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The Fashion Geek Podcast

82 | Why Should Men Be Interested In Vintage Clothing With Ethan Wong of Style And Direction

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Description

In this episode of The Fashion Geek Podcast, I'm joined by Ethan Wong of Style And Direction, to discuss the appeal of vintage clothing for men. We delve into defining vintage clothing and Ethan shares his experiences sourcing and upgrading these unique pieces. The conversation highlights the differences between vintage stores in New York and LA, with Ethan expressing appreciation for tailored clothing in New York's scene and comparing it with LA's offerings.

Ethan guides us through navigating big flea markets, such as the Rose Bowl, describing his tactics for interacting with vendors and his choice to be economical and strategic when shopping for vintage items. He emphasizes the importance of setting a budget and negotiating to find the best deals. Attention to detail is considered crucial, and Ethan encourages men to develop their own taste in vintage fashion to create personalized and satisfying outfits.

The discussion also covers the increasing popularity and pricing of vintage clothing, how to be a smart consumer, and the influence of vintage fashion on personal growth and style. Ethan shares anecdotes of successful and challenging shopping experiences, giving tips on where to find essentials like ties and pants, and discussing the quality and appeal of vintage garments. Overall, vintage fashion is championed for its authenticity, detail, and character, offering both style and economical benefits.

Transcript

Ethan Wong [00:00:00]: Now when, you know, when you're living in such a, like, a fast paced world, so we live with Internet, everything, people want something authentic, so they they find vintage. And I feel like even that's become, like, a trend in itself. Right? People, oh, I just wanna buy that because it's got character or whatever. Reginald Ferguson [00:00:13]: I'm Reg Ferguson, and I'm a fashion consultant from New York City, born and raised. I've been helping men look fly for years. And now I wanna help you learn more about menswear, the entrepreneurs, the brands, and top fashion tips on The Fashion Geek podcast. For a clothing item to be considered vintage, it has to be at least 20 years old. I've got that covered, easily. I have items from the 20th and 21st century. Sounds so freaky and scary. Anyway, I keep items because I like them and enjoy them. Reginald Ferguson [00:00:53]: They're not out of style. They're classic. So that's my definition of vintage. But what if you're a person who likes gear from a particular era, the fifties perhaps? How do you source those items? Where do you go? How do those items compare to today? Quality, the craftsmanship. Are there any advantages to buying and wearing vintage? Yo! This is Reg Ferguson, Fashion Geek Number One. How are you? Welcome to the ride. Thank you so much for listening. I'm a men's fashion consultant here in New York city, and I help the everyday man go from fashion confused to fashion confident. If you ever found yourself staring at the closet not knowing what to wear, or if the idea of shopping for clothes makes you feel physically ill, then this is the show for you. Reginald Ferguson [00:01:46]: My goal with every episode is to help make looking good feel easy. If you ever want my help, email me at regnyfashiongeek.com for a consultation. If you have a friend who's looking to level up his fashion style wardrobe game, please share an episode with them. While you're at it, if you dig the show, and haven't already left us a rating and review, please consider doing so now. Your shares, ratings, and reviews help us grow the show, and help us get the best possible guests and help more men dress their best. Today, we're going to talk with Ethan Wong, who is in Los Angeles. We're going to talk about something the everyday man should have an interest in. Why should we be interested in vintage clothing? Ethan back in the building. Reginald Ferguson [00:02:36]: This is your 2nd time. You're my 1st return guest. Ethan Wong [00:02:40]: I'm very, very honored to be that person for you. Reginald Ferguson [00:02:43]: Hey man, I'm very glad to have you at that maiden voyage. So, ladies and gentlemen, I don't know when you'll be hearing and seeing this, but it is the day after Thanksgiving, AKA Black Friday, and Ethan, since he's in Pacific, he's 3 hours behind. I'm just so flattered that he woke up to, to make this happen. So thank you, Ethan. Ethan Wong [00:03:08]: Of course. I mean, you know, the food coma, it didn't stop my alarm, which is good. So I was able to be be here on time, you know. There's a lot of good food. I actually I went to my, my girlfriend's, family one. So I actually this 1st time I've ever done like 2 thanksgivings in one day basically. So I am I was completely tapped out. So much food. Ethan Wong [00:03:30]: Just I mean, I I even napped during the day there. Like, my girlfriend even took a video of me holding, like, a, like, a barbecue stick. Reginald Ferguson [00:03:37]: Yes. I saw that. Yeah. I was like, wow. That's, that's concentration, Holmes. Ethan Wong [00:03:42]: Yeah. I'm surprised. Yeah. I've never, like I don't think I ever held anything, like, in my hand, like, sleeping before. I'm like, I'm pretty surprised, you know, if I ever had to, like, defend myself, you know, if I'm, like, camping and there's bears around, I I know I'll be prepared a little bit, you know, snapping that. If you Reginald Ferguson [00:03:55]: if you yeah. If you literally were on a line for some crazy drop, you're sleeping here. Yeah. No. Me first. Ethan Wong [00:04:07]: Get in Reginald Ferguson [00:04:07]: that suit now. Ethan Wong [00:04:09]: There we go. I was, you know, prepared for Black Friday. But no. But my my my my Black Friday, days are, like, kind of behind me now I feel like once you get into like menswear menswear, you're not really lining up I guess it's like the mall anymore, right? Like that's not really like a thing that happens for, like, the tailoring side anymore. You know? Reginald Ferguson [00:04:31]: No. No. I mean, I grew up it's funny. Every Black Friday, I can think of relatives who are gone, and my aunt who's still here, because we just always looked askance at that. Like who goes hours on a line for some alleged deal? And like you said, now let's make it more germane to you and I. Yeah. Like Brooks isn't saying, Hey, come on guys, Brooks Brothers is going to open here at Madison Avenue at 5 o'clock. Let's go. Reginald Ferguson [00:05:05]: Like that's, it's just virtually unheard of. And in the case of me, since I've got some years on you, there is nothing that I need, bro. My wardrobe is truly complete. My clothes have clothes. So someone would have to knock on my door and give me an offer. Like it's I Ethan Wong [00:05:24]: mean, yeah. Now that with the video you can see behind me, like there's there's clothes that Reginald Ferguson [00:05:27]: have Yeah. Yeah. You got some gear up in there. Ethan Wong [00:05:30]: That's right. That's right. I mean, it's a lot a lot of it is vintage. Although I've had for a long time, and some of it is like, you know improvements, you know, like, you know, I might have thrifted something before but then I get like a better quality version or or just something that matches more of my current aesthetic. So it's there's not been too many changes, but it's always been big. So that's kind of I'm I'm the same way. I don't really need to do yeah. They would have to pay me to shop there, you know. Ethan Wong [00:05:56]: I don't I don't really need anything. Reginald Ferguson [00:05:58]: Right. Yeah. For me now it's a color. I don't have that in this color. Ethan Wong [00:06:03]: Oh, there you go. Reginald Ferguson [00:06:04]: That's that's yeah. Ethan Wong [00:06:06]: That's a real temptation. It's like, oh, I have it in like brown check. What about the gray check? You know, it's, Reginald Ferguson [00:06:12]: Hey, to me, that's how again, that's how you, all of a sudden it's the breadth of the wardrobe. Ethan Wong [00:06:19]: Yeah, exactly. Reginald Ferguson [00:06:21]: But you hit on something. So I think it's a good starting point for us. You said and, and I mean, I could argue the same thing, but again, we're being very specific today about vintage. You said that sometimes you'll make a purchase on an item and then you'll upgrade said item. So the real immediate question is, because this is your expertise, right? I'm not a big vintage guy. It's not that I don't have vintage pieces. And unfortunately I lived a long enough life now that stuff that's contemporary for me is vintage. When someone says that I'll beat their ass. Reginald Ferguson [00:06:57]: So, you know, how long? That's a vintage shut up. So anyway, why should a person get into vintage? Let's just, let's just hit that foundational question. Ethan Wong [00:07:12]: Yeah. I mean, vintage to me is always it's always more interesting than the modern stuff. I think a lot of people, have different reasons for getting into vintage. I think right now we get a lot of talk about like authenticity or like patina, right? Like people want to be a character. Reginald Ferguson [00:07:30]: If I hear that word again, I'm gonna kill somebody. Live life and you'll have patina, ladies and gentlemen. Ethan Wong [00:07:37]: