Navigating Men’s Style for Any Occasion (including the altar!)
Grant McNamara’s Chicago-Based Brand Helps Men Define their Looks and Styles with Individuality and Originality...
Grant McNamara created GPS almost by accident. Three years ago, the Chicago-native was asked by a relative, an event/ wedding planner, help dress the groom for his big day. Though experienced in fashion and style, this was a first. It wouldn’t be his last. Grant’s unmistakable style, trained eye, intuitive understanding of color, fabric and wear, and an exquisite aesthetic helped the soon-to-be-husband look and feel his very best. His work that day convinced him there was a market for dressing men on special occasions, and soon he made it a business: Groom’s Personal Stylist (GPS), a “wedding fashion navigator who helps them look perfect before, and on, wedding day with concierge and day-of styling services,” says Grant. “I consult with grooms ahead of the wedding to ensure their outfit is exactly as desired, everything is perfectly coordinated between the groomsmen, bridesmaids and family members. We are the only company dedicated to helping the groom and groomsmen before the wedding day.”
The business exploded, and so did his company. Grant expanded by styling men for every occasion, whether it be the office, home or social occasions with a new service, “Gentlemen’s Personal Stylist,” which offers men “image consulting, personal development and education” in the art of developing their own style.” His clients have grown to include players from the Milwaukee Bucks, Chicago Bears and Black-eye goalie Chris Crawford.
Working with both existing wardrobes and new custom clothes “guys learn about themselves, their personal brands, the gap between how they currently represent themselves and where they want to be, steps to close that gap and how to do it themselves,” Grant says. “It’s a journey of style development, sophistication and fun.”
“We look at the entire picture, and that creates a better, more thorough offering,” Grant continues. Body type, skin tone, profession and aspirations all factor into the process, as well as educating men about the intricacies about style. “
A key piece of GPS is the bespoke experience: creating new clothes for men to add to existing wardrobe. ”My niche is geared more towards guys that really care about improving their look/image/style,” he says. “I have a few guys where we made them suits and they were on their way. Totally fine. But the guys that get the most value out of it are the ones that care a little more.” The process is very involved and personal -- Grant works with men on choosing color, fabrics and cuts, making sure every part of the wardrobe reflects not just their life and personality, but their aspirations.
“Style is fun, it is intimate, it is unique. It’s important because it allows people to better understand themselves and how they want to share that with the world,” Grant says.
GPS -- both services -- has quickly gained a following with men in Chicago as well as the country. “Our clients span all industries, professions and personal styles,” Grant says. "They share common values and actions. They are driven. They care. They value quality. They want whatever they’re doing or working on to be successful. They want to show respect for themselves and those around them. They understand what their appearance can do for their confidence, careers, families, intimacy, brand image. Our clients are people that love individuality, being able to stand out and have the confidence to wear whatever they’re comfortable in.”
And helping them find that confidence is Grant, whose own style is constantly evolving. “It reflects what I’m working on, what I want to portray to the world and what I’m feeling,” he says. “I don’t like being boxed into a certain style. I think clothiers that wear a suit and tie everyday are boring and don’t have real style. Just because you wear a nice-fitting suit everyday doesn’t mean you’re stylish. It means you wear nice-fitting suits. Style to me is more than the clothes you wear; it’s about how and why you’re wearing them. It’s how you make those nice-fitting suits unique and you.”
He would know. A former model, Grant was exposed to the fashion industry early and threw himself into the details. “I ate it up,” he admits. “I started reading more on style, especially European style. I spent time with my tailor watching them do alterations. I went to fabric stores and spoke with reps from mills to better understand fabrics and draping.” The experience helped him create a look of his own. “It wasn’t until managing that first custom clothier that I started to really understand my own style, how I wanted to dress and feel, and that I wanted to help others feel that way too.”
Out of that came GPS, a brand “guys could look at and say, ‘Man, he just gets it. That’s who I want helping me.’ It’s knowing who you are, being yourself, and creating something that helps you reach their goal. Those goals may be personal, professional, romantic. It doesn’t matter what it is exactly. Style can help anyone become the person they want to be.”