It’s on Sale: Private Sale at Unionmade
One of my favorite shops just put much of its stock on sale for 40% off. Use “FIRSTDIBS” at checkout to get the discount. Size runs are limited and sales are final, but there’s a lot of interesting stock left from brands like Golden Bear, Levi’s Vintage Cothing, Mackintosh, Boglioli, Ts(s), Beams+, and others. According to some Styleforum posters, the code worked on some of Unionmade’s Alden makeups, but I couldn’t find any that seemed to work.
-Pete

It’s on Sale: Private Sale at Unionmade

One of my favorite shops just put much of its stock on sale for 40% off. Use “FIRSTDIBS” at checkout to get the discount. Size runs are limited and sales are final, but there’s a lot of interesting stock left from brands like Golden Bear, Levi’s Vintage Cothing, Mackintosh, Boglioli, Ts(s), Beams+, and others. According to some Styleforum posters, the code worked on some of Unionmade’s Alden makeups, but I couldn’t find any that seemed to work.

-Pete

Thick Flannel Shirts
Over the weekend, Jesse listed this Spring’s Seven “Must Have Or You’ll Die” Essentials. Do you know why? Because he lives in Los Angeles, and in Southern California, the four seasons are: spring, summer, summer with slightly chillier nights (but not by much), and spring with slightly chillier nights (but again, not by much). Dear readers: know that I - as your correspondent in the Bay Area - understand that we’re still solidly in winter. Here in the Bay, it’s still cold enough to need chunky sweaters, heavy coats, and the occasional pair of gloves. 
It’s also useful to have a few thick flannel shirts around. I’ve been wearing mine every once in a while with jeans and a leather jacket, and prefer ones made from heavy, coarse fabrics. My favorite sources so far include:
John Lofgren: A highly underrated and underappreciated workwear label. Really nice, thick fabrics made into shirts with slightly short, vintage-y cuts. Available at John Lofgren’s site directly, but also Self Edge and Bench & Loom (although the last two don’t have woven shirts right now).
Flat Head: A Japanese workwear label that draws a lot of inspiration from American motorcycle and hot rod subcultures. They have two lines of shirts – the mainline, which is slim and shorter fitting, and Glory Park, which is just a touch bigger. Of all my flannels, these are easily my favorite, but they’re expensive. If you don’t mind the price, they’re available at Self Edge and Rivet & Hide.
Five Brother: A genuine workwear label that recently started making slim fitting shirts for the fashion crowd. These are made from vividly colored fabrics with coarse weaves and a dry hand. Of all the companies on this list, Five Brother probably offers the best price to value ratio. You can find them now at Bench & Loom, but in the past, Context and Hickoree’s has also carried them (they will again this fall).
Nigel Cabourn: Always a favorite, but his prices are stratospherically high. If it matters, his flannel shirts are sometimes reversible, although the other side of the one I bought is perhaps too “fuzzy” to realistically use. Still, he has some nice subtle detailing that the other brands don’t offer (unique pocket designs, smoke mother-of-pearl buttons, and extra, extra thick fabrics). Available at Nigel Cabourn’s own website or any of his stockists. If you’re not able to afford those retail prices, you’ll have to trawl Yoox and eBay like me.
RRL: Ralph Lauren’s ranch inspired sub-label. The fabrics on RRL shirts really run the gamut, but in general, they’re typically a bit flimsier than the aforementioned brands (at least when it comes to fall/ winter shirts). On the upside, they can often be found on deep discount (I bought mine for about $75). These are available at Ralph Lauren’s website, and certain niche stockists such as Unionmade and Frans Boone.
The best part about wearing thick flannel shirts? With designers such as Daiki Suzuki and Heidi Slimane incorporating them into last year’s looks, you can simultaneously feel very “aritansal heritage workwear” and “high fashion au courant.” Plus, Rick Owens wears them! The dream of the 90s is alive in menswear. At least until spring comes for the rest of us. 

