"I first became interested in personal fashion when I moved to New York."
Stay Classic is a Actual Photographer from Los Angeles, United States.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and where you live.
I am a photographer currently living in Los Angeles but I am constantly traveling.
What are your passions?
Photography, coffee, craft beer, traveling, cocktails, donuts, and my wife.
How did you first become interested in fashion and why is it important?
I first became interested in personal fashion when I moved to New York. I was surrounded by impeccably dressed people and was inspired to dress better. It is important to me to dress well, and with a certain style, because my style represents me and the lifestyle I wish to lead and portray to others. The way people dress represents the way they feel about themselves and others. If I showed up to a photo shoot in cargo shorts and a t-shirt, the client would have a different first impression of me than if I showed up in a well fitting oxford, dark slim jeans, and wingtips. There is a reason people wear suits to weddings, job interviews, funerals, etc. It’s a demonstration of respect. And that respect should carry throughout your life, even if it isn’t a “major” event or occasion. I’m not saying wear a suit all the time, but maybe tuck in your shirt once in a while.
How do you describe the fashion scene in Los Angeles compared to other major cities or fashion capitals?
This is a great question for me because I have lived in New York and Los Angeles and the two cities couldn’t be more different. People in LA are much more laid back and I would say the majority of people don’t really give a shit about how they look, or at least it looks that way. You’ll never see more flip flops and cargo shorts, Uggs with jean skirts, or workout clothes worn all day (even if they didn’t just come from the gym) in any place other than Southern California. However, although there is that mess going on, there are also a lot of fashionable people here. But the style is much different than New York. Just by looking at bloggers alone in the two cities you can see the difference. LA is much more grungy, rocker, punky, whatever you want to call it. Lots of denim, leather and 80s/90s influence.. Which is kind of how the East Village, Lower East Side, Williamsburg are in New York. But even still, in New York, outfits are more tailored, dressy, fashion-forward and risky. I feel that when people in New York wear something outlandish they are doing it because they actually think it looks good and can be taken seriously, but in LA it’s a much more a “look at me, I’m weird” kind of vibe. I also feel like people in New York have more variation from person to person in their outfits yet remain stylish as a whole. In LA, the people that look good have their outfits based, more or less, around the same idea or trend.
When I visit New York it is a slightly freeing experience because I feel more judged in LA. If I wear a tie or blazer during the day and go to the mall or a restaurant I look SO WEIRD (in most areas). In New York I could be wearing a 3 piece suit and it wouldn’t be strange. It’s funny to me when I show up at jobs wearing something super basic like jeans, oxfords, and a sweater and people are like “whoa, you are all dressed up!”
And just one more little addition, when I was in London I found that city’s men’s fashion to be as good, if not better, than that of New York. Perhaps it is because my style tends to lean more towards the British or European classic style, but damn I was impressed there!
What do you love about living in Los Angeles?
It’s hard to complain about the almost year-round nice weather...yet people still do. It’s great being able to have space to do things as well. And there are so many different things to do within a short drive… beach, snow, mountains, the city, theme parks, concerts, Mexico, Vegas...
Tell us your top 3 places to visit in the United States:
Palm Springs, New York and San Francisco.
Describe your personal style and its influences or inspirations.
My personal style is simple and classically influenced. I focus on well-fitting clothing that, when I look at pictures of myself in 30 years, won’t make me think “what the hell was I thinking?” I am influenced by the 40s-60s in both the US and Britain. The cuts, styles, all around attitude, and lifestyle.
What are your favorite designers and places to shop?
Having a fashion blog has kind of forced me to shop a lot more than I used to. I want to keep my outfits fresh so that people can find the same items currently in stores. A lot of my pieces are years old, though. My favorite place for suits is Topman. They fit me nearly perfectly off the rack and because it is a European company the style, prints, and fabric of many of their suits is what I am interested in. ASOS is also great because it is very affordable and has free shipping and returns! H&M, naturally, is a great choice as well. I basically only wear American Eagle jeans. They are under $30 and fit me great! J. Crew Factory (sometimes regular J. Crew as well) is where I get most of my shirts. They fit, and are cheap. A lot of people complain about the stores at which I shop because the “quality sucks” or whatever they want to say. But for me, I would rather spend less money on pieces, wear the shit out of them, and get something new later on than spend a lot of money on one thing and be afraid to wear it or be stuck with it for years to come. For instance, I would rather get 3 shirts from J. Crew factory ($25-30 average each) than get 1 shirt from Ben Sherman for $100. Plus, I have never had any problems with the quality of the items I have purchased other than maybe a button falling off. To me, if it looks good, it’s good.
