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A menswear shopping guide – Permanent Style

  • May 28, 2024
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A menswear shopping guide – Permanent Style

 

New York is a strange town for menswear. It doesn’t have the same traditional shops as Europe and bespoke is substantially undermined by visitors from Savile Row. If there is a tradition, it’s for value and department stores: low-priced suits at one extreme and glorified shop-in-shops at the other. 

So where does the crafted, sartorial menswear we love fit in? Around the edges. In places like the Armoury, online showrooms like No Man Walks Alone, and multi-brand shops that have established with their own local following, such as Leffot or CHCM. 

It’s also great for vintage, with far more than London. And there is a growing number of good casual or workwear shops. The biggest change since this list was last updated in 2015 is that department stores have become increasingly irrelevant, and shops like Stoffa, Wythe and Buck Mason have opened. 

This guide is the part of a series on Permanent Style. You can see the rest here. It’s worth reiterating the general rules we use for inclusion:  

  • The guides are to quality clothing. Only shops producing at a high grade are included
  • We only cover menswear, with a significant leaning towards sartorial menswear
  • We lean heavily towards shops that are unique to the city. So big chains are excluded, while some with a small number of locations are admitted
  • The list doesn’t pretend to be comprehensive. It expands every time it’s reviewed, but is still more about the places we know than a list of all of them

 

 

TAILORING AND BESPOKE

The Armoury
thearmoury.com
168 Duane St and 13 E69th St

The shop founded in Hong Kong now has two branches in New York, one in Tribeca and a new one uptown. Responsible bringing in brands like Ring Jacket, St Crispin’s and Carmina over the years, plus a regular series of bespoke artisans, and retains an excellent range of RTW and MTM tailoring in various different styles.

J Mueser
jmueser.com
19 Christopher St

The other obvious option for tailoring, down on Christopher St in the West Village. A great atmosphere and perhaps a younger offering, the Mueser boys have some RTW, different MTM options and even a full bespoke (benchmade) option. Also shirt, knits, accessories. 

Paul Stuart
www.paulstuart.com
354 Madison Ave

Paul Stuart has always been one of our favourite stores. It’s set up how big menswear stores should be: chock full of well-made, classically styled clothing and accessories, with free alterations and knowledgeable staff. The sock selection alone is worth a visit. 

 


New York bespoke: Paolo Martorano
and Leonard Logsdail
www.paolostyle.com
130 W57th St
leonardlogsdail.com
9 E 53rd St

The two bespoke tailors in New York I know and would certainly recommend. Paolo makes a softer coat, Len a more structured one, but both are real bespoke and do what they say they will. I’ve covered Paolo rather more, and you can see a full review here

There are various other smaller tailors, none of whom we have tried, but we did cover in some detail here. The comments on that piece are as useful as the article. Although I haven’t experienced it myself, Alan Flusser’s made-to-measure is worth mentioning for anyone that’s a fan of his writing.

Foreign bespoke: Huntsman, Cad & The Dandy, Thom Sweeney
Huntsman and Cad are both in the building at 130 W 57th St
www.huntsmansavilerow.com
www.cadandthedandy.co.uk
Thom Sweeney are in Soho, at 362 W Broadway
thomsweeney.com

A significant addition since the last version of this guide is physical locations of English bespoke offerings. You felt it was going to happen eventually, given how much easier it is to travel round the US from New York, and have a permanent base that US customers can visit at any time. Of these, Huntsman is the Savile Row stalwart and the most expensive; Thom Sweeney is a younger style, though also getting more expensive these days. 

Of course, many tailors and other craftspeople visit New York very often, but this guide is for those based in the city, which you’re more likely to be travelling to see.

Shirtmakers: Geneva and Cego
genevacustomshirts.com, 65 W 55th St
www.cego.com, 10 E 23rd St

Geneva is round the corner from that W 57th St address with all the tailors. Not a glamorous shop, but a real workroom where Eugene makes his own patterns and cuts on-site. Not something you see in midtown Manhattan much these days. 

Cego is a bigger business, making some shirts in-house but also sending others to a factory over the river in New Jersey. Popular as a an entry-level option, they also do a lot of TV and film work (as does Geneva).


OTHER SARTORIAL CLOTHING

Leffot
leffot.com
10 Christopher St

Top here only because it was first. I still remember clearly walking into Leffot the week it opened, and thinking what a breath of fresh air it was. Years later, it remains the best shoe shop in New York.

