Johnnie-O is a clothing line with a lot of influences. Its creator, John O’Donnell, grew up in Chicago, traveled often to the east coast, and lived as a farmer in Wisconsin, all before settling down in California, where he mingles with the west coast preppies and surfers. When O’Donnell founded Johnnie-O, he put a dropper-full of all the above influences into a mixing bowl, stirred them up and fashioned what is now johnnie-O.
Many people describe the brand as “west coast prep,” and it is—just not decidedly, in our opinion. The So-Cal elite feel is most dominate, yes, but if you look a little harder, and say, imagine the wearer with sun-kissed curls and five o’clock shadow instead of a clean crew cut, you can totally see its surfer aesthetic.
Then again, the surfer element of johnnie-O is probably best found in the way their clothes feel. For instance, their polos and sports shirts, which are all 100% cotton or a cotton blend, feel like pajamas (but don’t look like them, FYI). They also make “prep-formance” polos that look like regular old polos, but are masters at wicking away sweat. This is what johnnie-O has to say about their “prep-formance” polos on their website: “Finally a moisture-wicking shirt that you can wear without looking like Disco Danny.”
Going back to johnnie-O’s preppy side: their clothing is traditional, but not boring. A johnnie-O polo and chinos say, “Harvard guy with a cool, down-to-earth side.” And the brand’s color palette is attention getting, but not flashy. They employ muted versions of jewel tones, like jade and sapphire. Another traditional but not-boring example is their striped polo: it messes with a good thing, in a good way.
Be classy and cool in some johnnie-O sportswear. Come check out our complete selection at Christopher James Menswear. We are located here