Meet Michael, one of our amazing regulars here at the shop. He's got a killer unofficial uniform of selvedge denim and boots - and there's usually a cup of coffee or cold brew in hand. Michael is a Whittier Local who's been on the hunt for good food, good coffee, and good people starting around 6 years ago.
He's been coming to the store since day one (quite literally!) and with our coffee bar addition, we see his face pretty regularly. Sometimes it's good to make it official and just say it out loud: we love and appreciate our coffee regulars, and Michael is one of them.
We sat down and chatted over coffee about his thoughts on Whittier, how he entered the selvedge denim community, and some of his favorite finds at the shop.
HOW’D YOU GET CONNECTED TO LF? WHAT DO YOU THINK OF WHITTIER?
I actually came opening night. I have a panorama from inside. I heard about, saw they were having an opening. A lot of people were here. Since day one I’ve been coming around. With the coffee bar, I was like, ‘Dude I can’t stay away now’. Good coffee with people who know how to make it, that’s what keeps me coming back.
I like Whittier - it’s eclectic. There’s a lot of different kinds of people here. It’s just cool, a small town feel with big city stuff. I dig Greenleaf.
WHAT ABOUT THE STORE: WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO SHOP FOR?
Stance socks definitely brings me back, I like those socks. They strike a good balance between fashionable and functional. Some of the grooming products. And I’ll often come in and grab something for my son. There’s a lot of cool books and stuff. And gifts. I get a lot of my gifts here. My girlfriend likes a lot of the candles and bags. And the owners are real cool, I like both of those guys. We get along, and I like to support small businesses.
TELL US MORE ABOUT YOUR DENIM AND BOOTS JOURNEY:
I’ve always worn jeans and boots since I was in high school. I remember thinking to myself, ‘Man, I like the way those jeans look on that guy. They fit him right. How do I get that look?’ One day I started actively looking and one day I found higher end denim. I found this whole thing about selvedge denim, how it’s made differently. It’s raw denim, so it hasn’t been washed or preached or shrunk or anything like that. That led me into the niche of denim. Instead of Levis and Sketchers, it’s now Railcar Selvedge Denim and Redwing boots. It just kind of took off. Something I noticed as a bigger guy, there’s not a lot out there for us. On my Instagram platform, I use it to not only share my love for this style but also to tell clothing makers and manufacturers that there’s customers out there - people that are my size - that want to wear this stuff. Fashion is for everybody.
SO IT'S MORE THAN JUST FASHION, IT'S A COMMUNITY?
There’s a bunch of us here in LA. When I went to the first meet up, I didn’t really know what to expect. Here I am just getting into denim, and I’m kind of a bigger guy. Everyone was the nicest group of people. The interesting thing about it, the heritage and work wear style, generally it’s appealing to mostly men, but there are a lot women who are super into it.
INTRO TO DENIM FOR NEWBIES: HOW DOES SOMEONE JUMP IN?
Do a lot of research. Get your size right. Know your dimensions. Know what rise works for you. Don’t be afraid to ask a ton of questions. The community is very welcoming.