So there, there is that aspect of it, which I, you know, I think now when, you know, when you're living in such a, like a fast paced world, so we go with internet, everything, people want something authentic, so they they find vintage. And I feel like even that's become like a trend in itself. Right? People, oh, I just wanna buy that because it's got character or whatever. You know, it it goes, like no offense to those guys, but, like, it gets crazier when, like, guys are buying basically, like, destroyed pair of jeans over, like, regular ones. Reginald Ferguson [00:08:02]: Yeah. I hate that as well. Ethan Wong [00:08:04]: That that's kinda that's kinda weird to me. But what I can't excuse or or I guess the thing that that I actually like about vintage is that there's usually details whether it's in construction or the fit or just like extra stuff like, you know, pleats a certain way or whatever that make vintage much more interesting than a contemporary item. And that's kind of what started my whole journey, like recognizing that, you know, certain shirts, certain jackets, certain pants just had something different. And the only way, at least at the time when I started was to get it through vintage. And, and now that, you know, if you, if you like those details, you can probably find that, you know, there's there's a lot of brands now that are doing great things or that there's like repro brands. But if you don't have like the money, you know, to get like a mister freedom workwear jacket, you know, you can try and hunt for the maybe not the original one, but like, you know, vintage versions of it, you know. And that's also one reason why I like it because it's it's also usually affordable, like in depending on your taste. So that's like the overarching thing. Ethan Wong [00:09:03]: For me, it's just, it's about those details. Reginald Ferguson [00:09:06]: Well, you hit on something. So, and also I like to shout out a brand that I see occasion on the gram and I like what they're doing. I know you know them, Scott Frasier collection. Ethan Wong [00:09:15]: Oh yeah, absolutely. Reginald Ferguson [00:09:17]: So, I mean, that seems to be the real deal from the times I've looked at, his post. Ethan Wong [00:09:23]: They look great. Reginald Ferguson [00:09:24]: Do you deem vintage purchases as economical? I mean, are there certain places out in Los Angeles in which they go, hey, we know what we have and we're gonna hit you? Ethan Wong [00:09:42]: Oh, I mean, there's definitely those places in LA. I think the part of me that that kind of respects them is that I I can't imagine where they find some of that stuff that they that they that they sell. Like Right. You know, well, like, I think in in New York or whatever, when I see, like, an OCBD and I'm like, okay, that's kind of expensive for an Oxford shirt. Again, if it's like a really, really old Brooks one that's from like the forties, I'm like, yeah, sure. I get that. But in general in LA, it's usually stuff that like I probably could not find on my own from the stores. Like if I'm looking like those like French workwear or European military stuff that you know these guys had probably had to go out to like Europe to go find sure like that that. Ethan Wong [00:10:22]: So that stuff is pretty expensive. But I guess that's where it usually stays in LA because in LA you don't really have too much tailoring you know. So that stuff is either just not sold so we don't we don't get ripped off at the at the vintage vintage stores for it because you can still kind of find vintage tailoring. That might have been better before but now it's probably in the hands of costumers. So it's a little bit hard to find it and some places still might charge you a little bit more for it. But it's it really depends on what you're looking for and I I still think Ebay or Etsy still kind of blows everything out of the water. Unless you're like going out then like finding it yourself. Like you know you're go you're you know doing trips to like middle of nowhere towns and like, you know, California. Ethan Wong [00:11:20]: Just like in like in mid in like the middle of California and you go to like some thrift store where, you know, a guy had suits for like 50 years and, you know, he passed away and he sold it. Like, unless you're doing that, like, eBay and Etsy are still probably the best places to to find stuff. So, Reginald Ferguson [00:11:34]: yeah, I wanna kinda be comparative. Mhmm. So when you're going online, Yeah. Does the same rule apply in terms of economically on average, you're If you could kind of do a breakdown for the audience and just tell me like, Hey, common price for a pant for, Ethan Wong [00:12:03]: you know, Reginald Ferguson [00:12:04]: a OCBD, you know, for a a sport jacket, for a suit, you know, for a fedora? I mean Yeah. Ethan Wong [00:12:11]: I'm really curious. So, yeah, when I when I was looking, you know, maybe 2 to 5 years ago, I think, like, most shirts were, like, less than $40, you know, like, just just in general. Again, it depends on the taste. Right? Like and and and brand names as well. Like before, I would look up just o c like, just vintage o c b d, like, on like, this blanket search on Ebay, and I would just look. And, of course, when it's that vague, you're gonna get really cheap prices because people probably don't know what they have. Were trying to get, trying to just let stuff go. But, of course, if you're trying to go like Brooks Brothers, Maker's, o c b d, you know, you want that, like, you wanna find, like, the eighties nineties label. Ethan Wong [00:12:48]: What's the more the worst stuff you put on it? Obviously, the more curious it's gonna get and the the chances of someone knowing what they have and knowing how much that is worth other people will get higher. But even then back then it was like, you know, less than $100, you know, suits. I found southwick suits between like a 100 to $200. Sometimes even cheaper. I remember our guy was, like, you know, happened to be selling 3 suits, 3 Southwick Brooks Brothers suits for like $25 each. Pretty crazy. And sixties. He just like 3 roll to kind of like a a thinner, like, not not too thin, but like kind of like a medium lapel, small edges. Ethan Wong [00:13:24]: One of them was 3 piece. I, you know, I I messaged him way back in the day and I'm like, hey, Like, that's my size. Can I buy all 3? He's like, sure. You can have it for, like, $50 instead of, like, you know, 75. So it was it was pretty crazy. But like I mean I'm sure that stuff still happens you know. I just don't I as you can see behind me I have so many clothes I don't really hunt as much anymore. But those kind of prices you know like like a fedora for like a hundred, you know, depending on the condition of it, ties for less than 40, stuff like that. Ethan Wong [00:13:51]: It's kind of like spoiled me for today. You know? I didn't I didn't expect, right, you know, with TikTok and and and vintage becoming so popular and as well as kind of my taste in clothing or elements of it kind of becoming popular again, like the big pants, pleats and everything you know that has also kind of made vintage prices go up. So but yeah, like I I'm I try and stick pretty economically conservative or frugal with like my prices. And even now when I'm looking for this stuff I try and set those barriers, you know, I I try and, you know, if it has like a best offer option, I'll cap it out. I'll be like, okay, here we go or I'll bid. And if it goes higher than that, I'm like, well, maybe I'll find it again someday, you know. So I I try and do that again. I don't have to do that, you know. Ethan Wong [00:14:32]: If I if I was a guy who was trying to build a wardrobe from scratch maybe I would have to pay those prices. But nowadays it's kind of like well maybe I didn't need that no cbd anymore you know. It's all it's all additive at this point. Right. But, yeah, those those prices are kind of what I do and especially if I'm going to, you know, flea markets or whatever, I try and use those in my head, you know. Like, okay, I I pick up a shirt. I know that the max I would pay is $80. I'd go, you know, and I try and haggle with the guy. Ethan Wong [00:14:58]: And if not, I'll walk away with it. You know? And I think, sometimes you still you still get success. I still I still encourage people to go out to flea markets because, you know, you never know what you're gonna find. Like, I I still found, like, o c b d, the flea markets in LA where I'm surprised because I'm like, well, typically the flea market's full of like workwear denim or or like nineties tees. And sometimes you'll find, you know, a nice button down collar shirt or a dress shirt, and we'll be like, oh, well, you know, maybe maybe they they'll give it to me for cheap because people don't really buy wear or buy that in LA. And so it still works out too. Too. But yeah. Reginald Ferguson [00:15:30]: And for the audience, OCBD, open collar button down. Yeah. Because sometimes we could get caught up in jargon, and we don't know who else is listening. So how many stores in the LA or surrounding LA area could an individual find items? Like, is it like 2 stores, 5 stores? You know, you're a big city. I'm a big city. Ethan Wong [00:16:02]: Yeah. I mean, if you wanna expand to like the the the Greater Los Angeles County, which has like the 80, like the I have Reginald Ferguson [00:16:08]: no idea. Ethan Wong [00:16:08]: The 50. You