Last Updated January, 2018: This post has been updated with new picks for 2018.
Arbiters of cool — that’s what the menswear shop is at its best. Locations, brick and mortar and/or online, where your cache of style knowledge is expanded and challenged. Like the older cousin bestowing new knowledge on the sapling sartorialist, the good menswear shop is in the business of convivial education, brand discovery, style chutzpah experimentation.
And like memories of a favorite grade school teacher, a menswear shop holds distinct markers in time. I remember the search for Clae shoes, a rare commodity in Orange County in the ’00s, and the thrill of finding them at one dedicated sneaker shop in Costa Mesa. Or the discovery, at American Rag Cie’s outpost in Newport Beach, of clothing I’d never heard of — Comme des Garçon, Wings + Horns, rag & bone, A.P.C. — that seemed somehow better, if not because it boasted price tags I’d never dreamt of touching, than because the clothes offered something more intentionally and artfully created.
I never had an older brother. I never had a style mentor. And so, pivotal menswear shops swept me under their wing, took me into their corner and introduced me to brands doing something more in the field they occupied. It didn’t take one; education is never best from a single source. It took a series of revelatory moments, times when I’d step through the doors of a new or a trusted shop, and enter into a space that felt both familiar and dynamic, a store that embraced what I knew to be cool and yet introduced me to something more. That is the quality menswear shop, and the stores here listed create those significant sartorial moments. — Matthew Ankeny
Criteria for Inclusion: We stuck with notable, distinctive retail store that offers goods off the shelf (and/or online). Our compass in choice was that stores needed to have a distinct style aura that’s relevant to men’s style knowledge, and offered ready-made goods for purchase (rather than custom or tailored wares). We also casually stuck by the claim that, if you visited “X” city, it’s worth your time to stop in here — whether that be by distinctiveness of brand offering, ingenuity of store layout, or just because it’s a cool spot you wouldn’t want to miss.
BILLY REID – Florence, AL
AMERICAN RAG CIE – Los Angeles, CA
COUNTY LTD. – Los Angeles, CA
DEUS EX MACHINA – Venice, CA
GENERAL ADMISSION – Venice, CA
IRON & RESIN GARAGE – Ventura, CA
STANDARD AND STRANGE – Oakland, CA
SELF EDGE – San Francisco, CA
UNIONMADE – San Francisco, CA
WASTELAND – San Francisco, CA
WELCOME STRANGER – San Francisco, CA
CANOE CLUB – Boulder, CO
ARMITAGE & MCMILLAN – Denver, CO
STEADBROOK – Denver, CO
TOPO DESIGNS – Denver, CO
SUPPLY & ADVISE – Miami, FL
SID MASHBURN – Atlanta, GA
LEATHER SOUL – Waikiki, HI
INDEPENDENCE – Chicago, IL
FRIEND – New Orleans, LA
BODEGA – Boston, MA
PORTLAND DRY GOODS CO. – Portland, ME
BEAUX BIENS – Rockport, ME
ASKOV FINLAYSON – Minneapolis, MN
BLACKBLUE – St. Paul, MN
MARTIN PATRICK 3 – Minneapolis, MN
PERSONA – Nashua, NH
IZZY MARTIN – Albuquerque, NM
THE ARMOURY – New York, NY
BEST MADE CO. – New York, NY
FRONT GENERAL STORE – Brooklyn, NY
GENTRY – Brooklyn, NY
J.CREW LUDLOW SHOP – New York, NY
NIKELAB – New York, NY
RALPH LAUREN MANSION – New York, NY
STEVEN ALAN – New York, NY
XHIBITION – Cleveland, OH
Abersons – Tulsa, OK
MACHUS – Portland, OR
REVOLVR – Bend, OR
THE WOODLANDS – Portland, OR
UBIQ – Philadelphia, PA
INDIGO AND COTTON – Charleston, SC
IMOGENE & WILLIE – Nashville, TN
HAMILTON SHIRTS – Houston, TX
MANREADY MERCANTILE – Houston, TX
NICE KICKS – Austin, TX
STAG PROVISIONS – Austin, TX
BASTILLE – Salt Lake City, UT
NEED SUPPLY CO. – Richmond, VA
FILSON – Seattle, WA
LIKELIHOOD – Seattle, WA
CONTEXT CLOTHING – Madison, WI
Florence, AL | Est. 2004
For the Guy Who: Appreciates the design elements of a K.Swiss, Southern dandyism and fine leather.