Thick Flannel Shirts

Over the weekend, Jesse listed this Spring’s Seven “Must Have Or You’ll Die” Essentials. Do you know why? Because he lives in Los Angeles, and in Southern California, the four seasons are: spring, summer, summer with slightly chillier nights (but not by much), and spring with slightly chillier nights (but again, not by much). Dear readers: know that I - as your correspondent in the Bay Area - understand that we’re still solidly in winter. Here in the Bay, it’s still cold enough to need chunky sweaters, heavy coats, and the occasional pair of gloves. 

It’s also useful to have a few thick flannel shirts around. I’ve been wearing mine every once in a while with jeans and a leather jacket, and prefer ones made from heavy, coarse fabrics. My favorite sources so far include:

  • John Lofgren: A highly underrated and underappreciated workwear label. Really nice, thick fabrics made into shirts with slightly short, vintage-y cuts. Available at John Lofgren’s site directly, but also Self Edge and Bench & Loom (although the last two don’t have woven shirts right now).
  • Flat Head: A Japanese workwear label that draws a lot of inspiration from American motorcycle and hot rod subcultures. They have two lines of shirts – the mainline, which is slim and shorter fitting, and Glory Park, which is just a touch bigger. Of all my flannels, these are easily my favorite, but they’re expensive. If you don’t mind the price, they’re available at Self Edge and Rivet & Hide.
  • Five Brother: A genuine workwear label that recently started making slim fitting shirts for the fashion crowd. These are made from vividly colored fabrics with coarse weaves and a dry hand. Of all the companies on this list, Five Brother probably offers the best price to value ratio. You can find them now at Bench & Loom, but in the past, Context and Hickoree’s has also carried them (they will again this fall).
  • Nigel Cabourn: Always a favorite, but his prices are stratospherically high. If it matters, his flannel shirts are sometimes reversible, although the other side of the one I bought is perhaps too “fuzzy” to realistically use. Still, he has some nice subtle detailing that the other brands don’t offer (unique pocket designs, smoke mother-of-pearl buttons, and extra, extra thick fabrics). Available at Nigel Cabourn’s own website or any of his stockists. If you’re not able to afford those retail prices, you’ll have to trawl Yoox and eBay like me.
  • RRL: Ralph Lauren’s ranch inspired sub-label. The fabrics on RRL shirts really run the gamut, but in general, they’re typically a bit flimsier than the aforementioned brands (at least when it comes to fall/ winter shirts). On the upside, they can often be found on deep discount (I bought mine for about $75). These are available at Ralph Lauren’s website, and certain niche stockists such as Unionmade and Frans Boone.

The best part about wearing thick flannel shirts? With designers such as Daiki Suzuki and Heidi Slimane incorporating them into last year’s looks, you can simultaneously feel very “aritansal heritage workwear” and “high fashion au courant.” Plus, Rick Owens wears them! The dream of the 90s is alive in menswear. At least until spring comes for the rest of us. 

Ten Sales Here and There

In addition to Pete’s recent post on Hickoree’s sale, I thought I’d list ten end-of-the-season sales I’ve been looking at. Much of the stock has been sold, but there are still some nice items here and there. 

