There was a time when clothes shopping in London required three things. Stamina, because you'll be pounding the pavements and dodging punters; time, because you can easily get lost in the huge flagship stores; and most importantly, a riot shield to deal with overwhelmingly huge crowds.
But now, men are being lured away from high street giants by something of a sartorial revolution, as London’s cooler, more cultivated streets take center stage and offer a new take on retail.
Think charming, more intimate décor, low-key neighborhoods and, most importantly, some of the most exciting brands available in the city. Here are the streets worth sussing out.
1 | Lambs Conduit Street
Though this sleepy Bloomsbury street rose to prominence after US prepsters J Crew opened a store there eight months ago, Lambs Conduit has long been a menswear mecca, with Private White VC, Oliver Spencer and Folk Clothing all owning properties in gorgeous Georgian townhouses.
And, earlier this year, Lambs Conduit welcomed men’s shoemaker Grenson, who opened a sleek, sophisticated store just next door to J Crew.
2 | Mount Street
One of the most exclusive postcodes in London has some stylish secrets tucked away if you know where to look. Mount Street is home to Hayward, the impeccably upmarket tailors, as well as Pringle and Lanvin perfect for anyone looking to avoid the chaotic Bond Street.
3 | Beak Street
Nestled in the shadow of the iconic Regent Street, this little walkway to Soho is full of fantastic foodie spots, but also boasts a handful of excellent menswear shops, too. From Gant’s preppy little Rugger shop to the eccentric Paul Smith store, boasting the brand’s first custom made jeans service and some of the snazziest armchairs in the city.
4 | Dover Street
You might associate Dover Street more with cheap veg than designer threads, but Dover Street Market, the brainchild of Comme des Garcons Rei Kawakubo, is a multi-faceted marketplace teeming with high-end stores and exclusive collaborations.
Last year DSM collaborated with Fred Perry on an exclusive range of polo shirts for the iconic brand’s 60th anniversary, and the Kanye West/APC collaboration was also available here. There’s also a café on the top, if you need a pick-me-up between browsing.
5 | Redchurch Street
Shoreditch has always been cutting-edge, almost to the point of parody, but its menswear stores are undeniably sharp, offering vintage boutiques, independent retailers and old favourites to shoppers who head east.
Sunspel, purveyors of the finest cotton boxers and t-shirts (Prince Charles is apparently a fan) set up their first London store here, and hip French label APC have a store on Redchurch Street, too. There’s also Hostem, the shop-meets-art space made from reclaimed wood. You’ll never feel so ahead of the curve.