Vacation Shopping: Where to Buy Menswear When You’re Traveling
Traveling, whether for work or for leisure, is a great way to gain an introduction to a new city. And for the style-conscious guy, it can be an ideal opportunity to witness firsthand how a different part of the country does menswear. Traveling to New England? That’s a prime chance to check out a traditional, preppy approach to style. Visiting the south? Learn how southern guys manage to stay cool and look sharp in the middle of hot, humid summers. Planning to be in Chicago? Scope out how guys combine traditional menswear with Americana workwear and high-end design.
Even if you’re excited about the opportunity to visit some new menswear shops, it can be harder to figure out where to go than you’d think. Depending on your agenda, it can be difficult to scout out exactly which stores you should stop by when making a pilgrimage to one of the numerous menswear meccas outside your area of the country, simply because there are so many exemplary and unique spots to choose from.
So we’ve done some of the hard work for you, and picked out some of the top men’s stores for you to visit in six major cities in the United States: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York. Starting with our guide means that you can spend less time researching where to shop, and more time getting a feel for your favorite new city (and, hopefully, elevating your wardrobe at the same time).
If you’re spending some time in or near Atlanta for business or leisure, there are a few menswear stores you can’t pass up the opportunity to visit, whether you’re in the market for a new suit, shopping for limited-edition sneakers, or looking for a casual ensemble for vacation.
Billy Reid is the Atlanta outpost of an Alabama-based line of Americana-inspired menswear. From suiting to denim and encompassing everything in between, the store’s offerings perfectly balance impeccably tailored silhouettes with luxurious, casual pieces, which reflect the company’s focus on American manufacturing and quality construction.
Sid Mashburn has long been a menswear magazine darling thanks to its iconic union of classic menswear with a modern silhouette. Walking into the store feels like entering an exclusive and beautifully appointed gentlemen’s club where you can browse clothing and accessories from a range of top men’s brands as well as from Mashburn’s own line.
Suitsupply has a number of stores nationwide (and worldwide), but is a great stop in Atlanta because of the brand’s inexpensive custom-made suiting. Perfect your dressed-up look with high-quality fabrics, a modern aesthetic, and slim silhouettes, and learn from the store’s in-house tailors, who can make your suit fit exactly how you want it to.
Wish should be at the top of the list for guys looking for cutting-edge labels and limited-edition footwear from brands like Nike QS, Adidas Consortium, Android Homme, Vans Vault, and Supra. The store occupies a former public library, and is a destination as much for its edgy design as for the selection of hand-picked contemporary brands it houses.
While most people think that New York is the top destination for menswear in the northeast, Boston holds its own with a wide variety of excellent men’s shops. From the preppy fare appropriate for students and faculty at the area’s many long-established universities to shops stocking cool contemporary brands and streetwear staples, there are plenty of places to shop when you’re in town.
AWOL is a top destination for streetwear enthusiasts thanks to the store’s ambiance, its location in the heart of the city, and its selection of top brands, like Black Scale, G-Star, Nike, Stussy, Supra, and more. The store’s offerings of footwear and apparel includes both established brands and pieces from up-and-coming lines.
Bobby from Boston should be your first stop if you’re into vintage menswear. The vast collection of Americana clothing, British goods, and preppy garments at both the South End store and the nearby Lynn warehouse has provided inspiration for designers at Ralph Lauren and Tom Ford as well as wardrobes for nearly 50 films.
Bodega is something of a destination thanks to the novelty of its storefront, which looks like a regular bodega until you find the hidden door behind an old Snapple machine. Behind it, you’ll find a store with hardwood floors, crystal chandeliers, and a selection of designer streetwear, exclusive footwear, and high-end sportswear.
Riccardi offers the perfect mix of streetwear and luxury labels. While the store has introduced labels like John Galliano and Comme des Garçons to Boston, and is the best place to find labels like Givenchy, Balmain, and Thom Browne, it continues to introduce cutting-edge and exclusive lines to its patrons. High-end denim is also a specialty of the shop.
The Tannery sells a wide variety of apparel, footwear, and accessories, and is best-known for its “store-within-a-store” concept, which enables you to shop each brand’s complete line as it changes each season. The store carries everything from Opening Ceremony to Filson to Woolrich Woolen Mills, which makes it an ideal stop whatever your style.