know, it's it's crazy how big LA is. Cause it well LA as a city is probably normal but like LA is a county so like it incorporates like 50 cities. Well I mean for me I try and I always like going to like the good like the local Goodwills. Like if I'm in an area and I'm bored you know for you know waiting for coffee or waiting for someone else I'll I'll try and hit up like a local goodwill and kinda see what they have there. And usually again, if we just think about, like, things in terms of like what a regular guy might have worn like you might find like yeah, Brooks Brothers shirts or just you know, no label or a defunct label Oxford cloth button down collar shirts. And and and wool pleated pants. I keep telling you know people always like, oh, I can't find anything. Ethan Wong [00:16:52]: I'm like dude there's so many pleated trousers at flea markets or sorry at at Goodwills. Yeah. I mean, it's, you know, I mean, if you wanted like, you know, everyone's buying like the docker straight leg work pants or or, like, the the Carhartts or whatever. But if you just find, like, like, pleated chinos, you know, that are kinda similar to, like, the Ralph Lauren Andrew cotton pants. There's so much of them. Even at my local goodwill, that's like 5 minutes from where I live, There's there's always so much of it. I mean, I don't again, I don't need pleaded chinos at this point because I already have some. But if people needed them, like, they're they're already there or just like sometimes I find like, yeah, like vintage being like eighties nineties or early 2000 Brooks Brothers pants that are pleated, you know, gabardine, you know, whatever, like they're they're there because I'm like, okay, that's probably what like a an old dude would have kept wearing and, you know, and and they're fine. Ethan Wong [00:17:41]: Like, you know, they're usually in great condition sometimes, you know, maybe like there's some moth holes or like they've been pressed too much. They look like the, the the the wool is burnt, but there's usually like some kind of like plated trouser. You know, I feel like not not that you shouldn't, you know, support small business, but, like, you know, if you wanted to start out, you could probably find a pair of charcoal gray pleated trousers at your local goodwill. And I'm sure there's a bunch of sizes, you know, because people pass on their clothes at multiple stages of their life. You know? You can probably find 1 in your size and just and all you do is hem it. If if you like my style where, like, you'll you wanna keep those big pants, all I do is just hem the trouser, get a cuff there and that's it. Maybe adjust the waist but like you know and even if you wanted to like get it more tailored or whatever like back in the day I would thrift pants and I would it it then it doesn't matter how big they are, you would just go to my tailor and I would taper it down, hey get it halved and there you go. You don't you didn't have to go to you know, get some custom made trousers. Ethan Wong [00:18:37]: So that that that was like my m o for a long time. But like, yeah, you can still find that kind of stuff. But if we're talking like specific vintage stores, there's like you know 3 or 4 like ones that focus like a lot on like the workwear mill mill sirp stuff. Obviously, if you're in the LA LA area, like I'm talking like downtown arts district or even like West LA, it's going to be more curated. You know the people up there are are charging a premium because you know the people who are buying it are probably other designers. You know there are there's other well-to-do people who just don't aren't like you know the ones searching for stuff. So if you don't want to do that you can find those places like I mean I think Western gifts in Highland Park is one of the best ones. He does a lot of European workwear which I think I can't even find, you know. Ethan Wong [00:19:27]: And even on eBay, you don't really find that either. So he's got some really great stuff and and some handfuls of, like, tailoring and everything. There used to be a place I love. I think they're still on on, on IG now because of the closure during the pandemic. But paper moon vintage was always one of my favorite ones. They specialize in, like, 1920s to 19 sixties clothing, and their men's selection was always really, really good. A lot of my early suits that I I passed on, because I think we talked about before, it's just too hot to wear in LA. I don't know I don't know how the vintage guys do it. Reginald Ferguson [00:19:59]: I wasn't bring gonna bring that up, but since you have Ethan Wong [00:20:03]: Yeah. I mean, you know, all of those, like, double breasted, like, they're they were great. They're just so heavy, and I think I've just gotten sensitive skin over the years. It just makes me feel uncomfortable now. But yeah, you know they would sell to a lot of the swing dancers, other customers and just regular guys and that place is really good. I think again they just sell online now. And yeah there's a couple places like in Long Beach as well. But I do want to shout out my absolute favourite vintage store Joyride Vintage in Orange County. Ethan Wong [00:20:31]: If anyone follows me you'll know that I'm usually hanging out there like once a month and I post those ones. I post stuff from of the guys who work there and the, you know, just the store in general. I love I love the curation there. And they're really they're I mean, you know, all again, this isn't like cheap stuff. We're not like thrifting, but they're they're relatively affordable vintage and they have some great stuff. Again, like I whenever time I go there, I try on whatever they've they've they've just got in. And, it it it's a great spot, but that's that's one really great place. But again, if if you wanna try and hunt, then you just go to Goodwills. Ethan Wong [00:21:05]: You go to the flea markets. You know, Rose Bowl is the 2nd Sunday. Reginald Ferguson [00:21:08]: Long piece. I want I want to talk about that because. Ethan Wong [00:21:11]: Oh yeah. Yeah. We can. Yeah. Reginald Ferguson [00:21:13]: Yeah. I've read about that. And I know you went, I believe you went recently. Yeah. I wanna, I wanna carve out, a spot on the pod for us to talk about this thing. Because it just sounds fascinating from a New York perspective. I'm like, what? Ethan Wong [00:21:27]: Yeah. What is this? It's it's really an amazing place. I mean, so for those of you who don't know Rose Bowl the Rose Bowl is like this little stadium in Pasadena. You know, they use it for college games and concerts. But every 2nd Sunday of the month, they do this really big, flea market. I don't know exactly if it's like the biggest flea market because I think that there's Alameda and like the Bay Area. I I don't know the sizes, but it's it's pretty big. And it it is people like drive out like that. Ethan Wong [00:21:56]: I'm not saying like within l a m type people have I've seen people like come down from the bay area just for like the couple hours of of, you know, a picking and then they they drive home. You know, that that that that's crazy. Maybe they get an Airbnb in the evening. It might be exciting. Reginald Ferguson [00:22:11]: But I get what you're saying. Ethan Wong [00:22:12]: Far and wide. Exactly. Yeah. And and even the sellers, like, I see a lot of, you know, Japanese sellers. They come in. They they sell stuff there. There's also Japanese buyers. I mean, California also has a lot of has a has a Japanese population, so I'm also not surprised there. Ethan Wong [00:22:25]: But, I mean, like, the amount of stuff you get there is is just so amazing. And I think again with the pandemic and again with TikTok and the whole vintage craze kind of coming back in in various eras that like it's only gotten bigger. You know, I remember one time during the pandemic when, of course, you had to have like capacity, stuff for a lot of like events. I remember I got there half an hour before my friends, I got in, they couldn't like they and they kept it and it was only like it it it it goes from 6 till 3. Of course, the premium pricing for, you know, early bird is 6 till 9. And then from 9 till close, it's the regular price. I got there, yeah, shortly after 9 o'clock and they got there like at maybe 10 capped the capacity, you know? Woah. Yeah. Ethan Wong [00:23:08]: But I mean, nowadays, they don't they don't have that anymore. Right. Right. Right. Thankfully. But but I remember that one. It was so disappointing for them because, yeah. It's it's amazing, you know, there's there's if you want furniture, they've got plenty of people who do furniture. Ethan Wong [00:23:25]: You know, there's there's a couple of, like, craft people, you know, like like kind of like local crafts and like who, like, probably make mid century styled furniture and and blankets and everything. But there's just there is just so much, you know, like every I mean, most of the booths kinda look the same. Right? They have a section for, like, vintage watches. They have, like, jewelry, you know like Navajo western jewelry. They got costume jewelry for women. It's like usually people have like racks of vintage nineties t shirts that are that are expensive as hell. You know? And of course you got like the workwear guys and everything. And then and then of course you've got like just piles of clothes on the ground, you know? And sometimes those are like, oh, everything's a