  • Haven: Haven is a Canadian shop with a strong streetwear focus. At the moment, they have a bunch of stuff from Yuketen, Levis Vintage Clothing, Common Projects, and Engineered Garments on discount. I’d like to think I can look as cool as Takahiro Kinoshita in this varsity, but that’s definitely not happening.
  • Totokaelo: Totokaelo mostly stocks “edgy” designer labels, but they also have a lot of casual footwear that I think would appeal to men with classic tastes. Although the discounts aren’t that deep, these APC Ranger boots and Common Projects track sneakers look great. 
  • Bodega: A buddy of mine recently picked up these sneakers by Converse and Nigel Cabourn. They look a bit funky, but work well with the right kind of clothing. Bodega has them for $60, albeit in very limited sizes. Nigel Cabourn and End have them in a wider range of sizes, but not in white. 
  • Roden Gray: Another Canadian operation. They have some Randolph Engineering aviators on sale right now for $107. 
  • French Garment Cleaners: Lots of nice stuff from Engineered Garments and Oak Street Bootmakers. I like this chambray and these boots.
  • Berg & Berg: Lots of accessories at half off. Included are some neckties, scarves, and leather laptop sleeves, the last of which I reviewed a few months ago. 
  • Soto: These guys have a Barbour Bedale made from a very unique grey wool (it usually comes in a waxed green cotton). You might want to check with the store about sizing before you buy, as many people size down on the Bedale, but also have to take it to Barbour to have the sleeves lengthened. I can’t say for sure if Barbour can lengthen the sleeves on this model. 
  • Gentry: Lots of stuff on sale, including a very well-priced pair of chukkas from Eastland’s Made in Maine collection. Eastland’s Made in Maine is … well … made in Maine, and produced from much better materials than what Eastland uses for their mainline.
  • UnionmadeTake another 20% off sale prices with the discount code PLUS20. You can check this old post to see what I thought was particularly nice the first day the sale went up. 
  • J Crew: The official line is that “final sale items” can be discounted by an additional 40% with the checkout code BYEWINTER, but the code also seems to apply to things that aren’t marked as final sale. Such as these tan workboots by Chippewa, which get dropped down to $156 with the code. 

It’s On Sale: Select Items at Unionmade

For those who check our site after midnight, we reward you with an early announcement of Unionmade’s fall/ winter sale. Unionmade is one of the bigger online retailers of niche menswear, with a strong focus on workwear, heritage brands, Japanese imports, and outdoorsy stuff. Today they’ve discounted a wide range of items by 40%. My picks include: these Barbour jackets, soft shouldered Boglioli sport coatsDrake’s accessories, leather laptop sleeves, Grei scarves, Harley of Scotland Shetland sweaters, casual RRL workshirtsChimala chambrays, Scott & Charters basic knits, Levis Vintage Clothing washed jeans, tan Nigel Cabourn “Aircraft” jackets, rubbery Stutterheim raincoats, sport coats by Unionmade and Golden Bear in suede and linenAlden boots I wish were in my size, short wearing Barena sport coats, and Filson weekender coats

Note, all sales are final, and more things will be added to the sale section throughout tonight (with probably everything up by morning time). Another 20% drop will also likely happen in a couple of weeks, but if previous seasons are of any indication, most of Unionmade’s sale stock will be gone by then. 

The Occasional Henley

So lately, I’ve been wearing this outfit pretty often on weekends – a white t-shirt, brown leather jacket, pair of raw jeans, and either sneakers or brown leather boots. It’s an incredibly simple thing to put together and requires very little maintenance. No ironing, no dry cleaning, and no worrying if I’ll stain my t-shirts (as they’re quite cheap to replace).

Wearing the same thing often can be a bit boring though, so sometimes I’ve been swapping out the white t-shirt for a henley. Henleys are pullover shirts with rounded collars and short, buttoned plackets at the front. In the mid-century, they were sometimes know as Wallace Beery because of their association with the 20th-century actor, who was sometimes seen wearing the style on-screen. Some men understandably feel that henleys look too much like long underwear, while others who are old enough to remember the 1990s might think they’re a bit too “Eddie Bauer.” However, if worn with the right kind of clothes, I think they can look pretty good. I wear mine with jeans and leather jackets, but in the photos above, you can see Fok from StyleForum wearing his alone, and Brett from Viberg Boots wearing one underneath a cardigan.

You can find henleys at any number of places. Wings + Horns, RRL, Archival Clothing, Schiesser Revival, and Reigning Champ make them almost every season. Certain stores, such as Blue in Green, Unionmade, and Cultizm also have wide selections, and now that J Crew carries Homespun Knitwear, there should be a decent version in almost every American mall. Additionally, folks looking for a deal might want to visit Bench & Loom. They have a ton of great stuff on clearance right now (though not everything is listed in their sale section, so you’ll want to click around). Included are some henleys starting at $56

Mine are designed by Nigel Cabourn and made by Merz b. Schwanen. They have some vintage-reproduction detailing that I really like, but this particular model is hard to find nowadays (it’s from an old season). Retail is expensive, but like with everything, if you wait for the right sale or scour eBay, you can pick one up for a fraction of the price (I paid about $100-125 for mine). Merz b. Schwanen also makes a wide range of henleys that they’ve designed (here’s one on sale).