Brands: Billy Reid
114 N. Court St., Florence, AL 35630 ⇱ | (877) 757-3934 | billyreid.com
American Rag Cie
Los Angeles, CA | Est. 1985
For the Guy Who: Likes finding vintage classics alongside new and unexpected designers.
Brands: Billykirk, Fadeless, BLK DNM, Obey
150 S. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90036 ⇱ | (323) 935-3154 | americanrag.com
Los Angeles, CA | Est. 2017
For the Guy Who: Loves simple, timeless design.
Brands: Lady White Co., Auralee, The Superior Labor, H.W. Dog & Co.
1837 Hyperion Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027 ⇱ | (323) 741-8337
Deus Ex Machina
Venice, CA | Est. 2012
For the Guy Who: Needs new clothes, but doesn’t want to “shop” — this is a custom-made-motorcycle, hand-shaped-surfboard-display space, with some surf and casual apparel.
Brands: Thrux Lawrence, Baxter of California, Biltwell
1001 Venice Blvd., Venice, CA 90291 ⇱ | (888) 515-3387 | deuscustoms.com
Nine types of boots, three choices each. Hop to it. Read the Story
Venice, California | Est. 2015
For the Guy Who: Who likes to blend surf, skate and contemporary menswear.
Brands: Brain Dead, Fukt, Levi’s Made and Crafted, Outerknown, Our Legacy
52 Brooks Ave, Venice, CA 90291 ⇱ | (310) 399-1051 | generaladmission.us
Iron & Resin Garage
Ventura, CA | Est. 2013
For the Guy Who: Enjoys a straightforward blend of high style with skate and surf culture.
Brands: Iron & Resin
324 E. Main St., Ventura, CA 93001 ⇱ | (805) 643-0737 | ironandresin.com
Standard and Strange
Oakland, CA | Est. 2012
For the Guy Who: Bases his wardrobe in quality denim and leather boots.
Brands: Shockoe Atelier, OrSlow, Alden, Red Wing
5010 Telegraph Avenue, Oakland, CA 94609 ⇱ | (510) 373-9696 | standardandstrange.com
San Francisco, CA | Est. 2006
For the Guy Who: Appreciates really, really, really good denim.
Brands: Iron Heart, The Strike Gold, 3Sixteen, The Flat Head
714 VALENCIA ST., SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94110 ⇱ | (415) 558-0658 | selfedge.com
San Francisco, CA | Est. 2009
For the Guy Who: Needs to stock up on solid wardrobe basics and who’ll spend a bit more for an exclusive collaboration.
Brands: Alden, Golden Bear, Gitman Bros., Journal Standard
493 Sanchez St., San Francisco, CA 94114 ⇱ | (415) 861-3373 | unionmadegoods.com
San Francisco, CA | Est. 1985
For the Guy Who: Enjoys vintage pieces and the art of the search.
Brands: Ever changing
1660 Haight St., San Francisco, CA 94117 ⇱ | (415) 863-3150 | shopwasteland.com
San Francisco, CA | Est. 2010
For the Guy Who: Seeks top-quality, hard-to-find brands, priced accordingly.
Brands: Rag & Bone, Topo Designs, Welcome Stranger, Gant
460 Gough St., San Francisco, CA 94102 ⇱ | (415) 864-2079 | welcomestranger.com
Boulder, CO | Est. 2017
For the Guy Who: Loves rugged Americana with a heavy dose of Japanese influence.
Brands: Filson, RRL, Kapital, Remi Relief
777 Pearl Street, Boulder, CO 80302 ⇱ | (720) 282-3114 | shopcanoeclub.com
Armitage & McMillan
Denver, CO | Est. 2014
For the Guy Who: Wants New York urban and Rocky Mountains natural all in one place.
Brands: The Brooklyn Circus, BillyKirk, FairEnds, Saturdays Surf NYC
1550 Platte St., Suite D, Denver, CO 80202 ⇱ | (303) 284-6222 | armitageandmcmillan.com
Leather, canvas and much more, these are the most functional and stylish bags at any budget. All ready for your next getaway. Read the Story
Denver, CO | Est. 2013
For the Guy Who: Wants high fashion alongside a dose of Western functionality and community.
