Continuing our documentation of the classic menswear world in LA, I bring you P. Johnson who was in LA for the weekend for a trunk show.
Like Stoffa, I had first heard of P. Johnson through their extremely clean social media presentation. The PJT Instagram (the “T” standing in for tailors, though they seem to have dropped it from the official name) features a mixture of great things, like their Palewave approach to tailoring , bright showroom imagery , and general inspiration. They are an Australian brand that specializes in extremely soft MTM suiting and have showrooms in Australia with one in London and one in NYC.
I later had a more in-depth look into P. Johnson by reading Die, Workwear three posts about them by Simon Crompton on Permanent Style (intro, review, follow-up). All of these articles emphasize the easy going nature of PJT and especially point out the neutral, pale colors (light browns, greys, blues, etc) and the soft nature of their jacket construction. Both of these aspects really jump out at me as many of you know that I love to live in my clothes, especially my tailoring. If I could, I’d make sure that everything I owned was softly tailored.
Even though I’m going into the brand in this post, you can learn much more about their process and details by going to the PJT website. They start at around $1.6k (according to my friend Ryan), but the price obviously changes in regards to fabric. Like most MTM, they take around 8 weeks from measurement to delivery, where the garment is evaluated at their next trunk show. They offer a bunch of different details that are in line with what you can expect from a good MTM company. The lapel options look especially great with my favorites being the wide-low notch and the wide-high peak, since they remind me most of Golden Era (1920s-1940s) tailoring. All of their jackets are made with soft tailoring in mind, though you can pick the weight of the canvas the amount of padding/structure in the shoulder. Again, please refer to their website for details.
You’ll notice that I’ve been using MTM a lot, simply because I want to emphasize that they are not bespoke. Apparently, that was the cause of the drama on the Permanent Style website. Either way, they take a lot of measurements and can adjust subtle things in your pattern to ensure a great fit. Based on what I’ve seen (in pictures, other bloggers, and friends IRL) they look fantastic. I’ve personally never tried bespoke or a high end MTM service. but I can tell I could definitely get behind P. Johnson. Anyway, let’s get to the narrative.
My friend Ryan purchased a brown Minnis Fresco suit from them a few months ago (you can see his experience measuring and receiving it) and only had wonderful things to say about the brand. He told me that I should go with him to the trunk show so I could see the product for myself and ask questions! Having no life and no plans (other than D&D that evening), I took him up on the invitation! Trunk shows are cool and new to me, especially since most of the clothes I get aren’t even retail (I buy on eBay or thrift/vintage stores).
The trunk show was held at the historic Chateur Marmont. I had never been to an LA hotel, let alone on in Hollywood/West LA so this definitely another check mark on my list. PJT had booked a room (a suite?) that was pretty expansive, which was probably the only route to go if you have to show off countless samples, fabrics, and client garments. Tyler and Dan from the NYC showroom were running the trunk show and were extremely stylish and knowledge over their product.
Even though I wasn’t buying anything (or had any garments for inspection and adjusting), the guys were gracious enough to talk to me about the product and let me take some pictures! We briefly went over the process and the different details, but we mainly just talked about menswear and life, which is always a welcome change to “work talk”. We did have to cut the meeting short due to another appointment, but I’m definitely going to have to hang out with them the next time they’re in town!
This is one jacket that immediately caught my eye. It’s an extremely soft plaid wool jacket that features their high-wide notch and two side patch pockets. To me, it’s a less stuffy version of the more “tweed/professor” ones that I normally see. Thanks to it’s more pale coloring and soft tailoring, anyone could pull this jacket off.
Here’s where we’re getting some cool Ethan-ness. A textured, half lined DB with wide peaks and triple patch pockets? Sign me up. I’d wear this one all the time. Love the use of 4×2 configuration (it ditches the breast buttons) since it really reminds me of a sporty 1940’s DB.
Another great suit. A medium gray windowpane with wide notch lapels and triple patch pockets make for a really awesome suit that actually brings to mind my grail jacket worn by Clark Gable. Grey can be a seen as a formal color (at least to me) but pairing it with sporty things like pattern and patch pockets really emphasize the fact that PJT’s approach makes menswear easy.