Belgian Shoes
belgianshoes.com
110 E55th St

The Belgian Loafers shop is not large or especially impressive, but it remains pretty much the only place you can buy the soft-made shoes with the little bows, which have something of a cult following. They’ve gone up considerably in price in recent years, perhaps as a reflection of that following.

JJ Hat Center and Worth & Worth
www.jjhatcenter.com
310 5th Avenue
www.hatshop.com
263 Bowery

There isn’t a plethora of hat shops in New York, but two deserve mention. The first is JJ Hat Center, as it has history on its side (in New York since 1911) and has the best range of fine men’s hats in the city – felts, straws etc. The other is Worth & Worth, which is a little more fashion-led, with designs by Orlando Palacios. A lot of the hats are made in the workshop on site.

J Press (and Pennant Label)
Jpressonline.com
51 East 44th Street

J Press has a reputation for being a little stuffy and old-fashioned, but the quality of the products is good and consistent, so all that really needs adding is some personal style. There are great Aran knits, made in Ireland, and not too traditional/boxy a fit. The ‘Shaggy Dog’ shetlands are not only super-soft, but in some quite contemporary colours. And the tailoring is obviously soft and unstructured, which feels rather contemporary today.

They recently opened a dedicated store for the trimmer, cheaper line ‘Pennant Label’, which is at 501 Madison Avenue.


Ralph Lauren Rhinelander Mansion
www.ralphlauren.com
867 Madison Avenue

In rather the same vein as we included Giorgio Armani in Milan, the Rhinelander Mansion has to be mentioned in New York. There are millions of Ralph Lauren shops, but none of them are quite like this one. I particularly like the Purple Label floor with more expansive tailoring than London, and the upper floors often have previews of upcoming seasons.

Sid Mashburn and Todd Snyder
www.toddsnyder.com, 25 E 26th St (flagship)
shopmashburn.com, 926 Madison Avenue

Both menswear brands with stores elsewhere, but not outside the US, so for non-Americans these are interesting places to visit for a range of classic and slightly more casual clothing. Mashburn has a tendency to the slim and short, but the taste level is solid. Snyder is often best for its collaborations with various heritage brands.

Alden Madison Avenue
aldenmadison.com
340 Madison Avenue

Alden shoes have become increasingly popular as styles trended towards the casual. It’s got so bad that stock often takes months to arrive at stockists, and prices have risen inexorably. For fans of Alden then, the flagship store on Madison Avenue is worth a visit, as it has the biggest range of styles of any stockist, with the one key exception coming next…

Moulded Shoe
www.mouldedshoeny.com
10 E 39th St

An old-fashioned shoe store that focuses on comfort and orthopaedic requirements. Not the kind of place PS would normally head to, were it not for the fact that it is one of very few places in the world that sells Alden shoes on their modified last. And the other major one, Anatomica in Paris, has rather particular ideas of how the shoes should fit. Dedicated PS article here


CASUAL CLOTHING

No Man Walks Alone
www.nomanwalksalone.com
336 W 37th St

No Man Walks Alone is an online retailer, rather than a store, but anyone can contact the guys and make an appointment to visit their warehouse on 37th street, and over the years this has become more customer-facing. The clothing has is trending more casual, but it’s a great one for small European and Japanese brands. 

Stoffa
stoffa.co
125 Grand St

Long a PS favourite, Stoffa has just opened its first physical shopfront, having started with trunk shows and for the past few years operated from an upper-floor showroom. The clothing is well-made and craft-focused, loose and comfortable. The style is distinctive, plain and tonal. See PS reviews and coverage of Stoffa on their brand page here

CHCM
Chcmshop.com
2 Bond Street

CHCM is a little store on a lower ground floor in Noho, and easy to miss. Run by Englishman Sweetu Patel, it’s a bit of an institution and arguably the best multi-brand store in New York. There’s LEJ, Paraboot and Arpenteur, but also Veilance, MAN-TLE and Auralee. The white-box atmosphere might put some readers off initially, but it’s worth taking the time to browse and look a little deeper.

Buck Mason
www.buckmason.com
170 5th Avenue (Flat Iron store)

Based in California, Buck Mason has expanded in recent years (now 30 stores across the US), ratcheted up its quality and made it’s style more classic. It’s now a good option for any PS reader that wants a really solid T-shirt, a great pair of chinos, a good-value pair of jeans. The colour palette is deliberately narrow, making everything wearable and versatile – great for casualwear staples. 

