Hanging Out With My Friends in the Winter

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When life has no dress code, you can wear anything you want. For some, it’s ivy or disco. For others, it’s a literal pineapple costume.

Who am I kidding, there is no difference! 😉

Wowzers, it’s been a wild time. So many big topics on the blog lately, from proportion and taste to dressing cinematically. Don’t get me wrong— those essays are important and have been rattling in my brain for quite some time. However, it’s also fun to break out these hang out recaps! Not only are they incredibly fun to write about (I get to relive a good memory), but they [hopefully] provide examples of my “menswear beliefs” in action. I still believe than outfit is worth a thousand words, but it’s also great to see some photos too!

I actually didn’t plan on doing one of these; the one from last summer was a bit of a one off, inspired by John’s visit. However, I keep going on these smaller scale hangs and wearing some great fits (my friends do too), that I felt bad just keeping them in the dark! And as the temperatures start heating up, there is the added bonus of showing off exactly what LA people wear in “winter”, where at most we get 50F and a little bit of rain. Granted there were a few hot days during this past winter, since LA can’t stop being LA for very long!

This collection of photos is also a great example of Cinematic Dressing done in practice. I do my best to show as much context behind the fits (and the wearer) as possible, so you can see a bit of the thematic narrative behind the clothes. While I typically take outfit shots in my backyard or the house, I always find them lacking for that reason. To be clear, most days really are spent at home. I work in the morning, shower, get dressed, work again, and take a photo for posterity’s sake (especially for use as reference on the blog) before the sun goes down. Static fit pics may work from a clinical standpoint (such as to describe certain combinations or proportions), but as someone who spent a lot of time watching menswear from the sidelines, I always prefer a little life to fashion. That’s why this has been fun to compile, to show the times our outfits interact with others outside of my controlled environment (my house).

You’ll also notice that some of the fits here aren’t as #menswear (read: tailoring) focused as it was the last time, which probably reflects my current tastes and attitude on fashion. It’s my second year of having a full time job not in menswear and I think it definitely shows.

Some days do include a bit of notice (read: planning or adding to the backlog of fits), such knowing I have a full date with my girlfriend on the weekend or even knowing that after work on Tuesday, I’m going to play trivia with my friends at my local bar. Hell, with the way that LA and OC are spread out, everyone needs a bit of lead time to hang out (which also allows ample time to inspire fits). But sometimes we end up just having a drink or boba when the moment arises! The mixture of “planned” vs “spontaneous” outings (and outfits) and the spectrum they lay on certainly gets blurred, at least in my life. But that’s all a part of the fun. At least I haven’t made the full shift into having multiple outfit changes in a day (though the temptation is strong).

Anyway, the photo dump is also proof that no matter what we do here in LA, there is no dress code. Everything is up for grabs and we can fill it with whatever themes we want. We can mix formalities, play into the vibes, or subvert them (whatever that means). Each day is an excuse to put a fit together, especially when we all get to hang out! You’ll see a lot of recurring “characters” sprinkled throughout the post, so it would be interesting to note how some people stay consistent and how others try to make it different each time we hang out.

On a deeper level, you may even notice thematic consistencies. I have worked on this blog post over the past four months, adding in photos and recaps as they occurred. In doing so, I definitely have seen repetition rear its “ugly” head. What I mean is that despite each occasion feeling special, the frequency to which they happen is not entirely random; many of these are trivia nights or related to a friend visiting (which then requires Going Out). I think that all my friends have picked up on this subconsciously, with our weekend fits being a bit more bold than our weekly Trivia attire. While the individual pieces may be different, there is a consistent attitude! It’s fun to notice when you’re able to look back on these things, which is probably why I like writing this stuff.

Overall, it is this content that is my favorite to produce, since its less philosophical and certainly less garment focused (relatively speaking lol). It allows me to be a documentarian but of my friends and what they wear and do. All of them come from different backgrounds and references and its fun to see it come together when we hang out! You can see Jay allow himself to get into workwear when his days as a finance bro are finished. Spencer mixes his workwear and ivy every chance he gets. Silvia is a scientist (I’m sure she’s told me her field but I’ve forgotten) and still gets to express her predilection for slouchy designer clothing. Marco is an analyst but you can tell he loves to dress up. The blog was always meant to be a diary of sorts (even from looking at one of my first posts) and stuff like this lets me get back to that root seven years after I started my blog in my last undergrad quarter of Business Law.

You could argue that we’re playing into it, especially since I’m known by my friends to bring my camera[s] with me everywhere. But maybe we all like getting a bit cinematic with it. To be a character. To be extra! Maybe that’s why I’m not surprised that most of us were theater kids (or in spades of it) in high school; some of us even work in the entertainment industry. It’s all par for the course and why we enjoy hanging out while wearing fun outfits. It may even hint at a future discussion on dressing boldly and vanity/self confidence or even being okay with standing out, which I do think is different than simply slouching around.

I hope you enjoy this glimpse into what we wear and the stuff we do! I know it’s long but that’s because I keep doing fun things with my friends 🙂

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Wednesdays evenings used to be our gaming stream day, where we would play poker with our Discord (for no money) or try to guess where the fuck we were in the world in Geoguessr. We still do that, but it’s now been moved to Thurdsays. At the time this photo was taken however, we decided to simply skip a Wednesday to hang out.

