2020 is a special year for many reasons. It’s a leap year. I turned 33 on 2/22/2020 and I moved to a new city just before the new year. But perhaps most importantly, I have disposable income again after years of scrounging and scraping by—which means I have the ability to upgrade my wardrobe staples, explore new styles, and have some fun with clothes. So what am I wearing in 2020?
2020 Everyday Staples
I recently discovered CDLP socks and underwear. They’re by no means the final word in undergarments, but rather a thoughtful mix of quality (made in Portugal), design (no tags, very flat seams), and materials that are decently good for the world (lyocell, bamboo). The bamboo socks feel especially ‘crisp’ on the foot, like they will instantly wick away any ounce of moisture. More from the brand:
The silk-like softness of our products is spelled Lyocell. Lyocell is the most sustainable cellulose fabric available, and the ultimate choice for underwear. The fabric is sourced from wood, and refined in a closed-loop system where 99% of the non-toxic solvent used is recycled. Lyocell absorbs dye better than other cellulose fiber, resulting in vibrant colour (and less dye needed). It requires less water than cotton, while providing a softer and more durable quality. The result is breathing, antibacterial underwear that maintains its’ shape, colour and luster.
I turn to Everlane for simple, slim trousers that work with almost any outfit, though I tend to only wear them during the daytime and only in navy or black, cuffed. For $68, they’re durable and affordable, and cut to flatter. I also found some slouchy, sweatpants-inspired wool trousers from COS. For topwear, I have COS t-shirts that shrink too easily (annoying), but I like some of the colors and way they frame my upper body. I did recently try a boxy-cut organic cotton t-shirt (below) from Entireworld, an LA brand with a pop-up inside Nordstrom at The Grove right now.
To commute to the office or coffee shop, I bought a Lanvin nylon backpack (above) on deep discount from work. It allows me to be handsfree, has padded shoulder straps and plenty hauling capacity. I also love the color scheme, which is deep jewel tones of blue and purple with minimal branding.
Otherwise, I have several reusable canvas tote bags that I grab that are honestly just as good as any high-priced designer tote. Or maybe I’m just growing weary of the expensive carrier.
I tend to always reach for laceless Nike pull-on flyknit sneakers for the work week. Though only minimally, they’re quicker to put on and get out the door. I alternate with a pair of tan suede Common Projects Achilles low-top sneakers (below right), which are starting to look a little rough but are holding up.
I am still wearing the same shape Oliver Peoples Gregory Peck x Alain Mikli sunglasses I’ve been wearing, only now I have two colors: red-gray and yellow-gray (above). Perhaps time for some additional variety? Been looking at some transparent acetate “Lubna” Sun Buddies frames because they’re inexpensive but look classy and on-trend.
I also switched up my daily watch from the Braun AW50 to a very slim, very light Swatch with a black silicone strap; I also upgraded wallets, from the paisley-pattern studded Paul Smith card case I’d been using and abusing for two years to a brand new, fluorescent pink card case from Acne Studios. This is the orange version.
2020 Fun Stuff
In LA, there are literally hundreds of neighborhoods and shops to explore. I’ve just scratched the surface, but so far have had the most fun browsing at The RealReal. The online-first luxury reseller with a few freestanding shops (LA + NY) takes in a ton of very gently-used designer stuff for men and, most of which is trendy, flashy, and streetwear-dominated.
A few racks in the Melrose Avenue store are dedicated to casual luxury labels like Maison Margiela, Bottega Veneta, Prada, Brunello Cucinelli, Valentino (above right) and Lanvin. I’ve found several great pieces, mostly for under $100 and in pristine condition, and a few things I’d die to own, but were a bit too pricey even second-hand, like the Hermès bomber jacket in the header image (top of post, right side).
The best find so far is a striped Maison Margiela short-sleeve button-down (header image, middle and below under the jacket). It’s from a few seasons ago, but was totally new and now I am obsessed with it. It’s still available on Yoox if you want to copy me. This particular style of shirt, often called Camp Collar or Cuban Collar, is popular in general, but especially in LA. It’s universally flattering, befits the temperate weather, and is a way of looking polished but not conservative.
The Rose Bowl Flea Market in Pasadena is another spot (among many flea markets which are quintessential LA) to find interesting menswear. I bought this pristine, unsigned (no label) tan suede trucker jacket for $65 (above). It fits perfectly, and is appropriately imperfect as a second-hand, vintage find. Funnily enough, I’ve come across several current-season designs that are surprisingly similar (though much pricier).
And since I now feel more justified in spending a bit of money if it’s something I know I’ll wear often, I upgraded from the very aging pair of Bottega Veneta boots I bought in Italy in 2016 with a new pair of Tod’s suede trekking boots, which look fresh and different—also on deep discount from work.
I’m still happily wearing a single pair of black Acne Studios denim (purchased mid-2018 in San Francisco) and two pair of Lanvin slim cotton biker trousers on the weekends, perhaps all getting a bit snug… -_-
On My List
In 2020 I intend to upgrade my sandals game, and am looking at the recently-released Birkenstock 1774 collection of sandals, which is actually just the umbrella brand for all the designer collaborations that have come out of Birkenstock lately, from Valentino to Monocle. The ones I like are all-leather in tonal white, yellow, or blue across a few different styles. I like the white Madrid single-strap sandal but am apprehensive about the $300 price tag.
I’m also pining for these strange-looking sneakers, a collaboration between Undercover designer Jun Takahashi and Nike. They nod to the bulky trend, but are more hiking-bulky than streetwear-bulky.
Also thinking about new swimwear, since summer is coming. Contenders: Jacquemus floral speedo, Atalaye floral trunks, or a splurge on these bright green trunks from Orlebar Brown? (More mens swimwear here)
Otherwise, I’d love any number of other upgrades: a denim jacket. A fleece jacket. Cotton shorts for summer. I do desperately need more hats, partly because the summer rays are harsh, but also because baseball hats make me feel more put together and complete. I’ve got no sense of direction on that front…other than periodically checking places like Lululemon and Nike.
Check out more Men’s Spring-Summer 2020 inspiration.
2020 Skincare / Fragrance
After a long while I was gifted a new fragrance for Christmas—Aesop Hwyl, which smells exactly like a cedar forest. Or how I imagine a cedar forest would smell. A bit damp, but mostly dry and woodsy with sunshine peeking through.
I also saw a tip in GQ about a nighttime facial serum from LA local and celebrity makeup artist Lina Hanson. So, I sprung for it, mostly out of an overarching exasperation with my face, which for the last few years has had a perpetual flush to it that often makes me look like I’ve been sunburnt, only I haven’t. Along with a new, extremely gentle and calming Chamomile cleanser from organic skincare brand Éminence, which is what my facialist uses.
Where to Shop in LA
I’m planning a more comprehensive post, but for now, here are some top spots to browse for neat shit in LA:
- Dover Street Market – Arts District (Downtown LA) – with dedicated sections for the likes of Comme des Garçons, Bottega Veneta, and The Row, its pretty rad for both men and women (link)
- The RealReal – Melrose Place (West Hollywood) – designer resale at its most polished (link)
- Scentbar Hollywood – Beverly Boulevard (Fairfax District) – LA’s best indie fragrance shop (link)
- Just One Eye – Sycamore Street (Hollywood) – V expensive but v fun to thumb through (link)
- Monocle + The Optimist – both at Platform (Culver City) – both excellent shops for menswear, accessories, and objects for the discerning man (link and link)
So…what will you be wearing in 2020?