Men's Apparel

Detail Man

At LOCAL 35, jeans and T-shirts on the cutting-edge.

By Jill Spitznass May 19, 2009 Published in the November 2008 issue of Portland Monthly

LOCAL 35 OWNER Justin Machus claims to be “just a jeans and T-shirt guy,” but don’t let this seemingly humble self-assessment fool you. The T-shirt he’s wearing, made from hand-stitched cotton panels, is by New York designer Yoko Devereaux, and his jeans—by Nudie, one of denim’s hottest labels—rock the latest treatment (a coated shine). Luckily for Portlanders, the 30-year-old Machus applies the same attention to detail to the selection of cutting-edge men’s and women’s apparel and accessories he sells at his SE Hawthorne Boulevard boutique.

A display of expertly tailored menswear sets the tone for visitors to the airy, gallerylike space. Black twill jackets by End of an Era get a youthful twist thanks to knit cuffs, while epaulets lend Euro-chic flair to trim Japanese cotton shirts by Shades of Greige.

Machus’s eye for women’s wear is equally refined. An oversize zipper on the back of a little black dress by Erik Hart elevates it to collectible status, and an asymmetrical closure gives Cheap Monday’s track jacket club-ready verve.

Now entering his fifth year in business, Machus credits a self-serving philosophy for the enduring success of Local 35. “I buy for me—not for Portland’s 18-to-24 hipster demographic,” he says. “That seems to be working.”