I’m not exactly sure what prompted the idea. I think it was because Jay was planning on being out of town for Christmas and we wouldn’t get a chance to hang. So Wednesday night drinks was it! The boys and I stuck around my native Pasadena and ended up playing trivia at the Blind Donkey, a local bar with pretty affordable cocktails (I had already had my weekly beer cider the night before). It wasn’t a big occasion, other than the rare times I get to see Jay and Spencer make their trip up from OC, so we were dressed pretty casually. Not much cinematic dressing here, other than simply perhaps a theme of workwear/milsurp?

I normally wear my interpretation of ivy-trad during the week, but since we were going to a bar, I decided to opt for something a bit more rugged as a change of pace. Warmth was also the name of the game as I sure was hell going to take advantage of a “cold LA evening”. As a result, I wore a navy turtleneck with my beloved L.L Bean sport vest. Despite being short and small, the vest is actually quite warm (and rough) , which wouldn’t work for an LA spring/summer. A pair of WWII HBT cargos provided the milsurp angle; for shoes, I opted for my rugged sole Yuketens, which serve as my Paraboot “alts” until I find some Tyrolean shoes. The black leather reads formal on paper, but they are obviously not so when executed in person.

The rest of the guys were also pretty casual (can you tell we have a group chat to confirm we don’t dress out of place). Spencer looks naturally at ease with a well-worn 1950s A-2 jacket, with striped workshirt and trusty straight leg jeans; keen followers may remember this as a pick-up from London (that I obviously didn’t realize was too big for me). Producer MJ has a two tone sweater and a Uniqlo khaki fatigue jacket while Jay pulls a similar look to mine with a chunky turtleneck and a lapeled work jacket.

I think we fit in pretty well together. It’s just a shame we couldn’t pull a win in trivia. #Menswear lost.

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Whiskey Sour, if you want to know.
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What do you think Jay is saying?
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All smiles, but losers in trivia.
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There’s not many photos of Jay and me together!
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Jay has a very cool jacket.
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I love them.
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A few days later, before Jay left for his trip, I decided to return the favor and drive down to Orange County. Gotta make sure the 50 mile difference is equalized, right?

I actually don’t remember many of the details, but I think I just came down to hang out and [hopefully] get a few pages in on my book. Obviously that didn’t happen (I maybe did one page), but it was a nice evening where I got to visit my pals at Joyride, have a horchata latte, and eat some brisket with my friends. We even ended the night by going to a barcade where they had my favorite game: Time Crisis II. I didn’t get to use an entire $5 and I got 6th on the scoreboard, all the while drinking an Aperol Spritz and sweating profusely.

Sportcoats were the theme of this evening, to a play a little into that “bookcore” vibe since Spencer and I initially thought we would have more time to read. In the end, it looked a bit more like a tame version of The Going Out Look. I mixed a navy DB and purple cords as I had done before, but for a festive pop of post-Christmas cheer, I rocked a 1940s plaid rayon sportshirt (acquired to replace a poplin one from the 1960s).

Spencer had his ivy-esque bar look down, with a green tweed jacket, navy OCBD, and 5 pocket cords. Jay rejected our tailored vibe and instead continued his blouson kick with a repro two-tone jacket (again from my closet) with a pair of jeans. Chris, however, brought it back and had the best outfit, where he took the opportunity to forgo his usual milsurp/workwear lean and wear a blazer and tie. The beauty is in its simplicity, with pops of white provided by the shirt, the socks, and the “Punk Rock” cap, the unofficial hat of the Style & Direction Discord (made by Mad King George).

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A rare scene of me wearing lace ups!
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Spencer looks so good! Love the barrel belt.
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Chris wins.
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Attempting to look smart but everyone should know my head is empty.
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Yummy!
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My M-43 living as a Barbour alternative.
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This day was the first time I saw the Gooch Brothers in over a year. The last time I saw Garret was at his O2 trade show; I can’t even remember when I saw Josh.

Honestly, this was such a small occasion that I almost cut it from the blog post. We simply met up on a random weekday afternoon to catch up on all things “us”, which was something we hadn’t been able to do during the entire pandemic. But perhaps that’s entirely the reason to include it. Under COVID, sometimes the only “event” for the day is a boba session, which is still a reason to get fitted!

I’m not sure what the inspiration behind mine was. Perhaps it was the red sleeveless cardigan, my first ever Drake’s purchase, screaming “please wear me before it gets hot!” from within the confines of my dresser. I’ve mainly worn it with various shirts and ties, so I thought it would be fun to use the turtleneck base layer; you can already tell that my navy turtleneck was getting a workout this season. The weather also called for a cord suit, beaten brown fedora, and my M-43 once again worn as a Barbour alternative. I’ve had the damn jacket for years and I’m incredibly happy that I had the foresight to make sure there was room in the shoulder and a long length so it can be worn over tailoring.

Of course, Garret and Joshua showed up kitted out. I had really missed their takes on Americana and classic menswear. Garret (the younger) took the muggy weather as an opportunity to wear a thrifted USN rain coat, donning it over a canvas, paint splattered suit from Clutch Golf; I can always count on Garett to wear interesting takes on traditional tailoring that still feel grounded. For warmth, he has a wool beanie and a chunky mockneck (which I think he bought that one time I “hosted” a J. Crew event).

