You can’t really place a finger on what Southern California men’s style is. The only thoughts that come to mind are bleach blonde surfer boys, slightly silly hipster guys found anywhere from Downtown to Los Feliz, and far too buttoned up Hollywood types in permasuits or sloppy browear. The landscape is quite bare. There’ isn’t really anything definitive about it and, outside of cheesy surf brands, there doesn’t seem to be anyone making menswear that responds to Southern California life. If anyone is coming close, it’s Tantum, a local hat and shirt maker that certainly have the LA angle down.
Tantum are most known for their hats. They can make bucket hats and baseball caps, all of which are handmade (and flipping through their Tumblr really shows off their made-by-hand process, too). Everything they make (including their tank tops, t-shirts, and collared shirts, too) have this LA lightness to them in construction and attitude. As you can see, they use bright, semi-tropical patterns as ways to compliment often understated base. Occasionally, they go all in and make and entire shirt out of a fabric composed of birds of paradise.
Tantum not only represents California cool but also that mid-Fairfax feel, too. Their basic looks are perfect to pair with some simple slacks or some shorts with fancy Nikes. The Tantum style is universal, allow itself to be worn on any LA guy. They also aren’t afraid to just embrace crazy colors or patterns. If pink is a big color in a pattern, so what! Making a shirt all covered in flowers? Who cares! It’s funny how this imagery is now becoming dulled. Perhaps it is a response to the fluidity of the Southern California lifestyle? No idea.
We’re not sure where exactly you can find Tantum; however, it looks like Union on La Brea are the biggest champions of the brand. Stop in their store to check them out or pick up some of their clothes online. We’d like to see more LA bros wearing these around town.