Picking with the Boys at Vintage Productions

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I finally get to document a vintage warehouse for you guys, with plenty of phone, film, and DSLR pics for you to enjoy. We also wore a bunch of good fits, if you like that sort of thing.

I’ve been pretty good about budgeting throughout this pandemic. Sure, I may have bought a few Ring Jackets and Aldens (in shell) here and there, but it’s mainly because I’ve been staying at home. No “all you can eat” KBBQ. There also hasn”t been flea markets for me to spend a few bucks on every weekend; that’s probably the biggest change since the pandemic started in March of 2020. The money front has been decent, especially since I started a new job and my goal is to move out on my own by the end of next year! However, I do miss the rush you get from finding something in the moment and buying it. You shouldn’t seek it out of course, but I won’t lie and say I don’t miss it.

That’s why I was pretty excited that Spencer found Vintage Productions. Apparently he and our mutual friend Jonny (whom you’lll see in a moment) went to some out door flea market and saw the owner, Bob Chatt selling his vintage wares. If I recall correctly, Spencer and I had originally met Bob at one of the odd Rose Bowl Fleas; our friend Doug (a seasoned picker in his own right) had also met him a few times. I didn’t go to that OC outdoor flea, but Spencer did tell me that Bob’s showroom was open for appointments. He later told me that he ended up visiting on his own and got a workshirt and a vintage Seiko diver watch. Since we all worked during the day (or are students), we could only do a weekend but luckily Bob was keen allowed us and three of our friends (Jay, Jonny, and Chris) to come in!

So yeah, I was ready for it. I wasn’t sure I was going to buy anything (I’m still saving up for shell longwings), but I knew that it had been a long time before I was able to properly peruse clothing, let alone rare vintage menswear! The fact that I could do it alongside friends (all with masks of course), was a bonus. As you’ll soon read and listen on the pod, community is such an important aspect for me; more than half the photographs I take are of other well dressed guys!

So at 11AM on a Sunday, we all separately arrived at Vintage Productions, a warehouse in a Huntington Beach business park. I was a little bit late (I’m Filipino, whoops) but as soon as I walked through the threshold, I saw the rest of the guys already rummaging through the plethora of racks. I had only been to one other warehouse before, Roxy’s Vintage Deluxe (now defunct), but I already had my method! You can’t get stuck on one thing: try it on and if its fits, add it to your personal pile and move on. I know that Spencer had something specific in mind (P43 pants), but that didn’t stop him from exploring every nook and cranny in this place.

As you can see from the pictures I snapped on phone and film, Vintage Productions focuses mainly on Americana. That means a lot of vintage workwear and milsurp from the 1900s-1970s. You could find 1930’s Pennys chambray workshirts next to 1960’s souvenir jackets. It’s basically, jungle jackets, and denim galore; there were even a few oddities like vintage 70s Barbours and bell bottom jeans. Again, Roxy’s was the only thing I was used to, and that was a film costuming warehouse, so there was a lot more general stuff (like tailoring). This one is much more specialized and satiated our current tastes when it comes to vintage picking, which lean more toward workwear/milsurp (a la Inspiration LA) rather than vintage ivy.

Before you ask, yes, the prices were quite high but that’s because caliber of the curation was damn good. Most of the pieces were in great condition! We only spent under two hours in there, but I feel like I need a return journey at some point. Of course if my wallet allows.

I know a few people wished I took more photos and wrote a blog about my adventures at Roxy’s, so that’s why I made sure to share my experience with you guys this time. You’re welcome 😉

