The Menswear in New York

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Warning: Extra freakin’ long blog post

NYC definitely beats LA in all aspects of classic menswear. Not only are there way more cool stores over there, but the young guys all dress the part as well.  Here’s what I was able to document (as well as some of my own outfits).

Now obviously LA isn’t completely dead, as there are small pockets of great style courtesy of my friends and I.  All arrogance aside, I’m getting a little tired of taking pictures of Spencer and Blake doing the same things over and over.  The only time I was able to break out of that mold was when I went to London and Paris during the summer.  Now I’m happy to add New York to that list, considering how many great guys there are here.  They’re not just casual enthusiasts as majority of these guys actually work in  actual haberdasheries across the city.  Hell, you’ve probably seen them on famous instagram pages or even in coveted Japanese streetstyle magazines.  It was unreal getting to take photographs of these guys, but luckily they were happy to be documented.

If only we could bring this back to LA and have this many guys who all enjoy it.  Slowly but surely, right?

The Drake’s Crew

Chase

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As I stated in the recap article, Chase was the first menswear guy I actually met in NYC.  I took a break in Central Park and was simply snapping random views on my instagram story.  Chase happened to be in the area and saw my instagram story, so he decided to stop by.   Funnily enough, I saw him right before he messaged me and we proceeded to have a great conversation and take some cool pictures.  He caught my eye due to his dope waxed cotton jacket and his Stoffá fedora (unworn).
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Chase is a guy only a year older than me, but wearing some of the best things I’ve seen.  Under his amazing hunting jacket, he’s got a pink university stripe OCBD and a dark green silk tie.  Solid ties that are not grenadine or the traditional knit are hard for me to wear, but Chase does it well, contrasting softly with the pink while not being too matchy with the jacket.   I’m pretty sure he’s got a blazer on underneath the hunting jacket as well.

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Accessories: a dotted scarf, a felt fedora, and a green Swatch.

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He finishes off the outfit with some great chocolate brown corduroy trousers.  I’ve been wanting brown cords for a while and finally got some (as you saw in the Friendsgiving piece).  I will admit that seeing the Drake’s guys wear them was definitely a deciding factor for me.

The footwear might look weird to some, but I really love it.  I’ve seen Mat Woodruff (the manager of the Drake’s NYC store) wear these and apparently, he got a pair for Chase’s birthday.  I actually thought that these were Wallabees (made by Clark’s, of desert boot fame) but these actually a boot from Padmore & Barnes.  I’m not sure of the exact model, but I think that the Padmore & Barnes shape is much more flattering than the one’s that Clark’s currently makes.  I don’t think I’m going to buy one for myself any time soon, but I may.  I love how these contrast with tailored trousers and give a sense of casualness that is much different than a regular workboot or sneaker.  I mean, we certainly like quirky stuff on this blog.

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Chase looking cool before we went out for dinner.

I think that Chase is definitely a lover of the “Drake’s uniform”.  If you look at the old Drake’s lookbooks, you can see that a sportcoat + knit waistcoat (sleeveless cardigan) + chukkas were really a theme.  It’s not a bad look in the slightest, but it’s iconic to the Drake’s brand (at least to me).  Chase does his version with a navy sportcoat, green/pale-yellow stripe tie, brown sleeveless cardigan, grey trousers, and chukkas. It was chilly NYC night (again, according to me, an LA native), so he piles on the layers with the fully unravelled dotted scarf and the waxed cotton hunting jacket from before.  It’s a lot of pieces, but there isn’t too many patterns; in fact the only real patterns are found in the tie and the scarf.

God damn, I love layering. I’d do variations of this, if LA weather allowed it.

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On my last day in NYC (Sunday), I was actually able to have a full normal photoshoot outside of the store.  I mean, these guys were used to it by now, since they’ve been shooting with FE Castleberry since they opened on Crosby St. earlier this year.

This might be one of my favorite outfit ever because it all uses stuff that I seldom wear: bowtie, sleeveless cardigan, and corduroy trousers. The entire combo is something delightfully ivy that I just might have to recreate it myself.  It even has some 1960’s updated vibes for me, kind of like a more relaxed version of what you’d see in Mad Men.  Sure, a 1960’s business man may wear a sweater, bowtie, and suit, but not in casual, slouchy fabrics like this.  It’s just wonderful.

I’m also loving the use of the TV fold, which is another detail I don’t do myself. I normally opt to just stuff it in.

