body and for what makes me feel like me, on any given day. I play with perception – it’s very intriguing to me: the power of style and how you can use it to influence judgment of who you are, based on your dress. It’s a game we play every day – whether we realize it and actually use it, or not. I tend to have solid quality pieces that I fill in with inexpensive items to play with different looks, using the same items. Versatility in a wardrobe is important, especially for a new business owner! You have to be able to get the most out of your clothes, without breaking the bank. What qualities do you look for when checking out a new clothing brand? Being a Chicago guy who keeps a very close eye on the fashion scene, I live for local. Nothing is better than supporting one of your own – especially when a Chicago designer stays in Chicago. (Which can be a difficult thing to do with the draw of NYC and the like.) Furthermore, I look for quality constructors and mindful makers. I want a designer to know where his goods are made and have a hand in making sure that process is in line with the vision of their final product. Price is always going to be top of mind for me, and I think for many. Price tells you a lot about a product – and the quality that remains (or fails) after you buy it tells you if you got what you paid for. I never want to be let down by a purchase – and it is in the hands of the designer to be sure that their consumers trust them and what they are putting into the world. Trust is everything. Which BOGA pieces made an impression on you? I swoon hard for the Bossman boots (I can’t stop wearing them – it’s becoming a problem). The selection of shoes this season is so on-point to me – and the entire collection has a very cohesive feel, from shoes to jackets to vests. BOGA fits me like a dream – and that alone makes me want every piece they have. I like that there is a selection of basics (every man needs the blue/gray/brown mix) and a proper selection of patterns for those bolder days on the town. The garments are made to be mixed and match – which is exactly how I dress. What stands out for you in terms of how Chicago men dress? Well, we dress for … weather. We all know that one day in Chicago can see four seasons – and utility and versatility is important for Chicago men. I have watched as Chicago’s menswear community has grown in recent years and there is a very real sense of style that has developed. Men are looking for well-made products with a brand story that they can see themselves in. With social media so prevalent, there are too many choices to sift through – which also makes for a more educated consumer. Chicago men seem to want a more conservative look (though, there are those who like to go bold), that stands out for its classic appeal (a good flannel shirt, a well-fitting blazer, the perfect fall boot) and can be used with many outfits (a layer or two to remove, when summer hits … in winter.) Because we all know very well that it’s all about layers around here! Any go-to style tips for guys you can share? I said once and I’ll say it again: fit. Fit is everything. It can take a look from “wearing your Dad’s suit” to “hot Dad” in the blink of an eye. Start with a set of basic colors for your jackets (the blue/gray/brown looks) that can be worn multiple times, without anyone ever figuring it out. Fill in your wardrobe with a few bold patterns that will serve a bit of elevated style (show ‘em you know what’s up) and finish it off with the perfect shoes. Shoes and fit are of equal value, in my book! I always look at shoes first – and they can say a world of things about you. Do you really own 25,000 bow ties? I certainly do not! But, I do own 50 or so of them. All of them are gifts from wonderful friends and/or companies I stand behind. Neckties are too easy, if you ask me. A real man of style knows how to tie a bowtie … with his eyes closed.
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