Friends with Benefits

From Barneys to Blake, these men rule Gold Coast closets. So, just in time for fall shopping, we give you the stats on three of Chicago’s top personal shoppers. Who’s your match? | By Elise Hofer

THE SCOOP: L.A. transplant and Chicago personal shopper on the rise, Eric Himel—a selfproclaimed “John Varvatos whore”—is bestknown for his signature Closet Purge, during which he helps clients weed out their ill-fitting, unflattering and outdated clothes. A School of Visual Arts alum, Himel, 42, also studiedunder Tim Gunn (pre-“Make it work!”) at Parson’s in NYC in the ’80s.

SERVICES RENDERED: Personal shopping (bringing clothing, accessories and jewelry to your home or hotel suite), styling for events and head-to-toe image makeovers. And his new Fashion 911 service is a lifesaver. “Once you are myclient, you have carte blanche to text me or e-mail me with any fashion emergency or question at any time.”

IN GOOD COMPANY: Apparently a good stylist never “dresses” and tells. “My clients are exceedingly private and I am bound by confidentiality agreements.” Ugh.

TRICK OF THE TRADE: Himel suggests shopping the sales now for next year’s basics. “! at way,when the next season comes around, you canconcentrate on accessories.”

THAT’S SO 2008: Gladiator sandals. “Don’t throwthem away, though. Store them!”

MUST-HAVE FALL PIECES: Gucci’s secretary chicspin on the spectator pump and Burberry Prorsum’s black minksweater coat. THE DAMAGE: $200 per hour or $1,750 for the day.312.450.5560,