dollar. Ethan Wong [00:24:02]: Everything's, you know, 1 to $5 or it's the people who, like, it's still a pile, but you gotta take it to them and go, how much is this? And then they they they eyeball it and they tell you, you know. So you've got you've got all of that happening. Reginald Ferguson [00:24:14]: And this is all in the Rose Bowl parking lot. Correct? Ethan Wong [00:24:18]: The parking lot. Yeah. It's not in the stadium. It's just all it literally, like, around it. Like, in, like, a horseshoe shape. Around it. There's just yeah, around around the, the rosebuds of the Yeah. I remember. Ethan Wong [00:24:28]: You. Yeah. Reginald Ferguson [00:24:29]: Yeah. Woah. And Yeah. I mean and I mean, there's no empty slots. Is that correct? I mean, is that Oh, yeah. I mean just so extensive? Ethan Wong [00:24:39]: Yeah. I mean, especially during like the like the early fall, like, right now, you know, before it gets to what, you know, California LA people call cold. Right? Yeah. You know, I got you. But, like, the, it's a it's a that's, like, the time where people like, the most people show up to sell and the most people come up to buy because it's, like, the perfect weather to be outside, you know, doing this. Right? Like Right. The sun is the sun is out. And, you know, it might be, like, 60 degrees, but you're still sweating walking around, you know, going from place to place. Ethan Wong [00:25:05]: And, you know, and I think it gets probably the most sparse, you know, when it's like the rainy season, like in April to, like, June area. And then, of course, when it's, like, July and August when it's just, like, a 100 degrees, like, people aren't really out. But, of course, you might find better deals because people, you know, don't wanna be there that long. So there was a time where I would go, like, every month, and then that's how you see all that stuff behind me. Really? Yeah. I mean, not not all of it, but, like, you know, a lot of my casual items came directly from the Rose Bowl. Again, you're not gonna find guys selling, like, you know, Ivy League sack suits or OCBDs. You might find them, you know, if like, you know, you know, if you pick it up from the rack and, you know, some people just might have it, but most of it is like, you know, t shirts, sweatshirts, knitwear, casual jackets, leather jackets, and especially a lot of milserp and workwear. Ethan Wong [00:25:53]: And that's where I kind of built almost all, every time you see me wear workwear and milserp, like it's probably I got it from the Rose Bowl Flea Market or or one of the other flea markets that are in LA. And so if if that's what people like, then you gotta you gotta get out there, and and grab it. You know? It's just it's it's there. Reginald Ferguson [00:26:13]: I've been to LA. I remember reading about the Rose Bowl. I don't know when just, I don't know, 5, 10 years ago. And it just seemed fascinating. I've been to L. A. Once, so I couldn't incorporate it. Because like you said, the timing is very specific. Reginald Ferguson [00:26:31]: Yeah. It sounds like it is virtually impossible to go through every vendor in one day. Would that be correct? Ethan Wong [00:26:41]: I would definitely say so if it's like one of your first times, You know? Like, if you're unable to well, let's put this way. If you want to experience each booth, then, yeah, you can't you can't do it all of it in one day. Right. Reginald Ferguson [00:26:54]: You know? Ethan Wong [00:26:54]: I mean the the yeah. But there there are sections to it, you know? Like so again like it's a u shape. And like I said there's a lot of people who sell like furniture. So like if you want to specifically go to clothes obviously there are clothes people spread out throughout the the horse shoe, but there is one specific section that is like just clothing vendors. Reginald Ferguson [00:27:13]: Oh. Ethan Wong [00:27:13]: And it's like it's across like the I call it across the bridge. It's or it's called if you look at the map, it's called like the white section. Like, that's just like how they zone it out. Right. And that's where, like, yeah, like, all the all of the clothing people are. And so you could you could spend the whole day in that section as well. But, you know, if if you go in there with like a game plan, like, okay, well, like, I want to walk out of here with, you know, o g one zero seven fatigues, you know, I I wanna come out of here with a with a specific type of, you know, band t shirt or wrap t shirt or whatever, like, you could probably hit because, you know, you'll you'll see it. You can do it. Ethan Wong [00:27:48]: Okay. Well, that guy is selling milkshake. Okay? I don't I don't need mispronounce. I can afford I can avoid that booth, you know? So you can you can the more you go there, the more honed in you are. So, like, now I'm only there for, like, maybe, like, 2 hours. I don't really need furniture as much. I mean, I have my my desk and everything. So I don't at this point, I don't really need furniture. Ethan Wong [00:28:05]: But if I did, I could probably go there and focus on that rather than the clothes. Probably would be more interesting, you know, and a new experience for me at this point, you know. Reginald Ferguson [00:28:15]: Since you live out there and this is your thing. Are there a lot of vendors you now know when you go there, or is it still hit or miss? How how does that work? Ethan Wong [00:28:28]: Yeah. I mean, it's funny. Like, I I do love meeting people, but I feel like when I'm in that mode, I'm kind of, like, just in the zone. And, there are a couple of vendors that I that I do know, outside of it. I probably met them at other vintage events. There is this thing called Inspiration LA. They I think they did one in New York once, but that was kind of like a military or milserp workwear leather jacket kind of thing. Like the kind of the the vintage that most people kind of think about, you know, when they think of like, you know, vintage style with like the fatigues and everything. Ethan Wong [00:29:00]: It used to be like a kind of like a convention or like a trade show for people who who made that kind of stuff. And so I would meet the people at those events because like, you know, some of them would sell to other designers who happen to be there. So I would like, you know, you'd meet meet them. They would also sell at that event. So there are some people I I do know and it's fun to catch up with them. You know, sometimes they'll they'll give you a deal on something if they have something that you like. Like recently, I picked up like these 1940 sunglasses which might have not been a great purchase because I feel like they are they're gonna break fall apart. He was out of the little thing. Reginald Ferguson [00:29:35]: I was Ethan Wong [00:29:35]: just like Reginald Ferguson [00:29:36]: I don't know but Ethan Wong [00:29:37]: it sounds like Yeah. I mean if they're, I feel like, you know, they're probably some novelty one, but I I really wanted them and they're really cool. And I guess it's one of those things where if I bought, like, the expensive version of, I guess I test drove the originals and like okay. Now now now I know I like the shape and so I can like use that. I I get that aspect of it. But yeah, he gave me a deal on those, and then, you know, it's it's fun to see that. But most of the time, like, I mean, nowadays, I feel like there's just new sellers each time. I met a new seller, the last time I was there, this this past one that you referenced and, normally, I don't I don't talk too much. Ethan Wong [00:30:13]: You know, obviously, I'm just kind of there to try on stuff and it's also early in the morning. I I don't eat breakfast when I go there. So it's like I I I go there from, like yeah. I mean, 909 is not too early, but, like, I wake up, quick shower, get there, like, go 9, end at, like, 11 or 12, and, like, you know, you're pretty you know, it can be you can get cranky if you're not eating anything. And, of course, I could bring some. I just I don't think about Just leave. You know? And so but, this past time I was there with a I ran into a friend and we then we would kind of walk around together and, you know, he was in a mood and we talked to this this new guy and he's like, yeah. I I just moved here, you know, and he's like, he's been a vintage seller and it was really cool to meet people like that. Ethan Wong [00:30:50]: And, he did, like, give steel. I ended up buying, like, a, like, a just a shirt from him, and it was a little beat up, but nothing that, that I or my tailor can't fix. And so sometimes that yeah that that stuff kind of happens which is which is really great. But other otherwise you know I mean they're they're really friendly even if you don't become friends with them or follow them on Instagram. Because these people at least the ones that I I've talked to just briefly like they really love selling clothing and they're very knowledgeable. And it does make you appreciate you know what they have to sell. And so I mean most of my haggling is always done with the people who just have like who don't know what they have, and they just kinda throw out a number and just kind of, you know, when when yeah. Yeah. Ethan Wong [00:31:29]: But when it's like those those piles of clothes you just pull out, you know, you find a a find a great thing you know. And you're like how much is this? And they go okay like $50 like well can you do