The first thing you look at in another person's outfit is:
Girls: probably shoes. Guys: fit. A girl’s shoes can make or break an outfit. So can the way pieces fit on a guy.
What do you skimp on?
Shirts, socks, jeans, lol almost everything.
What do you splurge on?
Shoes, suits sort of (I have a lot).
A fashion rule you always break:
I guess not matching the exact color of my belt and shoes or belt, and people on the internet often hate the shortness of my sleeves or blazer. Oh ya, also brown shoes with a black suit or pants. And not wearing socks with suits pisses a lot of people off on the internet. But damn, it’s so much cooler (I’m talking temperature) without socks!
A fashion rule you never break:
I don’t really know the rules so I’m not sure which ones I am actually breaking or sticking to. Like I said before, if it looks good, it looks good.
What do you think is the most recent notable trend to appear/reappear, and what are your thoughts on it?
For guys the varsity jacket is having a big comeback, though it may be almost over. I really like that trend because it is a throwback to the 50s for me. So it works. Though there are only a handful of jackets that I actually think look good. For girls the 90s are back in a huge way. I am a sucker for a lot of 90s style because it reminds me of my ultimate dream girl: Kelly Kapowski. But, a lot of it just looks stupid and forced. Plus most of the people wearing it were BORN in the 90s so COME ON! (lol I’m old)
What is the most underrated item in menswear and womenswear?
I think shoes should be a huge focus for both sexes. The right shoes can really pull an entire outfit together, the same way the wrong ones can make the whole outfit look off.
Your favorite color of the moment is:
I’m into burgundy/ oxblood/ maroon/wine/ whatever you want to call it for the colder months and always have been.
What is your next "must have" purchase?
I’m still looking for the perfect watch. It’s difficult to find a simple face with the date and a brown strap that isn’t over $200.
What is the ultimate showpiece in your closet?
I don’t have a lot of showpieces, but I was lucky enough to be gifted a leather jacket from Coach and that was pretty awesome. My favorite piece to wear is my varsity jacket, though. I also really love this new check/windowpane suit I got from H&M.
Are there any fashion icons or famous people whose style you admire?
British rockers from the 60s like the Stones and Beatles. And Joseph Gordon Levitt and Ryan Gosling are some currents that I often pin.
What's on your iPod at the moment?
I don’t listen to a lot of new music because I am hard to please lol. Though I have been getting into a lot more folk/country rock lately and I do appreciate a good female singer/songwriter. But, it would probably surprise people that my favorite type of music is heavy metal. I used to be in a punk/metal band.
What can't you live without?
Next place you want to travel to:
My wife and I are going on a month long road trip from LA to Florida and back, so that is on my mind. However I really want to go to Hawaii as well. And Italy is our favorite place and we want to go back there as often as we can. A place I have never been that I want to visit is Spain.
What is your personal favorite outfit on Lookbook by you, and by another member?
This is one of my favorite looks of myself because it is a fun mix of items that I think worked really well together.
It’s really hard for me to pick a favorite look by another Lookbooker because there are so many! However a couple people I end up hyping often are: Annabelle Fleur and Steffy Kuncman.
In the year 2018, you will be:
What would you say to someone seeking general fashion advice?
Focus on the fit, don’t get caught up in trends, be comfortable.
Our last interviewee Daniela Ramirez wants to know: What do you think is going to happen to the fashion blogging community in 5 years?
It’s crazy to see what has happened to it in the past 5 years, so I can only imagine what will happen to it, especially amongst menswear. There are way more male bloggers now than there were when I started. And that’s great. I think that fashion bloggers influence more people than models and big campaigns and that makes more people want to dress more fashionably. So hopefully in 5 years there is a similar influence. I hate to try and predict the future haha.
What should we ask the next interviewee?
What is the best/funniest/weirdest comment you’ve received on your blog or Lookbook?