The Great Men’s Stores of America
1. Outdoor Wear
Because since opening seventy-one years ago as a trading post where men could swap beaver pelts for buckshot, it’s grown to carry more than 1,500 brands. From golden oldies like Woolrich to the latest from Patagonia and the North Face, it’s got whatever you’re looking for.
See also: The luxurious safari gear at J. L. Powell in Three Oaks, Michigan and the rock-solid outdoor wear at C. C. Filson in Seattle.
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939 Rush Street, Chicago
Because in a city as big as Chicago, it took two guys with great taste (Jim Wetzel and Lance Lawson) to boil down the best contemporary men’s wear to one compact space. Jake proves that it’s not the size of the store that counts it’s the selection.
See also: The curated stacks at Maxfield in Los Angeles (310-274-8800) and the latest from emerging designers at Odin in New York .
3. Single Designer
315 Bowery, New York City
Because this space, formerly home to CBGBs, has become one man’s celebration of rock ‘n’ roll style, and in addition to his own designs, Varvatos sells vintage T-shirts and vinyl records at punk-friendly prices. The store gives his clothes context and meaning, and vice versa.
See also: The witty stylings at Paul Smith in Los Angeles and the rugged designs at Rogues Gallery in Portland, Maine.
971 Madison Avenue, New York City
Because it offers bespoke, made-to-measure, and ready-to-wear shoes with patinations, perforations, and tattoos yes, tattoos that you won’t find anywhere else. And because of Bweela Steptoe, the lovely, felicitously named in-store polisher who can change the shading of your shoes before your very eyes.
See also: The well-edited selection of brands at Leather Soul in Honolulu and the righteous, handcrafted styles of J. M. Weston in New York.
5. Shirts and Ties
9551 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles
Because its service and selection epitomize the quality-is-everything ethos that makes every customer feel like a king. Whether you’re a bespoke guy (4,500 fabric choices) or a ready-to-wear guy (dozens of options in the store alone), it has a shirt for you.
See also: The edgier fits at Seize sur Vingt in New York and the British flair of Turnbull Asser in Los Angeles.
6. Department Store
745 Fifth Avenue, New York City
Because, from the Charvet and Loro Piana ministores on the first floor to the Michael Bastian and Thom Browne alcoves on the third, it offers the best of the best under one manageably large roof. In a world where everything is labeled luxury, this place is the real deal.
See also: The high-low mix at the latest Barneys satellite in Dallas and the more traditional stable at Wilkes Bashford in San Francisco.
7. Chain Store
546 Broadway, New York City
Because the clothes are contemporary (but not too contemporary) and the staff is helpful (but not too helpful). And though there’s but one lonely Uniqlo in the U. S. right now, they’ve got plans to bring one of their immaculately designed stores to a city near you.
See also: The new and improved denim and khaki at the Gap and the racks of designer wear at Century 21 .
346 Madison Avenue, New York City
Because it’s the oldest branch of a serious brand and its tailors take tradition seriously. They are not, however, slaves to it: They also offer digital tailoring, a process whereby a man’s body is scanned by a computer, and on the top floor there’s a pool table and a TV for your viewing pleasure.
See also: The stellar lineup of European and American designers at Syd Jerome in Chicago and the old-school charms of Oxxford in New York City.
19 Thayer Street, Boston
Because Bobby, the owner, searches the globe for preworn Savile Row suits and classic American work wear and restores them to mint condition. And because he does it better than anyone else.
See also: The offerings at Re-Runs in Kansas City, Missouri, and American Rag in Los Angeles.
262 York Street, New Haven, Connecticut
Because when Jacob Press set up shop on the Yale campus back in 1902, he believed a man could never own too many three-button sack suits, button-down shirts, and repp ties. It’s still the high temple of conservative American style, and it is good.
See also: L. L. Bean’s flagship store in Freeport, Maine, and the classic tailoring of Paul Stuart in Chicago.