When it comes to men’s style, it’s all about location. Along with the different circumstances the weather presents, there’s usually a daily dress code no matter where you are in the U.S., one that tells you when to tuck in your shirt and when to leave the leather pants at home. In Los Angeles, the temperate climate mixed with the nonchalance of its entertainment industry and beach culture give it a slightly less professional look in the eyes of east coasters and Midwest folk. So whether you are in LA or reside somewhere else in America, use our daily dress code to guide you through the subtle differences in style for a variety of situations and what is deemed acceptable (LA style is on the left).
Heading Into Work
For most, the office is the place where you leave your “that’s what she said” jokes behind and keep up a somewhat professional appearance. In Los Angeles, a place that prides itself on not conforming to the outside world, people are more concerned with comfort and being cool than appearance. In addition to flannel shirts and jeans as standard practice, hats and bed-head are also popular fashion statements in the LA workplace.
Everywhere else, you’ll find a nice dress shirt to actually match the pants at the very least. From there, it’s only up with additional items like ties, jackets and matching dress shoes.
For people in Los Angeles, getting ready for the gym is a workout it itself, which is impressive if you care that much about what people think. Just graduating from Umbros apparel, most places you can still find guys rocking sweatpants, like Carl Winslow or Rocky trying to get into shape.
But that’s not the case in LA, where quality fabric, lightness and tightness are all keys to a good workout aura. Many men in LA work out in the great outdoors, running the Santa Monica stairs and lunging in the sand, making the clothing closer to beachwear than average gym-goers. It also helps with wooing young impressionable women with tight yoga bums, which explains why the sunglasses they wear are so darkly tinted.
Rocking a Concert
There is one unsubtle difference between Los Angeles concert goers and everybody else, and it’s that in LA, it’s hard to tell who’s in the band and who’s just a fan outside waiting to get in. The interesting part is that this isn’t just at concerts, but is a daily occurrence in LA where fashion and rock 'n' roll have merged into one, and now everybody looks and acts like a rock star.
Everywhere else, though, it's a different matter. People still wear the band’s overpriced merch with mismatching pants and hold a sign that says, “I’ll have your babies!” It doesn’t seem to matter to them that they’re men and the general laws of science forbid this act.
Merging Nightlife and Love Life
It’s common practice for guys to wear decent clothing out for drinks in LA, some not too nice and not too tacky, but with one minor adjustment -- sunglasses. So many times in so many places, the LA sunglasses-wearing guy has shown face at the local watering hole.
For every other guy who knows better, there’s a consistency of layers met by universally revered patterns like stripes. Ties aren’t necessary in this atmosphere, but any nice-collared shirt covered by a warm, earthy-tone sweater is usually appreciated. Those are the guys who can seamlessly roll from bachelor night to date night without changing his shirts because those are the guys who don’t scare off the ladies like the guy hiding his coked-out eyes with sunglasses as he double-fists vodka-Red Bulls.
Aiming for Fashionable
No matter where you go, you’ll always find unique individuals with a sense of fashion. Whether that sense is good or not will be determined by how well they pull it off. In LA, there are commonly men who can take an old, outdated style and bring it back to life with a new spin on it, like with tweed jackets.
And then there are guys everywhere else who still look like their mother dresses them, where it’s either still 1980 for them, or they just look 30 years older than they are because of the jacket they have on. All that’s missing now is an IMDb credit for the episodes of “Matlock” they’re dressed to star in.
Los Angeles has a weather system that doesn’t fluctuate too far away from perfection, so it’s with this champagne problem that some men tend to wear winter clothes in summer months, like beanies in 75-degree weather. You’ll notice jean shorts (jorts), tank tops and Chuck Taylors oddly, but easily, matched with a winter beanie in daylight hours, just above a 24-ounce can of Pabst Blue Ribbon. We call this “the summer hipster.”
For everywhere else in the U.S., the jean shorts are more out of necessity as your leg sweat drenched the bottom half of your jeans, meaning the only way out is to cut them off on the spot. Now your pasty skin is a bright reflection of the sun, and all that’s missing is a farmer tan and beer koozie.
In Los Angeles, the best way people know to impress others is to pretend like they don’t care, usually resulting in a certain amount of leather, some sort of vintage color throwback, a pair of Wayfarers and the key to all cool LA wardrobe, Chuck Taylors. It doesn’t matter if it’s a business lunch, wedding or a funeral, Chuck Taylor will show face if it’s in LA. Although it may seem inappropriate to the outside world, it’s perfectly acceptable there.
For everywhere else, the usual suit and tie does the trick, sparking the professionalism people admire mixed with the initiative to iron one’s own shirt, or at least have someone else dry-clean it.
Most young boys grew up in a somewhat religiously affiliated household, one which prided itself on dressing in the khaki pants and pastel shirts of the Sunday church world. For many men, that theme will never go away.
For men of this questionable generation who oppose conventional religion in LA, however, Sunday best translates into looking and acting like Tom Cruise; and rightfully so. He’s quite a stud with the unaffordable suit met by the haircut worth more than your life. But that's what you have to do to one-up everyone else.
Next: Dominant Life Pro Tips
Heading to the Beach
When you’re constantly surrounded by inspiring locations like the beach, you gravitate towards it and you learn about it. Men in LA who frequent the beach know that sun block, swim trunks or board shorts that fit to your body and a good pair of sunglasses that protect you but don’t leave a huge face tan are all keys to a good beach experience. Also, being surrounded by aspiring actors and wannabe male models forces you to stay in somewhat decent shape.
Everywhere else, it's summertime dammit, and guys are going to get as much sun in as many places as possible while they can. And they don't really care how they look as long as they can throw a few back and enjoy life. Then, it’s back to work at the factory with a severe sunburn everywhere except the bathing suit area.