like $30 you know. And then that you know when you don't know them it's easier to do that you know. So right That's that's the best part. But I mean, but yeah it's it's if you if you go by yourself and you know, there's a chance you can make some friends out there. And at least some contacts and you know if you ever feel like you know, you want to DM them. I know some sellers don't like that. You know, if you go like, hey, if you find this, let me know. Ethan Wong [00:32:00]: Like, you know, they don't they don't do commission stuff. Or and some of them do, so it's but it's good to, like, meet people to to kind of find that if that's what you how you wanna find your clothes. Reginald Ferguson [00:32:09]: Right. Now, you know, and I know you love New York. Ethan Wong [00:32:15]: Yeah. Reginald Ferguson [00:32:15]: And really how the 2nd episode came, meaning your return is we saw each other at a rowing blazers party. Ethan Wong [00:32:24]: That's right. Reginald Ferguson [00:32:24]: Right. So we met IRL. Yeah. I recognize you immediately. You seem to recognize me immediately. Yeah. So the point is, I know you love coming to New York. I know you hate our weather. Reginald Ferguson [00:32:42]: My point is you, you know, you're a Los Angeles native. You come visit New York. How do you feel? And I think the listeners would be curious. How do you feel the New York city vintage store game compares to LA? What do you like about our offerings? Ethan Wong [00:33:01]: I mean, number 1, you guys have just poor tailoring, I think. Obviously. Right? Like, you think east coast in general, you have more of a reason to wear, you know, tailored clothing by which I mean, obviously, sport coats, button up shirts that are meant to be worn with a tie, chinos, except the chinos that are not military chinos. And of course, you know, like a leather dress shoes. Like, that is something that the East Coast in general just seems to have a lot of. And in New York, you know, with the amount of people who are there, who pass through and you know, who live there, I feel like you find that stuff a lot more. And I think that that's really the best part about, for me at least when I when I get to visit New York and kind of look around there. You know, you get, of course, all of the great modern contemporary stories, but then when you go to a thrift store or or just even a curated vintage story, you find like, yeah, Brooks Brothers or even modern a modern, like contemporary mentor brands. Ethan Wong [00:33:51]: Like, I saw an Anglo Italian suit at this at this secondhand store. It didn't fit me. It seemed to be made for a much smaller guy. But like that that would never happen in LA. Like, you know, you don't find you don't really find, you know, like, the armory or whatever, you know, in a in a in a secondhand store in in Los Angeles. Or even, you know, I I can't even think of, like, like, Sid Mashburn, I think is a a contemporary brand. And I've I've never found that at a at a at a goodwill or whatever here. So, like, the fact that that exists in New York is is pretty crazy. Ethan Wong [00:34:22]: And I'm not surprised that a lot of that that that kind of tailoring kind of survives in l in New York whether you work in menswear or not because of just how much how how much you can find of of cool garments like that. And so like going to I forgot what it was called. I I feel so bad because I I when I was last there a friend of mine who basically buys designer secondhand stuff, he was curious what I thought so he took me to his spots too. And there was 1 place again that had like you know, Yoji Yamamoto stuff, but also again that that Anglo Italian suit. Again, seeing those 2 things together in a secondhand store was so like that was mind blowing to me. And then of course, you know, going to, like Williamsburg in in Brooklyn and seeing the stuff that they have there in terms of tailoring and ocd is is just fascinating. And yeah I I like that. I like seeing it. Ethan Wong [00:35:17]: But of course it's a little bit pricier than I that I would want to do because I'm again I'm used to the Ebay and Etsy stuff of it. And sometimes it is like right on the mark where it's like, okay. Well, it is what I would expect to pay for it, and then there are some times where I'm like, well, that's just too much. You know? But it is it is great to to physically see and handle it again because at the flea markets here, like, you're not gonna really find much in the way of tailoring. Most ties are probably gonna be stained. Whereas in New York, if you find a 2nd hand tie tie, it's still pretty good condition, you know? But but yeah. It's, I always love hopefully being able to go out to those 2ndhand stores whether it's curated or not in in New York and just seeing what I can find. I think the last time I was was there, I I kinda bought something like, you know, 1930s ties. Ethan Wong [00:36:05]: And, I know it's pretty small. But again, there's already a lot of 1930s ties behind me. So I only needed the color I did not have, you know, so. Reginald Ferguson [00:36:14]: What was what's your favorite vintage store in New York City? Put in Ethan Wong [00:36:20]: your store. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. So one of, I think church Church Street Surplus, I think is what it's called. They that's where I got those vintage ties from. He has some great ties over there. And and doesn't have to be thirties or not. Ethan Wong [00:36:34]: I think I was looking at some of the nineties ties. And, of course, once you get past some of the crazier yuppie ties, there are some there's some good stuff there. I don't really discriminate with like eras on ties as long as the material isn't like fully polyester obviously or if it's, you know, of course the pattern is just tasteful in my opinion. But yeah, that's where I bought the ties. I can't speak too much to the to the to the actual vintage like military stuff. Of course, it might it might rival what we find in LA anyway. But I mean I think like the first time I went which is like 5 years ago, they had some like like burka pants that I had never seen in person before. So that was pretty cool to see. Ethan Wong [00:37:11]: I mean that's a good spot and then I don't think anyone is I I think some people might be upset with me for saying this but I think the 10 foot single by Stella Dallas in, in Williamsburg is a great spot as well. I remember the 1st time I went there, my friend said don't tell anybody about the spot. But then it's like I mean, I think people I I tried seeing it on TikTok and I feel like that made that let me have the freedom to share it at that point. But I like that place a lot. So when I when I went there, that that kind of reminded me the most of, like, an LA vintage spot just because of, like, just the mixture. They had some leather jackets. They had some tailoring. Obviously, not like they have some, like, full suits there, but it wasn't like the like, in LA, you get a lot of, like, the swing dance or stuff, which is, you know, it it it's meant for that kinda crowd. Ethan Wong [00:37:58]: Whereas I feel like in in New York, like, you know, some cool hipster, artsy guy could could probably buy, like, a a vintage 40 suit and kind of wear it in a different way as opposed to here where there's like a dedicated like rockabilly swing scene. And that's not to say that there's there's like, there's some cool vintage scenes in in New York as well. I feel like the the vibe is a little bit different. But anyway at 10 foot single, what I like buying there is like the preppy stuff or the like the kind of ivy trad stuff because obviously there's no spear point collars but they like last time I was there I bought like Brooks Brothers OCBDs. And it's not super cheap but it is the same price as like what I would get on Ebay between like thirty to $60 depending on the era of Brooks Brothers it's from. So I'm like, oh, shit. Like, well, that's great. And I can actually try it on. Ethan Wong [00:38:44]: I can, you know, I could fit my neck. I don't have to like buy something like, oh, Mel, the the the seller messed up on this one. I gotta give it to a friend or return it. I also bought, like, a pair of, like, Madras 2 pairs of Madras pants there which crazy. Like, you know, like the kind of like not I know Madras isn't like go to hell, but like, you know, the kind of like fun bold preppy stuff that you find there is is really cool versus in LA. You might find like Lacoste Polo or something something more basic that like an LA preppy person would would maybe wear. Like, you know, if you don't have like the fun east coast, you know, like, wasp Hamptons in like the summertime kind of a thing, which I found there at still a 10 foot single. I feel like if you go there looking for, like, oh, I want a place to find, like, immaculate 3 piece salvo suits, you know, if they happen to have it, sure. Ethan Wong [00:39:29]: But like I'm I always I don't really have too much expectations and I'm always there finding like just regular stuff like ties, pants, and and shirts. And every time I go there I find I find those things. And so I really recommend going out to that place because it's just it's just really cool. And that it's priced affordably if not what exactly what you'd expect at a reasonable price. Those are the main the main 2 spots I feel like, when I when I went to New York, I always loved visiting. Reginald Ferguson [00:40:00]: