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 thesapling sartorialist, the good menswear shop is in the business of convivial education, brand discovery, style chutzpah experimentation.


And like memories of a favorite gradeschool 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....


August 31, 2015