Wythe
wythenewyork.com
59 Orchard St

Another recent addition to the PS world. Wythe is a western-inspired brand making at a slightly lower quality level than brands like Bryceland’s or The Real McCoy’s, but often with a great taste level, particularly around colour. Particularly recommended are the flannel shirts and sweats. Like RRL, but better value and probably more interesting. 


Colbo
colbo.nyc
51 Orchard St

Just down the road from Wythe is an interesting multi-brand store, Colbo, that also houses a small cafe, a vinyl selection, and a rack of two of vintage clothing. Most of the clothing will be a little too fashion-led for PS readers, but it’s worth popping in if you’re already visiting Wythe, Bode, or Desert Vintage. 

Standard & Strange
standardandstrange.com
238 Mulberry St

Recently opened, Standard & Strange is one of the best locations in New York now for Japanese workwear brands, and in particular for The Real McCoy’s. Also noteworthy is the range from Freenote and the boot selection. Aimé Leon Dore is across the street, which is also worth a walk round. It’s a little hype-driven and the value isn’t great as a result, but the style is always interesting. 

Blue in Green
www.blueingreensoho.com
8 Greene St

The longer standing home of quality workwear in New York, having blazed the trail back in 2006. Best known for their denim, Blue in Green is good for Full Count and Buzz Rickson, and has a smattering of more fashion-forward brands like Kapital. In recent years they’ve evolved into doing a little under their own name. 

Self Edge
www.selfedge.com
157 Orchard St

The other good location for denim and quality workwear is the San Francisco-headquartered Self Edge, which started at the same time as Blue in Green back in 2006 (remember the great heritage revival?) and now has four stores in the US as well as one in Mexico. It’s also not far from Wythe and Colbo, on the Lower East Side. 


VINTAGE

New York, and in particular Brooklyn, has a strong range of vintage shops – better than anywhere in Europe that we know. Here are our favourites, and there is a dedicated story about New York vintage shopping here.

10ft Single by Stella Dallas
@10ftSingleByStellaDallas
285 N 6th St, Brooklyn

Big, with a front room that is more recent, cheaper vintage and a back room that is the older, better stuff. A real range from military to sportswear. Always the first place to go. 

Stella Dallas Living
@StellaDallasLiving
281 N 6th St, Brooklyn

The original shop, selling fabric and haberdashery items. You might think it’s not that relevant, but actually there’s often boro fabric, Hudson’s Bay blankets, Pendleton, Chimayo etc, as well as buttons and other fabrics. 

Raggedy Threads
www.raggedythreads.com
602 Grand Street, Brooklyn

Not far away in Brooklyn, the partner to the original LA shop. Focused a little more on historical or original garments (rather like Stock Vintage in Manhattan) and sometimes things are a little too raggedy, but there are some gems too. 

Front General Store
frontgeneralstore.com
143 Front Street, Brooklyn

A shop on the ground floor of Dumbo with an interesting display of vintage: new pieces at the front, curated racks of second-hand clothing next (eg all 90s Wrangler shirts), followed by more precious vintage. Then, upstairs, a new shop called FGS Outpost that has a great selection of designer vintage alongside some of their own-brand accessories. 

Crowley Vintage
@crowley_vintage
68 Jay St, Suite 303, Brooklyn (open Saturday, appointment only Tues-Fri)

Round the corner from Front General, on the third floor of a warehouse-style building, is Sean Crowley’s collection of old Ralph Lauren and everything that inspires that style – from Savile Row tailoring and polo coats to original madras shirts and riding boots. Probably my favourite vintage store in New York. Crowley was planning on moving at the time of writing, but with no confirmed date. Dedicated article here.

Stock Vintage
@StockVintageNYC
143 East 13th Street

Back in Manhattan, a charming small store run by Melissa Howard, who makes most of her money from designers looking for inspiration. Indeed, she’s toyed with closing the retail shop, and keeps the door closed most of the time (the shop is open, but the metal frames and closed door mean passers-by don’t just wander in). The stock tends to the older end of the vintage spectrum, mostly twenties to fifties, with some very old. Prices are relatively high as a result. 

Church Street Surplus
churchstreetsurplus.com
327 Church Street

Just off Canal Street, a ramshackle place but with a wide range of military vintage. Go in knowing what you’re looking for and you’ll find a dozen examples somewhere on the long double-height racks. 

Sri Threads
www.srithreads.com
18 Eckford Street, #2A, Brooklyn (appointment only)

A specialist in Japanese fabrics and related items. Niche therefore, but really beautiful – the kind of place that makes you fall in love with the way that indigo fabric fades. See dedicated PS article here

 


Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by menshealthfits.
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