As a personal stylist at Trunk Club, Emily Warner’s job is to pair men with designer clothes—to get them wearing items that are more adventurous or upscale than they’re used to, yet still embody their personal style. The process is a lot like choosing a gift: keep in mind the recipient’s personality, but don’t be afraid to get him something he wouldn’t pick out for himself. So with Father’s Day coming up, I wondered: how do personal stylists choose gifts for their dads? Has their job given them any additional insight into what men want? To find out, I interviewed Emily and two of her colleagues, Trunk Club sales director Jamie Snydel and senior stylist Jamie Green. Here’s what I learned. 1) It’s OK to choose something your dad doesn’t know he wants yet. “I like to pick out things that will help my loved ones go one step outside their comfort zone,” Warner says. She recently got her dad his first pair of designer jeans, an attempt to replace a beat-up old pair from Costco. “He was not into it until he put them on and my mom saw him, gasped, and said ‘You look so handsome!’ Needless to say, they are now his favorite pair.” Snydel had similar success buying her father a Nike Fuel band. “I got it for him for Christmas last year. He became so obsessed, and since December has lost 45 pounds!” She says that thanks to his physical transformation, he even enjoys shopping for clothes now. 2) If you’re an expert on something, use that. Perhaps it’s no surprise that all three employees of the men’s wardrobe service are getting their dads clothes for Father’s Day. Snydel, for instance, picked out a light gray pair of Paige chinos. “My dad is in his sixties and it would be pretty tough to get him to wear stark white pants, so this is a suitable alternative,” she says. “Light gray pants go with anything from T-shirts to blazers and a button-up and are perfect for the summer weather ahead.” As for Green, she purposely chose a golf shorts/dress shirt combo she knew her dad would find versatile. “Not only can he wear the two pieces together at the beach where he lives,” she says, “but he can wear each piece separately while doing two of his favorite activities: playing golf and selling real estate.” The point, Snydel says, is that giving gifts is a great way to share the benefits of her professional expertise with her family. “My dad and my brother are much better dressed because of me,” she says. “Two guys who never cared about clothes now are constantly asking me for style advice.” 3) Make it personal. Warner is also giving her father a golf outfit, but in her case it has special significance. Along with the clothes, she’s including a round of golf together, a father-daughter tradition. “Playing together whenever I come home has always been our thing,” she says. “Now it is my chance to bring a little style to his game.” For her part, Green is a fan of literally personalizing gifts. She says the best present she ever got her dad was a set of custom golf balls with his initials on them. “Not only does it make them one-of-a-kind, but I know that each time he plays golf he will think of me.” For even more stylish gift ideas for Dad, check out our shopping guides to Sir & Madame and Haberdash, or visit Groupon’s Father’s Day store. Follow along as our writer test drives Trunk Club’s personal styling services. I Have a Wedding in Vegas and Nothing to Wear. Trunk Club, Help. The men’s clothing service fixes me up and gives me beer for the trouble.Read More
Ben Mutz Golf
Follow this business and get notified when they run a deal.
Map & Contact Info
Be the first to recommend this place!