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Alex

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What I appreciate most from the Drake’s guys is that while they all work at the same place (and might even own some of the same pieces), they all have a very distinctive style.  Here we see Alex Winchell also rocking the brown cords but opting instead fora herringbone, windowpane tweed jacket. He also adds a slightly spread club collar shirt (MTO from Drake’s) with a repp tie, sprezzatura added.

I think that texture was the name of the game in this outfit, thanks to the tweed and cord.  Seeing fits like this just really hammer in the fact that I need more patterned sportcoats in bold-yet-subtle stuff like this houndstooth windowpane.  You can literally wear it with anything.

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Details. Note how the pocket square ties in the yellow in the tie.

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Alex kept things simple on Sunday, opting for a flecked tweed (or was it flannel?) jacket.  While it does have triple patch pockets, I don’t think that this jacket is a recent one from Drake’s, considering that it has only two buttons.  It’s still very cool and something that’s on my list (I would love another green jacket apart from my Camoshita one).

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Instead of a striped tie and plain shirt, he swaps the two wearing a micro stripe spread collar shirt and a solid knit tie.  I do like how he adds in the “pop of color” (meme!) with the pocket square.  The entire thing is fall outfit goals.

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People say that I get lucky while thrifting, but Alex clearly has me beat.  He walked into the store only a few minutes after me, brandishing his latest thrift find: Edward Green for RL suede double monkstraps.  Edward Green shoes run new for over a thousand dollars mind you, so any thrifted price is already a steal.  Plus, these shoes are incredibly gorgeous and quirky; their fastening method reminds me of the jodphur boots beloved by SLP enthusiasts.  Maybe Alex should wear his new shoes with black skinny jeans and an untucked silk sportshirt.

Mat

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Matthew Woodruff is the manager of the NYC Drake’s and (like his coworkers) was extremely friendly and welcoming to me.  He even organized the dinner at Fanelli’s!  Unfortunately he was only available Friday evening, which meant that I didn’t get to do a full photoshoot on Sunday like I did with the other guys.  Still, the lighting in the store was adequate and I was able to take a few snaps of him closing up the store.

Now, I am in love with his outfit.  A brown houndstooth jacket has been on my list forever, especially since the 70’s one I wore during the early days of the blog is not good.  Mat’s jacket is a Drake’s one and looks so wonderfully comfortable while still being appropriate for any “dressed up” style. An unbuttoned OCBD, knit tie, grey trousers, and penny loafers finish off the look.

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Kevin

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Kevin is another Drake’s associate that was the subject of one of my favorite images of all time. Another super nice guy, Kevin and I had a chance to briefly talk before I had to shove off to the Armoury.

Like Chase’s Sunday outfit, Kevin is wearing the Drake’s navy sportcoat that definitely looks like something from a Brooks Brothers catalogue in 1964.  Slim (but not skimpy) lapels, 3-roll-2 closure, and patch pockets were all details that almost made me buy one for myself.   The jacket was soft to the touch and completely unstructured, which means that you can wear it with our without a tie, as you just saw on Kevin and Chase.

Also, his suede derbies were stunning. I’m pretty sure they’re Alden!

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Derek

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Derek  is not one of the Drake’s guys, but he told me he may as well be since he hangs out at the shop a lot.  He’s currently attending NYU and is a menswear enthusiast, sharing the same passion and energy as I do.   Derek actually met up with me at Drake’s and even accompanied me on the 20 minute walk to the Armoury.  We got to talk about the plethora of sample sales (of which I did not attend due to time), buying things on the cheap, and the fact that I am very out of shape and not used to walking in the slightest.

I’m really glad that I’ve been making these great friends in NYC since it’s just another reason to get back to that side of the country!
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Derek wore an amazing moleskin jacket in a subdued green, that was perfect for the weather: slightly weighty and not too bold.  He mixed it up with a blue striped shirt (an Ethan favorite) and a bold tie/pocket square combination.  Interestingly, his trousers were from the Gap x David Hart GQ collaboration a few years ago which you may remember as the featured trouser in my high rise article.  I’m glad that they serve other guys well!

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Okay, this wasn’t really a photoshoot either, but I just want to say that I got to meet Jason Yeats, the co-founder of the acclaimed custom men’s shop, Beckett & Robb! I literally had no idea that he was in NYC and didn’t even recognize him at first glance. We talked a bit about menswear and the success of his company before I let him go off and enjoy his family vacation. Now that I’ve met Julian and Jason, I think I’ve only got a few more to go before I meet everyone at Beckett & Robb!

