North Menswear | Shopping Anytown USA | A Continuous Lean.

North Menswear | Shopping Anytown USA

Jul 16th, 2014 | Categories: California, Made in the USA, Shopping | by Michael Williams

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The excitement was palpable. The feeling of exhilaration was present because of the unexpected nature of it’s arrival.

While on a weekend trip to Southern California I was pleasantly surprised to meet North Menswear in Laguna Beach and I probably got more excited about it than normal. Surprised and delighted to be exact. Part of this is due to the fact that North is a great shop, but the real reason I was aflutter is because I wasn’t expecting to see anything like this in Laguna. I was expecting to languish in the Real Houswives vibes and here I was browsing a great collection of menswear.

Over the past few years something amazing has happened: A version of North (basically a cool men’s shop with an Americana slant i.e. Unionmade) has opened in cities across America. If you expand out from Laguna Beach you’d get Orn Hansen in Long Beach, Lone Flag in San Diego, Berkeley Supply in Denver, Askov Finlayson in Minneapolis, Willy’s in Detroit, Cincinnati has Article, there’s Supply & Advise in Miami, Reserve Supply Co. in Houston, Federal in Washington D.C. and a million stores in the Northeast.

Five years ago there were only a few shops keyed in on this. Steven Alan, Context in Wisconsin and Need Supply in Richmond to name a few. What was very much the of the blog world for a period of time seemed to have given rise to a new market for menswear. And it wasn’t until I stepped into North that it really made sense. I knew there were a lot of people all over the place interested in this stuff, but when you’re a little off the beaten path (not that LB is really out of the way, but it’s not TriBeCa) and you see a shop as good as North do you really realize the scope of this thing.

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North Menswear founder Pete Surprenant.

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North is a cozy space, but not small. It’s comfortable and well laid out with a laid back vibe that fits in perfectly with the atmosphere of Laguna Beach. The shop is set back a bit from the main shopping stretch on Forest Avenue. North’s location away from all of the outdoor dining and touristy crowds adds to the upstart allure of the shop.

Inside you’ll find a lot of the good made in the U.S. things you’ve come to know and love are there: Tellason Jeans, Red Wing boots, Rogue Territory, Left Field, Pointer Brand and other heirloom quality goods. There’s also a distinct California centric mix to the merchandise with M.Nii and other surf related gear that make sense considering the Pacific is a few hundred yards away. It seems like North has focused on all of the good stuff you need and nothing you don’t. It makes me think that every town can use a store like this.

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NORTH Menswear | 380 Glenneyre St, Laguna Beach, CA 92651

Comments: 14

14 Comments to “North Menswear | Shopping Anytown USA”

  1. Matthew Pike
    on Jul 16th, 2014
    @ 12:55 PM

    Looks perfect, we could do with a couple more places like this in the UK. Plenty of “British” outfitters doing this American style but not as many really American places.

  2. Jim
    on Jul 16th, 2014
    @ 4:43 PM

    I really wish him good luck. It has to be hard keeping so-called brick and mortar stores afloat, but looking a some of his goods, I can say I’d have a hot Visa card after visiting there!

  3. Rod
    on Jul 16th, 2014
    @ 6:21 PM

    This just seems like we’ve gone full circle? I grew up with the small local men’s store- combo of clothes and lifestyle/sporting goods- and they got pressured out of business by changing shopping tastes. Now everyone has realized big retailers and websites aren’t the answer- so small local places are reopening.

  4. Norton
    on Jul 16th, 2014
    @ 6:46 PM

    Great to see North featured, Pete is a great guy and his shop is one of my favorites.
    I would like to add Snake Oil Provisions in Long Beach and Wheat and Co. in Nashville to your list of Menswear shops in the U.S.

  5. Sam
    on Jul 17th, 2014
    @ 3:00 AM

    Pete is exactly what makes shops like this so key, it’s the direct connection to the owner and his hand on the curation of all of the goods. This is a great store in a town that’s not known for dressing well which is all the more why the shop is so cool. Great feature on a great guy taking a chance on bringing something different to his town.

  6. Tom Shanahan
    on Jul 17th, 2014
    @ 10:22 AM

    Love the shirt Pete is rocking in that photo. This place looks awesome, wish I had stopped by a few weeks back when I was in Cali. Next time!

  7. rob
    on Jul 18th, 2014
    @ 12:19 PM

    Pete is one of the best guys in retail. This feature is well deserved! If you’re not already a North Menswear customer take a moment to check out their website and if you’re in Southern California stop by their shop.

  8. Amy Covitz
    on Jul 18th, 2014
    @ 3:12 PM

    There is a new menswear store in KC, MO called Houndstooth like this! Check it out if you are in KC! houndstoothkc.com

  9. Tony
    on Jul 18th, 2014
    @ 9:58 PM

    Don’t forget Martin Patrick III, also in Minneapolis. More space + better brands than Askov.

  10. Bebe
    on Jul 19th, 2014
    @ 12:18 PM

    Last fall I walked in for wine. The guy at the counter said the wine shop closed, but look around. North isn’t a big space, so 10 minutes was enough. I wasn’t ”aflutter”: boutiques have been standard in Laguna for decades. Maybe I attend different parties from Sam, for I’ve seen plenty of hip labels.

    Miller’s Outpost redux, I thought. That store opened in the early 1970s, grew throughout the West, and died as Anchor Blue. As Rod says, old is new (again). ACL’s posted some LA places where “curation” of men’s garments happens. Yet post-North I wanted to head 10 miles north for The Grant Boys in Costa Mesa with Made In America outdoor gear since 1949- guns and ammo, too. Yeah, I know: Costa Mesa’s like going to Queens…and who’d do that, right?

    I wish the owner success. Is he a local boy with deep pockets? He needs those advantages.

    Why compare Laguna to Tribeca at all? Laguna’s a surf town with expensive/picturesque real estate, a decent playhouse, and a couple of cool summer/winter art shows. Several hamlets on the North/South Shores are like Laguna; unlike Tribeca, they have surf, too. Sad trash like OC Housewives gets to NYC, but we California natives don’t judge NJ by “Jersey Shore.” Maybe just non-natives in NY watch that stuff.

  11. Michael Williams
    on Jul 20th, 2014
    @ 4:20 PM

    @bebe NY non-natives judge NJ by “Jersey Shore”. Also, being a native doesn’t mean shit. So your parents did something for you or didn’t? So what.

  12. Brett
    on Jul 23rd, 2014
    @ 12:12 AM

    Must admit how pleased I am that you’ve discovered North and widened its renown with your write up. I live just up the road from North and it is a great place to take a respite with Pete & Drew and to stock up on real denim – I’ve bought Imogene & Willie and Norman Russell so far, with Telason next up. Oh, and they are dog friendly!!

  13. Luther
    on Aug 12th, 2014
    @ 4:10 PM

    Your concept of ‘Anytown’ is exceedingly gentrified.

  14. Michael Williams
    on Aug 12th, 2014
    @ 8:42 PM

    Luther — agree to disagree. Obviously there are going to be stores in places that actually have economic viability. Give me a break.