Joshua was surprisingly a little more traditional, trading his typical rock & roll Americana attire for something a bit more grounded. He apparently got the memo; his newly acquired BSA overshirt provided a huge pop of red as well as warmth, being the top layer to a USN chambray, vintage 60s brooks v-neck, and plaid scarf. I love the use winter whites with the jeans.

I’m dressed like an old man (which I totally love) while the Gooch Bros. always look so damn cool. Different taste in boba outfits!

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More Barbour alternative fits.
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You gotta love the use of proportions here.
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Sometimes I wonder if these guys want to hang with me just for a fit pic…
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The day after smoochin’ under fireworks and singing Auld Lang Syne, my friend Annie and I took a drive down to Long Beach. The only real reason for it was because I had to give Chris Back a jacket he had hoped to sell to me; it ended up being a bit big and after keeping it with me for a week, I had to return it to him. So we took a 45 minute drive to catch him during the last hour or so of his barista shift. And as you would expect, we still got fitted for it. We had to start the New Year off strong!

Chris’s attire was such a winner for me. Like most of his other fits that you’ve seen, this one was pretty simple, being made up of a navy crewneck sweatshirt and WWII HBT chinos in olive. The real move was the New Balance “dad sneakers”, which with Chris’s glasses, called one of Oscar Issac’s outfits from Scenes from a Marriage to mind. They look so great on Chris!

My outfit was there to do two things: get some turtleneck base layer fits in before it got too hot and to wear a pair of Levis 501s that I just picked up from eBay. There’s something so “John” about this look since he’s been known to wear mid wash jeans and sweaters with turtlenecks, which feels a bit like 70s or 80s ivy in a way. Grey is one of John’s favorite colors to wear and one of my only grey pieces takes the form of this 1960s Brooks Brothers sack jacket. I’ll admit that the color is starting to grow on me! My sweater was the odd “1957” I wrote about here.

I unfortunately only have photos of the coffee shop hang and not the brief thrifting session that happened before dinner. Long Beach has its share of cool stores to pick from (both in thrifting and curated), so its definitely worth a visit. I ended up getting a vintage block stripe tie and a black jacquard scarf. You guys will have to follow me on IG to see those two pieces!

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As far as I know, Chris is single…for now.
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My Eddie Baur tote with Grape Trunko.
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Annie looking a bit like Bella Poarch.
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Even Regina has a great fit, with a big chunky cardigan and a turtleneck.
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You guys really need to go to the Rose Bowl Flea Market. Not only will you find some great clothes and knicknacks (or furniture if you have a truck), but you might even find some new friends!

The first Rose Bowl of the New year was a lot of fun. There’s nothing wrong with going by yourself, but I find it even more interesting when you go with other people because then you’re not just looking for things for yourself! I ended up going with Adam (who has had a remarkable style transformation), Epiphany, and Christina, the latter two are friends of my girlfriend. While we were there we ran into Marco and his two friends, Angie and Silvia (seen above). As fashion-enthusiast people, we obviously got along and after we were done going through the Flea, we all decided to have lunch together at a cafe Burlington Arcade, one of my favorite local spots (you can sometimes find me working there on slow days).

It was such a great conversation, with topics ranging from our favorite Marvel movies to our favorite food spots around LA. I learned that Silvia is one of the active members (she might not like the word mod) of r/ExpensiveHumanFashion, a private fashion subreddit that made the jump to Discord. It’s a great place that focuses heavily on designer and brand fashion, which I’ve slowly started to appreciate more over the years (let’s not forget the time I went Full Rick). We discovered we had a few mutual in common (not just Marco) and I eventually joined their community later that day. You can expect to see Silvia more on this blog, because I genuinely enjoy her style and I find it inspiring !

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Now apparently the theme of this essay is “Ethan gets outdressed by every one else” but I’m here for it. I’m always ready to get more inspo.

Let’s take Silvia’s outfit as an example. The base is a beautiful, flowy Issey Miyake dress in a pastel blue that is hemmed perfectly to ensure proper drape. The color is echoed then by a long, “distressed” cardigan that adds an extra layer to the fit, adding to all the ripples and pleats. It’s finished off with “mismatched” Nikes, which to me subverts the “formal” perceptions of such a dress. I love it!

Marco’s outfit is vaguely menswear to me, even if there is more of a focus on designer elements. The quilted jacket is cropped, ending at the natural waist which calls to mind our preferred fit for blousons and leather jackets. I absolutely love the purple pleated drop crotch pants he has, as they provide a dark base of sorts to his vibrant jacket without being a typical blue, grey, or brown. It reminds me of the push back I got for saying that purple corduroys are bold; they are on paper! He finishes them off with a pair of suede shoes that feature a lace-less locking system. I wish I could describe them better for you, but you basically twist a knob to tighten or loosen the shoe!

Adam has been going full force into his take on menswear, being a more prep take on workwear and milsurp! I’d called it Rugged Ivy, but there isn’t as much emphasis on boots and jeans. I guess a certain point, even codifiers lose their ability to accurately describe a person’s outfit; whatever we decide to call it, it looks great.

He wears a workshirt like how a trad would wear an OCBD: with everything and all the time. The khaki color reads a bit militaristic, but instead of jeans (as Harrison Ford did in the 1970s), he takes a bit of a GTH route with a burgundy pair of five pocket cords. The thick heathered socks give him a bit of a “campsite” vibe, which a great alternative to the typical white socks you see worn with penny loafers. The real kicker is the quilted liner he got while at the Flea! Unlike other vintage liners you find, this particular one is dyed and has patch pockets, which I think makes it much more wearable than as a glorified shawl (though I do own a kimono top, so not sure what my high horse is about). The seller of these takes care to dye and add the pockets, so it’s actually a unique and great find!

