Spoiler alert: it was a fun time with friends!
I like talking about my life. Actually, I think I’ve always wanted to do it, even before the blog existed. Back in 8th grade, I took a camcorder, locked myself in my bathroom (it’s the only room in the house with a lock), and recorded vlogs where I talked about everything from Yu-Gi-Oh to how odd it was to grow up Seventh-Day Adventist. A few people at school found them and while they weren’t mean about it, I was embarrassed enough to take them down. After that, my Youtube content was game playthroughs, music compositions, and short films— videos that weren’t a personal diary. Now I use menswear as an excuse to talk about my life. Funny how things come full circle!
Now don’t worry, I am going to talk a bit about the outfits I wore on my recent weekend to Joshua Tree, but I think its important to preface it with some context.
Keep in mind that this is probably the sixth or so trip I’ve ever taken with friends. It might sound wild, but hey a bunch of Christian (and ex-Christian) homebody nerds aren’t exactly equipped with initiative to take time off and go somewhere. The most we’ve ever did was conventions or day events. That’s why a lot of the trips I’ve had, like the one to London or Japan, were all family trips. Trips and vacations are always big undertakings and even at this stage, it’s tough to find friends in the position to do them, especially ones who take an active part in planning. I have had a handful of friend trips, like NYC and SF in 2018 with Spencer, but that’s it. Going Out is also a recent development. But hey, that’s a sign that there is more to come, like the vacation that is the subject of this blog post. And boy was it a great time!
I guess I shouldn’t be that surprised that this Joshua Tree trip happened—last year I was able to go on a similar trip to La Quinta with friends from the SoCal Asian Interactive discord, where we just rented an AirBnB to drink, swim, and hang out. It definitely a bit spontaneous, especially because that one involved casual friends that I don’t hang out with as often as Spencer or my other menswear friends.
This trip to Joshua Tree was a bit different, since it was comprised of close friends aka the ones you guys have come to see documented on this blog in great detail over the past year. I’ve always wanted to do something with these guys (hey maybe I wouldn’t have to go to NYC alone again) and Joshua Tree was a great way to get that ball rolling. Derek thought it would be a fun excuse for us all to get together outside of the city while simultaneously celebrating his and his partner Grace’s birthday. We took the two hour drive to the desert getaway and spent a weekend taking libations, eating great food (Annie is a wonderful chef), playing board games, and sat near the fire to watch the sunset on the rocks and gaze at the stars. We did bring some hiking gear but the uh accoutrements we brought made us remain within the grounds of the Airbnb (though you can clearly see the desert stretching from where we were, so maybe that was okay).
The reason behind the canonization into the blog comes from the sentiment of spontaneity and how I craft outfits. I’ve talked before about the idea of uniforms and how ideas for fits come up more often than specific rigs to repeat. Typically my life revolves around staying at home, working from cafes, Trivia Nights, and the Going Out night. Even though I have plenty of opportunities to dress down, my autopilot mind tends to lean closer to traditional tailoring (or at least wearing a tie); I have to really be focused and intentional in order to dress down. And you know what? A trip to the desert is a good excuse to dress down! I’m so used to menswear trips (Japan, London, NYC) that I need to stretch my casual muscles.
Usually casual attire trips me up (should I be rugged ivy or mislurp?), but packing for this trip was surprisingly easy. I guess that’s because my preferred mode of casual always has a vague connotation to tailoring; I believe Simon Crompton’s article on vintage sportswear hints at this as well. It also helped that this vacation was going to be spent lounging around without a pool; I didn’t have to worry about a pool fit and a day fit, I could just dress to relax. I know I must sound crazy, but I really do have to get into an inspired mindset. This is because I can truly lounge around in anything (again, I wear tailoring just to stay at home and do nothing because I love wearing ties), so deciding on a mood provides clear direction.
As you probably expected, the looks I made were decidedly vintage sportswear but one that fits within the 60s/70s mood I’ve been feeling. It just feels right for Joshua Tree; I feel like I’d do the same thing for Vegas, but maybe then I’d dress it up a bit more. Overall, it let me break out a few pieces that I don’t normally get to wear (because again, I’m usually wearing a tie on normal weeks). I wasn’t about to wear a cotton suit or hopsack sportcoat, at least not this time!
The first look was one that I initially thought was too simple but actually started to grow on me. The wide leg easy pants were a no brainer, as they require no belt and are machine washable. I have them in brown , but I felt that black was a cooler move, especially as I brought these black leather fisherman sandals as my main footwear. Their casual elegance has been something I’ve invoked in previous fits (like my fancy dinner one), but I’ve been waiting for an excuse to wear it with something more summery. A red knit 1930s style polo was the top of choice, accented with a black and red bandana to give it some flair; I always think a polo needs something extra in order to prevent yourself from looking too bizcaz.
My second look was my favorite— its fully rayon! You’ll recognize the true vintage 30s polo from my piece on archiving. It truly is the epitome of vintage sportswear with its dramatic collar, loose fit, deep opening, and lightweight quality. I love wearing it with slouchy suits but this time I paired with one of my newest acquisitions, a pair of elastic waist/draw string rayon trousers by Needles, purchased second hand at the same place I got that Kapital vest. They aren’t as wide as the ones in the previous fit, but they are still incredibly comfortable and wear quite cool. The black sandals, sunglasses, and beret tie it together as a great “staying at home fit” that is interesting and comfortable.
Now enjoy some photos I took during the trip! The fun thing was that Silvia and Isabel both took my camera to try their hand at it, which is why you see me pop up in a truly candid manner (but let’s be real, I’m always aware of the camera).
It was such an incredible time that is proof that life only gets better. I could have never imagined taking this sort of trip in the past and yet here I am, getting to wear rayon pants and taking photos of my pals in the desert. All planned quite spontaneously! This won’t be the last time I’m sure.
Plus I’m sure you’re tired of reading about Trivia Nights almost every week. This is a good push for me to take more trips, ones that are bigger than Going Out but not requiring something expansive as New York. We’ll see what the future holds.
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Always a pleasure,
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