I also call him friend.
It’s normal for me to think about my friends, especially when the theme of the blog/podcast has been to dive deep on who (and what) inspires me. Sometimes it takes the form of people like Jason who have the same subversive attitude. Maybe it’s guys like John who seem to be on the exact same wavelength. Lately my inspiration as come from fashion enthusiasts like Marco or Silvia that dress with intention and proportion that seems vaguely menswear. And then there are guys like Doug that represent all of it.
I was very surprised to become friends with Doug. After all, LA (at least 5-6 years ago) doesn’t have much in the way of classic menswear. It’s not that LA is a fashion wasteland, but that the most of the style here just has different taste than what I like. And to be quite fair, Doug doesn’t dress like me either! He wasn’t drawn to period/contemporary tailoring (or more specifically tie wearing) in the same way that Spencer and I were. However, Doug did have a penchant for vintage Americana and milsurp which is what brought us together.
Okay now that I think about it, it must have been a Rose Bowl or something. But we later ended up catching up for coffee and becoming good friends.
Doug has always had a simple but effective style. His style isn’t just about jeans and and tees (a la James Dean), but he did have a cleaner, more casual vibe. Sta-prest levis, cordovan shoes, and a nice camp collar shirt was pretty much his uniform, at least early on in our friendship. As time went on and he got into actually becoming a vintage seller in his own right, his style shifted into hoodies, fatigue pants/chinos, and true vintage tees (apparently they’re better). I liked that within both of these looks, one more “dressy” than the other, Common Projects were his sneaker of choice instead of the typical canvas deck shoes preferred by more traditional-heads. Perhaps this hinted at his future style iteration which includes designer clothing.
His more casual approach to Americana was something new for me, as most of the casual style I encountered was either 1950s dad attire, business casual, or whatever was on MFA. Seeing Americana in a cool light (that wasn’t too r/rawdenim or reenactor-core) was especially pertinent for Spencer and me, as we were trying to figure out our own style outside of Esquire Man and Ivy-trad. Since he was tapped into true vintage casual clothing, he paved the way for us to appreciate workwear and milsurp (both vintage and reproduction), allowing us to incorporate it into our style.
You might say that Doug was our entry into “cool“. Obviously its easy to look cool when you wear a ribbed tank, big camp shirt, and vintage Levis (Doug was doing it way before Tiktok made it a thing), and I couldn’t deny the appeal. I wanted the swagger of this side of Americana and being around Doug challenged me to do it. However, I always wanted to do it my way. I made it in through pants, but you already know that Spencer dove all the way in and never looked back. I’m actually glad that I didn’t go fully into workwear and milsurp because we all know how much I truly love ties, sportcoats, and big wool trousers.
Despite how formative he was for my friends’ appreciation of casual Americana, Doug actually went through phases in his style. You’ll definitely see it in the photos below. When we first met him, he was in a slightly dressy version of it with a few more nods to contemporary clothing (like RL Sweaters and cordovan loafers); the vintage mainly came through rare jackets and pants, like the Lee Westerner or the HBT Monkey Pants. Then he went fully into vintage, wearing sunfaded 60s hoodies and fatigues almost daily. Now, as I said earlier, he has gone full “minimal” with an appreciation for designer, with Guidi boots, Lemaire bags, pants from The Row, plain OCBDs, and dark Ring Jacket suits. Doug even pulls fun moves like tied sweaters, vintage Picasso merch tees, and only wearing chunky black sunglasses.
As you’ll hear in the podcast, each of these “style eras” defines a certain stage in his life. While I’m a big fan of keeping one wardrobe for as long as possible, we can’t deny ourselves change and evolution. Even though the eras are quite distinct, Doug maintains that each of them follows a theme which is well made and versatile. It’s just that the specific pieces that he gravitates towards tends to change within each era. However, he does maintain that this current iteration is the most “Doug” he’s ever been; he’s just been allowed more freedom to express it without too much “outside interference”. It’s fascinating to see him combine elements of vintage Americana with sleek modern designs, with Doug’s wardrobe becoming a true exercise in personal taste across all eras, instead of simply dressing the way you’re expected to dress. I’m pretty sure I could say the same thing about myself and my current “style era”.
We do differ in our approaches to wardrobe size. Doug likes to keep things minimal, not just in color palette, but literally in how many pieces he allows himself to own. He doesn’t bring up decision fatigue in the podcast, but Doug does like that he can just pick things together and know that they fit. If he likes it (which of course, why would he own them if he didn’t), he will literally repeat it ad naseum, or at least until something else comes to inspire him. It’s funny because I feel like I’m similar to Doug but in my own way. My outfits revolve around a theme and I wear that theme a lot; it just so happens that my vibe incorporates a lot of pieces.
I’ve wanted Doug on the pod for a long time and with all the recent discussions on the “why” behind getting dressed, he was a prime candidate for the last interview of 2022. During the pod, I think you’ll understand why we’re friends and perhaps most importantly, why my style has gotten to where it is: to dig further in what I truly like from clothes, whether its vintage, classic, or designer.
It’s always because of friends.
- 06:51 – Intro to Doug
- 18:49 – Doug’s Style Journey
- 41:09 – Current Style
- 50:32 – Incorporating Tailoring
- 58:21 – “The Doug Lookbook” and Uniforms
- 1:06:27 – Appreciation of Aesthetics
- 1:10:07 – Next Phase/Tiktok and IG Reels
- 1:19:08 – Spencer’s Rapid Fire Question(s) and Wrap-up
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The Podcast is produced by MJ.
Always a pleasure,
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