Brands: Steadbrook, Carhartt, Benny Gold, Norse Projects
46 S. Broadway, Denver, CO 80204 ⇱ | (720) 441-1891 | steadbrook.com
Denver, CO | Est. 2013
For the Guy Who: Is going on his first or 1,000th day hike and wants to look the part.
Brands: Topo Designs, OYO, Snow Peak, MSR
2500 Larimer St., Denver, CO 80205 ⇱ | (303) 954-8420 | topodesigns.com
Supply & Advise
Miami, FL | Est. 2015
For the Guy Who: Loves Americana-inspired apparel and enjoys clothing that is stylish yet still comfortable.
Brands: Alex Mill, Jungmaven, Gant, Levi’s, Quoddy, Tanner Goods
223 SE. 1st St., Miami, FL 33131 ⇱ | (305) 960-2043 | supplyandadvise.com
These are the best backpacks to carry everywhere, every day. Read the Story
Waikiki, HI | Est. 2004
For the Guy Who: Relishes a fantastic selection of fine footwear.
Brands: Alden, John Lobb, Briefing, Paraboot
2233 Kalakaua Ave. #301, Honolulu, HI, 96815 ⇱ | (808) 922-0777 | leathersoul.com
Chicago, IL | Est. 2012
For the Guy Who: Needs to try on Oak Street boots before they make the wise purchase (and then buy some complementary apparel).
Brands: Oak Street Bootmakers, Gitman Bros., Apolis
47 E. Oak St., Chicago, IL 60611 ⇱ | (312) 675-2105 | independence-chicago.com
New Orleans, LA | Est. 2012
For the Guy Who: Enjoys high-end, casual sportswear (you dig?) and boardshorts.
Brands: Corridor, Cuisse de Grenouille, Saturdays Surf NYC
2115 Magazine St., New Orleans, LA 70130 ⇱ | (504) 218-4214 | friendneworleans.com
An ideal transitional layer, the overshirt will keep you warm on chilly evenings and crisp mornings. Read the Story
Boston, MA | Est. 2006
For the Guy Who: Collects sneakers and loves streetwear.
Brands: Adidas, New Balance, Acronym, Carhartt W.I.P.
6 Clearway St. Boston, MA 02115 ⇱ | shop.bdgastore.com
Portland Dry Goods Co.
Portland, ME | Est. 2011
For the Guy Who: Wants a modern, outdoors-inspired look without donning technical nylon or growing a Civil War beard.
Brands: Canada Goose, Battenwear, Engineered Garments, Imogene + Willie
237 Commercial St., Portland, ME 04101 ⇱ | (207) 699-5575 | seawallshop.com
Rockport, ME | Est. 2016
For the Guy Who: Appreciates the small details in wardrobe staples.
Brands: Maine Mountain Moccasin, Tender Co., Velva Sheen, Battenwear
6 Dock Square, Rockport, ME, 01966 ⇱ | (978) 309-5645 | beauxbiens.com
Minneapolis, MN | Est. 2011
For the Guy Who: Enjoys adventuring outdoors as much as he likes looking good while doing it.
Brands: Askov Finayson, Fjällräven, Frost River, Snow Peak, Sanborn Canoe Company
204 1st St. N., Minneapolis, MN 55401 ⇱ | (612) 206-3925 | askovfinlayson.com
St. Paul, MN | Est. 2009
For the Guy Who: Likes classic clothing made from time-tested materials (read: leather and denim).
Brands: Gitman Bros., JW Hulme, Tellason, Redwing, Levi’s
614 Selby Ave., St. Paul, MN 55102 ⇱ | (651) 260-5340 | blkblu.com
Martin Patrick 3
Minneapolis, MN | Est. 2005
For the Guy Who: Likes to buy top-notch clothes, shoes and accessories all in one spot.
Brands: Jack Spade, Malin + Goetz, Naked & Famous, Rag & Bone
212 3rd Ave. N., #106, Minneapolis, MN 55401 ⇱ | (612) 746-5329 | martinpatrick3.com
Nashua, NH | Est. 2008
For the Guy Who: Wants a touch of modern in rural New England.
