Intelligentsia Coffee(53 W Jackson Blvd, 312-253-0594)
�We�re trying to distinguish specialty coffee from commodity coffee, the dollar coffee versus three-dollar coffee,� says Intelligentsia marketing director Stephen Morrissey. �What can we do to the experience to provide context?� Their solution: different dress codes in the coffee company�s various locations. Going along with the Monadnock Building�s old-world feel, the baristas follow a dress code of fitted button-down shirts, neckties or bowties and vests or suspenders.
Publican Quality Meats(825 W Fulton Mkt, 312-445-8977)
�It�s kind of hardcore dealing with a tough business and at times aggressive crowd, so we want the staff to have flair and individuality. Their tattoos coming through their V-cut shirts give them a hard-core edge,� says Matt Gantz, general manager of the butcher shop/deli. The cream-colored henleys for male and female staffers bear a �Q� on the sleeve and the restaurant logo on the back. Everyone wears dark-wash denim, and the butchers, who are very much on display, sport specially handmade aprons by local design duo Winter Session.
Public Hotel(1301 N State Pkwy, 312-787-3700)
While the Pump Room servers wear jeans, sweaters and Converse and the bellmen wear toggle coats, the cocktail waitresses keep up fancier appearances in Narciso Rodriguez-inspired LBDs. The mastermind behind the designs is New York-based Freddie Leiba. He�s been Ian Schrager�s uniform consultant for the last 25 years and dressed the staff of New York�s Gramercy Park (formerly a Schrager property) in genuine Rodriguez.
RM(116 N Green St, 312-243-1199)
�[RM] is a chance for us to be the most dorky because it�s smaller and more esoteric than other places we have done,� says Chris Dexter of the Element Collective�s new Champagne bar that backs up into the company�s West Loop restaurant, Nellc�te (it also owns Old Town Social). �We don�t carry mass-marketed Champagne, just a highly curated selection.� It was important to find a local designer who embodied the same ideals, the same ethos of what RM stood for.� Their find: Elise Bergman and her simple, elegant scoop-back dresses in a midnight blue cotton (slightly tweaking a pre-existing Bergman design to suit RM�s Elsa Maxwell/Grace Kelly-inspired aesthetic). Bergman also made pouches from Horween leather to class up the server aprons.
Trenchermen(2039 W North Ave, 773-661-1540)
Riffing on the steampunk concept the restaurateurs presented to her, designer Soo Choi went with �working class� fabrics for the Trenchermen staff. �I like the idea of women in any working environment, like an atelier where she wears a lab coat�[something] purely for a working [environment].� The female servers wear reversible grey pinstripe cotton smocks that drape comfortably on the body and aren�t overly feminine. Male servers sport chambray shirts��the blue adds a nice accent to the [restaurant�s] brown interior���and bartenders wear aprons with detachable leather straps.
Terrace at Trump(401 N Wabash Ave, 312-588-8600)
The outfit changes every year, but it�s always designed by local designer Nicholas Joseph. This year, going along with the �chic and urban oasis� concept, the female servers are decked in appropriately conservative buttercup-colored cocktail dresses and light pink pearls while the guys keep it simple with custom-tailored brown slacks and light blue checkered polo shirts.