Fashion in Los Angeles 2011 - Part Two

Men's Fashion Continued

August 4, 2011

This article will cover some less common looks for men in Los Angeles. This requires me to visit specific areas of L.A. because these styles come from very localized areas in the Los Angeles basin.

Those areas include Echo Park, East Los Angeles, Downtown and the like. These are all neighborhoods that are part of greater Los Angeles and each has a signature style.

"Guys get into collecting in a way that girls don't, Girls just want a pretty dress." - Ilaria Urbinati

East L.A. Goth with pancake
East L.A. Goth with pancake | Source

East L.A. Gothic

East L.A. has long been an industrial area, but like many neighborhoods in Los Angeles it has become gentrified over time. There are more residences there than at any time since World War II and men in the area have created their own style.

Starting at the top of the head the "look" might include close cropped hair of uniform length though some sport longer locks. Below the neck a black or other dark colored crew neck t-shirt. The tee may be solid black or feature a large light colored skull and crossbones. Accessories include studded wrist and watch bands which accentuate the studded black leather belt. A necklace with a single silver crucifix may be included. The belt holds up a pair of dark wash Levi's with rolled up cuffs.

Body art might include sleeves (this is a case where tattoos run continuously from the shoulder to the wrist) with pin-up girls, skulls, Kanji/Kana or Hanzi script. Spider webs at the elbows are not uncommon; hearts with daggers through them are still in vogue.

Eye-ware may include RayBan sunglasses with no lenses.

Shoes are "creepers" which are similar to low top tennis shoes with a much thicker sole. The shoes should match the color scheme of the pants and shirt.

According to some L.A. fashionistas this is the fusion of 50's rock, 70's grunge band, and 80's androgyny.

Downtown Starving Artist

Downtown is right where the name implies; downtown Los Angeles. Yes, people actually live there.

Starting at the top the "starving artist" male will have shorter hair moussed into a spike at the top; this is not a requirement. No facial hair or sideburns.

A belly may be exposed or just to the top of the pants, crew neck t-shirt in bright colors or stripes adorns the torso. Skinny jeans in dark colors (not just navy), which are held up with a military style web fabric belt and clasp style buckle. The jeans are tucked into a pair of high top motorcycle boots; these are black or dark brown.

Accessories include fishnet fingerless gloves and layered chains from the belt loop to the wallet. There isn't much else in the way of accessories.

Body art (tattoos) might include arm sleeves adorned with script or cursive writing. Typically the tattoo is a favorite lyric or saying the wearer finds significant.

This is likely the simplest look around, but again cool casual has no cost object. The t-shirt, jeans, and boots are all high dollar items. This does not mean the wearer did not find some of his apparel at a second hand shop, garage/yard sale or even a dumpster.

You wanna piece of me?
You wanna piece of me? | Source

Echo Park Hipster

Echo Park is directly north of Downtown Los Angeles just west of Dodger Stadium. Silver Lake could be considered part of the Echo Park. Silver Lake is west adjacent to Echo Park.

Both areas seem to share the same fashion statement for men.

Starting at the top may be a mop of unkempt greasy look hair or a knit cap to hide the same.

A two to four day growth of facial hair says "I never got around to shaving," but no real beards are allowed. The t-shirt is a simple "surfer" or "skateboarder" "V" neck tee. It can be as simple as a solid color with no adornment or have small graphics on it; nothing big or too bright in the way of print. Below that a pair of jeans cut off just above the knee. The cut-off area is not hemmed.

Holding the jeans up a vintage white or light colored leather belt. No socks with feet firmly tucked into a pair of old Converse high top or Chuck Taylor shoes.

The look has one simple statement. I don't care whether or not you like my look; that's the whole point.

Old Looks New Looks

Old Looks
Bold prints and rhinestones are being phased out.

The days of Ed Hardy are numbered though tourists are certain to keep buying the line. Hoodies are starting to disappear into the "never wear" stack.

New Looks
Some of the best places for men to shop are thrift stores and even a friend's closets.

Occasionally a garage sale, and there are tons of those things going on in L.A. every Friday through Sunday, can be a gold mine. Particularly if you are looking for a vintage pair of boots or a belt. This makes perfect sense in a down economy or from the point of view of the fashionista that wants to make a rebellious statement.

Trendy shops that are keenly aware of Los Angeles "pocket styles" are not hard to find. If you know an Angelino and you like his look simply ask where he shops; you may have to bribe him though.

The Names

Certain brands and manufacturers are making a mild killing on these looks. They include:

Footware

  • Wolverine (Thousand Mile Boots)
  • Creeper Shoes
  • Converse
  • Xelement
  • Dolce & Gabbana

T-Shirts

  • American Apparel
  • Kelly Cole "deadstock" T (for the Marlon Brando look)
  • Spurr
  • Rag & Bone

Shirts

  • Band of Outsiders
  • Gant (scarecrow)
  • Rag & Bone
  • Steve Alan
  • Calvin Klein

Pants (including Jeans)

  • Band of Outsiders
  • Steve Alan (shorts)
  • NSF
  • Raven Denim

Jackets and Coats

  • Band of Outsiders
  • Gant
  • Rag & Bone
  • Calvin Klein

If your brand isn't here or you don't want to spend big bucks (we are talking hundreds of dollars for one item) check American Apparel. They are a bit more costly on clothing than anything you might buy at Target or Walmart, but every stitch of clothing they sell is made here in the United States and nowhere else!

Evolution of the Hipster

Next?

Parts Three and Four will cover Los Angeles women's fashion.

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