I admit, I don’t wear my henleys often, but it’s nice to have a little variety in the dresser drawer when I want to (slightly) deviate from my weekend uniform. 

It’s On Sale: Unionmade

Unionmade has just marked down a lot of spring/summer clothing 40 percent. Unionmade has one of the broadest selections of niche mens wear outside of megastores like Barneys, and although the discounts aren’t as deep as others’ might be, the selection is solid. Some of my picks: a Drumohr cotton cardigan, Quoddy penny loafers, olive twill jeans from Raleigh, New Balance 1300s in an excellently neutral colorway, a cotton/wool SNS Herning cardigan, or a fresco blazer from Barena. Union Made also carries a lot of Gitman Vintage, and some solid color linen models are in the sale in addition to their wilder prints.

The sale is valid in-store as well at their shops, and Unionmade’s discounted items are final sale.

-Pete

Floppy Shoes
I love floppy shoes, particularly for wearing on warm weather days. By floppy, I mean what’s usually referred to as unlined - a term that’s kind of a misnomer since few shoes are truly made without any lining. Like with neckties, when a company describes their shoes as unlined, what they usually mean is that they’re partially or lightly lined, as some lining is often still used to give the shoes some structure. 
To explain, a well-made pair of leather shoes will usually have a full leather sock liner built in. That means two pieces of leather are joined together to form the upper. There’s the leather that faces the outside world, and the leather that touches your feet. By joining these two pieces together, you get something that has a bit more structure and will holds its shape better. Without the lining, however, you get a softer, more comfortable shoe. Whereas most leather shoes need a break-in period, unlined shoes will feel like slippers on first wear. 
My own floppy unlined shoes are by Alden. I have two pairs of their suede chukkas – one in snuff suede and the other in tan. The bottom is built on Alden’s flex welt sole, which is a thin, water-locked, oiled leather. It’s exceptionally flexible and complements the shoes’ unlined construction well. The combination of the two makes for a lightweight, comfortable boot that looks as great with jeans and chinos as they do with grey wool trousers.
They’re expensive at full retail, but sometimes you can find them for about half off on eBay. Allen Edmonds has a similar model called the Amok. The shape is slightly sleeker, and it comes in at $250. Nordstorm describes it as having a leather lining, but you can see this isn’t true when you zoom in on the photos.
Alden also makes unlined derbys and loafers, which you can find through Harrison, Unionmade, Leffot, and Shoemart. The unlined loafers also come in shell cordovan (most notably in the well-beloved Horween #8, which has a beautiful reddish-brown color). That one is sold exclusively through Brooks Brothers, who has them on discount today as part of their Corporate Card event (30% off for anyone who holds a Brooks corporate card). For something a bit more affordable – but no less well made – consider Rancourt. They have a made-to-order system that can allow you to order any of their shoes unlined. I’m personally thinking of getting some snuff suede unlined penny loafers from them in the next month or so. 
(Photo credit: Unionmade)

Floppy Shoes

I love floppy shoes, particularly for wearing on warm weather days. By floppy, I mean what’s usually referred to as unlined - a term that’s kind of a misnomer since few shoes are truly made without any lining. Like with neckties, when a company describes their shoes as unlined, what they usually mean is that they’re partially or lightly lined, as some lining is often still used to give the shoes some structure. 

To explain, a well-made pair of leather shoes will usually have a full leather sock liner built in. That means two pieces of leather are joined together to form the upper. There’s the leather that faces the outside world, and the leather that touches your feet. By joining these two pieces together, you get something that has a bit more structure and will holds its shape better. Without the lining, however, you get a softer, more comfortable shoe. Whereas most leather shoes need a break-in period, unlined shoes will feel like slippers on first wear. 

