The PTO Holiday Party, LA Menswear Boys, and Reflections

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A few weekends ago, we went to the PTO Holiday Market and spent the evening in Little Tokyo.

Honestly, these posts are just an excuse to show off some silly photography of the LA menswear scene.  But you like that, don’t you?

Man, I’ve been a busy bee! First I finally finished a long long post about shoes, then I went to SF, then Seattle, and now that I’m back I decided to recap some more friend adventures.  Luckily, I like being busy, even if I pay for it later, scrambling to edit the hundreds of pictures I always take and attempting not to get burned out by recapping it.  I actually have other ideas for more “scholarly” articles and review pieces (of things I bought myself, mind you), but events are always a different beast; I feel pressure to release them quickly in order to capitalize on the energy from when the event actually happened.

It’s all good though, because this is definitely my biggest and best hobby aside from composing and video games (which have really dropped off my priorities lately). Writing about clothing and my friends is not only a way for me to help spread my fashion POV, but to also give you a glimpse into what it’s like to be involved in menswear.  Not many people get this “personal”, by which I mean using their blog as a real diary of sorts.  Overall though, things have been great.

Waiting for me after my two trips was the Put This On Holiday Market, a small gathering put on by Jesse Thorn and his compatriots at his office nine flours up the American Cement Building.  For those of you who don’t know, Put This On is a blog that is updated pretty much daily, with articles focusing on classic menswear and how to wear it. It takes classic liberally (as we do) since it encompasses everything from tailoring to casual wear.  They aren’t stuffy in the slightest and their content is often praised on Male Fashion Advice; they also have a curated eBay list that makes it easy to shop for cool clothing if you don’t want to spend hours looking at listings for “vintage suits” like I do.

We’ve been to this event before, but I think I was too shy in order to take advantage of the time I had there.  Now that I’ve actually seen (and talked) to Jesse Thorn before, I was comfortable to go.  Not only was Ryan Cecil Smith also going to be there, a close friend of mine that I see semi-regularly, but I took the opportunity to bring our other friends as the LA Menswear scene has been growing.  
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The holiday market was filled with a bunch of goodies ranging from their own line of pocket squares and vintage finds, to things from Jesse’s own closet.  Obviously it’s not as big as the Rose Bowl or the Pasadena Flea Market (which really deserve a blog post at this point), but it’s nice to see PTO’s curation and the chance to hang with the guys who make one of the best menswear websites in the world.   Combing through the space quickly allowed us to try on whatever we wanted and haggle if needed (though the prices were fair to begin with).

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Pocket squares made of vintage fabric.

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New comer Michael trying on a vintage belt to go with his slim Levi’s selvedge.

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A really weird 50s-60s tuxedo.

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They have a bunch of great scarves in desirable foulards and abstract prints.  The silk/rayon is ideal for LA, where you never need a cashmere one.

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Spencer rocking a black belted coat from Jesse’s own collection; it’s from Engineered Garments.

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Almost bought a few of these.

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Quick tidbit: I ended up buying this cotton bucket hat.  It’s definitely light and floppy which means that it’ll get more wear than the original waxed cotton ones I started out with.  The light color and contrasting stitching gives it a more 1970’s/Japanese workwear feel, which is what I’ve been after this whole time.  Finding this piece actually comes in at a good time, since I lost my navy blue one during my NYC trip.

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Andy, warming himself at the fire.

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Ryan, showing us that capes are indeed back.

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LA menswear boys at the @put.this.on sale

A post shared by Ethan M. Wong (@ethanmwong) on

I really don’t need clothes, but I’ve started to collect menswear magazines! Jesse was selling these Japanese ones for cheap, so I ended up walking out with a couple of issues. The 2nd ones are actually from last year, but they have great content anyway!  I also got this sneaker magazine just for kicks; I’m always fascinated by trainers.  I paid a total of $40 for the bucket hat and three books (one went to Spencer).

LA Menswear Boys

You can always bet we’re going to make some cool outfits when we hang out. That’s because they know that I’m bound to take plenty of pictures.  Makes sense, since I seldom leave the house without a camera!

So after the PTO market, the day was still young so we decided to take a trip to Little Tokyo, sing some karaoke, and take pictures in DTLA.  Here’s what we wore.

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The Bryceland’s inspiration is real with this one.