0% of 0 customers recommended
Ben Mutz Golf
An Olympic medal gets you in a lot of doors, as Sean Rooney learned in 2008. After his indoor volleyball team took first place in the Beijing Games, Sean got to meet basketball superstar (and fellow Olympic athlete) Dwyane Wade and shake hands with former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, who gently teased him for being a Cubs fan. But instead of gluing the medal to every shirt he owned, Sean handed it off to his dad as thanks for all his support. “He was pretty proud of it,” Sean remembers. “He might have worn it as a necktie at work for a while.” Sean made a name for himself as an outside hitter for the US men’s indoor volleyball team, but he also dabbled in beach volleyball as part of the AVP league after college. “Some of the fondest memories I have from playing beach volleyball were the three [AVP] tournaments that I [played] on Oak Street and North Avenue beaches,” the Chicagoland native recalls. Ahead of his team’s return to Chicago for World League matches on June 13–14 and 20–21, we asked Sean to share some pro tips for beach-goers hoping to hit the sand courts this season. 1. Use a secret language “In beach volleyball, there’s typically only two people [per side] with a lot of court to cover,” Sean explains. This makes communication between teammates crucial. In addition to verbal cues—such as shouting “Got it!” or “Seagull incoming!”—Sean recommends devising hand signals “to set up your offense or to communicate when you’re further apart.” Such nonverbal cues are important, he says, to prevent the other team from anticipating your plays. 2. Work with the wind Playing outdoors also means adapting to the weather. Sean recalls the challenges of playing on North Avenue Beach in particular: “The wind comes across there at a pretty awkward angle, so you definitely see a different version of volleyball while you’re there.” He suggests the old trick of using a handful of sand to sense the direction of the wind before each serve and adjusting the strength of your hit accordingly. 3. Pick the right shades The sun can also work against you during outdoor play, which is why a hat and sunglasses are a must. But be careful which pair of shades you pick. “I have a little scar between my eyes from wearing the wrong type of sunglasses when I was young and dumb,” Sean warns. “The designer ones are more inclined to leave a mark if you take one in the dome. Sports sunglasses are usually the way to go.” 4. Use your toes as shovels The reason beach volleyball players go barefoot has nothing to do with eliminating sandal tan lines and everything to do with mobility. Shoes and socks are bound to get filled with sand and weigh you down. “Basically, you’re using every one of your toes as a mini shovel,” Sean explains. “If you dig down and take small steps, that’s how you move laterally and stay quick on the beach.” 5. But don’t burn your feet There’s nothing worse than playing barefoot on hard-packed sand that’s been baking in the sun all day. During pro tournaments, organizers use hoses to keep the sand watered down, but on public beaches, you’ll have to improvise your own water source. If you’ve already emptied out the ice from your cooler, there’s still a trick you can use. “If you’re not in the middle of a play, you can shimmy down and bury your feet below the surface,” Sean says, “There’s a little shade there, and that definitely can help.” If all else fails? “Keep moving.” The US men’s indoor volleyball team will play World League matches against Serbia in Chicago June 13–14 and against Bulgaria in Hoffman Estates June 20–21. Click here for more information or to purchase tickets. If volleyball isn’t your game of choice, check Groupon for tickets to other sporting events in Chicago. Photos courtesy of USA Volleyball.Read More
Before Erin Hamlin won bronze at Sochi, Americans didn’t have much to celebrate in Olympic luge. But why? A young man throws himself down a tunnel of ice in search of answers. It finally happened. On Tuesday night, American Erin Hamlin rocketed her way to a bronze medal in the women’s single-luge event at the 2014 Winter Olympics. The podium finish marked the first time an American athlete—male or female—earned an individual medal in luge since the sport’s introduction to the games in 1964. It was an historic moment, one nearly overshadowed by the media’s coverage of more “important” US luge stories. Surely you saw the athletic feat that was Kate Hansen’s pre-race Beyoncé dance. And there’s no forgetting the romantic plight of men’s luge star Tucker West, whose father went to extraordinary lengths to find a girlfriend for his “very single” son. Until Hamlin’s medal-worthy runs, much of the luge at this year’s Olympics had come and gone unnoticed in the States. The sport has been relegated to NBC’s graveyard shift in favor of more telegenic sports like snowboarding and making fun of Bob Costas’s eye. It doesn’t help that German gold medalists Felix Loch and Natalie Geisenberger have, in what has become an Olympic tradition, shredded their opponents like so much sauerkraut. Asked before the event how Loch could be taken down, US luger Chris Mazdzer didn’t exactly talk strategy. “He crashes,” Mazdzer said, hardly batting an eye. Despite Mazdzer’s less-than-rosy outlook, a lack of confidence alone cannot explain the dearth of Americans lugers on the medal podium. Here’s something that can: you can count the number of luge tracks in the United States on one hand. Overcome