My own floppy unlined shoes are by Alden. I have two pairs of their suede chukkas – one in snuff suede and the other in tan. The bottom is built on Alden’s flex welt sole, which is a thin, water-locked, oiled leather. It’s exceptionally flexible and complements the shoes’ unlined construction well. The combination of the two makes for a lightweight, comfortable boot that looks as great with jeans and chinos as they do with grey wool trousers.

They’re expensive at full retail, but sometimes you can find them for about half off on eBay. Allen Edmonds has a similar model called the Amok. The shape is slightly sleeker, and it comes in at $250. Nordstorm describes it as having a leather lining, but you can see this isn’t true when you zoom in on the photos.

Alden also makes unlined derbys and loafers, which you can find through Harrison, Unionmade, Leffot, and Shoemart. The unlined loafers also come in shell cordovan (most notably in the well-beloved Horween #8, which has a beautiful reddish-brown color). That one is sold exclusively through Brooks Brothers, who has them on discount today as part of their Corporate Card event (30% off for anyone who holds a Brooks corporate card). For something a bit more affordable – but no less well made – consider Rancourt. They have a made-to-order system that can allow you to order any of their shoes unlined. I’m personally thinking of getting some snuff suede unlined penny loafers from them in the next month or so. 

(Photo credit: Unionmade)

It’s On Sale: Unionmade Goods

The San Francisco-based store, Unionmade, started their semi-annual sale today and one of the most notable things are the wide variety of wool sweaters in an array of hues. Check out the selection of sweaters from Harley of Scotland ($90), Howlin’ by Morrison ($109), S.N.S. Herning ($120) and Beams+ ($131). Any of these would go well over a button-down collared shirt and under a cool-weather casual jacket with jeans and boots. As with all end-of-season sales, sizes available are limited. 

-Kiyoshi

Your Fall/ Winter Scarf

As the temperatures begin to dip, it will be important for you to have a few scarves on hand. If it’s cold enough, you’ll obviously wear yours with an overcoat or some kind of heavy winter outerwear. If it’s not, however, a scarf can be even more important, as it may be your only source of warmth. 

When buying one, it’s important to pay attention to a few key things:

  • Material: Generally speaking, cashmere will be softer and warmer than wool or lambswool, but it really depends on the quality. A lambswool/ angora blend by Alex Begg, for example, will be nicer than any cheap cashmere. You can also get scarves in either silk or cotton, but those tend to not be as warm. Whichever you choose, I recommend staying away from acrylic. There are too many affordable, good scarves, made from natural materials, to justify buying an acrylic scarf. 
  • Nap and size: Pay attention to the size and nap. I personally prefer scarves to be around 70” long, and never go below 63”. As Will from A Suitable Wardrobe shows, if your scarf is too short, you won’t be able to tie it. You’ll also want to pay attention to the width. If your scarf is too thin, it will hang like a silly noodle around your neck. Lastly, note that rougher materials, such as some lambswools, will be more difficult to tie into knots.
  • Color and patterns: As I’ve written before, I think scarves are worn best when they complement, but not match, the rest of your ensemble. That means picking one with complementary colors or a secondary color that matches your jacket or coat. I personally find solid colored scarves, or those with plaids, windowpanes, and stripes, to be the easiest to wear, but you can also get scarves in Fair Isle, dip dye, or houndstooth designs. 

So with that, what are some of your best options? 

Of course, there are hundreds of good scarves to be had, so the above list isn’t meant to be exhaustive. If you’re on the market to buy one, however, the above can be a good place to start. 