All jokes aside, it’s baffling that it was still warm enough to wear a gratuitously opened sport shirt but I took the opportunity to wear it anyway. I’ve been in love with patterned sportshirts thanks to Brycelands  and general vintage wear; they’re a nice change of pace to the plain gab ones we normally see.  I do like my plain shirts, but there are times when I think they look a bit too “1950’s dad”.

In reality, sportshirts with cool prints are hard to come by as they are either pricey or rare (which is also pricey). On top of that, I’ve been slightly digging black as a color for causal outfits. I’ve been wearing my back jeans and loafers a bit more lately, and having a printed black shirt is a good way to keep things monochromatic without simply color blocking.

That’s why I decided to go with this awesome rayon Groovin’ High shirt (purchased during my SF trip) over my grey Stoffa trousers. It’s a slight  badass/punk vibe in my eyes, but it definitely echoes when Kenji wears his black sawtooth shirt with grey wool trousers.  I liked this outfit a lot since it’s a bit different than how I normally wear my sportshirts.

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I love making new friends!  Michael here is a reader of the blog (no surprise there) and actually is an LA native, which means we’re definitely going to see more of him.  Even though he works in an office in DTLA, he likes to err on the “casual side” of menswear, leading him towards tweeds, loafers, and selvedge denim.  It was one of those slightly warm-but cold later days, so his outfit makes sense for LA! Michael’s jacket is actually an old J. Crew RTW and is pretty awesome considering the windowpane guncheck and the fact that it’s 3-roll-2.

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Andy is probably the first guy from the  greater LA area (he’s from OC, like Spencer) that approached me to meet up.  Ever since that Dapper Day x LACMA event, he’s made time out of his busy schedule of school and work to make it to as many events as he can! Like the rest of us, he’s an avid thrifter and eBay-er, which leads to some great stuff like this chocolate brown, belted corduroy sport coat and dope UK military trousers.   Perfectly suited for the cold evening.

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Spencer is just taking cues off of Tony Sylvester in this one. It’s definitely a casual ensemble that has elements of ivy and militaria which makes sense given the inspiration and is definitely something we’ve been looking into for non-sartorial outfits.. The camo jungle jacket goes well over the cotton turtleneck and khakis, which Spencer chooses to pair with white socks and penny loafers in order not to make it look too military.

Overall, it’s easy to throw on and is still visually interesting.

Snapshots

Here are silly pictures, as promised. It makes me really want to do a legitimate lookbook with dumb pictures!

The only thing I’m not going to share are clips from our karaoke time; those are private and slightly embarrassing.  You’ll just have to come with us next time in order to hear us sing.

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MJ in his unstructured faux-tweed navy jacket from Uniqlo.

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Revolving sushi!

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A full boy.

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I think Spencer is taking to his new coat quite well.

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A navy jacket can calm anything down.

Conclusion

 

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Conclusion

Man it feels good to have friends who not only love the same clothes you do (while expressing it in different ways) but who are just as dorky and nerdy as you are.  That’s always going to be the biggest thing about making a menswear thing happen in LA!

Obviously this doesn’t encompass everyone in LA, but it gives me hope that bigger things can happen in this sprawling city of ours. I recently tried to make a black tie event happen at the Bloke on the 29th, but it’s too short notice. However, that date is still free and some of us are still down, so be sure to message me on Instagram if you’re interested in hanging out. Plus there’s also Inspiration LA that comes in February.  In general, I’d love to make our group bigger and more inclusive, as maybe that’s the only way we can make LA a viable community (and market)  for classic menswear.

Looking back, 2018 has been a fantastic year.  I’ve done more stuff at my job, I’ve been able to take a lot of trips (NYC, SF, Seattle) and meet a lot of great people, starting from the occasional hangs with the Gooch Bros and their collectives to singing until your voice is hoarse with these “new” additions to the squad. It’s probably the first time where I’ve actively made strides in all facets of my life, which has only lead to a pretty much awesome year.

Big thanks to all my readers who constantly give me support and energy to continue to write, take pictures, and document my life (both sartorial and personal) for free. I hope to see you all in 2019, whether in the comment section or in real life!

Always a pleasure,

Ethan W.

@ethanmwong

Street x Sprezza 

Photography by me, baby! 

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