with patriotic fervor and determined to save our country from embarrassment in four years in Pyeongchang, South Korea, I decided to visit one of these tracks and see if I have what it takes to be an Olympian. Or at least make it to the bottom of the track alive. Greetings from Muskegon Situated on Michigan’s western shore just 200 miles north of Chicago, the track at the Muskegon Winter Sports Complex doesn’t boast the competition-grade amenities of former Olympic tracks in Lake Placid, New York, or Park City, Utah. A little shorter and a little slower, the track is mostly used as a training tool by the country’s junior program. More importantly, it’s also the only luge track in America that’s open to the public. For just $45, anyone with health insurance and a warm jacket can rocket at 30 miles per hour down a sliding track designed by three-time Olympian Frank Masley. This year, I decided to be that anyone. On Groundhog Day, some friends and I piled into my hatchback and headed through the snow toward Muskegon. Aside from a few childhood visits to the ice rink and bunny hill, our collective winter-sports experience consisted mainly of our daily attempts to not slip to our deaths on icy L platforms. Still, what what we lacked in practice, we made up for with enthusiasm. Oh, and nerves. Lots and lots of nerves, which we tried to suppress by filling the three-hour drive with as many luge-related puns as possible. "Did you remember to put the address into the GPS? I wouldn't want us to luge our way." "I heard NBC is doing a new winter-themed weight loss show. The Biggest Luger." And so on. You get the idea. We pulled in to the track just as the puns stopped being funny. With temperatures hovering just below freezing, the lodge bustled with the sights and sounds of winter athletics. In addition to the luge track, the complex boasts facilities for ice hockey and cross-country skiing, as well as a few sledding runs and trails for snowshoeing. As we signed our waivers, we were surrounded by kids lacing up their skates for slapshot practice in the rink outside. It looked like a pleasant enough way to spend the afternoon, but we didn’t have time to dawdle. Having arrived slightly after our scheduled start time, we had a sport to conquer and only two hours to do it. How to Keep Cool on a Frozen Track Whether you’re on time or not, the complex’s Learn to Luge program begins with a group safety and equipment lesson. After donning the required helmet and forearm pads, we met the sleds. Crafted by masters in Austria, they are elegant in their simplicity: consisting of two runners connected by a metal crossbar, they’d find their way safely to the bottom with or without a pilot. In fact, the only human-friendly features on these sleds are a flat fabric seat, two handles, and a set of bows used for guiding the runners. Suitably acquainted with our sleds, we turned to one of the complex’s junior competitors for a quick lesson on steering, which is done with the calves. We listened with the solemn attention of soldiers preparing to charge the battlefield. “Keep your feet up. Think of it as one long leg lift.” OK, that seems reasonable. “Don’t tense up. If you tense up, you’ll be fighting the sled the whole way down.” Not sure how to stay loose when I’m so nervous, but sure … “Keep your shoulders and head back, or you’ll start to fishtail.” But how the hell will I see where I’m going … ? “Be sure to keep your hands on the handles. We want you to come down with all 10 fingers.” Tell my mother I love her. Searching for Answers at 30 Miles Per Hour After our brief and terrifying lesson, we shouldered our sleds (at 25–40 pounds each, this was no picnic) and trudged up the steps to get in line with our fellow students. They were already on the track, filling the air with a clattering rumble as, one by one, they zoomed toward the crash pads at the bottom. As I stood at the back of the pack, a boy zipped by on one of the youth-sized sleds. In a moment I am less than proud to recall, I was physically and emotionally intimidated by an 11-year-old. The luge runs at the Learn to Luge program are quick. Launching from the three-quarter mark on the track, most riders hit the finish in less than 19 seconds. Thus, our wait in line was brief. A mere 15 minutes after climbing the stairs for the first time, I found myself sitting at the launch, hands on the paddles, waiting for the public-address announcer to declare the track clear. “Don’t worry,” said the merciful track attendant. “I still get nervous before my first run of the day.” Strangely, though, in those last moments before I shoved off, I was no longer anxious. I was too busy reflecting on what had brought me to this point. Was it my New Year’s resolution to stop being a big fraidy cat? Did my Winter Olympics mania run deeper than I first realized? Or, like anyone who watched Erin Hamlin on Tuesday night, did I just want a taste of the thrill that makes some athletes devote their lives to a sport that most of America only remembers every four years? “Track clear! Track clear!” I lay back on the sled, staring up at the snowflakes falling lazily toward the track. Gripping the launch paddles with both hands, I eased myself gingerly out of the gate, sliding down the ice in search of answers. Olympic luge coverage finishes tonight with the final runs of the doubles event. The Muskegon Winter Sports Complex’s Learn to Luge program runs every weekend through March 9. Register here. Photos: Collin BrennanRead More