Q & A: Where to Shop For Men’s Clothes in San Francisco?
Chris writes from Germany: Next month, I’ll be in California for vacation and would like to get some recommendations for stores and boutiques in San Francisco that sell unique and classy clothes like the ones you cover in your blog.  I would be thrilled if you guys could offer some suggestions.
It just so happens that I’m a native of the ‘Sco, and I’d be happy to help you out.  San Francisco’s one of the best shopping cities in the world, and there are a wealth of choices.
Let’s start with new casual clothes.  The denim-only store Self Edge opened its first outlet in San Francisco some years ago.  If you’re interested in jeans, it’s probably the best store in the world.  Be aware, though, that you’ll be spending a few hundred bucks.
MAC, which stands for Modern Appealing Clothing, is probably the best store in the city for contemporary designer casual clothes.  If you’re the kind of guy who buys Maison Martin Margiela or Rick Owens, it’s a must-visit - you can find in Hayes Valley, a couple of blocks from City Hall.  Even if you’re not the designer type, it’s worth browsing.  Prices are, as you might expect, quite high.  Saks Fifth Avenue and Barney’s, both of which are off Union Square, are also great sources for that sort of thing.  Also worth checking out is Unionmade, which opened quite recently and offers authentic and “authentic” clothing for people who are really into, you know, craft and heritage and that kind of stuff.
If you’re looking for something a bit classier, there are options there, as well.  The classic is the men’s clothier Wilkes Bashford.  The owner, Wilkes, was forced to sell a year or two ago, but it was to sympathetic buyers, and he remains at the head of the operation.  It’s as luxurious a menswear store as exists in the world.  Wilkes is good friends with the former mayor (and famous dandy) Willie Brown Jr., and has outfitted him for many years.  Wilkes is, again, downtown near Union Square.
A little further downtown, you can find Cable Car Clothiers, one of the last true traditional menswear stores on the West Coast.  If you’re looking for a Sherlock Holmes hat, sold without irony, this is the place to visit.  They also sell British-made umbrellas and American-made suits and everything else that was as classic in 1945 as it was in 1965 as it was in 1985 as it is today.  Again, you won’t save money shopping here, but it’s a truly magical place.  It’s also not too far from the Alden Store, on Sutter, where they can show you the full line of Alden shoes for men.
If you’re interested in spending a little less, there are a lot of options there, as well.  I’m fond of many thrift stores in San Francisco, but I’m a little hesitant to blow up my spots.  I’ll say that the Town School Clothes Closet is full of wonderful things which are a bit overpriced, but prices come down during regular sales.  I’ve always enjoyed thrifting in the Mission, where I grew up, but if you head to the Fillmore, you’ll find more treasures.  That’s where rich people live, you see.  If you really want to get crazy, check out the Goodwill As-Is Store, South of Market, where you can literally fight people as you go through piles of clothes on long, narrow tables in what amounts to a dungeon of savings.
There’s plenty of vintage in San Francisco, as well.  I’ve been a customer at Clothes Contact, on Valencia at 16th, since they opened… 20 years ago, maybe?  I remember buying a bandleader jacket there because I thought it made me look like Michael Jackson.  (While you’re in the Mission, say hi to my friends Lan and Lino at the amazing vintage furniture and housewares store The Apartment).  La Rosa is the best of the vintage stores on Haight Street, and it’s also right nearby Amoeba Records.
It’s tough to find good men’s consignment, but Goodbyes does it better than any other store I’ve run across.  Quality goods, reasonable prices, and sometimes even helpful sales staff.  (One lady is super-mean, but mostly they’re very nice.)  You can also check out Jeremy’s, which has a stock that’s split between store liquidations and consignments.  A little pricier and often a little lower-quality, but also a little less fussy.
Hopefully that’s enough to fill your time.  
If I might offer some unsolicited tourist advice: many San Francisco tourist traps are great.  Cable cars, for example, are still cool to me.  Riding a bike in Golden Gate Park is wonderful.  Alcatraz is pretty neat, too.  Fisherman’s Wharf, though, is fucking awful.  Don’t go there.  If you do, skip everything except The Musee Mechanique, at Pier 45.

Q & A: Where to Shop For Men’s Clothes in San Francisco?

