Author: Zena Wozinak
Guys, if you're looking for someone to take spring style advice from, the cool blonde longboarding to work might not be a bad place to start. Since 2006, Paige Mycoskie, the founder of Aviator Nation, one of GQ's Best New Menswear Designers in America, has been churning out ultra-soft sweats and tees with a feel-good '70s vibe. Imagine the nostalgia and comfort of broken-in thrift shop finds—only brand new and super fresh.
"Show some skin and wear color—you'll get so much more attention," Mycoskie says. "I've learned that from guys who wear my stuff and tell me so! And kill the socks!" A connoisseur of vintage rock, slip-on Vans, and Top Gun, Mycoskie gave us the staples of easy California living from her office in Venice.
1. Aviator Nation sweatpants in heather grey
"These are our signature sweatpants. I have them in every color and every size because some days I want them slim-fitting and some days I'm in the mood to wear them baggy."
2. Slip-on checkered Vans
"I got my first pair of checkered Vans when I was really young. As a kid I just loved being able to slip 'em on, but they're great for skateboarding, too. They come in a lot of patterns, but I've always really loved the checkers. The black and white ones are my favorite—close second would be red and white."
3. 9'0'' Stewart Hydro-Glide surfboard
"I got this when I first started surfing. The Hydro Glide model is known for being really great to paddle on, so you can paddle very quickly through the water. At the time I think I chose it for the color and the pattern, but I got lucky and happened to also choose a board that was really easy to surf."
"I got my first Indian Moped when I opened my store. I was looking for cool stuff to decorate with and I came across one that was real rundown. I restored that one and then became obsessed with finding them. They didn't make them for long, and they were all made in California, which I love. I have one in my office right next to my desk, and I'm constantly inspired by it."
7. Aje. Beatrix motorcycle jacket
"I have kind of an obsession with motorcycle jackets. If I'm not at work and I'm not doing something active like surfing, I'm probably at a concert. The music scene in LA is crazy good. Last week I saw Imagine Dragons at the Wiltern, and they were really amazing. I wear this jacket when I go out to stuff like that, or whenever it's a little chilly."
8. Vintage concert tee collection
"I have the Who, Steve Miller, Tom Petty, Neil Young, Fleetwood Mac, the Doors, Jackson Five, ACDC, Van Halen, Billy Joel... To think that that shirt was purchased at that concert is just really special to me. I didn't exist in the '70s when all this awesome music was happening, but it's like my little piece of that era that I can wear."
9. Aviator Nation signature zip-up hoodie
"I love the way it looks, but I also know how much goes into it. There are actually 30 screens that have to be made and used to print that hoodie, which is kind of insane. When I went to print it the first time, the guy told me it couldn't be done. I said, 'Look, I don't care what it costs—this is how I want it done.' It ended up being our best-selling hoodie."
"It gets kind of cold in our office, but I needed to be able to type, so I cut the fingers off of a pair of normal gloves. Then I just started wearing them around. They're a great accessory. One pair I have has little gold zippers on the back, and another has leather on one side and a fabric weave on the other. Those are my favorites right now."
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From music festivals to your favorite shops to the backs of some of the biggest celebs, Aviator Nation is doing something right.
If you care about where your clothes come from, you're probably already familiar with the made-in-California brand. But it's time you also got to know its founder and CEO, Paige Mycoskie (who's responsible for creating some of the softest T-shirts and sweats we've ever felt).
The unisex tees run true to size for women and a bit small for guys, so guys order a size up if you are unsure.
Sweatpants are gender specific. It's not uncommon for women to get men's sweatpants as they have pockets and offer a looser fit.