Gotcha. Yeah. We're the best. So Moving on. So for a person who's interested in vintage, doesn't know much about Ethan Wong [00:40:15]: it. Yeah. Reginald Ferguson [00:40:19]: Do you feel what what is the response when you're wearing an item, an ensemble, which you know is vintage sourced? Ethan Wong [00:40:31]: You know, I think before the pandemic, I think people were relatively nice. I mean, I never really got I call it, like, menswear trauma. Like, the it's, like, it's fake. It's not real. Like, I'm like, the oh, like, why are you so dressed up? You know, it's not it's not a real dig. You know, people wanted to be meaner. They probably could. But I didn't get too much of that. Ethan Wong [00:40:50]: I think also just because I've been doing it for such a long time people might get that vibe for me in general. But nowadays I think people do like they kind of recognize it as like vintage now because I think, you know, of how popular it's kinda coming back. And they they probably recognize how much modern designers are referencing vintage, you know. Like, we see, like, Gucci is, like, doing seventies stuff. Right? Like I think and so if you dress in that way, people they won't say that you're dressing Gucci, but they can probably recognize, oh, that's like a specific look versus like, you know, just looking dressed up, which I think is is really cool. People are a people can discern taste, which I always felt people could. They just needed like the vocabulary or the or the reference point to kind of point, to kind of use. But yeah. Ethan Wong [00:41:30]: I mean most but most of the time nowadays now that I've like gotten vintage or gotten tailoring that kind of mimics vintage in terms of silhouette. And I I get it more I think when I'm wearing, like, vintage, like, casual pieces, you know. Especially, like, if if you wear, like, wide leg jeans with like white socks and like a a casual jacket that's kinda cropped, you know. You look like a some kind of greaser or some kind of like, you know, a a background character in in some, like, fifties movie or something. Right? And I feel like some people do recognize that as well. But it's also because I intentionally like those casual looks and those specific aesthetics. So of course I'm intentionally doing that and so people you know getting that response to people who can recognize it is like a positive in my in my in my book. But yeah but or you know even if it's like a tie people can be like, oh wow look like is that a vintage tie? I'm like, yeah it is a vintage tie because you know they don't really make them like this anymore. Ethan Wong [00:42:26]: The designs don't look like this. You know, you don't have like those big square motifs and those abstract patterns. And and so it is it is cool to get those comments every once in a while. And especially if you can educate if they ask, like, what makes it vintage? Like, oh, well, I'm glad you asked. And then, you know, I can then I can show them not just the pattern, but, you know, you take out the tie and you look look how thin it is. Like, the like, the the interlining is thin. It's got, like, a hand rolled edge or it's untipped. You know, and you can say, okay. Ethan Wong [00:42:53]: Look. It's shorter because back then pants were higher, so obviously the ties were shorter. You know, just if people are willing to to learn, I'm I'm glad to, like, kind of talk about them until they tell me to shut up. Yeah. The same goes for, like, jackets too. Like, oh, look at, like, the lapel and and everything like that. Reginald Ferguson [00:43:10]: Do you feel as a broad generalization that the items that you have sourced and acquired are better quality than contemporary items? Ethan Wong [00:43:24]: That's a good question. I think I think yes when we're comparing it to, like, the mall. I think that that's kind of the idea here. I mean, it's because back then, I mean, if, like, not everyone was buying, like, a hand, like, a hand done salvo. I mean, salvo road still existed back then and that was still like a high regard, you know, a a a mark of of of of, quality. But you know, like if we think about department store suits or even or even Brooks Brothers stuff, you know. I personally feel like that there was it it feels better quality or just you know there's just like this half to vintage obviously like you know the looms weren't made to spin as thin as they are today, right? So you don't really have like the super 120s you know, ultra fine kind of kind of garments, you know. So back then it just if if like a hardiness is like a is like a is a metric of quality and it is for some people, I think that with vintage you absolutely get that, you know. Ethan Wong [00:44:19]: But if we're comparing like apples to apples here like you know if you think about like garments back then that were made for department stores that were made like mass produced to be like as if it was like the mall. I think that, yeah, vintage is a higher quality, than those things. You know? You can't like I I'm famously not into the to the J. Crew Ludlow suit just because of aesthetics. But when when you feel like you know again why people buy like vintage Brooks Brothers like you just compare the 2 it it's it just feels better you know. And of course when you introduce things like okay well you know like if you think about like a Ludlow suit that has a name brand like cloth in it. Of course that's gonna be harder because like those name brand cloth or those fabric mills are probably made in like a specific way that that that does have a lot of quality. So like that that that's hard to get harder to compare to. Ethan Wong [00:45:11]: But like for like a run of the mill, let's just say like a JCPenney suit versus like, I don't know, a Hartshafter Mark suit from like the thirties, you know? Like, you compare those 2, the Hartshafter Mark's just gonna be way better, you know? And there's there's plenty of, like, no name mills that I'm sure if you look up, it includes some local factory that made suits. You know, those are probably just, you know, spun and made way better than, yeah, again, like, JCPenney, Macy's, you know, Joss A. Bank, etcetera. You know, South Southawake is a good example of, like, you know, just a big factory that made suits for a long time, in America. And if you find, like, a Southawake made vintage suit, know, the chances are you're probably getting a really a really good quality garment. So if people are, you know, building wardrobes in that way and they can find those things, you know, whether it's at a vintage store, flea market, or at on eBay, like, that's a a good place to look at, you know, looking at those labels. Reginald Ferguson [00:46:08]: What? Because I know, again, game recognized game. You have a significant wardrobe, so it's gonna be a tough ass question for you. Ethan Wong [00:46:16]: I'm ready. It's Reginald Ferguson [00:46:17]: intentional. I know you're ready. What is the best, whether it was online or in store Rose Bowl, what have you? What was your best acquisition? Whatever best means for you. What was your best vintage acquisition? Ethan Wong [00:46:35]: Oh, man. I'm gonna I'm gonna I have like a couple of them. If you don't mind me me sharing some of the stories. Because there's there's different metrics. I remember one time, I was at Dapper Day, which is like the scene of this kind of fun, you know, it's like a fun dress up event. You know? It's it's it's not serious. It's just meant for people to come, you know, go to not just Disneyland. They have other stuff too, but it they're mainly known for their Disneyland events. Ethan Wong [00:46:59]: But they have, like, an expo space where they have, like, live jazz music. It's it's a really fun time. And they have vintage sellers there as well. And I remember going there and I saw this flex suit and I was like, oh, what is this? And it said like 19 fifties flex suit, like $75. Like, first off, that's crazy. You shouldn't sell that for that little because it, you know, it's a pretty even if 19 fifties, you know, with it's, like, big shoulders, you know, the very Ricky Ricardo look, I'm not a huge fan of that aesthetic but I was like I was kind of I'm like, oh, okay that's interesting like it's so cheap. I pull it out and I'm like that's not fifties. I'm looking at it it's 3 roll 2 soft shoulders, It's got pleated trousers. Ethan Wong [00:47:34]: And I look at the label, it's Kamoshida United Arrows, which is like a Japanese brand. Yeah. Yeah. Oh, wow. Yeah. Yeah. $75. And again, like, you know, kambushita, you know, it's it's not it's not cheap. Ethan Wong [00:47:46]: You know, it's it's I also know it's not like it's not bespoke or anything, but it's like, you know, it's it's a pretty well known Japanese brand if you know it. Yeah. And it's like wool silk linen, super soft. And I'm like, wow. The issue was I couldn't try it on. So at the place, this is not 3 independent. This is years ago. I think they just this is before they started bringing, like, those, like, little tents people could actually try on clothing. Ethan Wong [00:48:05]: You know? Otherwise, in some sellers probably wouldn't let you take it to the bathroom. Understandable. But yeah. I bought it and it and it was great and it was one of my favorite suits for a long time. It was just again, it's really lightweight green suit that I kind of made up. I think if people follow me they'll they'll know I have a green