Los Angeles Apparel Review: Made in South Central

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by  William Barton | Last Updated: 

Wondering if Los Angeles Apparel is the real deal? With a brand so focused on ethical practices, it’s worth diving in deep to see what they’re all about.

In our Los Angeles Apparel review, we’re doing just that by trying on a few of their most popular men’s items to see how they fit and feel.

Building your basics collection
The Adult Man Image/Icon Image source: Los Angeles Apparel

Los Angeles Apparel

Bottom line: Los Angeles Apparel clothes have a throwback quality to them. While the fit is suited to modern sensibilities, these LA-made garments use US-grown cotton to create durable basics that have a washed and worn feeling that’s immediately comfortable and stylish.

Ratings:

The Adult Man Image/Icon  Design
The Adult Man Image/Icon  Quality of Materials
The Adult Man Image/Icon  Value for Money
The Adult Man Image/Icon  Craftsmanship
The Adult Man Image/Icon  Customer Service

Pros:

  • The cotton is high quality, feels durable and comfortable, and is US-grown
  • All garments are manufactured in LA (Los Angeles Apparel owns their own factories)
  • Los Angeles Apparel engages in carbon buy-backs so their shipping is carbon-neutral
  • Free shipping on orders over $75

Cons:

  • The tops all have very wide fitting shoulders, which isn’t necessarily bad but can make you look more boxy

I grew up in San Bernardino County, which is like the ugly step-child of LA. 

On TV, everyone’s idea of LA is all glitz and glamour: pure Hollywood and Santa Monica beach.

So it was always a bit of a shock to drive down and see the real LA for myself: real and raw, filled with small shops and communities from all over the world, rooted in the sprawling West-Coast city. 

And somewhere in the South Central part of that sprawl is Los Angeles Apparel, a young clothing brand that aims to capture the unfiltered realness of the city through high quality basics

So is the brand all hype and marketing, or are their clothes really worthwhile? I picked up a few of their most popular pieces to try for myself and find out first hand. 

Things to Consider Before Buying Basics from Los Angeles Apparel

Los Angeles Apparel is a young and trendy company. If you’re looking for a standard fit, you’re going to have a tough time finding it here. They lean toward a late 80s type of aesthetic, so that means large sleeve openings, boxy shoulders, and shorter lengths for the shorts. 

Los Angeles Apparel also makes all their clothes in their LA factory. Unlike many fast fashion brands that make everything overseas and have very little quality control, Los Angeles Apparel is fully vertically integrated, so they maintain a close eye on every step of the manufacturing process. 

The brand buys carbon-offsets to ensure their shipping is carbon-neutral, and they’re actively seeking new and inventive ways to make the clothing industry less environmentally hazardous. 

Los Angeles Apparel

If you’re looking for trendy clothes that aren’t made with cheap materials, Los Angeles Apparel is your go-to brand. Their vintage styling is unique, but unlike fast-fashion brands, their construction and materials are solid and they pay fair wages to their workers, which is rare in the industry.

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Los Angeles Apparel Review

14oz Heavy Fleece Crewneck and Shorts

los angeles apparel model wearing grey sweatshirt

I’m a big time crewneck guy, and when fall and winter hit, these quickly become my everyday go-to’s. 

I picked up two of LA Apparel’s 14oz Heavy Fleece Crewnecks, because a single one is never enough. 

los angeles apparel model wearing green sweatershirt crew neck

The fabric is quite heavy, which is going to be perfect for when the weather cools down a bit. It’s a bit rough on the outside compared to other, more fine cottons, but the inside is incredibly soft and plush. 

I’ve put both sweatshirts through the wash several times now and they’ve been softening up and getting more of that “worn-in” type of look, which I love. 

As for the fit, these have a late 80s/ early 90s vibe to them. The neck opening is quite narrow and the collar is thicker than what you’d find with most other brands. 

los angeles apparel grey sweatshirt crew neck

The shoulders are also much wider than a standard fit. I’m 6’2” and 200lbs and the shoulders are still oversized. I like the look, but if you want to avoid a boxy style, then these sweatshirts aren’t for you. 

For the price, these are absolutely worthwhile as a base layer for the colder months. The styling is unique, but if you want a vintage look, the value here is solid and I haven’t found another sweatshirt that has this same aesthetic.

los angeles apparel sweat shorts on model

As for the 14oz Heavy Fleece Shorts: they’re pretty straightforward. They use the same material as the crewnecks, so you’re getting a bit of a rough exterior, a very soft and cushy interior, and a nice vintage fade. 

The inseam is 7”, which means they fall a good 3” above the knee. 

Because the fabric is quite thick, these look fantastic on tall, lanky guys. I have a more athletic body type, with my hips set as wide as my shoulders. On top of that, when I hit the weights, my glutes and thighs genetically grow much faster than anything else. All that adds up to me being bottom heavy. So thick fabric down below adds to that imbalance.

model in LA apparel sweatshirt

That said, if you’re a skinnier guy, these would be an excellent compliment to your body type and a fantastic weekend casual look.  

Los Angeles Apparel 14oz. Heavy Fleece Crewneck

The fabric is quite heavy, which is going to be perfect for when the weather cools down a bit. It’s a bit rough on the outside compared to other, more fine cottons, but the inside is incredibly soft and plush. 

