The Founder of Magill LA Names His 8 Men’s Essentials

And also: the 7 things you should toss out immediately

March 19, 2019 9:00 am

Fashion is temporary, style is permanent.

So if you want to buy clothes that last — not just in terms of quality, but also currency — it’s best to prioritize the latter.

And we’ve got the perfect person to help put you do just that.

Todd Magill is the founder of Magill, an LA-based clothing brand that peddles classic pieces with a preppy aesthetic. Today, he guides us through his eight picks for the sartorial essentials every man should cop. And, conversely, the pieces he should drop.

“I am partial to the classics and love a modernized version of the tried and true,” says Magill. And below, he proves it.


A classic sneaker: “My favorite sneaker is the Cloud CVO by Sperry  They were recently re-released in new colors which makes me very happy. I have a pair that is literally falling apart and has holes in the soles. I still wear them anyway. I like how a classic sneaker can cut the tension of an otherwise more pulled-together look. It’s all about the high/low. I have also been known to wear my Vans with a tuxedo.”

An assortment of great socks: “American Trench is my favorite. We recently released the Kennedy Rugby that we designed in collaboration around the Kennedy sock which was inspired by iconic photos of JFK sailing.”

A pair of pleated chinos: “Ditch the skinny jeans and loosen things up with a higher waist Pleated Chino. Once you get into them you will see why they were a wardrobe staple for men for years. We designed a pair called the Hepburn last season and can’t keep them in stock. We make everything in small batches in Los Angeles and are currently in production with another round.”

A rugby shirt: “It’s the perfect piece to add color to your your look either in solid or a stripe. It is seasonless and can be layered in the winter and work with shorts in the summer. It’s exciting to have a new item that is resonating with our customer and it has become a staple at Magill. We have the classic striped Hockney and a solid version called the Keaton.”

A classic Oxford shirt: “Ours is called the Dawson, named for my grandfather and father. We updated the classic style with a faux pop-over placket. It’s the look of a pop-over but it buttons all the way through.  It’s sharp on its own and looks great layered under a sweater or rugby.”

Magill Webbing Belt

A webbing belt: “A great webbing belt is the perfect way to add a pop of color to any outfit. Even if your wearing a chino and white T-shirt, a webbing belt adds a touch of color and makes you look pulled together. Our James belt is made by hand at a small factory in Downtown Los Angeles. We are currently making a custom color for our friends at The Bloke in Pasadena California. It is the hidden gem of menswear shops.”

Vintage Military: “Pieces from the Rose Bowl in Pasadena and surplus stores. Layering in vintage military pieces adds character and texture. I have several military parkas, shirts and trousers that always look great paired with newer pieces. You can’t go wrong using one great military item then build your look around that piece. All of the items I mentioned about work perfectly for this.”

Pajamas: “Lastly, I would say a great pajama set is an affordable luxury. You can also wear the top as a shirt. Just pair with worn-in jeans and a classic loafer. Sleepy Jones is the place to go for this.”


Skinny Jeans: “It’s time to retire the skinny Jeans and Chinos. They have been a staple for at least 10 years and have finally run their course. Replace them with a looser fitting chino or jean with a slightly wider leg and you will look sharp and in the know if you pick up a great pleated trouser as well. Look at Gene Kelly and the old Hollywood stars. They were the epitome of style and that look is back. Wear them a bit higher on your waist. Trust me: you will get used to it, and your junk will thank you too.”

Streetwear: “Leave the street wear for the side-of-the-road guys. There is definitely a movement back to preppy and classic dressing. You can have fun with color but also look pulled together. Throw on a modernized outerwear piece to mix it up a bit if you want to still keep one foot on the street.”

Harrison Ford Cannes Blue Shorts
Image via Jean-Louis Urli / Getty

Board shorts: “I am really liking a shorter inseam on shorts and swimsuits. One of my favorite images is of Harrison Ford wearing short shorts and a navy sweater. It’s cooler, cleaner and more confident.”

Printed short-sleeve shirts: “They can be fun in the summer but you will exude confidence and look more chic in a solid camp shirt or a linen button-down with the sleeves rolled up. My favorite linen pieces are from my buddy Alex Crane.”

Untucked shirts: “If you can pull it off, tuck it in. You will look and feel pulled together and confident when you walk into the room. and make sure you are wearing a great belt!”

Jewelry: “I’m not a big fan of jewelry. I would retire the leather and beaded bracelets. Wear a nice vintage watch or a Timex with a colorful band instead. You also can’t go wrong with  a vintage heirloom ring that has some meaning or a story behind it.”

Chunky futuristic sneakers: “These were cool for a minute but have become so popular that they have run their course. Pun intended.”

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