Style at Inspiration LA

This weekend, Spencer and I went to Inspiration LA, a huge vintage gathering in Southern California.  At the REEF in Downtown Los Angeles, multitudes of dealers selling vintage apparel, reproduction garments, and other crafts come together to present their wares to the public.  

As soon as I walked in, I was immersed in a world of style. This wasn’t like Dapper Day or the Vintage Fashion expo.  This place was filled with gentlemen and ladies each wearing a different style of dress.  There were cuffed jeans, spectator shoes, vintage converse, ballcaps, and stetsons all walking through the aisles, perusing the wares and items up for sale.  


Here’s some outfits of our regulars plus some people gracious enough for us to take their picture!


Spencer and I didn’t go for workwear and instead just dressed in vintage.  Here he is in an epic 1950’s cardigan, 40’s spearpoint shirt, and Palm Beach pants.  He looks like he should be heading to class!


While there were a lot of denimheads and workwear guys, Spencer definitely stood out due to his varsity chic.  I recall only seeing one other guy wearing a varsity cardigan!




I went for a Howard Hughes vibe for my outfit, mainly because I wanted to get into the spirit of Inspiration LA.  Normally, I’d be in a suit, but I would definitely stand out if I went in that.  Now, it might be heresy, but not everything I’m wearing is true vintage.  My pants, shirt, and tie are from the 1930’s but my sweater and jacket are from the 1980’s!  Even though the jacket is made from thin Carbeta Leather (guys, look for horsehide!), it certainly looks the part.  It definitely has a “1980’s does 1940’s” vibe with it.  Just compare it to the 1920’s variety that Leonardo Dicaprio wore in The Aviator!

The combination of the fresco pants and the fair isle really work together.  Just a heads up for you budding vintage enthusiasts out there: fair isle is your best friend.  When you wear it with a nice shirt and some full cut pants, you’ll definitely look like you’re straight from the 1920’s!  This pattern was a staple of ivy-trad attire for years until it took a decline in the 1980’s.  Find one in a bland brown or blue shade to ensure you distance yourself from looking like a 1980’s-90’s youth (unless you like that, in which case go ahead!)



Benny Reese

Benny’s always got it going on, especially since he’s the biggest seller of vintage 1920s-1960’s suits and casual wear in the West Coast.  With a rare pair of double pleated red trousers, he’s got a super collegiate 1930’s jacket that has some wickedly roped shoulders (which are pleated), sharp peak lapels, and a nipped waist.  Anyone who tells you that super tailored suits are modern, they’re wrong.  Just look at how dramatic the cuts are on some of the illustrations.  They may be a little exaggerated, but some do exist!




Damian Monsivais

Here’s Damian, the Mastermind behind his own brand.  With high-quality vintage fabrics, he makes Made-To-Order caps  which range from simple to the extremely detailed.  In addition to making caps, he also creates 1920’s-30’s inspired brocade ties from true vintage silk.  Unless you do some crazy digging and get lucky, he’s the only guy you can get them from.  Spencer couldn’t resist and copped one that day!  


Niko’s always got something great on!  Last year, he was spotted in a reproduction Grizzly jacket.  This year he has a sick 1930’s reproduction biker jacket, crafted from wool instead of leather.  A small detail like this sets his piece apart from the others.


Another stand out piece is the fact that this jacket is freaking belted. Not only does this have a bi-wing back, but it’s got a center, inverse box pleat!  Pretty awesome!


Products and Street Style

Here, we’re going to look at some of the cool things I had the opportunity of photographing!  






A Teddy Bear coat, a fad worn by wealthy college students in the 1920’s. 



A rare 1940’s orange fedora








Skull varsity jacket with Western “arrow” pockets. 





The Gentleman from the Wellema Hat Co. wearing some sick sneakers.



I hope you enjoyed this article!  Next time, I’m definitely going to try and take more street style shots!  If you live in the area, you should check it out.  If you’re on the East Coast, don’t fret; they have on in NY!  Check out the official website for more details.

Always a pleasure,

Ethan W.

Street x Sprezza

Photography by Ethan W. and Vince H.

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