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6.5oz Garment Dyed Tee

los angeles apparel t shirt in brown

When I was first browsing through Los Angeles Apparel’s offerings, I wasn’t sure how light or heavy 6.5oz cotton would be, but I decided to go with it anyway. 

The brand offers garment dyed versions of this shirt, and other colors done in a standard dying process. 

I prefer the garment dyed look, which gives the shirt much more of a “washed and worn” type of vibe. 

los angeles apparel oversized tee on model

I opted for a large, expecting to get an oversized tee. Yes, the shoulders are much larger than what you’d find elsewhere, and the arm openings are quite large, too. But I was surprised to find that the torso wasn’t too boxy.

Rolling the sleeves on a t-shirt is always my preferred method, and I think it looks absolutely fantastic with the 6.5oz Garment Dyed Tee.

model wearing los angeles apparel tee checking watch

It definitely looks unique because of the wide set shoulders, but with the sleeves more restricted, the style ends more balanced. 

As I said, I was expecting an oversized tee—it certainly looks that way in the model shots the brand uses—but my guess is that the models are quite tall and wiry. I’m tall, but not wiry, so the shirt has a more standard fit around the torso. 

los angeles apparel tee in brown

Like the crewneck sweaters, this shirt has a very small collar opening, and the band is about 50% larger than what you’d find on another generic t-shirt. 

The details seem to all be aimed at accentuating the shoulders, which I’m not complaining about. 

Los Angeles Apparel 6.5oz Garment Dyed Tee

The cut and fit of this shirt accentuates the shoulders, so it's flattering for skinny and bulkier gents alike.

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Baby Rib Boxer Briefs

To finish out my shopping experience with Los Angeles Apparel, I tried out their Baby Rib Boxer Briefs. After trying so many pouch underwear and performance driven pieces, I was curious to just get a few pairs of simple, no-frills boxer briefs.

And that’s exactly what these are. 

Made with 100% combed cotton, the Baby Rib Boxer Briefs are soft and comfortable. There’s no fly, no pouch: just a basic pair of well-fitting underwear. 

North Carolina summer will put any pair of men’s underwear to the test, and through all the heat and humidity, these boxer briefs have prevailed. 

I really like the lack of logo and branding. I’ve always found underwear branding to be obnoxious, despite how widely accepted it is. 

But now I’ve got a few pairs of simple, basic boxer briefs that are great for everyday wear. 

Los Angeles Apparel Baby Rib Boxer Briefs

Made with 100% combed cotton, the Baby Rib Boxer Briefs are soft and comfortable. There’s no fly, no pouch: just a basic pair of well-fitting underwear.

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What do Other Reviewers Say About Los Angeles Apparel?

Many reviewers of Los Angeles Apparel flocked to the brand because of their old love for American Apparel. 

Both brands have the same founder, though American Apparel is now owned by Gildan and is no longer made in the USA.

Reviewers switched to Los Angeles Apparel for the quality and consistency. Because everything is made in the brand’s vertically integrated factory, each garment is practically identical to the next. So if you want to buy the same t-shirt you got two years ago, you can bet it will fit exactly the same, which is rare in the fashion world. 

My Thoughts Overall On Los Angeles Apparel

What I like

  • The US-grown cotton has a very durable feel to it, but it’s still comfortable—especially the heavy fleece. 
  • Everything the brand makes is sewn in South Central LA, where they control the process from start to finish to ensure fair wages and treatment. 
  • Their shipping is carbon-neutral due to an extensive carbon buy-back campaign. 
  • Free shipping on all orders over $75.

What I Don’t Like

  • Because the tops all have wide dropped shoulders, they have a boxy look, which isn’t necessarily a negative, but is definitely more trendy and not everyone’s cup of tea.

Who is Los Angeles Apparel for?

If you’re looking for trendy clothes that aren’t made with cheap materials, Los Angeles Apparel is your go-to brand. Their vintage styling is unique, but unlike fast-fashion brands, their construction and materials are solid and they pay fair wages to their workers, which is rare in the industry.

The Verdict

Los Angeles Apparel is an anomaly. 

They make trendy clothes for very reasonable prices. At the same time, they offer fair wages, carbon neutral shipping, and the construction and materials of the clothing is solid. 

Their fits are unique, and if you haven’t tried the brand before, I recommend dipping your toes in the water with a few different styles. But once you find a style you like (my favorite is the 6.5oz Garment Dyed Tee), it’s hard not to order several different colors so you always have a stock.

Los Angeles Apparel

If you’re looking for trendy clothes that aren’t made with cheap materials, Los Angeles Apparel is your go-to brand. Their vintage styling is unique, but unlike fast-fashion brands, their construction and materials are solid and they pay fair wages to their workers, which is rare in the industry.

Shop Los Angeles Apparel
If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

FAQs

Is Los Angeles Apparel ethical?

Los Angeles Apparel pays their factory workers well above minimum wage, and they also engage in carbon-offset purchases, meaning their shipping is carbon-neutral.

Is Los Angeles Apparel made in the USA?

Los Angeles Apparel’s clothes are manufactured in their South Central LA factory.

Do Los Angeles Apparel clothes shrink?

Expect minor shrinkage on the first wash of your LA Apparel clothing. For me, the fit didn’t change too much, and I wouldn’t change the sizing based on how much my clothes shrank.

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