I did an event at a mainstream store! You can bet your ass that we took some silly pictures.
So as you know, I did a J. Crew event a few weekends ago. It wasn’t some big corporate sponsorship, but basically Spencer told me that his store wanted to have a fall event and that it was going to be centered around a blogger. This was going to take place at the J. Crew Men’s in South Coast Plaza, a luxury mall that also houses RL, Berluti, Brunello Cucinelli, and others. Obviously I was down, not just because it’s a cool step for me to take, but because I really liked this J. Crew. As I wrote in a previous article, this particular store was the closest I got to a Drake’s or Armoury-esque store since it was devoted entirely to menswear and wasn’t as “fashion-y” as some of the others; the fact that the staff was friendly and knowledgeable (they didn’t feel like salesmen) was also a plus.
All I had to do was promote the event on my social media; they explicitly didn’t say I had to recap it or talk about the products, but I decided to do it anyway (mainly because I love content and sharing it). In exchange, I’d get a piece for myself which ended up being the Barn Coat as noted in the other blog post. It seemed like a good idea to me, plus I was riding the high from awesome time I had documenting the Bloke One Year Party. I’m not really a stranger to hosting duties, so I accepted.
It was going to be a real change of pace for me, since this was going to be at a mainstream store instead of somewhere a bit more intimate like the Bloke or Wellema. Spencer’s boss (Jeremy) said that they would also promote the event on their email list, so there was a chance I’d be able to meet some new people and perhaps convert them into the ways of the Blog. The event was only during 1-5PM on a Saturday and that also meant pretty heavy foot traffic, if my old retail days at the Banana Republic next door was any indication.
So I did my part. I posted about it on my instagram and Facebook and encouraged many of my friends to go. Since SCP is in OC and not LA (it’s about 40+ miles south), I knew it was going to be hard to attract a crowd. Honestly, I was concerned that no one was going to attend! Luckily, as you can tell by the pictures, I ended up pleasantly surprised: the Gooch Brothers made the drive down (since they owed me from going to their Collectives), Andy took the time off, Shane from NYC incorporated the event as a part of his LA vacation, and Hal (from the blog community group) got to meet us for the first time.
Before we get into a brief recap of the event, let’s talk about what we wore. At first I was going to do something preppy/ivy to fit in with the J. Crew aesthetic but decided against it, since I realized that’s probably how most people would at the store would dress! I’m supposed to be representing “Ethan” aren’t I? So I decided to wear a suit in a way that wasn’t too vintage-y but still exuding the ethos of the blog.
It wasn’t cold at all that day, but it’s technically fall, so I brought out my wool-silk flecked suit from Camoshita. Not only is it my only completely softly tailored suit, but it’s green. With a checked spearpoint and knit tie, it really exudes this outfit from Michael Hill, though he opts for corduroy and chukka boots. To separate myself from Mr. Hill (and be edgy) I added the tied sweater. It’s not a vibrant sweater, but I think it works well to ground the outfit, especially since the rest of the outfit has color (green flecks in the suit, light blue and yellow in the shirt). Ultimately, I wanted to look sharp but not in a basic way.
Spencer has really been leaning into his Brycelands inspo lately and has been desperately waiting for the weather to allow him to break out rugged chinos and tweeds. Thanks to the air conditioning of his store, he was afforded that very opportunity.
Up top he wears a J. Crew unstructured tweed jacket. He’s no shill (despite working at J. Crew) but its a rather smart piece apart from the low buttoning stance. It still features hip flap-patch pockets, making it a nod to classic ivy style. The shirt is where the Bryceland’s inspiration really pulls through, since we all know that Ethan and Kenji love their denim shirts. Spencer’s is actually an LVC one that has a spearpoint collar, though he prefers to wear his open without a tie.
On the bottom he has some vintage olive chinos purchased during our NYC trip. It’s different than the normal khaki chinos in the sense that it’s more related to militaria; wearing it with tailoring is definitely a different vibe, especially when they’re traditional like these ones.
So Spencer and I got there at around 12PM in order to meet his boss (officially), his coworkers, and prep whatever we needed to prep. Justin, a rep from Suavecito, was also there to add to the event and sell grooming products. Again, I wasn’t sure how things were going to go, not just because it was far from LA, but because this was the same weekend as the Dapper Day Expo! We spent the first part of it photographing my favorite pieces to write about and eventually people started coming in!
Some shoppers did ask what the event was and one even asked us for advice on a wedding outfit. Obviously not everyone was there for the event, but luckily everyone that I invited came through! I think it helped pad the store a bit and served to remind people that yes, there is a menswear community in LA!
Now enjoy some pictures. I think it went well despite being mainly the menswear dudes you’ve come to [hopefully] love.
I was pretty nervous about the event, but I think it turned out really well. Unlike the Bryceland’s or Drake’s Trunk Show/Bloke Party, this was more of a solo event. Yes, the J. Crew people spread it around on their emails, but it was also up to me to get people to go! I consider it a success since everyone I invited actually came through, from my old coworkers to readers of the blog. Now I can say that I’ve actually partnered with a mainstream brand, even if this event was intimate.
This means that another solo event (at The Bloke) is within the realms of possibility. One where I can organize the drinks, food, and music (though the One Year Party is pretty close to perfect). In all honesty, I could probably feasibly organize a small gathering for drinks/boba fairly easily and then document it, though I’d love it if it attracted more than the usual suspects. Maybe doing my own version of the Permanent Style Dinner is in the future somewhere!
Thank you to all my friends and family who attended and an especially big thanks to Jeremy and the rest of his store for allowing me to collaborate with J. Crew for this event. It’s a little unreal going from a shopper to an invited guest!
Always a pleasure,
Street x Sprezza
Photography by me
Quick question; what’s the issue with low button stances? From my understanding, the stance is determined by the wearers physiology and how balanced they want their body to look. In fact, a lot of the menswear guys I see on social media usually have their buttons right at the bellybutton, which is pretty low.
My jackets come with a variety of stances but to be honest with you I’m not sure how to view them. What’s your take on it?
Also, congratulations on the event! Looking forward to seeing more good work from you.
My personal view is that the bottom button should be in line with the pocket. I consider it low if its farther than that. You can find this on 80s-90s jackets. The J. Crew ones appear very low for a couple of reasons: the bottom button extends past the pocket line, the slim lapels/high gorge elongate the body, and the short jacket length makes it feel abrupt. Overall, I don’t think it looks proportionate at all, no matter the body type of the wearer. Spier & Mackay do low button stances (at least when I wore mine) and it’s not as bad due to design differences.
Some bespoke makers have a low button stance (Ciccio for example) but I think its done tastefully. Ueki-san makes his jackets a bit longer with an extended shoulder to offset the low button stance.
Generally, the button stance should be at your natural waist or the narrowest part of the torso, which for many guys is going to be right around the belly button. This allows for the jacket to emphasize the “traditional” masculine shape, that is broad shoulders and narrow waist. A lot of present day RTW tailoring has gone shorter and shorter and this button stance logic is lost.