cotton suit. It's kind of like in my head, it's kind of, like, replacing that one. Again, I got rid of it because it was just way too the pants were a little bit more tapered than I'd wear, and I got bigger over the years. Ethan Wong [00:48:31]: So I just and and I guess the previous owner, I'm assuming maybe it was like a guy who bought it in Japan or something that he had let it out as much as possible already. So I I I had like I had like, you know, 2 years of wearing it and I gave it to a friend of mine who was smaller than me. But that I'll always remember that one. That one was that's pretty pretty crazy. I do I already mentioned the 3 Southwick suits for like 75 or $50 something like that. That was pretty awesome. But like yeah recently there was a time I mean this is probably not special now, but to me it is. I was at my local Goodwill and I I think I just decided to go back because I hadn't gone thrifting in a long time. Ethan Wong [00:49:17]: I took a break. Again, like I said, I got I took a break from going to the, to the Rose Bowl because I could not I don't wanna keep spending money. You know? You don't buy a ticket. You know? You're paying money to go spend money. So I took a break from all of that and I, you know, I focused a lot. You know, people know me like I bought like a lot of good shoes over the past years. I focus on the kind of upgrading and kind of just getting like my custom suits that I really like and honing my fit. And I took a break from buying. Ethan Wong [00:49:44]: And so I was like okay maybe I'll go to my my local goodwill and we'll just see what happens there. And I went in and I found some trousers. And I don't know what it is about maybe it's my local good one but they don't let you try on things. Again it might be a COVID thing. They let they close the fitting rooms. And maybe it's also because maybe they're short staffed, maybe they don't want people to steal things which also I guess makes sense with the pandemic. But I I found 2 pairs of pants and they were one of them was this like copper brown. It felt like rayon. Ethan Wong [00:50:14]: I think it's probably polyester but it felt nice and and like it felt like rayon like the gabardine feeling. It was really good. So I was like, you know, I I don't mind this. And, you know, it doesn't feel like the rough, dry polyester that people think of. Right? So there was that. And then there were these pants that feel like not like they're kind of like crepey. Like, there's like a little bit of a shine to them, like, or like a fleck, but not really. It's just kind of like how shimmering or iridescent the fabric is and like light. Ethan Wong [00:50:38]: It was like an eighties pair of trousers. They were like in this charcoal gray. I thought they were polyester. It had the 100% wool tag in it. I'm like, oh, man. This is crazy. I bought both of them and they I tried them on. I'm like, well, I hope I don't have to return these $10 pants, you know, because at goodwill right now it's not returning. Ethan Wong [00:50:55]: You have to exchange it. I'm like well I don't I don't know what they're gonna have and they fit perfectly. Like they just no tailoring necessary. One of them was side tab in the trouser and one of them was just the regular belt loops and I was so happy with them and I love them. I wear them a lot. I wore the black or the charcoal gray ones on my birthday. I've worn those brown rayon ish trousers a lot and they're they're really great. And I I didn't even have them. Ethan Wong [00:51:26]: I did nothing to them. They just they fit right off the rack and that has been one of my favorite things. And so it's it's proof to me. I'm like, man, if you want pants, you can find that. You can still find that stuff. They're double pleated, you know, and it's you know, each one was like, yeah, less than $15. So can't can't beat that. That's been my favorite thing that happened. Ethan Wong [00:51:45]: And that was only, like, yeah, for my birthday was in July. That was only, like, half a year ago or a little less than half a year ago. So yeah. Reginald Ferguson [00:51:53]: What was the worst vintage acquisition either in store or online, Ethan? Ethan Wong [00:52:00]: Oh, man. I remember going to this. I'm not going to name the store, but it's a very expensive vintage store and, I kind of thought we were there to hang out and, you know, I kinda felt like, okay. Maybe he does expect me to buy something here. And I and I did that. I found I found something that I I really liked, and I have bought Vintage Brooks Brothers on Ebay before for, like, less than $100. You know, I still have one of them. It's a gray plaid, tweed jacket, one of my favorites. Ethan Wong [00:52:27]: It has like the 3, 4, 6 and it's from the it's from the sixties. It's a literal 60 sack jacket. I got it for less than 100 I picked out this, like, brown tweed jacket and, he was like, well, normally it'd be $400, but I can give it to you for for like 2.50 or yeah. I think he did 3 then he said 2.50. And I'm like, wow that's a that's a lot of money. And this is before when I was working like I was working retail at the time. And so I I didn't even have, like, a a full time, you know, the corporate job that I have now. And so it was a it's a pretty big deal. Ethan Wong [00:52:57]: I'm like, I and I I was the only one in the store because it was like I thought we were just hanging out, like, I I was just in his spot. And so I was like I was like, oh, yeah, you know, I was thinking about it and I felt this looks a little bit of pressure in the in those kind of situations, but it was, you know, and I I did buy it and it is one of my favorite jackets. I look forward to wearing it every time it's, you know, fall winter. Again, it sucks that it is such a seasonal garment. It is a pretty, it's not the spongy tweed like my gray plaid. It is one of the kind of heavier, not super scratchy but it definitely has more of a rough texture. But I do wear it a lot. I still do you know 5 years later it's still one of my favorite jackets but I it was a lot more than I was expecting. Ethan Wong [00:53:39]: You know? And this comes from someone who has bought like, I guess ring jacket was never that cheap but like ring jacket was only like a couple $100 more and ring jacket for retail is like $1200. Right? And so you know I guess maybe that kind of had that kind of unlocked my threshold for other things but it was a little bit, surprising to me again. So like worst is maybe a strong word to use, but definitely it was like I did not expect just to spend that much on on a garment. Reginald Ferguson [00:54:09]: That's fair. Ethan Wong [00:54:10]: Yeah. Other than that, I think everything else has been pretty pretty good. I mean I found not not I mean, again, this I hope this wasn't like me bragging, but I found like vintage fifties trench coats for like $40, but like I didn't really find it. The guy offered it to me at that price. I didn't really do any work. He just Reginald Ferguson [00:54:24]: threw it on me. What what was I supposed to do? Ethan Wong [00:54:27]: Yeah. You know, and it was it was honestly that that story is really funny because we went I went to it was at Joyride. Again, one of my favorite vintage shops. I've been friends I've been going there for years. They they knew me before the blog even existed. I was just some kid who went who, you know, made the trek out to Orange County. And, it was when I got there, and I don't know why I didn't expect this, but it just it was pouring rain. Like, it was just one of those random LA days that just we actually got some real weather and he happened to be selling trench coats and he's all like, no one else but you and your friends are gonna buy this because no one really even though they sell a lot of tailoring, the guys who walk in are probably gonna buy a suit for, like, a wedding or something. Ethan Wong [00:55:04]: They're not gonna buy, like, the whole look. Right? And so it's like like, can you just buy these dang tran and it's also raining. Like, you're gonna need this anyway. I'm like, fine. So me and my friend Spencer both bought vintage fifties trench, trench coats for $50, or I think even less than that. And it was it was really good for a while. I had to give that to a friend because the belt was like it was small. It was it's way interesting, like, where the the the garment itself was, like, big because of course, you know, back then, like, really big stuff. Ethan Wong [00:55:32]: I guess maybe it was meant to be belted, like, really small, like, you would get a really big chest but yeah the belt was was was shorter than I had wanted to and over the years as I get bigger I just there wasn't enough to actually tie it. And so I gave it again I gave it to a friend. And at this point I was able to kind of get like a a more practical. I got like a uniqlo, like waterproof one. I don't think they make anymore, but it feels like a 60 one. And I got like an oversized fit so it can swing over my tailoring. And that actually is a bit more practical. And there's no belt. Ethan Wong [00:56:01]: It's more of like a Balm McCann, so it just it just has buttons on it. But that one was was, again, a really good day, and that one did that that trench could serve me well for a number of years. But, yeah, looking back, I mean, I can't really think of anything else that was, like, you know, too bad. I I can think of stuff where when I buy it, I feel regret