My outfit sprung from the desire to wear my black double rider. Earlier that week, I had a conversation with Zach where we discussed the fact that while double riders are a grail for some menswear guys, it can be hard to wear it. It can be a bit out of place for dress trousers (I’ve done this look quite a bit) and can be contrived (good and bad) when worn with jeans. I decided to put on a spin on those conventions by wearing my double rider with my own vibrant pair of pants: HBT work trousers. A navy crewneck was chosen to stay within the dark palette, while my Kapital bandana was worn to soak up sweat and provide a hint of visual interest. I even resisted the temptation to wear leather shoes and instead went with my trusty Vans.

I think its quite funny how color blocked we happened to dress! Perhaps we really were on a similar wavelength that day and fate happened to bring us together. We all have different contexts and jobs (Silvia is a scientist, Marco works in tech, and Adam is an editor), but I love how we all express ourselves and our interests through clothing.

Or perhaps it would be more accurate to say that we just like clothing in general and that interest is what we are expressing.

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Not a bad boy in the slightest.
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Christina and Epiphany have great style too!
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You can really see the time jump thanks to the date function on on my point and shoot camera! I took a pause from going out since I almost had a COVID exposure but thankfully my family and friends were all okay.

I’m always up for meeting up with people in the Patreon Discord if they happen to be stopping by (most Patrons live in other states) and so I was down to hang out with Thomas when he was here! I had actually met him once before, where he let play with his Leica and even took some of the best portraits of me of all time (yes, I returned the favor). This time I was able to bring MJ along and we just walked around Little Tokyo, ate some curry, and had some boba. You know, typical stuff I do all the time (and nearly every weekend).

Thomas is an excellent dresser who like a few people in my Patreon (and a few people I follow for inspo), have a great sense of mixing ideas of ivy, prep, milsurp, and workwear all under idea of Vague Menswear. He currently lives in the East Coast, so our sub 70 weather was like summer to him. He wore a merch tee that his friend made (the best kind of merch) with a brown gun check sportcoat from Ring Jacket; I normally do merch tees and plain jackets, so this gives me some inspiration for when summer truly returns to LA. A green ALD cap provides a bit more color before getting somber from the waist down- he has black Levis that he raw hemmed which go swimmingly with sockless black tassel loafers.

I’m not sure if I intuitively felt Thomas’s pseudo-90s vibes but he remarked that together we look like a paparazzo shot us while we left an airport in 1997. I felt like I wanted to continue my leather jacket theme from the last outing, so this time I unearthed my two tone varsity jacket. Unlike other varsity jackets that are similar to an MA-1, mine has a point collar which to anyone who knows me well, knows that that this is my preferred collar for blousons (I don’t like standing collars for some reason). Since the jacket is pretty bold on its own, I kept everything muted with my navy turtleneck and grey gabardine trousers.

I feel like I’ve been pretty simple all through this essay!

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Not an ad!
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Please, one at a time!
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This might be the first time I got “fully dressed up” this entire blog post. Yes, I do wear a tie most days, but its just for hanging out at home; on weekends I take the opportunity to dress “down” and wear something a bit different. However, when it’s time to celebrate one of your best friends’ birthdays, you gotta dress up!

I wore a tie to dinner, but unlike my everyday vibe of ivy-inspired separates, this one took a page out of Yuppie attire. You might say that if we were using the Cinematic mindset, this would be what a regular, non-vintage #menswear guy might pick from my wardrobe to get dressed: a navy suit, a striped shirt, and a shiny, tightly-spaced abstract design tie. There wasn’t a dress code for the dinner other than to “look nice”, so in true Ethan fashion, I gave myself a bit of a theme (or dress code) to help guide my outfit. I think it fit in nicely to the restaurant in Highland Park and then later contrasted my surroundings when we went to a local dive bar for more alcohol.

MJ followed suit (lol), wearing a navy jacket, brown trousers (my old Stoffas I outgrew), an OCBD, and a solid knit tie. A bit less yuppie compared to me, but still quite somber. Annie was ready to rock and roll with a houndstooth jumpsuit and a black leather jacket while Silvia brought her signature drape-focused silhouette with a light green dress and brown oversized jacket. Of course everyone else in attendance also dressed up to celebrate Annie!

Speaking of attendance, we were surprised by Nick, a fellow redditor from MaleFashionAdvice. It actually wasn’t a surprise; I asked him to come meet us for drinks around the corner after dinner. He’s known for his own ideas on prep (which was later canonized by GQ as “scumbag ivy”) which is really inline with how I like to dress when not doing a straightforward (but not accurate) trad look. He came to dinner in a vintage Rugby shirt whose green and blue stripes mesh wonderfully with a brown corduroy jacket and orslow jeans. The shoes were the best part, being a pair of grained Paraboot Michaels. I really want some now.

Anyway, the night ended with a lot of reddit (and IG) tea sharing as well as many, many thoughts on what dating is like in NYC vs. LA. I had a grin the entire time— MJ and I had been waiting to have a good night out like this and I we finally had one. It’s a shame that it usually happens when someone is visiting but hey, I’ll take it!