The Armoury

Dan

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Dan is the man.  As you may remember from my trip recap, I was incredibly nervous when I visited The Armoury. Unlike Drake’s, the Armoury is much bigger in size and has a very reserved atmosphere.  I obviously wasn’t going to be able to buy anything, but Dan welcomed me in and invited me to explore the store. Even though he’s relatively new to The Armoury, he’s a seasoned veteran in the menswear world, running shops all over the States.  With a great personality and experience, I’m sure that he’s going to find more success at this new post.

Now in terms of style, he’s certainly the most “dressed down” out of the guys we’ve seen thus far.  However, that doesn’t mean it’s a bad outfit; in fact it means quite the opposite.  You guys know that I love wearing brown jackets, grey trousers, and polos, and that’s exactly what Dan has on. I’m definitely stealing this look, now that I’m back in LA.
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While I do love my 3-roll-2 vintage Brooks jacket, I think that Dan’s is better. The weave is loose and breathable, the shoulders soft and extended, and the color is a versatile one.  I could live my life in brown jackets, and this one is no exception. One day, Ethan, one day.
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Amechi

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Amechi is one of the coolest dudes I’ve ever met, and I only talked to him for a few minutes.  If you follow him on instagram, you’ll know that he’s always posting some great pictures and music; life isn’t always about menswear guys.  Recently, he was even the photographer for a local streetwear brand, shooting in film, a medium that I have yet to try.  He told me that shooting film makes you more intentional and conscious about your choices, but he does admit that shooting digital gives you the freedom to do anything.

Obviously, also got a sharp mind for style, whether it’s sartorial or casual (again more apparent if you follow him).   His “A Week’s Worth” feature on the Armoury is a great piece of content where you can see his styling shine.

Also, I just gotta say that I felt dumb for asking him how Orazio’s approach differs from bespoke to MTM (Orazio doesn’t even do bespoke).
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The combo is something that I’d describe as the “classic menswear uniform with a twist”.  He rocks an Orazio navy jacket and Rota high rise trousers, but changes it up with a denim button down.  It’s a really great way to be just a little different (read: rugged?) with your shirting choices and definitely gives me some 90’s vibes.  I have a denim spearpoint myself and I can’t wait to wear it as it gets colder again.

Sean Crowley

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Sean Crowley provided the vintage styling that we’re all familiar with.  I was able to take these pictures right after our delicious dinner in Brooklyn.  Like most of the guys featured in this article, Sean is no stranger to getting his picture taken, as I was first “introduced” to this gent in Rose Callahan and Natty Adam’s book I am Dandy.  He’s worked for Bobby’s from Boston and as a designer for a bunch of different brands, but he currently operates Crowley Vintage, a new vintage menswear store with a bunch of great pieces.  You can check out some pics of the store in my NYC recap. 
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He is photographed wearing an amazing fully belted herringbone overcoat and a checked scarf, both of which are garments you need if you live in New York.  Sean was featured in the Dandy book, but I don’t think any of this is really dandy at all; it’s something appropriate and classic that doesn’t really constitute peacocking.
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Underneath the overcoat, Sean wore a green/brown houndstooth jacket, which again made me jealous considering how many times I saw variations of it during my trip.  He adds some true vintage flair with a pinned club collar and a yellow horse motif tie, which is something I could never pull off.  However, it looks appropriate and well within the bounds of Sean’s English/American sartorial style.

Ryan

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Ryan isn’t a classic menswear guy, but he’s definitely a stylish dude in his own right. Seriously, everything he’s wearing is something I’d wear if I wasn’t trying to be sartorial (or workwear).  He’s a frequent poster on Reddit’s Male Fashion Advice (the only other fashion community I’m active in) and is currently a fashion student.  Ryan saw that I was coming to NYC so he messaged me on instagram to see if I wanted to meet up; he eventually met me at work and we talked for a bit about how NYC is (we’re both not NYC natives), our goals in our career, and the best food.

I asked him if I could take some pictures and he happily obliged.  Ryan even used them for his fit pic during the latest WAYWT thread on the sub.
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I’m a huge fan of layers when it comes to casual clothing and rocking a cream cable knit with a cord, shearling-collar trucker jacket is a great way of doing it.  Ever since I came to MFA, I’ve looked to SLP (and related) outfits for casual inspiration and this fits right in. Obviously, it’s not a true SLP outfit (at all), but you can be sure that a nice jacket + sweater, slim jeans, and boots is a fail-safe way to look badass in a casual way.  I even do the same thing when I do dress down, though I opt for chelsea’s and leather jackets.

