Sid Mashburn

Sid Mashburn

1198 Howell Mill Rd. NW, Atlanta

Sid Mashburn the brand started as Sid Mashburn the shop, in Atlanta.

While that may be true of the brand name as a business, perhaps it helps one understand the sort of look Sid Mashburn creates if the CV of Sid Mashburn the man is explained.

Mashburn has been a designer for J. Crew, then a designer for Polo, then Tommy Hilfiger, and then on to Land’s End. He has been at, which I would say then makes him, the “who’s who” of preppy or trad menswear.

My experience in person is that those who work the shop in Atlanta are welcoming and inviting to both visitors and customers. I was just a visitor but would love to be the other.

American Rag Cie

American Rag Cie

150 S. La Brea Ave.

American Rag has been called the greatest denim store on Earth. I can’t make that call, but I can say it is cool.

Seriously cool.

Denim aside, the place has a fantastic mix of all sorts of other things. There are rows and racks of second hand items, new lines of outerwear, pretty much anything that isn’t formal.

Anywhere West Coast that carries Brooklyn Circus, might in fact be the best.

For people like me, who have a budget, or perhaps just appreciate the “one-offs”, there is a second location just down the street that is much more curated thrift store than high end vintage.

And it is still cool.

Yony

Yony

118 S. La Brea Ave. LA

TheYony retail space is minimalist.

White walls and floor allow the articles of clothing on the rack, and maybe a painting or two, to stand out.

It’s a risky play since it is so easy to come of as the final day of a closeout sale and if all you have to focus on is the clothes, they better be good.

The clothes are a riff on classic country club athleisure and a touch of 1950 Americana.

The first time I visited I convinced them to sell me one of the stickball sticks they had in the corner. I was amused that next to a stack of white sweatshirts with crossed tennis racket logos, were the tools of back alley athletics.

And that is what they do there. Country Club attire with back alley sensibility.

Trading Post by Dr. Collectors

Trading Post

126 S. La Brea Ave, LA

I would describe what Dr. Collectors do as a French person’s version of romanticized American Western wear via Japanese design.

I am not qualified to unpack all of that. Those concepts are both problematic and fascinating. Like a well executed television show that is consistently cringy yet you still kinda love it. Like The Office. You just can’t pause to think about it.

No matter my opinions I can solidly say they produce unique items with attention to detail. A lot of it, I must admit, looks super cool, and to be fair, I have had zero contact with the owners or designers and don’t have a true sense of what they are all about. And to continue in fairness, I am no expert on Native American design and the boundaries of certain designs, or items, with their associated meanings, and I know even less about Japan.

But I do know a thing or two about colonialism, appropriation, and how clothing communicates meaning, including, but not limited to, identity.

All of which adds up to me having a lot of questions, no recommendations, and a general hesitance from actual opinion.

Dries Van Noten

Dries Van Noten

451 N. La Cienega Blvd. LA

Dries Van Noten’s LA location is the global brand’s largest and every inch of it is interesting.

The building itself was once Charlie Chaplin’s dance studio but the current contents are neither colorless nor silent.

Past collections are on display creating a museum like quality which flows into art gallery on through to retailer.

When I came to only gawk, not buy, the people there were not just gracious but truly helpful. Like docents with style.

Fred Segal

Fred Segal

8500 Sunset Blvd. LA

Fred Segal opened in 1961 and claims to have pioneered the shops inside-of-shops that are now the norm for modern department stores.

Some give Segal credit for creating the brand of “cool” that the world imagens when they hear the word “California”.

I don’t know if that is true, or care if it is, but I do know that Cher in Clueless shopped there.

They carry all the brands and items that are on trend, or are the trend, or whatever. It felt a little to me like visiting the inside of a phone as it scrolls through Tik Tok, Snapchat, or whatever app the glossy kids use these days.

Bode

Bode Los Angeles

7007 Melrose Ave, LA

Bode is the brand, or designer, that made turning vintage quilts into current clothing, a thing.

They are based in New York, but the newly opened second location in LA stands up on its own just fine.

Sewing old fabric into new shapes alone isn’t that remarkable but the creative attention to detail is.

A visit to Bode is as interesting as a museum or gallery, but you can touch and try things on.

It is tactile and aesthetic.

Snake Oil Provisions

Snake Oil Provisions

5711 N Figueroa St. LA

The first thing I saw when I walked through the door was a pair of pink jeans. They stood out in an otherwise indigo and brown space while somehow retaining their masculinity.

The space is masculine in a way I appreciated, meaning, this is a shop that caters to the masculine and there was a woman working there who did not appear to be attempting to sell her sexuality.

The walls are covered by Indian Giver prints, the racks are filled with leather and denim, and the woman is there as an expert

not as an object.

I love that.

H Lorenzo

H Lorenzo

8700 W. Sunset Blvd. LA

H Lorenzo feels feels huge inside, maybe because of the lack of ceiling panels, but probably more due to the amount of easily accessible racks ow wearable art.

It is hard to tell if the clothing is for sale or on display. Like an art gallery. Browsing the racks feels like being in the vault of the Broad. I love the Broad.

There is a slight hint of macabre, the sort that leans toward Bram Stoker or Trent Reznor not Tim Burton.