Most of the questions my fellow bloggers and I seem to receive are inquiries for local information - the best stores, best tailors, and so on. These are reasonable questions, to be sure, but it can be difficult to answer them all. For that reason, I’ve compiled this super cool interactive map that should help everyone out, whether you’re just in town for the afternoon or you’re a seasoned local looking for a new place to get a haircut.
I will do my best to keep this map updated and accurate, but understand that stores open, close, and move all the time. And although I’ve tried to be as thorough as possible, I have undoubtedly missed places worth mentioning. For that reason, I encourage everyone to add their suggestions, additions, and corrections in the comments below.
Anyway, here it is (if you’re reading this on tumblr, you’ll have to click the little gray box to see the map; if you’re on tumblr mobile, you’re probably out of luck). There’s a lot of information crammed in this map, so hit the “full screen” icon on the top right to be taken to the original size.
The map is divided into three layers - clothing and accessories, barbers, and alteration tailors. I included websites, addresses and a brief description of the establishment in each pin. There’s a lot of information to digest, so I’ve copied it all below as well.
The Summer Staples, Revisited
Last year I posted a photo outlining my core pieces for the Spring and Summer months. As I anticipated, I did wear all those items extensively last year, and continue to do so now. However, my lifestyle has changed a bit in the past year and I find myself having less opportunities to wear sportcoats and ties; for that reason, I thought I would update with a version more congruent with what I’m wearing now. So here are my summer 2014 all-stars, piece by piece:
It’s On Sale: Swim Trunks at J. Crew
Still looking for a pair of swim trunks this summer? J. Crew is currently offering 50% off sale items with the code TODAYONLY, which brings a large selection of swim trunks down to as low as $15. My favorites are the 6” navy tonal seersucker ones pictured above, currently at $35 with the code (also available in a 9” length, if that’s more your thing). You can browse all the swimwear stock on sale here. Note that some of those models don’t have a mesh lining, so keep an eye out if that’s something you want.
There are other items included in the sale, of course, but these are what stood out to me. Although I like the idea of high-end swimwear, there’s no way I’m going to pay more than $50 for a pair of trunks. I currently use a pair of J. Crew’s trunks from last year and they have been great for the price.
Mastering a Necessary Evil - How to Iron a Shirt
I’ve seen many men talk about how relaxing, cathartic, and otherwise enjoyable it is to polish shoes. It’s one of those tasks that is perfectly fit for a slow Sunday afternoon, and it reigns supreme as the most popular clothing maintenance routine.
Ironing, on the other hand, doesn’t get any love from anyone and usually holds the bottom spot in most to-do lists. Some prefer to outsource the work to a local cleaner, and some just ignore the problem altogether (this is me, usually). Neither of these options is preferable, of course. Dry cleaning shirts is unnecessarily tough on the fabric, and professional washing and folding can get expensive quickly. There may be times when wearing an unironed shirt can work, but not when you need to look sharp.
As with most things, successful ironing comes down to the tools you use and the procedure you follow. I won’t claim to be an expert in this field, but over the years I have found a few ways to improve my end result.
What I Wore Last Weekend - San Francisco Summer
I told you guys that summers in SF were gray and chilly, and I wasn’t kidding.
As an aside - I’ll be in my home state of Oregon for a few days, so regular posting will probably resume some time next week. If you’d like to stay in the loop while I’m away, follow me on twitter and instagram.
Out & About: The Alden Shop of San Francisco (170 Sutter St.)
There are quite a few clothing stores in downtown San Francisco. Some are common and approachable, like Uniqlo and Macy’s, while others like Nieman Marcus and Wilkes Bashford are only for the true ballers among us. Of course, it should come as no surprise that my favorite store is neither of these things - it is small, unassuming, and focused on doing just one thing but doing it well. It’s something surprisingly unique to the Bay Area, too - the Alden Shop of San Francisco.
I know what you’re thinking: “I thought Alden was a Massachusetts brand! It says ‘New England’ right there in the photo!” Well, you’re not wrong, but it’s a bit more complicated than that. Alden shoes are indeed made in New England, and they’re sold at high-end retailers all over the world. What makes the San Francisco shop unique is that it is one of only two stores that is directly affiliated with the factory (the other one is in Washington, D.C.). For that reason, it is the biggest - and best - collection of Alden shoes anywhere.
Product Review - SuitSupply Tuxedo
This might be my most off-season review yet, but I’m going for it anyway. Why? Because although there is certainly a black tie “season,” the beauty of the Black Tie Event is that it can strike at any time. The key is preparedness, because you’ll never have time to create a black tie rig from scratch once the event is on the calendar. It may hurt to drop serious cash on a thing you have no immediate use for, but once a tuxedo is in your closet the opportunities to use it have a way of appearing - that’s just how these things work.
I attend black tie events at least once per year, and I have been planning a tuxedo purchase for a while now. I have had good experiences with SuitSupply in the past, and their classic tuxedo has been in my crosshairs for a good amount of time. Their tuxedo is interesting to me because it is often recommended as the best tux for the price, and yet there is very little information available on it. I’m not sure if the people recommending it aren’t speaking from experience or if the people that own them just keep it to themselves, but either way there is little to be learned about this garment on the internet. I decided to take the plunge; here’s what I learned.
It’s On Sale: 14% Off at Self Edge (in-store and online)
Self Edge, one of the best denim and workwear stores around,is having a rare sale this weekend to celebrate the much-anticipated launch of their new website. The sale runs from today until Sunday in stores and until Monday online (code JeanFinder will get you 14% off and free shipping worldwide). Self Edge has retail locations in San Francisco, New York City, Los Angeles, and Portland.
Of course, 14% off doesn’t sound like much of a discount (and hardly covers sales tax here in San Francisco), but the items that Self Edge carries are extremely difficult to find on sale, so this is about as low as things go. If you’ve been thinking about picking up a high-end pair of selvage denim, this is a good opportunity to do so. The sale starts at 9am online - if you’re interested in getting something I’d scope it out now since sizes can go quickly.
(Photo via edwinzee)