Also, kudos to Ryan for rocking an olive beret.  Some might not like it, but I enjoy the pseudo military-meets-fashion vibes it gives.  I’ve noticed that general menswear has been getting into berets (Ethan Newton rocks one so well) so maybe I need to take the leap too..

Ethan’s Outfits

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Now it’s finally time to talk about Ethan’s outfits.  Obviously I had to pack light for my trip (I ain’t got money to pay for checked luggage) so I only brought 5 shirt/tie combos, two suits, and grey odd jacket/trouser to flesh out my work attire.  I didn’t want to go with anything too bold or interesting since I knew I wasn’t going to be able to take my own pictures. You’ll see that almost all of the outfits are pretty simple, yet classic for the Ethan look.

The first day I wore my grey herringbone sack jacket with a brown stripe spearpoint and green tie. I’m not usually a fan of blue odd trousers, but they certainly work well with the grey, as the entire outfit is the flipped version of the “menswear uniform”.  Pretty Ethan-does-Ivy right?

You can’t see much of the second day’s outfit, but I pulled out my brown sack jacket and grey flannels, and wore a striped thrifted OCBD with a blue foulard tie; a thrifted sweater vest was also utilized.  I’m really thankful that going to NYC allowed me a chance to get some real wear out of my 1940’s raglan coat.  Again, it’s hard to see, but it’s got a wide collar/lapel and even has an extremely subtle green check.  Brown overcoats aren’t really common (most people get navy or grey) but I just had to buy it when I did.  It goes with everything, from tailoring to denim.

This picture was taken by a random tourist in Central Park during one of my walks!

Another simple outfit that utilizes the herringbone jacket, but trades the blue trousers for brown ones.  A plain blue buttondown and brown foulard tie finish the look, but I honestly wasn’t too happy with it; there aren’t enough patterns going on!

This was what I wore to the Ascot Chang client event that I photographed. Since it was a special event, I actually put on the full suit, which some of you may recognize as the my blue 1960’s sack suit. I didn’t bring the vest (as it’s a 3PC) and styled the suit as a typical Ethan outfit: pinned blue stripe spearpoint and an abstract tie.  It’s a little bold, but nothing that I wouldn’t normally do.  The brown 40’s tie with circles definitely reminds me of something you’d see from Post Imperial. 

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I am extremely proud of my Sunday outfit.  Since it was my last day, I went full Ethan, rocking my brown BB sack jacket with my signature grey flannels.  We may say that the navy jacket + grey trousers is the menswear uniform, but swapping the navy for a brown sportcoat is the way we do it here in Street x Sprezza.  To keep things interesting (as I normally like to do), I went with my yellow/blue checked spearpoint and a vintage blue/red repp stripe tie, a recent pick up from The Bloke.  The entire thing is a like a 30s-meets-ivy outfit, which is basically what I do all the time!

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You  may notice that I’m rocking the wine sleeveless cardigan from Drake’s, which I literally purchased seconds before taking this picture.  I’ve been a huge fan of sweater vest and knit waistcoats, but none of the ones I’ve found have been appropriate for high rise trousers, as most are much too long.  Luckily the Drake’s ones are cut with that in mind, so it was an easy decision.  I did almost walk out with the navy one, but the Drake’s guys, Derek, and I all agreed the wine color was better. It’s pretty ivy looking and much more interesting!

Conclusion

Well there you go.  I apologize for the long length of this article, but I’m pretty sure none of you are going to read this and simply look at the pictures.  Even after sitting here in my couch in LA, I’m still in shock about the fact that I had the chance to hang out with and  photograph these well dressed guys.  Almost all of these guys have been huge inspirations to me and are even considered mini-celebrities as they are featured on famous mediums like I am Dandy, Drake’s, and The Armoury.  I’m by no means a professional photography, so I really hope they enjoy the images I took of them.

Looking back, I think it’s really safe to say that NYC is a great place to be for menswear.  Actually having real, four seasons really allows you to flesh out your wardrobe and try awesome combinations.  It also probably helps that these guys all work in the industry and have access to stuff that an LA guy like me never gets to see or try in person.  Either way, I’m really happy that I was even able to rock some layers, especially my vintage overcoat. I doubt I’m going to have a chance to wear it again soon here in LA.  It’s currently 75ºF as I write this and I can see that it’s going to go up to 85º later this week.

I think that is simply just a sign that I need to go back to NYC very soon and take even more pictures.  Maybe I’ll bring more of my wardrobe and introduce NYC to some 1930’s belt backs!

Always a pleasure,

Ethan W.

@ethanmwong

Street x Sprezza 

Photography by Ethan W. 

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