Brands: 10.Deep, Gourmet, Penfield, Saucony
122 Main St., Nashua, NH 03062 ⇱ | (603) 886-2707 | shop-persona.com
Albuquerque, NM | Est. 2011
For the Guy Who: Wants a solid collection of brands that offer timeless staples for every man.
Brands: Gitman Vintage, Levi’s, Pendleton, The Hill-Side
103 Amherst Dr SE, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87106 ⇱ | (505) 235-9493 | izzymartin.com
New York, NY | Est. 2010
For the Guy Who: Appreciates the craftsmanship of a classic suit, an Italian tie and benchmade shoes.
Brands: Ascot Chang, Carmina, Drake’s, Ring Jacket
168 Duane Street, New York, NY 10013 ⇱ | (646) 613-7613 | thearmoury.com
Best Made Co.
New York, NY | Est. 2009
For the Guy Who: Likes drinking out of enamelware and carrying a hatchet, even when he’s not camping. (Note: The company opened a second retail location in Los Angeles, California.)
Brands: Best Made Co.
36 White St., New York, NY 10013 ⇱ | (646) 478-7092 | bestmadeco.com
The bomber jacket has transcended its utilitarian roots in recent years with brands producing coats made from cashmere, suede and shearling. Read the Story
Front General Store
Brooklyn, NY | Est. 2011
For the Guy Who: Seeks exclusivity and diversity — it’s a Japanese-owned store in Dumbo boasting a trove of vintage Americana.
Brands: Members Only, Sunrock, Pendleton
143 Front St., Brooklyn, NY 11201 ⇱ | (347) 693-5328 | frontgeneralstore.com
J.Crew Ludlow Shop
New York, NY | Est. 2008
For the Guy Who: Needs a reliable, tailored suit, for a large market price.
New York, NY | Est. 2014
For the Guy Who: Understands the worth of a concept store reimagining classic innovations.
Brands: Nike, Nike Collaborations
21 Mercer St., New York, NY 10013 ⇱ | (212) 226-5433 | nikelab.com
Natural-dyed shirts have range of subtle colors that synthetic-dyed shirts can’t match. Here are the brands offering great natural-dyed tees. Read the Story
Ralph Lauren Mansion
New York, NY | Est. 1986
For the Guy Who: Wants a royal Americana treatment in a 19th-century New York mansion.
Brands: Polo Ralph Lauren
867 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10021 ⇱ | (212) 606-2100 | ralphlauren.com
New York, NY | Est. 1997
For the Guy Who: Likes to have the hottest new thing, before it’s the hottest new thing.
Brands: Steven Alan, Engineered Garments, Wings+Horns, New Balance
103 Franklin St., New York, NY 10013 ⇱ | (212) 343-0692 | stevenalan.com
Cleveland, OH | Est. 2014
For the Guy Who: Doesn’t shy from dropping cash for the biggest brands and embraces stepping into a futuristic, sensory experience of a shop to get them.
Brands: Head Porter, Asics, Y-3, Alexander Wang
2068 W. 25th St., Cleveland, OH 44113 ⇱ | (216) 298-4770 | xhibition.com
Tulsa, OK | Est. 1974
For the Guy Who: Is looking for all the Italian luxury in one place.
Brands: Boglioli, Brunello Cucinelli, Massimo Alba, Lardini
3509 S. Peoria, Tulsa, OK, 74105⇱ | (918) 742-7335 | abersonstyle.com
Portland, OR | Est. 2011
For the Guy Who: Is seeking hard-to-find designers in a friendly, helpful location.
Brands: Field Notes, DSPTCH, Adidas X Kanye West
532 E. Burnside St., Portland, OR 97214 ⇱ | (503) 206-8626 | machusonline.com
Bend, OR | Est. 2013
For the Guy Who: Just took his last run of the day at Mt. Bachelor and is looking for something comfortable and stylish to hit the apres scene.
Brands: Electric, Harry’s Shaving, Obey, Scotch & Soda, Stance Socks
945 NW. Wall St., Bend, OR 97701 ⇱ | (541) 647-2627 | revolvrmens.com
Portland, OR | Est. 2011
For the Guy Who: Is an urban lumberjack in a city whose sports teams are the Trailblazers, Timbers and Ducks.