because, I mean, over time, because it's just not that cold in LA, you know? And I know, Ethan. Yeah. Everyone everyone listening should know that it's just, you know, it's it's a it's a warm place. I mean, even yesterday for Thanksgiving, it was, like, 76 degrees. Oh. Ethan Wong [00:56:34]: Very warm. Yeah. I mean, I was I was I was trying to yeah. I was trying to, you know, break out the cords, you know, have that nice fall on the iron. Reginald Ferguson [00:56:43]: No. No, please. Yeah. Please don't pass out at the dining room table, Ethan. Ethan Wong [00:56:49]: Yeah. Not because of food. Just because of heat stroke. Right. Reginald Ferguson [00:56:51]: Right. Exactly. Ethan Wong [00:56:53]: I'm trapped. The heat. Just keel over. No. I think, you know, there's a couple of times I bought, like, you know, nice wool gabardine shirts, you know, camp collar shirts, you know, Pendleton, stuff like that. And you do it because you you like the pattern. You like the the details. Reginald Ferguson [00:57:09]: Yeah. Pendleton is dope. I have one. Ethan Wong [00:57:11]: Yeah. But then you just don't wear especially for me, wool shirts are always a regret for me because I'd rather have a wool jacket because you have that they have, like, an extra, shirt to, like, kind of protect you from feeling all the rough stuff on your skin. But when it's a shirt, obviously it's directly on you and I just I get irritated, so I I couldn't do that. But looking behind me, I see I have this, this naval pea coat from probably like the '60s or so, really heavy melt and wool, big dramatic color. I love it. But it is a challenge when I get to wear it because it's just, you know, when you have Reginald Ferguson [00:57:45]: Too heavy for where you live, don't freaking wear it. You're a goof. Ethan Wong [00:57:52]: Or or when it is cold enough, what do what do I do? Do I do I pick between the peaco or do I wear the tweed jackets with the sweater vest and the turtlenecks? You know? And so it's like and you can't put all those together, so I have to decide. And my heart lies with the tailoring, and so the casual garments end up kind of staying on the rack. But I'm challenging myself this year to be a little bit more casual in the fall winter and not get too excited for my tweed jackets and to break out that pea coat, you know, once in a while just so it gets that gets that wear. You know? Reginald Ferguson [00:58:22]: California confusion. Ethan Wong [00:58:24]: All right. That's exactly it. Reginald Ferguson [00:58:26]: I want you to answer these questions that I've posed to you before, but in the realm of what we're talking about. Vintage clothing. So why is fashion important? Ethan Wong [00:58:39]: It's important because it is the ultimate hobby where you get to show off your your personal taste. And when it's I can't even think of a better way than for vintage. And wearing vintage kinda showed that off. All the details, all of the expression. That's why it's important because you get to show it. That's that's why it's so cool. Reginald Ferguson [00:58:59]: Okay. In the same realm, what difference has fashion made in your life? Ethan Wong [00:59:05]: Oh, man. I think I guess in regards to vintage makes me it it makes me embrace being specific. I think that's been one of the best things. Biggest impacts in my life, you know, to kind of be like, okay, well, if it's important, I should focus on this stuff. And, and, you know, and applying that applying those kind of that kind of taste and attention to detail to other aspects in my life too, whether it's my other hobbies has been really formative. So I think it's it's it's yeah. It's great. Fashion teaches you how to be specific. Reginald Ferguson [00:59:40]: Yeah. Again, in the same realm, what is the top fashion tip you would give the everyday man so he could look his best? Ethan Wong [00:59:51]: I mean, learn. Learn. Look at look at everything. Look at what you like, especially if if if it is vintage. Look at look at look at the vintage German. What it is do you like about it? And and, you know, look at what eras do you like. You know? All that kind of informs the previous questions. You know? All of that will will will come into play. Ethan Wong [01:00:09]: And so getting that developing that taste, getting that knowledge, is is the best is the best move. That's that's the best advice. Who who do you want to look like? You know? And what does that mean? Reginald Ferguson [01:00:22]: And last but not least, what does always be fly mean to you in the vintage sort of way? Ethan Wong [01:00:31]: It means when you're able to combine all the details that you like into a look that makes you happy, that's what it means to be fly. And when it's vintage, you have so many details to pick from. You have, you know, so many reference points. It it makes it it enhances the experience. You know? It it's not just about looking appropriate. Right? It's about executing that vision of what you wanted and what your taste is. And and vintage is just the best way to do that. There's just so many details to pick from. Reginald Ferguson [01:01:04]: Ethan Wong, ride or die for vintage, because you're gonna die if you wear that Milton wool or that Harris Tweed. Ethan Wong [01:01:14]: That's true. Reginald Ferguson [01:01:14]: Or that corduroy suit. Don't do it, Ethan. Just come back to New York. It's fall now. Ethan Wong [01:01:22]: That's true. Reginald Ferguson [01:01:22]: Maybe some degrees. Ethan Wong [01:01:24]: You know Reginald Ferguson [01:01:25]: you love this place. You know you want to be here. Ethan Wong [01:01:28]: I'll I'll be back. People know. I, I, you know, I, I can't tear myself away. It's been, you know, once a year for 2 years. Maybe maybe sometime it'll be, you know, 2 times a year. Who knows? What we do know is I will be back soon at some point. That's that's that's I'm sure. Reginald Ferguson [01:01:41]: I hope our paths cross. It was really fun for us, you know, for me specifically to finally, you know, meet you face to face, person to person. Thank you for taking those photos. That was really cool. I never put them on the Gram, but it was just a nice personal recollection. Ethan Wong [01:01:57]: And That's what photographs are about, man. There's so many photos that I take that don't make a difference. I know I post a lot, but there's still a lot that I keep for myself, you know? Reginald Ferguson [01:02:06]: So Of course. Ethan Wong [01:02:06]: Of course. Happy to blush. Reginald Ferguson [01:02:08]: No. No. Absolutely. One day I'm gonna come out there. And when I come out there, it's gonna be a problem in LA. Ethan Wong [01:02:15]: I'm just saying. You get to make it to the Rose Bowl. That's what you gotta do. Reginald Ferguson [01:02:19]: Listen, I, like I said, I read about that thing and it just seems so fascinating. And, But man, I would really like to go there and not spend a dime, which I know will be impossible. Ethan Wong [01:02:32]: Yeah. I mean, but there's there's I always tell people, like, if you if you feel that, I mean, that's kind of empowering. Right? You can every nothing matters. You can look at anything you want, and you know that you're not buying it, and you can try it on, you can It Reginald Ferguson [01:02:44]: is empowering. When you have lived a life like I have through fashion, and fortunate enough not to change overwhelmingly in size throughout the decades. Again, I have a prodigious wardrobe, so I like the self discipline of going through a place and not purchasing anything. I go, whew, wow, I'm really good. I steeled myself. This is amazing. Absolutely. Ethan Wong [01:03:13]: That's the best part. You know, that's why I like, I like I prefer going to the flea market with my friends because they'll they'll buy it for me. They'll be I'll be like, that's so cool. You should buy this. Here you go. And then I can then I'll see it when they wear it. I'm like, heck yeah. There you go. Ethan Wong [01:03:25]: I got my jollies from it. You know? I don't have to I don't have to physically own it anymore. That's the whole thing. Reginald Ferguson [01:03:32]: Ethan Wong, vintage clothing soldier. Thank you for the time, man. Ethan Wong [01:03:36]: Thank you again, Reg. Reginald Ferguson [01:03:39]: Peace. Ethan Wong is ride or die for vintage. I respect that. He's built a wardrobe starting with classic menswear and continuing on with workwear. He has stores he frequents, eBay merchants he knows. He's a learned consumer, and that's what we all should be regardless of the era. You can find Ethan on the Style and Direction podcast. Well, that's a wrap. Ethan Wong [01:04:08]: Thank you Reginald Ferguson [01:04:08]: so much for listening. We hope you had fun and are down for another one. Please tell a friend who could use some fashion help about the podcast or share an episode with them directly. If you enjoy the show, please give us a rating and review on Apple Podcast. Lastly, if you constantly struggle putting an outfit together and are looking to turn that confusion into confidence, I'd love to talk about how we can improve with it. Check me out at nyfashiongoup.com and email me at reg@nyfashiongoup.com for a consultation. A special shout out to our producer, Serge, and everyone down with the Fashion Geek podcast. If you have a story suggestion, you can email me at podcast@nyfashiongeekdot com or hit me up on the insta@newyorkfashion

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