Vintage Military Chic

I don’t know what it is about abandoned places that fascinates me. I think this is a basic truth of the human condition: we are curious by nature. There’s something very alluring about an abandoned place…very urban decay. So I set out on a quest to find places in Orange + Los Angeles County that were long forgotten. I didn’t think I’d have much luck considering how heavily populated Southern Cali really is. But I was both shocked and delighted to find places exist here that I never even heard of. A Nazi compound in Hollywood? Huh? Oh yea my friend. An abandoned mall? Is that even possible? Yup. I started to discover there is much more to SoCal than I thought. So while researching the Lincoln Heights jailhouse that was the inspiration for L.A. Confidential, I came across the Marine Corps Air Station in Tustin. I couldn’t believe what I was reading. Two HUGE blimp hangars in Tustin that dated back to World War 2.

Built in 1942, these hangars belong to one of two blimp bases on the West Coast. The other blimp base was in Tillamook, Oregon. Apparently, these two hangars housed blimps that patrolled the West coastline watching for enemy submarines during World War 2. The wooden hangars are 1,000 wide x 300 feet wide. They are just massive! Today, the Marine base is abandoned and though they are declared a national landmark, one of the hangars is rumored to be headed for a demolition. I was hooked! I couldn’t believe I lived in Southern California my entire life and had never seen this place!

So what better to honor the visit than to wear my Ily Couture Perfect Patch Varsity Jacket? It has that perfect throwback retro vibe, like I’m wearing my boyfriend’s varsity jacket. It’s super cute to wear with just about anything. I, of course, put on some skinny jeans and my Michael Kors wedges. I love the details on the jacket, with its fuzzy patches and the shoulder detail. By the way, the jacket is on sale for only $14.98! Mr. Big confirmed I had achieved the look I was going for when he described it as “the boyfriend letterman jacket”. Close enough, Mr. Big. Close enough.

I will say it was definitely eerie to be there, looking through the chainlink fence to the empty base. I almost felt like any moment, zombie walkers were going to come out like I was on the set of The Walking Dead. It’s very quiet on the other side of the base where I stopped to take pictures. I couldn’t believe this place existed in the middle of the city yet so remote and desolate. If you are ever in the area, I recommend you drive by and take a peek. It’s mesmerizing to look at such a giant structure and take in a little piece of American history.


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