Sunday, April 12, 2009
Clothes Make The Manchild
Men, dudes and boys of all ages: If you don’t want to dress like you’re going to a rap concert and have no interest in looking like one of the Rat Pack (Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and those other assholes), then read on. The stores listed below are clichéd but if you dig hard enough you’ll find something original and snappy looking.
H & M (8580 W. Sunset Blvd) = H&M is sort of the IKEA of clothes. Just like IKEA sells fancy, expensive-looking furniture at rock bottom prices H&M sells tres chic, expensive looking boutique garments at low prices, too. I liked the men’s department a lot. I bought a sexy purple hoodie that unbuttons all the way down my chest. I’ll be wearing this until Santa Claus packs up his Cadillac for his one-nite tour. The only beef I have with H&M is the sizing of items. There were a few things I tried on that seemed pretty irregular, so sizes never seemed terribly consistent. The service was friendly without being overbearing or snooty.
John Varvatos (8800 Melrose Ave) = John Varvatos is one of the best men’s designers working today, his designs are smart, sophisticated and imaginative. When I walk by his boutique window I usually stop and check out his amazing suits, shirts, shoes and bags. I think its’ great that men finally have a designer that doesn’t soak you into hyper macho (Ralph) or hip-hop overload (Tommy). Enough with that! On the minus side, of course, is that the clothes in his store are so insanely expensive that it’s more of a “museum”. If it’s any consolation, here’s a tip: Varvatos suits occasionally go on sale at Macy’s (over 30% off!), so so do your browsing at Varvatos and your spending at Macy’s. For once the middle man has made himself useful.
Urban Oufitters (7650 Melrose Ave) = Urban Outfitters is a funny place. Three reasons why:
1.They sell books here! How come Borders doesn’t sell hoodies? Oh yeah, they’re a book store! Duh!
2.The majority of the guys that come here look as lost and bored as they do at a Victoria’s Secret. Hint: maybe the clothes should be fitted for men’s bodies, not emo-stick bods.
3.In spite of it all I loved their socks, and any store that sells cool socks is nutty. “Nutty Outfitters”…I dig the name. Lose the books, suckers.
Al Weiss Men’s Clothing (1006 Wall St) = Located in the heart of the Garment District, this establishment has friendly staff that remember you (and your size) three years after your last purchase, the cheapest place to get a suit anywhere (prices as low as $175), and the selection is excellent. I love this place!
Lucky Brand Jeans (189 The Grove Drive) = Take a look around and you’ll notice LA’s gotten pretty lucky. If I want to go bowling I’ll go to LUCKY STRIKE, if I wanna get drunk I’ll go to LUCKY BALDWIN’S, if I want to jam a burger in my face I’ll go to LUCKY DEVILS, etc. If LA’s so damn “lucky”, why is everybody so angry? Maybe it’s because all these “lucky” places are so damn expensive! Shit! There’s a depression goin’ on, all you “lucky” fucks. Lucky Brand Jeans fit like a glove and are extra comfortable. They make me look like I’m gonna get, you know, !LUCKY! tonight and every night. Love the pants, hate the prices. Keep yr. peepers open for sales. If you really wanna get ***LUCKY***!!!
Macy’s Mens Store (8500 Beverly Blvd) = You can’t beat Macy’s Mens Store for killer guywear. There’s always a sale on Calvin, Ralph and Tommy, the holy guywear trinity. Macy’s house designer Alfani is also excellent, their shirts and ties rock the world. You won’t find a larger or swankier clearance rack than the one here, and there’s none of that Ross Irregular crap either. Make sure you check out the enormous cologne counters there, too. The selection can spank Sephora’s ass around the block. After you buy up all the cool guywear go to the top to the kitchen section. Great plate and bowl combo sets at prices that go to the mat with Bed, Bath and Beyond and win. Macy’s makes Beverly Center halfway bearable, and that’s something to talk about.
Lords (8783 Beverly Blvd) = One of the cardinal rules of clothes designing is when you enter another designer’s showroom to look at their work you never tell them that you also design clothes, or they’ll freak out. (They’ll think you’re spying, Shhh.) So we went to the amazing Lords showroom like Uncle Jed and Granny “weeelllllll-doggying” everything. And we weren’t acting. There was some serious fashion swinging around here:
1.Men’s dress suits in glittered material with bell sleeves.
2.Military style jackets with bondage straps and tailored sewn-in pleated vests.
3.Gorgeous waxed leather trousers with pleated strips.
4.Red leather hoodies, and much more!
For the girls:
1.The most elegant quilted ski-coat, complete with sewn-in scarf and fashion fishtail at the bottom.
2.Glittered handbags with electronic videogames sewn in.
3.Rabbit fur capes dyed pale pink.
There was a very stylie coffee bar towards the front with fattening bon-bons for people who can’t fit into the skinny clothes. The sales staff will coerce you into modeling their fashions and walk the runway in their store, so make sure you have your alpha panties on.
P.S. Everything in there is over $1000, so care bear punks stay home.
Burberry (Cabazon Outlet) = One second you're pointing at the Burberry ad in GQ Magazine, chortling over the emo fops with their messy long hair (like me) and their severely thin suits, and the next you're at the Cabazon outlet - "just passing by", as it says in the Monopoly board game - checking out their foppishly thin suits. My salesman Alistair was a dapper old Irish/Scottish/Welsh gent and hooked me up most brilliantly, setting me up with not one, but two, severely Burberrian suits: a gorgeously gunmetal grey suit and a devilishly delish pinstripe number. He warned, "The trousers are cut very thin, you know". I tried them on and it was a perfect fit, making old Alistair's eyes gleam brilliantly. As he rung my purchase up he spoke about Coachella, Paul McCartney, and Leonard Cohen, aging hipsters don't die - they sell sharp freakbeat outfits. The deal was amazing - two suits cut down to 50% and a $1,100 sale slashed to $500. Imagine running around the desert with two beautiful English suits designed to fit my severe, mod body. What a wonderful world!
American Apparel (802 N. San Vicente Blvd) = One of the most prominent sights in West Hollywood is the tiny Pandora’s Box building that is American Apparel on SM & San Vicente Boulevard. And what a Pandora’s Box it is: if more than ten people show up they’d have to call the Fire Marshall. It’s a cute, charming little store that has more minuses than plusses. On the plus side the friendly emo boys who work there actually play some good jams, good enough to almost make me ask them what tunes they were busting, but I woulda felt silly. On the minus side the men’s underwear looked just like JC Penney’s y-front patterns. File under “underwhelming”. If there were nice sweaters or tops they didn’t run anywhere near under $60, absurd given you could get equally or better stuff from H&M or Urban O for way less. On the plus side their socks were awesome so I didn’t walk out empty handed. I had to keep those emo boys gainfully employed so I bought two pairs of foxy sox.