Urban Style Challenge: Dublin vs Chicago

Today, our challenge is all about the boys. Our contributors Marcel and Sean wrote about men’s style in their cities, Dublin and Chicago. Sit back and enjoy.

Dublin Chicago
Hair Anything goes. We have our fair share of Berlinesque hipster-haircuts, but also the good old mullet and fully shave head of the youngster from the suburbs’ Nothing particular for professionals, but for the hipsters and coll kids: faux-hawks, close-crop, shaved head.  Some dreds.  High-top fades, and other 80′s styles have started to come back for African Americans.
Fashion trends What goes in mainland Europe also goes in Dublin, though we share more trends with London than Milan. All a bit on the colourful side. Light leather jackets (spring), Ugly sunglasses (hopefully this will end in 2011), jeans that fit, and men’s hats are all back.  Accessories seem to be coming back into vogue: tie pins, pocket kerchiefs.
Colour Depends on the occasion – business attire comes with more sober colours, while in the evenings bright colours and flashy outfits prevail. Winter: Black. Chicago is infamous for conservative-styled black on black. In the spring and summer: Pastels and other light colors crop up, as do white shoes and hats.  Lots of earth tones in the fall, to match the leaves on the trees.
Footwear For men, anything between sneakers and brogues goes. Many ladies do however wear Ugg-boots on as many occasions as possible. Vintage leather shoes (black, brown, white), and slip-ins have become more popular.  AF1s for “street style”.  Basic dress shoes, vs. a pattern or wing-tip are more popular.  “5 Fingers” shoes for fitness,
Evening gear As Dublin offers a variety of evening activities (and clubs), evening gear and wear varies accordingly. The majority of men however opt for the standard (and bouncer-approved) combination of ironed shirt, jeans and brogues when going out. A sport coat or blazer is a must, unless it’s too hot, in which case a button down and tie will do.  Many clubs won’t let you in with pants that are too baggy, even if they’re dress pants. Darker colors, but no blue button-downs, those are for engineers and factory managers, not for a night on the town.
Weekend outfits Has to be the tracksuit, whether you do sports on the weekend or not. It depends heavily on your activities.  For some, it’s polo shirts and shorts w/sandals for sailing, or a white button down and slacks for brunch.  Blue jeans and T-shirts for many, the more ironic the T-shirt, the better.
After-work activities This being the capital of Ireland, the preferred after-work activity of Dublin males is the pub. Most Chicagoans don’t live by their work, so as a consequence, any after-work activity tends to be in work clothes.  Occasionally, one might stop at home to throw on a blazer and a pair of more casual, usually brown, shoes.

About the author

Ana Astri-O'Reilly
Ana Astri-O’Reilly is from Argentina, where she lived until five years ago. She currently lives in Dallas, USA with her British husband, but they move a lot. Previously a translator and English and Spanish teacher, Ana first started writing to share her experiences and adventures with friends and family. She speaks Spanish, English and a smattering of Portuguese.
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  • This was really fun to read! I never imagined Dubliners were so colourful.

    Where do Chicagoans go sailing? On the lake?

    Great post all of you!

  • Sean Oliver

    Hi Liz. Yes, Lake Michigan. Lots of people forget that the Midwest borders the Great Lakes; the largest freshwater source in the entire world. Lake Michigan is huge, bigger than a few seas, even. It has treacherous currents as well. Great for sailling.