Chris looking at a random stack of hats. The cases on the left contained jewelry (and watches).
Spencer found his pants early on. Jonny shows off his black suede trucker.
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Some deadstock fabric.
This deadstock Hollywood jacket was too large but I loved the two tone design and soft shoulders. This type of casual jacket needs to come back and I think menswear is ripe for it; after all, shirt jackets and chore coats are popular!
Milsurp for everyone.
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The boys shopping on film.
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You gotta love the handpainted art on military jackets.
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Epic collegiate cords. Back in those days, you would sign and decorate pants in addition to your yearbook. RL has made a few, but nothing compares to actual 1930s art.
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Vintage short jackets a tenant of our casual style.
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1930s-1950s chambrays!
1930’s USN with a modest spearpoint.
Deadstock chambray workshirt. He also had a few affordable ones from the 1970’s, but they were poly-cotton. Not really my thing.
I hate it and love it at the same time: patchwork gingham shirt from Brooks.
1920’s cotton belt back jacket. Wowser.
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Mad?
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I came in with my 1930’s cotton ski jacket.
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Chris didn’t get these bell bottoms. I kinda dig them.
However the bell bottoms in my waist size just didn’t look as good. I feel like they’d need to be a touch slimmer or less flared.
A vintage Barbour International. It’s nice, but I’d rather have a Solway. This didn’t even have a jacket size as the lable was faded.
Quad patch pocket 1920’s norfolk-back cord jacket.
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We’ve gotta go back someday!
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Peep the thin belt.

Here’s what I wore for the day. As I’ve mentioned on stream, a lot of my attire has been tailoring focused despite working from home; it’s just proof that I truly enjoy sportcoats and ties! Obviously this makes me feel like my casual casual attire has been neglected, with my military chinos and cool vintage jackets languishing on the racks in my room. Since I was going to spend my day picking vintage with other guys who tend to err on the rugged side of menswear, I felt like it was time to stretch my workwear/milsurp skills again. Plus, it would make no sense to wear tailoring to a place where you’re going to be constantly trying on pieces!

The pants are my absolute favorite chino: P43’s from WWII with the iconic hip cargo pockets. The green HBT has faded exquisitely to this light shade, but if you wanted to see what they would have originally looked like, you can take a gander at Chris. Obviously I like to include references to tailoring, so my new LHS pennys (copped a month ago) were the shoe of choice along with some white socks.

A navy long sleeve sweater in ribbed cotton acted as a good base against the slightly warm-yet-windy winter day. I love the dark interaction against the faded HBT, especially as the dark colors of the top is anchored by the deep color 8 of the loafers. As the white socks act as a contrast, I decided to do a move I hadn’t done before: a neck scarf (or bandana). It’s an extension of the jaunty scarf, but it’s tucked inside, with just the briefest hints pocking out at the collar. It’s a fun move and doesn’t get too bulky due to the soft rayon and short length of vintage scarves.

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Yes, that is a new jacket! As you saw earlier, I did come in with my orange ski jacket; its a piece I seldom wear, but keep since I acquired it in 2019 for rather cheap.

The jacket you see me wearing was bought at the warehouse. For only $80, it was one of the cheaper things on the racks, but I think it was plenty worth it. It’s a short work jacket, presumably for a bus driver or police officer (due to the badge holder above the breast pocket). With the long collar, zip front, and breast zip pocket, it is quite close to the SB Zip leather jacket model that I enjoy. I’ve always said I wanted a black leather one, but maybe this will satiate me for now!

The fabric is a slightly rough navy wool(?) whipcord, which makes it quite sturdy; it appeared to be deadstock, with only a few moth holes! It fit me well, being fitted (but not uncomfortable) through the torso. Despite it being dusty and a bit stiff, I decided to wear it out, as I felt it made for a good look against what I was already wearing!

I decided to soak it with some detergent when I got home and once it was dry, the cloth had softened up considerably. Maybe this means I’ll have inspiration to finally talk about vintage short jackets, as this article didn’t really get the job done.

And if you’re wondering if it looks familiar, that’s because Spencer owns one.

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Speaking of Spencer, you’ll note that he also made an outfit change after shopping; his is much more drastic than mine. At first he was wearing a 1940’s tweed jacket and some selvedge jeans. Now, it’s something completely different!

On top, he’s wearing his denim chore coat. It was bought new as an alternate to the ragged Lee one he’s seen wearing most often. As you can see, its softened up quite well, which makes for a slouchy layer that can slightly evoke the vibes of a soft shouldered sportcoat. You can’t see it, but he is wearing a grey sweatshirt underneath.

