Men’s Stores | A Continuous Lean. - Page 2

On the New Haven Line

Aug 26th, 2010 | Categories: Americana, Men's Stores, New Haven, TNSIL | by Michael Williams

Take the train from Grand Central to New Haven and go straight to J. Press at 262 York Street. A few years ago I had the great pleasure of working for the company (sort of a dream come true at the time) and I would occasionally make the trip up to New Haven or Cambridge for business. When we went to Yale we would go by the Yankee Doodle and have hamburgers. The great part of the J. Press store in New Haven was the fact that it still exists. The New York store sort of moved around and never felt perfect (even when it was around the corner from 346 on 44th Street), but New Haven always felt right. In the store there would be nary a student in sight — save maybe someone on an errand for a school boy scarf during the colder months or a guy in need of a repp tie.

The clientele has aged with the company, but the bones of the brand are still there. And never call it preppy. J. Press is “Ivy League style,” because this isn’t prep school. The sack suit is like acid in the eyes of “the kids,” a name my friends and I have for the younger style-set that don’t necessarily get J. Press.  I’m not yet an old man, but I have a certain fondness for the sack — even if it is unflattering. I like the natural shoulder too, because that’s about as American as it gets. Like most things, many feel that J. Press isn’t the same chap he was 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 years ago — though some still swear by it. Likely, more the former than the latter. The Japanese have owned it for years and years, but still Press carries on. You can’t say that about a lot of companies or clothing lines. When you think about it, many a mighty brand have fallen and disappeared during Press’s watch. Even the Doodle is gone, as is Mory’s…yet Press persists.

J. Press founder Jacobi Press in New Haven, Conn.





Shopping Madison | Context

Jun 4th, 2010 | Categories: Men's Stores, Shopping, Wisconsin | by Michael Williams

On a recent adventure to the Badger State I made a long overdue visit to Context, one the best independent shops in the country. Owners (and brothers) Ben & Sam Parker, and Ryan Huber have built a truly unique destination for menswear aficionados in Madison, and of course for the rest of us across the internet. It was a real pleasure to finally check the place out and see first hand how nice the shop really is.





L.A.’s Newest Barber

Apr 30th, 2010 | Categories: Grooming, Los Angeles, Men's Stores | by Michael Williams

When I was in L.A. a few weeks ago I stopped by to see the gents from Baxter of California at their then unfinished barber shop on LaCienega. Well today the veil has been lifted, and the new spot dubbed Baxter Finley, Barber & Shop, looks even better than I had anticipated. It is opening officially tomorrow, if you want to stop in for L.A.’s newest (and possibly best?) wet shave.

Baxter Finley, Barber & Shop | 515 N. LaCienega Blvd. Los Angeles, CA.





GANT Rugger Invades Bleecker Street

Apr 29th, 2010 | Categories: Men's Stores, New York City, Retail | by Michael Williams

The folks at GANT brought their Rugger range downtown to 353 Bleecker Street with their new industrial inspired shop. This new store is one of only two places (in the U.S.) where you can shop the entire collection of Rugger gear (something we showed you a while back). The collection —which I really like — was put together by GANT designer (who is a Swede by birth, but an American patriot in my mind) Christopher Bastin. The new downtown store is all inspired by GANT’s industrial past, with all sorts of factory like decor and a fitting room fashioned as a foreman’s office complete with archival order forms and historical press clippings. Good stuff.





The Best Around | Cuffs Clothing

Jan 3rd, 2010 | Categories: Cleveland, Men's Stores, Shopping | by Michael Williams

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A few weeks ago I wrote a little something for GQ about one of my favorite stores on earth, Cuffs Clothing in Chagrin Falls, Ohio. The store has a stocklist to end all stocklists and carries everything from Barbour to Charvet, Southwick to Oxxford; basically everything a gent could ever need. Seeing as GQ couldn’t use all of my images, I thought I would share them with you here. But you can read more about the Cuffs over at GQ.





Doing Business | STAG in Austin, Texas

Dec 7th, 2009 | Categories: Austin, Men's Stores, Texas | by Michael Williams

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This week might have to be “Texas Week” on ACL. Meet STAG, a new men’s shop that opened this past weekend in Austin. The shop is the brain trust of friends Don Weir, Steve Shuck, Ted Allen, Bobby Johns and Joel Mozersky (ed note: alt name Five Guys) who put together an impressive stock list (Apparel: RRL, Burkman Bros, Oliver Spencer, Penfield, Dunderdon, Oxen, Rockmount Ranchwear, Vintage Denim Jackets, Vintage Chambray Shirts, Vintage Pendleton overshirts. Shoes: Frye, PF Flyers, Clarks, HELM Handmade Boots (new Austin company), Vintage Workboots. Accessories: Tanner, Hill Side, Wild Duck Totes, Beckel Bags, Randolph Engineering, Welch Suspenders, Hamilton Watches, etc. Plus, brands like Filson, Civil Smith and Universal Works among others coming in the Spring). Since all of the guys involved in STAG have antique dealer backgrounds, expect a lot of vintage furniture, collectibles and ephemera. STAG looks like yet another reason to visit Austin, well done gents.





UNIONMADE | San Francisco Style Americana

Nov 17th, 2009 | Categories: Americana, Men's Stores, San Francisco | by Michael Williams

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Let me first say it is good that new shops are opening. There was a point in this whole economic mess that no new brands were launching and no new stores were opening, it was depressing. Now, while just getting a new store is good, getting a new store like UNIONMADE is great. The men’s shop which was founded by Pennsylvania native Todd Barket, opened this past weekend on Sanchez Street in San Francisco and is an exercise in excellence. Barket spent 18 years at GAP working in various capacities including visual merchandising and marketing, and the man clearly understands retail. I think the worst part about this place is that it is so far away from me.