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These types of ties are growing on me. Maybe this is my gateway to getting more Yuppie ties that aren’t foulard!
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We love food.
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MJ keeping the #menswear lifestyle alive with a Negroni.
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The bread was so good!
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Dream shoes! Maybe Paraboots are the move for this year.
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I’ll take every opportunity to wear this Barbour.
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MJ looks so great in my old navy jacket.
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Talkin about e-girls maybe.
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Nick followed Silvia on IG this entire time and didn’t even know it.
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I feel like I’m only friends with silly people.
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God I remember this day; it was a doozy (I’m writing as if I’m recanting them all at once rather than me adding them in piecemeal as they happen lol). The first part of that Saturday was spent with Yukata, one of the LA-based photographers for Clutch magazine. He approached us saying that they were doing a big feature on local vintage style and asked if he could shoot our outfits! At the time of writing (which is well before press time), I am not sure if we actually made it in; they said I could wear a suit, but based on MJ and Spencer’s attire, I was a little concerned that I didn’t fit the bill!

The shoot took place at The ROW DTLA, a fancy shopping space that has a few coffee shops, Bodega, and a lot of great areas to shoot. I picked this place not only for Clutch but because Hector asked me to snap some photographs of him (he’s one of the only people I still agree to do paid shoots with). We were there for a majority of the late afternoon.

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Since it was Nick’s last day in LA, we made plans to meet up with him for dinner and drinks after our shoot was done. So MJ and I changed out of our Clutch looks and into some thing a bit more conducive for friend chicken and drinks. We definitely could’ve just worn what we already had, but hey those outfits were already shot— it was great exercise to make something new!

I originally wore my navy DB suit for the shoot, which was styled a bit 1940s (or English as the photographer called it) with a fair isle sweater vest, checked spearpoint, and repp tie. I kept the shirt and sweater vest and put on a tobacco brown knit tie and my 501s (the same ones from the Long Beach coffee hang). Navy crispaire was swapped for a brown crispaire DB which is the jacket to my newest commission. The use of a DB, knitwear, a solid tie, and mid wash jeans again feels very John to me, but also like our own version of ivy-trad (well, the more Drake’s version) where we embrace the drama of a DB instead of the standard single breasted one.

While my going out look isn’t as slick as what actually graced the inspo section of that essay, I think that MJ actually gets the job done. The only piece that stayed the same from the Clutch fit (which looked suspiciously similar to the first outfit I wore in this article) was his navy turtleneck, which he surrounded by a navy hopsack (my old Spier) and a pair of women’s rayon pleated black trousers from the Theory x Uniqlo collab. This might be the most monochrome and slouchy fit he’s ever done, which is further proof that my friends continually pull off great fits. MJ even goes Edwardian and fastens the top button only on his jacket, all while embracing the flow of his waistband-less breezy trousers.

Spencer didn’t change, but he didn’t have to. His look was very LVC, what with him wearing actual LVC (that have faded beautiful) with a band collar shirt, two tone sweater vest, a vintage 1940s DB, and his trusty silverbellly Stetson. Typically his going out looks have been more 60s or 70s inspired but this one feels almost as if he stepped out of There Will be Blood.

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Hector making a cameo appearance through his pebble grain shoes.
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A rare photo of Spencer using chopsticks!

I don’t think anyone has ever accused us of being cool, because it’s not hard to see that we don’t do anything all too wild out here. All we do is eat, drink (boba and alcohol), and take photos of our outfits. That’s our life and honestly, it’s pretty good.

Nick joined us at Gol Tong, a small Koreatown eatery where one man makes great fried chicken; if you look around his establishment, you’ll see posters and memorabilia of the films he directed before opening up his restaurant. He wore a variation of his previous outfit, this time with a vintage Brooks OCBD and Drake’s tie. I’m sure that he was working with the limited wardrobe that he packed in his suitcase!

What followed was one of the best evenings I’ve had in a long time. I’m sure that some of you know about the recent drama that has crept up on my feed and while I have a pretty thick skin (and perhaps a volatile temper) it does get tough! I’ve learned that my self-care comes when I get to hang out with people and lose myself in the conversation. And boy, that night really did it.

We all ended our evening with drinks at The Blind Donkey, one of my favorite bars in Pasadena. Silvia, Derek, and his partner Grace even pulled up to join us, each fitted up as well. I was expecting us to only be there for an hour or two, but we ended up staying past midnight! We even had to go to Crave Cafe (the only place open past midnight that isn’t a Denny’s) to eat some cheap fries. It was such an amazing evening that was full of silly people sharing stories and laughing their ass off. I didn’t think I could take so many photos while sitting in one place! MJ even bought an EG vest after cajoling from Derek and Nick.

Honestly, these are the kinds of nights I’ve always wanted to have. As I said in my Going Out article, being a sheltered Christian guy with introverted friends was never conducive for a fun night as we all got older. While fashion isn’t the only thing we have in common, it certainly was the instigator behind our friendships; now I have people I can hang with. I know this has been a theme of a lot of blog posts, but I’m still in awe that it turned out this way.

Now I feel bad for the posts that come after this, since they probably wouldn’t be as happy.

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Selvedge!
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Redditors!
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Spencer left early because he has a long drive home.
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The Magic Cone.
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Nick reliving his days a boom operator.