Chris writes from Germany: Next month, I’ll be in California for vacation and would like to get some recommendations for stores and boutiques in San Francisco that sell unique and classy clothes like the ones you cover in your blog.  I would be thrilled if you guys could offer some suggestions.

It just so happens that I’m a native of the ‘Sco, and I’d be happy to help you out.  San Francisco’s one of the best shopping cities in the world, and there are a wealth of choices.

Let’s start with new casual clothes.  The denim-only store Self Edge opened its first outlet in San Francisco some years ago.  If you’re interested in jeans, it’s probably the best store in the world.  Be aware, though, that you’ll be spending a few hundred bucks.

MAC, which stands for Modern Appealing Clothing, is probably the best store in the city for contemporary designer casual clothes.  If you’re the kind of guy who buys Maison Martin Margiela or Rick Owens, it’s a must-visit - you can find in Hayes Valley, a couple of blocks from City Hall.  Even if you’re not the designer type, it’s worth browsing.  Prices are, as you might expect, quite high.  Saks Fifth Avenue and Barney’s, both of which are off Union Square, are also great sources for that sort of thing.  Also worth checking out is Unionmade, which opened quite recently and offers authentic and “authentic” clothing for people who are really into, you know, craft and heritage and that kind of stuff.

If you’re looking for something a bit classier, there are options there, as well.  The classic is the men’s clothier Wilkes Bashford.  The owner, Wilkes, was forced to sell a year or two ago, but it was to sympathetic buyers, and he remains at the head of the operation.  It’s as luxurious a menswear store as exists in the world.  Wilkes is good friends with the former mayor (and famous dandy) Willie Brown Jr., and has outfitted him for many years.  Wilkes is, again, downtown near Union Square.

A little further downtown, you can find Cable Car Clothiers, one of the last true traditional menswear stores on the West Coast.  If you’re looking for a Sherlock Holmes hat, sold without irony, this is the place to visit.  They also sell British-made umbrellas and American-made suits and everything else that was as classic in 1945 as it was in 1965 as it was in 1985 as it is today.  Again, you won’t save money shopping here, but it’s a truly magical place.  It’s also not too far from the Alden Store, on Sutter, where they can show you the full line of Alden shoes for men.

If you’re interested in spending a little less, there are a lot of options there, as well.  I’m fond of many thrift stores in San Francisco, but I’m a little hesitant to blow up my spots.  I’ll say that the Town School Clothes Closet is full of wonderful things which are a bit overpriced, but prices come down during regular sales.  I’ve always enjoyed thrifting in the Mission, where I grew up, but if you head to the Fillmore, you’ll find more treasures.  That’s where rich people live, you see.  If you really want to get crazy, check out the Goodwill As-Is Store, South of Market, where you can literally fight people as you go through piles of clothes on long, narrow tables in what amounts to a dungeon of savings.

There’s plenty of vintage in San Francisco, as well.  I’ve been a customer at Clothes Contact, on Valencia at 16th, since they opened… 20 years ago, maybe?  I remember buying a bandleader jacket there because I thought it made me look like Michael Jackson.  (While you’re in the Mission, say hi to my friends Lan and Lino at the amazing vintage furniture and housewares store The Apartment).  La Rosa is the best of the vintage stores on Haight Street, and it’s also right nearby Amoeba Records.

It’s tough to find good men’s consignment, but Goodbyes does it better than any other store I’ve run across.  Quality goods, reasonable prices, and sometimes even helpful sales staff.  (One lady is super-mean, but mostly they’re very nice.)  You can also check out Jeremy’s, which has a stock that’s split between store liquidations and consignments.  A little pricier and often a little lower-quality, but also a little less fussy.

Hopefully that’s enough to fill your time. 

If I might offer some unsolicited tourist advice: many San Francisco tourist traps are great.  Cable cars, for example, are still cool to me.  Riding a bike in Golden Gate Park is wonderful.  Alcatraz is pretty neat, too.  Fisherman’s Wharf, though, is fucking awful.  Don’t go there.  If you do, skip everything except The Musee Mechanique, at Pier 45.