For many men in Milwaukee, "dressing up" means pulling a newer Brett Favre jersey or a clean bowling shirt over a pair of reasonably clean jeans or semi-rumpled khakis.
Larry Harris has lived in town for 18 years, but he doesn't fall into that camp.
The Bucks general manager takes pride in his wardrobe, which consists of tailor-made suits from Toronto and accoutrements from other cities. OnMilwaukee.com chatted with Harris, a self-proclaimed shopaholic, about what it's like to be an impeccable dresser in a city known for casual comfort.
OnMilwaukee.com: Milwaukee is generally not considered a fashion-forward city. Is it hard to be a well-dressed guy here? I've heard some businessmen say that they have to go Chicago in order to shop. Do you do any shopping locally or do you have to travel to buy clothes?
Larry Harris: I've got a couple different places for different things. I get my shoes in Atlanta and I've got a tailor out of Toronto that does all my suits and he Garanimals them for me; he puts the suits and shirts and ties together. I've got a little board that has different matches on it.
There are some good stores in Milwaukee that I go to. I get a couple of suits here and there and maybe some blazers and things like that locally. All the shirts I wear, casual shirts, slacks and things like that is stuff that I buy here. We've got good clothing stores here.
OMC: How do you keep up with the latest trends? Do you read magazines like GQ?
LH: Definitely. My tailor, Rob, is very good at letting me know what's going on. He puts a lot of stuff together for me.
OMC: You work in an ultra-competitive environment. Does that enter into your sartorial decisions at all? Do you or coaches or players that you've known feel pressure to out-dress your counterparts?
LH: For me, it's not really like that. I give my father (former Bucks coach Del Harris) all the credit in the world. He just thought it was very important to take care of yourself and to dress well. Appearance is important. You know the old cliché, "Dress for success." It's one of my vices; I love clothes. I probably have more clothes than most women do. It's bad. It's a bad habit. I can't even wear all the clothes that I have in one year, especially shirts.
LH: That's true. I've got a couple suits that will step out. There are some that I'll break out when I go to L.A. or Miami that are a little different.
OMC: How did you meet your tailor?
LH: He has done some stuff with our players and other people that I know. For whatever reason, we just kind of connected. It's a small clothing business out of Toronto. He just comes in, we pick out some material and he sizes us up and makes some suits.
OMC: So you're not really an off-the-rack guy. What kind of designers or brands do you like?
LH: A lot of my suits are Zegna. I love those. As far as just regular dress shirts, I'm all over the board. As far as shoes, I think Ferragamo is great. I've got some Mezlan shoes that I like. I like boots, too. I'm from Texas, so there is a little cowboy in me as well. I like country music. I'm kind of all over the map.
OMC: A lot of NBA players and coaches, like Pat Riley, are known as fashion plates. Are there any other GMs with a standout sense of style?
LH: There are few guys. I would say Brian Colangelo in Toronto. He puts himself out there in that way. He's always prided himself on that. With some of the guys, it's not that important. That's OK. To each his own. I just think you're representing your organization. I just think it's the proper way to do it. Fortunately, I'm in a position financially where I'm able to do some things like that. It's something that I enjoy.
OMC: Do your players ever comment on your wardrobe? Do you try to out-do them?
LH: Not really. When you have to get them dressed up, they've got a lot of stuff like that. But, they get so used to being in sweats and stuff all the time that they kind of like more of the casual wear. I don't mind dressing up. To me, it's something that is very important in the position I'm in. I have nothing against jeans and dressing down. I believe in that every day of the week if you can get away with it. It's something that doesn't work for me.
OMC: I just read a story that said suits are making a comeback and some people and companies are moving away from the casual Friday approach. Do you think that's a good thing?
LH: I think so. Nowadays, people are more accepting of wearing a jacket without a tie. We can get away with that a little bit. For most of the events I go to, I want to wear a tie. But, there are times when I think it puts people at ease not to wear one. If all of a sudden you come in wearing a suit and a tie, people might think, "Oh-oh, I'm underdressed." You almost put them on the defensive. You've go tot kind of weigh it out. You have to consider the environment that you're going into and what's appropriate.
Host of “The Drew Olson Show,” which airs 1-3 p.m. weekdays on The Big 902. Sidekick on “The Mike Heller Show,” airing weekdays on The Big 920 and a statewide network including stations in Madison, Appleton and Wausau. Co-author of Bill Schroeder’s “If These Walls Could Talk: Milwaukee Brewers” on Triumph Books. Co-host of “Big 12 Sports Saturday,” which airs Saturdays during football season on WISN-12. Former senior editor at OnMilwaukee.com. Former reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.