<

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Grace and Derek!
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Silvia in Issey again!
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I’ve got the faintest Asian Glow.
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Is that Derek or did Matt Hranek finally cop some EG?
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Fashion Asians!
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MaleFashionAdvice
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Okay, I guess I spoke wrote too soon—the following weekend was awesome too!

This one was less of a “someone’s visiting, so we gotta go out” but more so just “who wants to get dinner and eat some American food?” It was surprising that people said yes. So after MJ and I watched Moonfall (a truly horrible film), we met up with our friends at Damon’s for some big portioned food at $10 Mai Tais. By the end of the night, I ended up pretty tipsy and very, very full.

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Now Damon’s with its decor and menu is an American restaurant inspired by “island culture” that’s been around the 1930’s and places like it always give me two vibes: 1) a relaxed post war feel or 2) a late 60s/early 70s sleeze. I definitely played up the latter.

I picked up these khaki chino flares at Joyride and they’ve quickly become my new favorite pant, with the slimmer thigh and reverse taper providing some subtle sex appeal to the typical wide, slouchy attitude I get from my clothes. They are still khakis, which is why I avoided any overt prep references (though 70s ivy-trad through silhouette sounds like a fun topic). Instead, I leaned into the earth tones with a dark mustard turtleneck and my brown DB jacket (which you saw in the previous section). Black tassels help anchor the fit and prevent the entire fit from being too earthy.

I think this outfit, along with all the others in this essay is a good example of Cinematic Dressing in action. For me, it was all about using what I already had (as well as a new addition) to create an outfit that made sense to the occasion. You could argue that there is a small narrative involved: late 60s Filipino guy gets fish and chips in a Glendale restaurant with his friends. The only thing now is that all my friends have their own style— they are the main characters in their own story after all.

Michael continues his RL-prep mood with a merch tee worn under a vintage RL houndstooth jacket, blue jeans, and penny loafers. I like how consistent he is with his attire! Anne, his girlfriend, matches me in a way with her taupe turtleneck and high waisted black jeans. My friend Sarah also got the memo of a turtleneck, but she (also like me) wore it under a DB jacket and wide leg cords. Annie (don’t get confused now) seemed to also be inspired by the 60s/70s vibes and wore a dark brown coat over a striped shirt and flared floral jeans. The 70s was continued by Sarah’s friend Clint, who had a blue Wilson’s leather jacket and an amazing printed shirt. Of course we can’t forget MJ who took the opportunity to get utiliarian with a workshirt and Engineered Garments vest (that he bought last week), Silvia who was in a designer blazer and pleated skirt, and my own girlfriend Isabel who wore a suede dress under a cardigan and giant puffer parka (quite Bookcore).

I’m really into these style cross over episodes! I love seeing all of these interpretations and choices; I wonder how many of them were also inspired by the vintage tiki vibes and which ones just did their own thing.

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You gotta love houndstooth.
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My girlfriend doesn’t go out a lot, so this was a nice treat!
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MJ with that EG vest. He used all the pockets.
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Fried food!
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Sarah!
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Sleaze. Also note the thin belt!
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Clint’s blue leather jacket is so good, especially when paired against the orange/brown shades of his shirt. Runaway collar in action.
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EG on EG.
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Not exactly Matt Hranek, with coffee and a pizzooki.
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Oh it looks like Clint has some flares too!
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My flares are subtle but Annie’s aren’t.
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Gang, gang!
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Here’s a great example of Cinematic Dressing done for something “normal”: a lunch with friends back at Float. Like I said in that podcast episode, life here in LA seldom has a dress code. It’s up to us to fill in the gaps! And with these fits, literally worn to eat a good sandwich and talk about our latest pick ups and dating (a popular topic for guys in their late twenties), that’s what we did. There’s a bit of main character energy going on and I think it’s great!

Now unlike the previous time at Float, this lunch was the only thing I had going on that day. I was tempted to default to something (perhaps something casual ivy), but you guys know that I need some form of inspiration to make the outfit for fun (to me at least). At its core the fit is simple, but the details are what make it pointed to a specific aesthetic. My sweatshirt is my 1960s JFK shortsleeve sweatshirt that is tucked into the previously shown khaki flares; it creates a very “light” combo, especially with the Vans. Some contrast is provided by my thin western belt and my plaid Spier and Mackay jacket that feels slimmer with every passing week! The result is something vaguely 70s that feels right for a lazy Sunday afternoon with friends.

Adam is always a great guy to watch since his style is constantly evolving. He’s made a small jump into wearing tailoring (he got a suit a bit ago), but it’s always through his own POV. A prime example is this women’s western jacket. It’s got three buttons, patch pockets, and a cool lapel; that’s what matters to Adam’s taste and he rocks it well. He already has it on with a chambray shirt and pleated cords, which feel super comfy when combined with the white socks and sandals. He could add a knit tie and penny loafers and be ready for dinner.

I don’t think Jonny’s made an appearance in this blog post yet, but damn he showed up fitted. The Miles Davis sport shirt is an epic find! The rest of his outfit is surprisingly from J. Crew, which is proof that you can shop anywhere and still make it feel like you. He has a tee base layer, a slouchy green cardigan, wide legged denim workpants (women’s!), and then a special pair of Wallabees with a cowprint. I own variations of almost all of his clothes, so it’s cool to see how his POV led to these particular details and combinations. If I told you he was a musician, would you be surprised?