Like every other major city in the U.S., Chicago has an excellent assortment of men’s shops to browse. Whether you’re in the market for casual wear, streetwear, or even a custom suit, Chicago is full of well-appointed boutiques that can help you out.
Alton Lane is the store for you if you’re looking for what you thought was impossible: custom suits and blazers at off-the-rack prices. The brand has showrooms in other cities, but visitors to Chicago can book an appointment with a style expert to get measured, select a fabric, and customize the design of a suit.
Independence Chicago is a boutique by the founder of shoe and boot line Oak Street Bootmakers, and dedicates its shelf space to American-made apparel by brands like Engineered Garments and Gitman Vintage. Whether you’re looking for rugged garments or preppy fare, you’ll find something to love at this great shop.
Meyvn offers a highly-curated selection of clothing by well-known and less-expected brands, including Niuhans, A Kind of Guise, Han Kjobenhavn, Common Projects, Barena, Dana Lee, and Folk. The Logan Square shop also stocks vinyl, art books, and the brand’s own line of accessories.
RSVP Gallery is a Bucktown shop filled with sought-after and hard-to-find pieces by brands like 3.1 Phillip Lim, Acne Studios, Common Projects, Raf Simons, and more. The shop combines the ambiance of an art gallery with the intimacy of a boutique, and the art on the walls offers a unique counterpoint to the clothing and accessories on offer.
The men’s shops in Los Angeles are much more spread out than those in many other major cities in the country, which makes it a little bit harder to scope out several after a meeting or during a few hours of downtime. But braving the traffic is definitely worth it, as LA offers some amazing spots for vintage and contemporary men’s apparel and accessories.
General Quarters is a dream shop for guys who are fans of American-made and Americana-inspired goods. The stock includes heritage pieces from Filson, GANT, Imogene + Willie, Penfield, Red Wing, Rogue Territory, and Tellason. If you need a haircut while you’re in town, you can even visit the barbershop in the back of the store.
Mister Freedom is a can’t-miss men’s shop, the like of which would be difficult to find anywhere else. The store offers a selection of extraordinary vintage items, a line of new clothing, and a line of “historically plausible” original clothing. Mister Freedom makes limited editions in an in-house workspace, and collaborates with small, ethically-run factories.
RRL is well worth a visit in any city where the Ralph Lauren line has a storefront, but the shop on Melrose Avenue is an excellent location to experience the label’s iconic approach to Americana and workwear-inspired menswear. As in all RRL locations, the store is impeccably merchandised and features some actual vintage in addition to RRL’s new pieces.
South Willard offers a masterfully-curated selection of apparel and accessories from a small list of labels, like Frank Leder, Stephan Schneider, and Gitman Vintage. An ever-changing “shop exhibit” of unique art collections offers a unique counterpoint to the store’s stock of clothing, and makes the space well worth a visit.
Unionmade Goods is a must-see if you’re visiting Los Angeles (or one of the other California cities where the company’s stores are located). Unionmade offers aesthetically classic and well-made casual and fine clothing, accessories, footwear, and grooming products, including collaborations with a number of independent labels.
New York is one of the most populated cities not only when it comes to the sheer number of people, but also with regards to the number of great men’s shops to scope out as a visitor or vacationer. But with new labels, lines, and shops launching all the time, it can be hard to keep track of which are worth visiting and which are better browsed online, so we’ve chosen a few that should be at the top of your list.
Dover Street Market is a one-of-a-kind shopping destination, and gets transformed into a completely new experience every six months to a year. Offering seven floors of high-end apparel and accessories to peruse, Dover Street offers luxury clothing and even exclusive designer collections produced specifically for the store.
Freemans Sporting Club takes the “buy local” philosophy to a new height by primarily selling apparel manufactured within 10 miles of the shop. By working with local artisans and tailors, the brand can offer completely handmade suits — which require four fittings — and the shirts, suits, outerwear, and pants are all well worth checking out.
The J. Crew Liquor Store is the brand’s most iconic menswear shop, located in a former Tribeca tavern with the original wooden bar still intact. The location is stocked with premium apparel, like officer’s chinos and slim-cut suiting, plus a handpicked selection of vintage collectibles like watches, LPs, and first-edition books.
Self Edge should be the first stop for denim enthusiasts visiting or vacationing in New York. The shop on the Lower East Side offers high-quality casual menswear — plus a full range of hemming and repair services completed on Union Special and Singer machines — and stocks a wide variety of rare and premium brands.