Your Style: Sam Gill

Chamber of Commerce director "dresses for success."

Sam Gill for Your Style June 4, 2021. (Ken Klotzbach /
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Sam Gill, director of programs for the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce, said he has the best of all worlds here.

From the workplace to the home front, and everywhere in between — he enjoys it all. That includes, of course, his efforts on behalf of the city and its residents; and spending time with his wife, Chloe, and their dogs, Milo and Arnie.

Sam Gill for Your Style June 4, 2021. (Ken Klotzbach /

“My favorite activities outside of work include golfing, fly fishing, reading, and discovering new products at the Rochester Farmers Market,” he said, adding that he also volunteers with a couple boards.


After growing up in Northfield, Gill went to the University of Minnesota-Morris for college, and returned to Southeast Minnesota in 2017 when his wife joined Mayo Clinic. It was a great move for both, he said.

How would you describe your style?

Simple and clean, with a few pops of color and unique prints.


My grandmother! She taught me the value of building a functional wardrobe, and even bought me my first suit. As I grew older and sampled a variety of looks and styles, I could always count on Grandma for her unbiased opinion.

Where do the prints come in?

With shirts. In formal settings, these shirts — with prints ranging from paisley to floral — can be paired with a solid or muted tie. In more casual situations, these shirts can stand alone, and be worn with a set of khaki pants or jeans.

Are you a tie devotee, or do bowties figure in?


I'm a tie person. I like bowties, but there is something so appealing about a well-tied tie. That being said, some people can really go over the top when it comes to tying their ties with elaborate knots. I prefer a classic full Windsor knot — substantial and symmetrical that ends in a perfect length right above the belt buckle.

What are your most important wardrobe components?

My collection of sport coats and blazers. I don't own many suits, but I've built my professional style around five jackets that I can pair with a variety of pants and shirts to make a complete outfit. Plus, these coats are the definition of versatile and can be dressed up or down to match the occasion.

Sam Gill for Your Style June 4, 2021. (Ken Klotzbach /

Do you have your suits and jackets tailored?

Yes! I am 6-foot-3, so finding anything that fits well off the rack is nearly impossible. For a minimal investment, you can work with a tailor who can adjust clothing to not only fit well, but also accentuate your good features. It goes beyond suits and jackets for me. I often like to tailor my shirts and pants, as well, to ensure a comfortable fit.

What should every well-dressed man have in his professional wardrobe?


Brown and black Oxfords (never brogues), matching belts, a tailored suit, and a statement watch. I believe these staple items make up the foundation for any man's business professional wardrobe.

Your statement wrist wear?

This is an interesting question, because I would always wear an analogue watch when dressing professionally, usually a chronograph with a blue or black face. Now, I find myself in a sort of watch limbo, because I've been wearing an Apple Watch for the past year or so. It has the same look and feel — roughly — as a traditional watch, but now I can do everything from track my calories and read text notifications to count steps and take pictures remotely! This has become my go-to wrist wear of choice, but I'll still break out a traditional watch for more formal settings.

What do you wear outside of work?

It depends on the time of year and the activity. I'm an avid golfer, so you'll usually see me in a brightly colored sport polo when walking the fairways. In the late summer and fall, I enjoy dark jeans and casual button-down shirts paired with a fun set of sneakers.

How did your style morph with COVID?

During lockdown and while working remotely, "business professional" devolved into "front of closet" or whichever items of clothing were closest to my grasp when first waking up. Eventually, I found a happy medium, and a polo and fitted pants became the go-to.

Do you have a priceless sentimental item?

My wife, then fiancée, studied abroad in Italy the summer following our graduation from college. In addition to olive oil and wine, she also brought back an authentic leather messenger bag for me as a gift. The craftsmanship is amazing, and I know, with a little TLC, this bag will last me a lifetime.

What do you hope your style says to people in the community?

That I am approachable. Too often, we use superficial things — e.g., clothes, cars, cellphones, etc. — to project an image and keep the world at bay. I hope that my style is a reflection of my values — honest, kind and always in the hunt for a great bargain!

Sam Gill for Your Style June 4, 2021. (Ken Klotzbach /

Parting thoughts?

I firmly believe in the old adage "Dress for success." But how you dress is totally up to you! The one thing that I'll say is that my favorite articles of clothing are those that make me feel both comfortable and confident.

Anne Murphy is a Rochester-based freelance writer and journalist. Do you know somebody who’s got special style? Send nominations to with "Your Style" in the subject.

Sam Gill for Your Style June 4, 2021. (Ken Klotzbach /

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