A Visit To The Huntington

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Despite being surrounded by flora and sculptures, it was my friends who were the real art.

God, I love taking photos of my friends. In fact one of the best performing essays I’ve done (not that I really track performance) is the one where I wrote about a lot of the hangs my friends and I have done over this past spring summer. In the before-times (even before the podcast), these outings (big and small) were such a regular part of this blog; showing my friends in their clothes living life was fundamental to my POV on what menswear should be. It’s still rare that I get to dedicate an entire blog post to a single event, especially since many of the essays from 2020-2021 have been rather important to describing my process on clothes.

Ever since I wrote that essay, I’ve been waiting for the next event. My birthday party was fun, but it wasn’t really a typical outing; despite the fact that I’m much more comfortable drinking, a party or kick back isn’t really what I do. A typical thing for my friends and I to do (when there isn’t a store to check out or no one is visiting us) is to go to a museum, grab food, and maybe end the day with drinks (I feel like my girlfriend gets a similar treatment on our dates). A full day is usually the move since almost all of us live far, so it’s gotta be worth our time! It’s a bit lowkey, but makes sense considering barcades/karaoke would be a bit too crowded and a flea market isn’t exactly a place to wear a cool fit (mainly if its tailored). I’m sure it would be different if we all lived near each other and got to grab a quick boba on the fly.

So for this past Saturday, we planned on going to the Huntington Gardens, a beautiful place filled with great architecture and art (though a majority of the galleries were closed). Despite being a local, I had actually only gone once, which was with Cody Wellema to shoot a small editorial back in 2018 when I was his photographer. I always wanted to return but the steep price and the wild friend schedule always made it difficult. However, this time the stars aligned and I was able to get a few friends to walk the grounds with me! Obviously Spencer was free, but we were able to add in MJ and Chris, both of whom I had only hung out one-on-one with over the past year- it was great to include them and photograph their cool outfits during the day.

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Chris showed up rocking a look that I had always thought about trying for myself. I’m specifically referring to the long, duster-esque chore coat which he recently bought from Garett over at Western Gifts. It’s made of a slightly hearty black linen with the fun detail of having each button be different; whether it’s a home repair or just a cool design, we’ll never know (since there is no label). The chore-duster look is uncommon in LA, mainly worn by women (and in the traditional blue twill). It’s cool to see Chris rock it, matching the dark look with black tassels and epic aviators (maybe I need an essay on eyewear in the future).

The 1950s band collar shirt and Levis aren’t new to us, but I do like the idea of matching the raw band collar to the raw hem of the jean.

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MJ is taking every opportunity to get a fit off; I’m pretty sure my bday party was the main avenue for him to wear something cool (outside of his job). The look is a combo that I feel like I’ve done before, just with the details swapped slightly. For example, I typically wear darker alohas or even simply go for plain rayon sportshirts.

He’s a big fan of aloha shirts and olive chinos, but MJ goes for the more “classic” menswear move of doing it with slim-straight olive chinos rather than relying on the [expected] OG-107s. The use with fun socks and penny loafers definitely leans more into the Drake’s vibe rather a Bryceland’s one. A dark linen sportcoat (a Japanese brand that he and I actually found at a local Goodwill) adds in a somber touch, culminating in MJ’s very own paper beret.

Overall, it’s a classic look that makes great use of color through the socks and the aloha shirt.

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The western-ivy look is Spencer’s way of returning to tailoring. We’ve seen spades of this in that hang out essay, but this one is probably my favorite of his, even if its rather subdued.

Like MJ he has a navy jacket, though Spencer’s version is a vintage hopsack blazer; I’m quite jealous since my own sack blazer is a poly-wool blend (I should replace it at some point). It’s worn over a blast from the past: a gingham popover spearpoint from Natty Shirts. The popover is a cool custom piece that really brings in some 1930s workwear/sportswear vibes, calling to mind the Apparel Arts illustrations we love so much.

Instead of dress trousers, Spencer wears LVC denims (not raw hemmed) with LHS penny loafers. Pretty neo-ivy until the inclusion of the vintage Stetson silverbelly! If this is what we need to get Spencer to wear more sportcoats, then I’m all for it.

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My outfit is actually a “redo” of an older fit that I don’t think ever made its way to the blog or IG. I call it a redo because it involves all new pieces- except for the 1930’s rayon gaucho-polo. Keen readers may recognize this polo from a whole swath of blog posts and it was fun to break it out. I’m glad it still fits!

It’s worn with my first full suiting commission that surprisingly isn’t Atelier Fugue. The Crispaire DB was made by Hall Madden and is currently one of my most favorite things to wear; I’ve worn the jacket by itself quite a bit as a way to get past the shiny hardware of my DB blazer. No essay on this yet, but the fit is pretty good for a first attempt, though the trousers (done by fit algorithm rather than finished measurements) have needed quite a bit of fixing to get right. Either way, it’s a good navy suit that I’m happy to have, as I haven’t had a navy year-round DB since I gave up my Indochino one a few years ago.

I injected some “Anglo-Italian style” by wearing brown socks and suede tassels. I’m not sure if that qualifier is the right one to use, but in my head, I’ve seen Jake Grantham do similar shoe-sock combinations with a navy suit. I also wanted to give my shell some time to relax.

Overall, the outfit is one that feels quite Esquire Man (with the full cut suit, gaucho-polo, and runaway collar) but is still rather tame and works for a contemporary vibe. The combination provides a change of pace to the “sexy” looks that characterized most of the Going Out essay outfits; after all, I am wearing a polo shirt rather than a severely unbuttoned western shirt.

Snapshots

Now this isn’t a true editorial by any means (or maybe we’re trying to sell you on slouch and community), but I love shooting my friends as if they are in one. They are my cool muse and I love documenting them (that is meant to be endearing and not creepy). In looking over the outfits and the photos, this entry is almost like a true follow up to the Getty “editorial” I made a few years ago, back when I was entertaining the idea of making an actual ALBOR/SaD lookbook. It’s fun to look back at how my photography has improved/changed, as well as how everyone’s style has evolved over the years. The differences are probably all subtle, but they’re there. Maybe you’ll be able to see them too (it’s just a lot darker I thin

Anyway enjoy some of our outfits and photos (some digital, some film) from this day. Lots of serious and silly stuff in here, as well as some cameos from cool pals near the end. Truly a great (and full) Saturday for the books.

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Trusty tote bag.
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Great length on this jacket. Shame about the Harmony.
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1940’s aviators from Old Focals.

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My friend Annie got in on the camera fun!
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Dark jacket gang.
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Your favorite podcasters.
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Aviators.
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I really should write that essay on sunglasses.
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Hardware.
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Messy hair!
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Basically siblings.
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We also went to Little Tokyo, since Chris hadn’t been to our favorite haunts!
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Nguyen made a late appearance in his custom belt back linen suit.
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Japanese food for dinner!
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A very “Ethan” combination (which is basically just Esquire Man)

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We like curry.
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A Marlin and spectator-pennys.
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Jonny too? What a great menswear day!
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Cow print, worn by the only guy I know who can do it.
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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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