Four of the city’s most fashionable gents talk personal style, secret tips — and their worst slip-ups.
The ‘Boy’ Next Door: Steve Grand, 23
The Chicago singer became a viral-video sensation when his song “All-American Boy” hit almost 2 million YouTube views in one month. Now, he’s enjoying a whirlwind rise to fame while balancing his thrift-store style with his newfound star status.
My style is a mix of … that “just rolled out of bed” look and any piece of clothing that survived the journey from someone’s closet to the discount rack at the thrift store.
I’d never spend more than $20 on … I’m spontaneous and irrational, so it’s hard for me to commit to to never spending more than $20 on anything, but I don’t like spending more than that on a T-shirt.
My favorite place to shop in Chicago is … Crossroads Trading Co. [2711 N. Clark]. Most of the clothes I wore in the “All-American Boy” video were from there.
I feel best when I’m wearing … my Levi’s and the same worn-out shirt I’ve been wearing since I was 18.
My No. 1 tip for always looking good is … sleep more than three hours the night before you’ve got to look good!
My biggest style mistake was … high school. Every day. All four years.
The sculptor and director of the graduate fashion program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago has built his life around staying stylish — he even combined his passions to create Soundsuits, wearable fabric sculptures that he’s been exhibiting since 1999.
My style icons are … Lenny Kravitz and Cleopatra Jones, because they both always bring it.
I get my style inspiration from … “Soul Train” and third-world street wear.
My favorite exercise is … the medicine ball situp throw.
My go-to shop in Chicago is … Gallery Aesthete [46 E. Oak].
The one thing I’d never wear is … white pants and flip flops.
My biggest style mistake is … still waiting.
Ponce has been broadcasting his thoughts — and sartorial savvy — across the city for more than three decades, most recently as the host of WTTW’s “Chicago Tonight.” He’s now dressing for a new role: grandfather. (He’s welcomed two granddaughters within the past year.)
My style icon is … a mashup of Lord Grantham [from “Downton Abbey”], Tim Gunn and Pee-wee Herman. One represents the straight and narrow, the second, creativity and the third, fun!
My style is a mix of … Brooks Brothers, classic ’60s and whimsy — the way Don Draper might dress if he had a sense of humor.
The piece of clothing I can’t live without is … a basic blue blazer. It’s like your best friend: good company on just about any occasion.
My go-to shop in Chicago is … Sears on Lawrence [1900 W. Lawrence]. They have a great selection of casual clothing for guys my height.
My No. 1 tip for always looking good is … make good use of scissors and tweezers, gents. Nothing is a bigger buzz kill than errant facial hairs.
My favorite exercise regimen is … jogging three days a week and lifting light weights twice a week. I know I’ll never look like a teenager again, but then again, I didn’t look like one when I was one!
I never go to the gym without … my headset radio. I get a workout and my required dose of WFMT, WBEZ and WBBM-AM.
I’d never go on a date without … my wife. She always looks good.
My biggest style mistake was … wearing oversized red aviator glasses during the Reagan years. Mike Ditka saw me wearing them at a news conference and told me I looked like a nerd. He was right.
The Bulls small forward and shooting guard is known for his impressive stats as a second-year player, but off the court, Butler still steals the show with his colorful style. And at 6-foot-7, it’s hard not to notice when Butler strides into a party.
My style is a mix of … designer with basics. At Marquette University, I was known for dressing country, and I still like to wear my cowboy boots.
The piece of clothing I can’t live without is … colorful pants. I love to mix it up.
I’d never spend more than $20 on … socks. I usually don’t even wear them.
I would never go on a trip without … four pairs of earrings and some colorful pants.
I’d never go on a date without … having gum and making sure my breath is fresh.
The one thing I’d never wear is … a Miami Heat jersey.