Brands: Carhartt, Rancourt & Co., The Hill-Side, A Kind of Guise
1308 W. Burnside St., Portland, OR 97209 ⇱ | (503) 222-2774 | tannergoods.com
Basics like t-shirts, sweatshirts and jeans make up the foundation of any man’s wardrobe. Here are the best basics to buy now. Read the Story
Philadelphia, PA | Est. Date 2001
For the Guy Who: Looking for exclusive sneakers and the streetwear to match.
Brands: Adidas Originals, Asics, Clae, Danner, Native, New Balance, Nike
1509 Walnut Street Philadelphia, PA 19102 ⇱ | (215) 988-0194 | ubiqlife.com
Indigo and Cotton
Charleston, SC | Est. 2011
For the Guy Who: Wants a hint of Southern style, but not all of it.
Brands: Jungmaven, Billykirk, Shinola, Imogene & Willie, Velva Sheen
79 Cannon St., Charleston, SC 29403 ⇱ | (843) 718-2980 | indigoandcotton.com
Imogene & Willie
Nashville, TN | Est. 2009
For the Guy Who: Wants to buy old school, raw denim from an old school, raw shop built in a gas station garage.
Brands: Imogene & Willie, George Kelly, White’s Boots, Olive & Sinclair
2601 12th Ave. S., Nashville, TN 37204 ⇱ | (615) 292-5005 | imogeneandwillie.com
Houston, TX | Est. 1883
For the Guy Who: Is in pursuit of classic Texan shirts from an iconic brand.
5700 Richmond Ave., Houston, Texas 77057 ⇱ | (713) 264-8800 | hamiltonshirts.com
Houston, TX | Est. 2012
For the Guy Who: Enjoys pampering himself with the best men’s grooming products available.
Brands: Manready Mercantile, D.S. & Durga, Portland General Store, Field Notes, Chippewa
321 W. 19th St., Houston, TX 77008 ⇱ | (800) 554-9352 | manready.com
The crossroads of functional and stylish. Read the Story
Austin, TX | Est. 2006
For the Guy Who: Knows he wants a new, rare, exclusive sneaker — or just wants to browse an impressive selection.
Brands: Nike, Adidas, Stussy, Vans
2815B Guadalupe St., Austin, TX 78705 ⇱ | (512) 320-8100 | nicekicks.com
Austin, TX | Est. 2009
For the Guy Who: Is seeking out a little bit of everything and is in search of a man’s modern-day general store.
Brands: Baxter, Herschel Supply Co., Juniper Ridge, Tsovet, Jack Spade
1423 S. Congress Ave., Austin, TX 78704 ⇱ | (512) 373-7824 | stagprovisions.com
Salt Lake City, UT | Est. 1997
For the Guy Who: Wants a tightly curated selection of forward-thinking brands.
Brands: A.P.C., John Elliott, Engineered Garments, Nudie Jeans
79 S. Rio Grande Street, Salt Lake City, UT 84101 ⇱ | (801) 456-0330 | shopbastille.com
Need Supply Co.
Richmond, VA | Est. 2008
For the Guy Who: Keeps it clean with solid basic shirts and tees, modern footwear and unique accessories.
Brands: A Kind of Guise, Common Projects, Outerknown, Naked and Famous
3100 W. Cary St., Richmond, VA 23221 ⇱ | (804) 355-4383 | needsupply.com
Seattle, WA | Est. 1998
For the Guy Who: Appreciates traditional, rainy-season craftsmanship and lives a classy, outdoorsman lifestyle.
1555 4th Ave. S., Seattle, WA 98134 ⇱ | (206) 622-3147 | filson.com
Seattle, WA | Est. 2015
For the Guy Who: Has a footwear collection larger than most people’s wardrobes.
Brands: Adidas, New Balance, Norse Projects, Puma, Seavees
1101 E. Union St., Seattle, WA 98122 ⇱ | (206) 257-0577 | shoplikelihood.com
Madison, WI | Est. 2005
For the Guy Who: Finds himself digging through old barns and refinishing rusty metal tables on the weekends.
Brands: Duckworth, First Settlement Goods, Oak Street Bootmakers, Post Overalls
113 King St., Madison, WI 53703 ⇱ | (608) 250-0113 | contextclothing.com
From Tokyo to Joburg and back again. Read the Story