Spencer finally joined the P43 gang that morning, as Vintage Productions happened to have one in his size. He’s told me that they’ve been his trouser of choice nearly every day since that Sunday. Penny loafers are also his footwear of choice, though he has grey socks instead of white. Aldous would be proud.

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A bandana is worn over his N95 mask as to fully cover his beard. It kinda works as a style move too!
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Jay makes one of his rare cameo appearances on the blog, wearing what is a good representation of his style: basics with a slight twist. On paper, a white button up, chinos, and white sneakers are a normal basic bastard thing, but you’ll note that all of the pieces aren’t exactly ordinary.

I’m not a terribly big fan of band collar shirts (as I love the slouch of a floppy collar), but it’s one of Jay’s favorite things to wear. It has an interesting weave that makes it much cooler than a typical broadcloth shirt. The real star of the fit are the the military chinos, which you may remember from this blog post a few years ago. I ended up giving them to jay after I had acquired actual WWII chinos, and he enjoys them quite a bit; no tailoring was needed! The funny thing is that Jay ended up buying 1950’s military chinos while he was there! It makes me wonder if these UK Officer chinos are going to remain in his closet of if it will find a new owner…

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Chris has rapidly become one of my favorite people to see, perhaps even more so than my friend Adam, who has gone through a considerable style evolution on his own. I think it’s because Chris still combines tailoring with his workwear/milsurp quite often, where as Spencer has been leaning further casual lately.

The outfit he’s wearing is just so damn good. We don’t need to talk about the power of the western shirt, since it’s a garment that will look good on anyone. I just love it worn against these black rayon HBT pants. I know that sawtooths and tailoring isn’t really a novel thing, but there’s something interesting about the use of flat front trousers that have a rather straight leg; #menswear would have probably opted for something with pleats and side adjusters. In effect, Chris’s outfit seems very late 60s-70s, though the use of tassels and white socks gives it a brief ivy spin. It’s so clean and simple- no headwear, jacket, or jaunty scarf. Just a shirt, pant, and loafer.

I may have to steal this look, though I’m not sure if I want to stay true and use my own black tassels or if black chelseas would be the choice to make.

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Jonny keeps the “edgy” black “tailoring” vibe going with his epic outfit. I’m not sure if we’ve seen Jonny on the blog before; I met him at this J. Crew event (I think) and immediately was drawn to his style. He’s got some of that musician flair (he plays in a band) mixed in with some of that workwear/milsurp/Americana vibe, with a bit of “indie” (whatever that means) thrown in. Actually, the more that I look at it, it seems pretty close to what the Gooch Bros. like to wear!

I love the monochromatic look that he went with on that Sunday. The black suede trucker is fantastic, especially since the blue denim Lee 101J is the one currently trending in menswear. It makes a “suit” of sorts when worn with these white leg black chinos; apparently they’re women’s pants! A breton stripe tee is a natural choice for the look, and like my outfit, he echoes the ideas of the top block in his shoes, namely by way of white socks and cow print suede wallabees. Even though I don’t know if I would wear them regularly, I love them. Jonny pulls them off so well.

Of course, a crewneck tee can make the neck quite lonely, so Jonny includes a red banana. Seeing it flapping openly makes a truer connection to the jaunty scarf when compared to my tucked effort. His last accessory is the silverbelly-ish fedora, that features a rounded crown and a wide brim. The entire fit is exquisite and is certainly worth a save in all of your inspo albums.

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Toothy smiles are what I like to see.
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It wouldn’t be an Ethan hang without boba!
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Afterward, Chris and I briefly went to the mall.
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Banana Republic, my alma matter, was as meh as always.
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Man, I love shooting film. The 3-D nature of it is just so gorgeous.

Thanks for reading! Don’t forget that you can support me (or the podcast) on Patreon to get some extra content and access to our exclusive Discord. I also stream on Twitch and upload the highlights to Youtube.

Always a pleasure,

Ethan M. Wong

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