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NYC Store Tour

JohnAAG

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Hi everyone and a very happy New Year to you all!

I'm looking for help planning a 2 day tour of NYC that will allow me to visit as many great menswear stores as possible this January. Couple of things:

- I've already been to the RL Mansion, Selfedge, Alden Madison and N.Peal. So I don't need to revisit those this time

- I'm interested in everything from CM to workwear and denim to shoes to accessories. I'd prefer to avoid dept. stores and/or big chain stores. More focused on those unique places with chatacter. This isn't really a shopping trip and I'm not looking for anything specific. Just want to check out some great places and see what catches my eye.

- I'm happy to walk from place to place but I'll take the subway when necessary or to maximize my time. I think 40 to 60 mins per store would be sufficient. I'd like to start at 9 AM and wrap up around 7 PM each day. That should let me visit around 5 or 6 stores each day.

Any suggestions, advice or tips for planning the tour would be greatly appreciated!

Cheers!
John

Edit: just want to add that I'll have other days for doing a cultural tour (museums, galleries, etc.). So those don't need to be stops on these 2 days. Although good lunch spots would be appreciated!
 
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bradp

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I'd recommend checking out Kamakura, on Madison & 47th. The customer service experience is really something special, and besides the shirts, they have tons of great pocket squares and ties to look through
 

Friend

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Oh man, this hits my niche. With two days to spend, I'd suggest focusing one day on Manhattan and one on Brooklyn. It's not hard to get back and forth, but you're more likely to hit subway delays that eat up time if you're trekking between boroughs a bunch of times per day. Here's what I'd recommend for a mix that includes a bit of everything:

Manhattan

Stick to Chelsea and below. I'd suggest shortlisting a few spots for dinner either in Soho or the LES, and then start your day on the opposite side of town, and make your way toward where you want to end up for food. I'd also suggest walking back and forth between the east and west sides - it's an easy hike, and there's ample window shopping along the way.

Leffot (West Village): Absolute staple New York shop, specializing in a curated selection of high-end shoes and accessories. They recently started selling preowned, and have plenty of gems pass through (I just picked up some almost new Alden shell boots for $300 a couple weeks ago).

The Armoury NYC (Tribeca): An outpost of the HK shop. Super friendly and helpful staff, and neat access to some less common tailoring brands in the states. It's a little out of the way from the other stores on the list here, so maybe good to hit first or last depending on where you're staying.

Tokio 7 (East Village): My personal favorite consignment store in NYC (and honestly favorite clothing store period). I've brought half a dozen visiting friends to T7, and everyone has walked away with something they love on their first trip. It's hugely eclectic, and ranges from bizarre Japanese obscura to Rick Owens samples to every noteworthy designer label under the sun. Some stuff is a touch overpriced, and some stuff is wildly underpriced. If you make it to one place on the list, this is the one I'd vouch for. Come by after you wrap up your shopping on the west side, and get lunch at the tiny but delightful Japanese curry spot across the street, Suki.

Aedes Perfumery (LES): A bit of an oddball on the list, this one is a perfume store, but another NYC staple (previously called Aedes de Venustas and a couple blocks from Leffot, they swapped storefronts and updated their name last year). Everything is curated to be unisex, and they focus on high-end scents and makers that aren't commonly stocked at other stores (to give you an idea, they carried Creed for quite a few years, but stopped once they became too 'accessible'). Great place to sample a very broad range of uncommon scents, and they also have diffusers, candles, and other stuff that's easy to fly with. After Aedes, swing by The Hideout Chai Bar for the best chai in the city.

Luxeye Optical (Chinatown): Awesome and completely unassuming little eyewear shop that is one of the only US stockists of a bunch of mostly Japanese quality import brands. The optical selection is excellent, but there's a limited (though good) selection of sunglasses too. If you go, ask for Johnny, who has been in the eyewear business for several decades locally, and has an exceedingly refined ability to match eyewear to your style.

INA (various locations): The other consignment store of note in Manhattan with enough menswear to be worth visiting. There are several locations around lower Manhattan, but my favorites are the Chelsea location (the duo who's usually in charge of the shop are very friendly and I think the offerings tend to be most reliable) and the Soho location. Prices tend to be a bit more marked up than Tokio 7, and the pieces trend toward more recognizable designer names, but overall definitely worth stopping by if you find yourself near one.

Brooklyn

This is a bit more limited on the menswear side, but excellent food options abound. For efficiency, I'd suggest sticking around Williamsburg for shopping, and maybe swinging by Dumbo if walking around Brooklyn Bridge Park appeals to you (it'll probably be cold as hell, but it really is a pleasant walking area).

Brooklyn Tailors (Williamsburg): The name doesn't lie, they are in fact a local brand. Quality mid-range stuff with the strongest stuff sitting between upscale casual tailoring and workwear. They also stock some import brands which tend to be less common in the states. If you go, ask about their Velva Sheen overstock - they have a great relationship with the brand, and tend to have a ton of extra stuff they bring out for their biannual sample sales they might be willing to show you.

Kai D Utility (Williamsburg): Another local brand, and to my knowledge one that has flown almost completely under the radar. The aesthetic is definitely more on the classic workwear side of the fence, but I've been impressed with the quality of the pieces I've handled there, and it definitely fits your request for local spots with character. They also have some nice vintage pieces and a few curated pieces from other brands. The owner himself is usually there, and fun to chat with about his brand.

About Glamour (Williamsburg): Speaking of under the radar, this is the only decent high-end consignment shop I know of in Brooklyn, and the only reason I know it is because I wandered in one afternoon when it was raining. They tend to have a bunch of vintage Yohji, Miyake, CdG, and similar, as well as a motley assortment of other vintage and contemporary stuff.

For lunch, grab a hojicha latte and bento box at Brooklyn Ball Factory, or go off the beaten path a little deeper, and check out Carthage Must Be Destroyed. For dinner in the neighborhood, I highly recommend Win Son, a Michelin Taiwanese-American spot in East Williamsburg. If you're in the mood for something more Italian, The Saint Austere is cozy and delicious.

Anyway, I'll stop there to avoid deluging you with more than what's helpful for a short trip. These are some of my favorites around the city, and definitely digestible to cover in two days. I'm happy to recommend anything else if you're looking for something more specific though, especially for food, drinks, or other shops. Hope that helps, enjoy your time here!
 

mr. magoo

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Friend’s list is very nice.

I always try to make it to the inconveniently located Fine and Dandy too. Really a full array of unusual accessories that are at times classic or even stodgy (arm garters) and sometimes quite contemporary. Easy to pick up a pocket square or pair of slippers you won’t see elsewhere.
 

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