Lastly, we have Marco. Marco is always a pleasure to see especially because he evokes what I always refer to as Vague Menswear. It’s played more straightforward here (at least to the extend that Marco can be straightforward) with this vintage 1950s fishing jacket and high rise, straight leg work pants (that happen to have mermaids on it). Of course we have Marco’s signature moves like the mesh tee and clogs (which could very well be his version of a pocket tee and penny loafers).

It was a fun time to hang out. We probably looked like insufferable fashion Asians in that little coffee shop.

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I’ve loved seeing how far Adam has come.
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I’d wear these pants!
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You guys should know by now that I’m writing this piecemeal or rather, after each occasion happens (otherwise I might forget some key details). And as I scroll down this wordpress draft, I realize that this is almost like a celebration of new friends thanks to all the new people (and newly consistent people) who are now canonized into the blog.

And speaking of celebration, this dinner was done for Silvia’s birthday. If you can’t already tell through her multiple appearances, Silvia has rapidly become one of my good friends; she’s also one of the stylish people I’ve ever met, with a great command over designer garments. So when you go out for dinner, which was amazing Thai food at Anajak, you’ve gotta show up fitted!

To contrast my previous birthday dinner look (which was quite yuppie), I decided to do something more in line with the Going Out Look, especially one that was sans tie. We had a temporary flash of hot weather in LA and it reminded of the impeding end of winter dressing. This meant that I had to take what little opportunities I still have to make some cold weather combinations. Since a suit was the way to go, I opted for wear the only remaining “winter” fabric suit I still had: corduroy (I gave away my flannel suits). Specifically my purply corduroy suit, which was made “darker” with my trusted combo of the navy turtleneck base layer and faded black western shirt. It was a very cool outfit while also being warm— our large party ate outside in the cold. It feels like something a creative would wear, even though I barely count as one.

Obviously the rest of the gang was also quite stylish. Silvia also wore a [designer] suit and included a few blue accessories (her favorite color). Annie brought back her houndstooth jump suit but added a turtleneck base layer and overcoat. Marco had a somber top half (grey overshirt and beret) to contrast his bold leather pants. Derek also had an overshirt, but instead of a beret he had his signature beanie; his partner Grace had some fun layers as well. And lastly, MJ took the opportunity to wear a turtleneck base layer (in yellow-brown) with a khaki workshirt, brown sportcoat, and slubby work pants.

I couldn’t help but move around and take photos! It’s a compulsion when the company you keep just looks so good. I’m no longer a free lance photographer, but this is a bit of what it would look like if I shot a fancy dinner.

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Great lapels!
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I wouldn’t mind a moleskin suit in that shade of grey.
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Derek and Grace.
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Everything except the turtleneck came from my closet.
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Orange wine.
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I’m surprised Marco wasn’t wearing a mesh shirt!
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Everyone was laughing at something!
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Filipino boys (again).
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And now for something completely different: trivia night!

It occurs to me that other than the first entry, I haven’t been documenting what my friends wear on our Tuesday night tradition. You’d think that after a day of working (some corporate, others in non-traditional careers), we’d be too tired to exercise our brain power and pull out some fits. But perhaps in the pandemic world where we don’t get much occasion, we’ll take any opportunity to get dressed, whether it’s a casual fit we like or a chance to show off our latest wild purchase! I’m glad I brought my point and shoot to this one since I really loved all the fits.

If you’re wondering, no, we haven’t won first place yet. But we have won first place for fashion!

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Wearing my new MTM brown DB suit.
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Annie with a hoodie under a trench.
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Jay in a jersey blazer-cardigan and a dark workshirt.

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Kayla had an awesome cardigan.
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Insane fit from Silvia, especially the Kapital vest and the collab Converse.
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I don’t know what’s happening in this photo.
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Saturdays are my busiest days; most of these events happened on a Saturday! You might argue that it’s my most fashion-demanding day, as I usually have to wear an outfit that works if the church needs me to play piano, what to wear to an afternoon hang, and then drinks (or something similarly late) with friends. Obviously I can wear whatever I want as my overall genre of dress works for any situation, but I like challenging myself to fit within a framework while still adhering to a POV.

So for this last full entry, I’m sharing what I wore to a particularly busy Saturday. It involved playing for church (they picked great songs that week, so I couldn’t help myself), as well as hanging out at The ROW with people from SAI, the Asian American Discord; they were doing a fun amateur photowalk and I wanted to say hi. MJ, Annie, and I were also invited to a kick back at Marco’s in the evening and if you know Marco, you know that it’s fun to lean into the extra-ness of an outfit.

I decided to rock an outfit that I’ve been waiting to do for a long time: a black sportshirt with a brown DB suit. It feels fully Ethan, despite the DB being a relatively new addition. And since the trousers finally came, I’ve been rocking it in its full glory! Lately its been used with straight forward pairings with ties (as in the previous section), so a louche approach with the runaway collar was definitely a fun change of pace. I even did the quirky move of wearing fine socks with my fisherman sandals. It might as “Lolo style” (grandpa in tagalog) to some, but I actually like how elegant (and feminine) it looks.