Seems that the love of chore coats is spreading! Though they call it a shirt jacket, it really is remarkably similar to the indigo one that I have. This PJT model is made from dark navy linen, though I’m sure there are different fabrics available.
Tyler was the guy who answered my email for an appointment and gave me the whole spiel on PJT. He was dressed in a very weather appropriate ensemble (it was about 85F that day), which I thought is perfectly in line with this blog. It’s all variations of blue, brown, and grey which is basically what we wear all the time.
First off, let’s look at his jacket. It’s 100% linen with a thin layer of canvas in the chest (to help keep structure). While it’s linen, it felt hefty, which was probably intentional to add some drape to the jacket as well as allow it to be worn more often than something excessively light. The plaid is a good choice, which works well to make the pale base color a bit more interesting. With patch pockets, it be comes a fantastic casual jacket.
Next, you’ll see his shirt. I especially made it a point to tell him how much I loved his shirt. It’s actually a one piece collar polo style shirt made up from a deep navy open weave shirt. Like a vintage sport shirt, it lacks a the collar band and actually has a doube layer of fabric for the placket area (since it’s one piece). To make it a bit more formal, he added a nice wide roll to give it an OCBD feel, though Tyler says he won’t wear this shirt with a tie.
Lastly, just check out his chinos. Like the chinos featured on this blog, these PJT ones aren’t your dad’s pants. While they do indeed have pleats, the pants are cut fairly slim in the leg with a medium rise. Note the extended tab closure, which makes this chinos look much more formal than ones you’ll find at Banana republic. The lack of belt loops is because these trousers have side adjusters. I’m telling you, once you ditch the loops and go with side adjusters, you never go back. Unless you prefer drop loops, that is.
Ah, sneakers with trousers. Normally I’m not a huge fan of this (especially when it involves a sportcoat) but you can’t go wrong with Common Projects. They’re much more sleek than the more “vintage looking” converse or the minimally branded Nike’s that I wear. They’re literally a clean white sneaker, which makes them an appropriate choice for casual tailoring. The shoes complete Tyler’s look and place it firmly within PJT’s ethos.
Dan fuckin killed it. His look is everything! I didn’t get to talk to him much since he was dealing with clients, but I should have just told him how much his outfit was great. Lots of guys don’t like double breasted suits because of a bunch of archaic (and false) reasons: it’s too formal, it’s only for fat guys, it’s too old. Well look at Dan. He rocks a navy blue wrinkly linen(?) DB suit that looks comfy as all hell. I could only aspire to have a suit this lived in and easy.
Wearing a DB unbuttoned is something another thing most guys won’t do. Well, if the jacket is cut fairly close to the body, I think it can work. I mean, we wear SB jackets open, don’t we? I don’t think its a super intentional fashion choice, but one of just pure sprezzatura. :I don’t feel like having it fastened, so I’ll leave it undone until it suits me” rather than “woah, I’m going to leave it unbuttoned to be different”. I do it all the time (if you’ve seen other posts or my instagram) and it’s just so easy going.
I really am in love with his suit, especially because I love double breasted suits (one of the reasons I got into vintage) as well as deep blues. Kudos to Dan for keeping it simple with a plain white shirt and navy tie.
I’m extremely happy to have been able to go to the P. Johnson trunk show and see their great products for myself. The pieces were made extremely well and were incredibly soft to the touch, which I heartily enjoy. Nothing about it was too #dapperbro. By that I mean it lacked the whole mainstream approach that a lot of newer brands (at least mall-level) ones tend to go for. Everything about PJT was modern but in a classic way. Nothing too crazy with a huge emphasis on comfort and ease.
I’ll admit though that I wasn’t completely sold on PJT until I got home and saw their lapel styles on the website when I started writing this article. If I was getting one of their suits, I would certainly go for the most comfortable shoulder/structure option with their wide-low notch or their wide-high peak. Short of going full reproduction, those potential PJT garments would be Perfectly Ethan.
Be sure to check out PJT’s website as well as their instagram to keep up with their brand. If you’re in one of their cities that they visit for trunkshows (or if you’re in NYC), please do check them out. Once Dan and Tyler are back in a couple months, I’ll be sure to document their fall-winter outfits. I’m sure they’ll be killer.
Always a pleasure,
Street x Sprezza
Photography by Ethan W.