Lawyers With Style
Peter M. Ashmore
Photos by David Durochik.
Peter M. Ashmore, 44, was hired as a Chicago Volunteer Legal Services (CVLS) staff attorney upon graduation from law school. Today, his managing attorney designation reflects in-house duties that include directing CVLS' IT and database needs, organizing staff and management meetings and administration of CVLS' MCLE program.
He still advises volunteers on an eclectic variety of cases, including tort defense, eviction, foreclosure, contracts, real estate, bankruptcy, probate, tax and public benefits. In addition, as director of CVLS' Guardian Ad Litem for Adults Program (GAL), he trains, recruits and supervises volunteers who serve as GALs for disabled adults.
1. What's your favorite store to shop for work clothes?
Syd Jerome. They know clothes and enjoy helping their customers dress for success. I like their team approach to pulling together a great shirt and tie combo to complete a look. I also like Nordstom for business casual.
2. If you are meeting with a new client or have your first day in court or at a transactional meeting, what's your favorite "power outfit"?
A navy blue pinstripe suit paired with a bold tie in the red family is my go-to power outfit.
3. What brand is your watch?
I have a box full and gravitate toward vintage or simple designs. My current rotation includes two metal Skagens, a Mickey Mouse with a leather strap and a Seiko my mom gave me decades ago.
4. In one word, how would you describe your style?
5. What do you wear on weekends?
For the summer, I wear shorts (no cargo shorts) paired with a colorful T-shirt (no graphic T's) or a short-sleeve, linen, button-down shirt. When shoes are required, I wear TOMS.
6. What's your favorite brand of jeans?
Paige. They fit well and are very comfortable. AG is a close second.
7. Whose style do you admire?
Tim Gunn. His use of tie and shirt color and pattern with his suits is really fun.
8. What was the first expensive piece of clothing that you purchased when you became a lawyer?
A Jhane Barnes tie. At the time it was a splurge, but I got a lot of wear out of it due to the versatile color and pattern.
9. What is your No. 1 style pet peeve?
Ill-fitting clothes. I like many different colors and patterns and combinations, but if something doesn't fit, it won't look good no matter what it is or how much it cost.
10. Who is your favorite designer?
Ermenegildo Zegna. I like the cut of his suits and the colors and material of his casual pieces.
11. What advice do you have for a lawyer trying to improve his or her professional style?
Find a good tailor. Even an inexpensive suit can look great if tailored properly.
12. Why should lawyers care about their style?
You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Clients appreciate a professional appearance and making an effort to look your best shows respect for the court. A suit doesn't have to look like a uniform.