Annie also leaned into the dark/edgy vibe and went with something a bit more “intense” with a turtleneck under a velvet corset, slim utility pants, and Doc Martens. MJ had more of our SaD uniform of milsurp/workwear with a camo chore coat and chambray with Paraboots; I do like his nod to the Going Out Look with pleated rayon trousers. The king, however, was Silvia who took the opportunity to wear her Issey Miyake suit, which gave me spades of #menswear with the electric blue color. I’m not sure if she follows Throwing Fits or knows about the Post-Pandemic menswear merger, but her use of a Bode sportshirt and ball cap is delightfully on the pulse; I also like the use of the clean PTBs which almost have a patent shine.

Overall, it was a fun day to wear great fits and take some photos (some serious, some fun) with a lot of new friends. This is certainly not the norm, but I definitely like when you are able to give an outfit a “full day” treatment.

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I feel complete!
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Annie.
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That camo chore coat used to be mine until I acquired Spencer’s.
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Silvia in her Issey suit. Seems like something we’d wear, huh?
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Annie is a great model.
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MJ wasn’t posing, believe it or not!
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Now this is a pose!
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I don’t think this place has ever been open.
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Best friends for over 20 years.
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I see a lot of commonalities between my approach to menswear and a few designer-focused enthusiasts. More on this in the future!
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Cory, from SAI. He’s an amazing photographer!
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The lovely people from SAI who came with Cory.
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Marco loves hosting and bringing people together.
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I had to eat plenty of chips to prevent myself from getting too buzzed.
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Great 70s inspired fit. I even got to try on his Tecovas!
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Vaguely Safin-core, worn by Mai.
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Lots of great style in this photo!

More Hangs

Okay, so I’m getting lazy writing about every hang. I may have bitten off more than I can chew! So for the sake of your attention span, I’m just going to dump photos with some captions. It really has been a great couple of months with some awesome people.

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EG vest worn to karaoke!
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I took the opportunity to wear my jungle jacket, which I haven’t really worn much of lately!
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Got to see Brooks when he visited. Stellar use of color, with the vibrant blue cord chore coat, yellow polo, and olive fatigues.
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Best buds.
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We went to Kinokuniya but they were sold out of Clutch!
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More Karaoke!
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Brick toast is the way.
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Kayla, who has beaten us all as the FitGod.
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We did not win trivia (again).
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Jay in a linen popover and “cardigan blazer”.
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Love Eden’s Bengal stripe shirt!
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It was hot that day, so khaki cotton suit and a 60s sportshirt was the choice. A bit tonal too!
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Perfect proportions at play, by Silvia.
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Shoes!
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Worn to a work lunch!
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MJ and I wearing brown for Spencer’s birthday/housewarming party. I outgrew that DB jacket and those cords, so they’re his now!
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Classic Spencer: tweed jacket, workshirt, jeans, and loafers.
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Andrew in a cool vintage sweatshirt!
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Jay in a solaro-esque trench coat.
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Chris, making me jealous of his Lee Westerner.
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We ended up trying on a lot of what Spencer was giving going to sell!
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The boys!
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Kayla pushing the limits again (and I’m here for it).
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Sarah with a denim safari jacket.
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My girl friends definitely inspire my own style a lot!
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…though not in this outift (worn to Friday night drinks).
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Another post-Rose Bowl outing! I got the fringe jacket that day.
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Love all the green!
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I guess my Drake’s MTO tie was a good luck charm that night!
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Kayla happened to have a cake with her to celebrate.
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I love us
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I love them too.
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I love cookies and ice cream.
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After checking out the Kapital drop at 2nd Street in Melrose.
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Took the opportunity to wear my fringe jacket again! It seems I like wearing it with red shirts.
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Silvia with some great proportions that I approve of. I’ve gotta get her on the pod!
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Annie taking a page out of our book with a slouchy corduroy jacket.
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MJ is so cool!
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I love the crossover of personal style.
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Karaoke again!
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Eden echoes Annie’s green fit by wearing a cotton-linen jump suit and a turtleneck.
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A spring tailoring fit for lunch with the extended family!
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More trivia fits from Jay and Annie. Jay has a navy blazer and knit polo while Annie has a casual “suit” made of a ripstop jacket and sateen pants.
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Adam wearing two chore coats: a camo one as a proper shirt and a french blue one as an outer layer.
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Another MFA crossover, featuring Chris and Derek. This was taken at like 2AM.
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Isabel’s outfit for a date to the museum.
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She caught me when I received a rather stressful work email.
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The full fit— relaxed yet bold for a full date day!
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Spencer’s attire for his Oscar kickback. I love that he’s been rediscovering and recontextualizing items from his archive, like this soft Donegal tweed jacket with quad patch pockets!
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Last few days of leather jackets are upon us.
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Still making it feel like home.
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Chris in a vintage 70s shirt and TCB denim.
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I’m ready for my close-up! Also Jay has a cool pair of khaki carpenter pants.
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Jay and Spencer at another trivia night.
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Absolutely love Nicole and Kayla’s looks!
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Annie in that same oversized corduroy jacket and some fun pants!
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Silvia in a Needles shirt.
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I guess we’re all wearing what we got when we visited 2nd Street (for me it was this Kapital vest).
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This was completely different: a day in Little Tokyo with our non-menswear friends.
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DB boys. Even when we aren’t with fashion people, we still “dress up”!
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Da mob.
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Great company will always be great company, whether they’re obsessed with menswear or not! More on “standing out” with these guys later…

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

Big thank you to our top tier Patrons (the SaDCast Fanatics): Philip, Shane, Austin,  Audrey, Jarek, and Henrik.

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