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chicago, il
united states



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Dressing Up Denim.

Erik Engstrom

Like every summer, I have already been surrounded by catered food, free beer, random relatives, and wedding bells. Wedding season is here! I have had a wedding almost every single weekend for the past few weeks. Every weekend I am tempted to wear the same outfit, it'd just be so easy. But then what would be the use of 50 ties from The Tie Bar in my closet? 

Usually, I go for a lot of color in my wedding outfits, but recently, I have enjoyed pulling back and keeping things simple: black and white. I am oh so thankful for The Tie Bar releasing button down shirts, they have quickly become a favorite. I need like six more. I'm a slim guy and the slim fit works perfectly with my figure. Pair a white shirt with a black-knit tie. I'm ready for a wedding. And of course, I've added a chambray shirt to layer over it all. Just to add a little 'Erik' touch. 

In all honesty, if you have yet to shop The Tie Bar you need to check their website or stop by the shop in Lincoln Park, Chicago! I've been shopping at The Tie Bar since I was in high school and they still continue to blow me away. If you are getting married soon, or even just going going to a wedding, check out their wedding shop! It has all the help you need in finding the perfect out!


Shop the Look:

The Tie Bar Herringbone Shirt
The Tie Bar Knitted Tie
Gap Khakis
Gap Icon Worker Shirt
DSW Oxford

Setting the Wild Standard.

Erik Engstrom

I have lived in the same apartment for the past 2 years. While I've had ample time, I have never really fully decorated the space. Better late than never...right? 

Good friends of mine rented the apartment before I did. I would go over for game nights and hang outs, and I've always loved the space. Large windows. Natural light. Grey walls. Talk about living and photography-space perfection. So when they moved out of town, I knew that I had to scoop up the apartment.

Long story short, I have just begun fully making this space my own.
I'm setting my standards high. Wildly high. 

I have been collecting pieces for a gallery wall for years (Little City Love, thrift store finds, Target, and photographs from friends). These past few months I have been creating the wall of my dreams, but I've been missing a few items, one of those being a flag. I didn't want an American flag like every other frat guy. I didn't want a Chicago flag. I needed something that stood out. Something that fit my aesthetics and the look that I was aiming to achieve. Something that would meet the wildly high standards that I had set.

Introducing The Wild Standard

I ordered the Chicago flag from The Wild Standard and have been waiting for the perfect moment and placement for it. The Wild Standard makes their flags from hand and put so much detail into each product. I am obsessed with every product they make and their craftsmanship is something to appreciate - they even do custom work! I'm thinking that I will have to order something else very soon. 

Now that the flag has been hung, I can see the whole wall coming together. I love it. I do want to add more (a Sanborn Canoe paddle), but that time will come. For now, my standards have been met.


Shop the Flag:

The Wild Standard Chicago Flag

Summer Colors.

Erik Engstrom

If we could, we'd probably live on a gorgeous island off the coast of the Dominican Republic. We'd lay in the sun all day long. Wander through the jungle. And have monkeys feed us. Okay, maybe not the monkey part...but this Chicago heat has us dreaming. 

Summer I just have two words for you: THANK YOU!

We can finally stroll through the parks of Chicago without worrying about dreadful rainfall. This sunny weather is bringing out the colorful side of our attire. Summer colors. We both have been appreciating the same colors this year: pink, blue, and tan. Whenever we go to the mall, these are the colors that stick out. And then all of a sudden, we're leaving the store with a range of tones and styles. 

Jeans are always a safe option for any outfit. Wearing light pastels? Pair them with jeans. What about a sports jersey? Pair it with jeans. Perhaps a nice linen shirt? Pair it with jeans. Denim goes with anything. If you've been following The American Swede for a while, you're probably annoyed by this statement as Erik uses it ever chance he gets.

We have our favorites, but what are you favorite colors for the summer? 

erik + tommy.

Shop the Looks:

Urban Outfitters tee (similar)
Levi's 511s
Vans SK8-Hi (similar)
Timex Southview Multifunction

Gap Denim Worker Jacket
Topman Drop Shoulder Longline T-Shirt
Levi's 511s
Adidas (similar)