In a world of flash sales, Instagram shopping and nightly pop-up shops, there is nothing better than uncovering a brick-and-mortar stalwart. The best menswear shops make it worth your time to slow down, peruse the wares and befriend the shopkeepers. Next time you’re in Tokyo or Melbourne, Paris or Buenos Aires, stop in, take your time, and enjoy that rarefied experience of touching, smelling and purchasing something tangible.
Freemans Sporting Goods | Tokyo, Japan
The Freemans brand — which includes bespoke tailoring, a barbershop, a restaurant, a menswear store and a brand new book — may have started in New York, but their Tokyo outpost is where the magic is. Designed by the founder, Taavo Somer, the four-story townhouse in the Shibuya neighborhood is actually, in a matter of speaking, made to measure. With a restaurant in the basement, the other floors are stacked, packed and neatly racked with all things tailored. And since you’re there, you might as well settle in for a hot shave.
Address: 5–46–4 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo, 150–0001
The Cosmopolitan | Johannesburg, South Africa
Originally a gentleman’s hotel, the Cosmopolitan was an oasis for the early gold prospectors in Johannesburg. After a total refurb, it keeps some of that aesthetic in its concept store, where menswear classics are stocked alongside a resident barber. There is also a gallery element, named HAZARD, along with goods from local milliner Crystal Birch and luxury African tea brand Yswara, among others.
It’s a graceful departure from the otherwise edgy neighborhood.
Address: 24 Albrecht St, Johannesburg, 2043
Armando Cabral at Embaixada | Lisbon, Portugal
Founded by Portuguese model Armando Cabral in 2008, the shoe store hides in the 19th century new-Arabian Palace shopping gallery in Lisbon’s Príncipe Real neighborhood. The shoes, and the men’s accessories, are where minimalism meets new technology. Classics, including a derby or boat shoe, are made from the finest Italian leather finishes but feature an updated modern touch. The Jetset leather slippers will quickly become your favorite travel companion.
Address: Praça do Príncipe Real, 26, 1250 Lisboa
Stomping Ground | Ottawa, Canada
Opened in August last year by two locals looking to advance the city’s men’s fashion offerings, the store delivers on its promise. Fashion, grooming and accessories are available, and buyers can book an appointment-only personal shopper if they so desire. Get your Canadian Raised by Wolves outerwear fix, plus your Naked and Famous Unbranded denim (Montreal made) and show some support for the locals.
Address: 728 Bank St, Ottawa, ON K1S 3V4
Handsom | Melbourne, Australia
Focused on sustainability, this Aussie favorite is a solid spot to hunt for unique greats, like Mongolian-sourced knitwear, and all kinds of accessories. Handsom’s slogan — “We Make Nice Clothes” — may sound simple, but it pertains to its focus on unpretentious, clean design with sustainable fabrics like bamboo and lyocell, and the brand’s work with factories that pass audits for fair labor practices. Buying here feels better for all the right reasons.
Address: 163 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy, Melbourne
The Store | Berlin, Germany
In the lower levels of Soho House Berlin, right in the Mitte district, this vast and open space is open for shopping (and coworking and dining, if you please). The concept is that everything you see — minus the fire extinguisher — is for sale: the wooden bench you’re perched on, the records playing, the many rows of garments from designers like Jil Sander. Alex Eagle, the space’s creative director, describes it as “an open, shoppable private home for everyone to hang out in.”
Address: The Store at Soho House Berlin, Torstr. 1, Berlin
Kapok | Hong Kong, China
If you’re looking for something a little left field, Kapok will pleasantly surprise you. Known for bringing local talent to the fore, the store recently expanded with a small gallery and a cafe, so you can linger longer. There is always flux in this little spot — with pop-up 3D printing and interesting collaborations, like company’s exclusive travel accessories series with Japanese men’s retailer B Jirushi Yoshida.
Address: Kapok on Sun Street, 3 Sun Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Wait | Paris, France
At the Wait concept store off the Place Republique, California ease meets Paris chic. Owners Julian Tual and Antoine Mocquard, who also own the wooden-sunglasses brand Waiting for the Sun, run this summer-vibes store for sun-seekers, be they off on holiday or just urbanites craving the ocean. The space, like a surf clubhouse, is made for hanging out while you shop Wait’s “Made in France” menswear line, inspired by Britanny.
Address: 9 rue Notre Dame de Nazareth, 75003, Paris
Editor Market | Buenos Aires, Argentina
This large lifestyle hotspot in the Palermo neighborhood of Buenos Aires focuses on all things local and independent. The best experience is meandering around the light-filled space, shopping for bicycles from Monochrome (they also ship) or labels like Ramirez for t-shirts and denim. It’s then time to pause for a coffee downstairs and a perusal of the accessories. If you’re after a scent that nobody else has, try Fueguía’s perfumes and candles.
Address: Av. Corrientes 503, C1043AAF CABA, Buenos Aires
Hutspot | Amsterdam, The Netherlands
What started as a quirky pop-up by three childhood friends quickly expanded into a full retail extravaganza. Hutspot’s concept is simple: find unique brands and give them a proper showcase. Items include booze from Kever Genever and a coat from First of August. Recently the shop added a restaurant and a barber, and a new outpost also opened in Rotterdam. The store carries homewares and plenty of men’s gifts; weekly film showings and readings are also hosted here. If you’re looking for a quiet spot to relax, park on the couches in the attic, with coffee or drink in hand.