July 21, 2014
Men’s Clothing, Accessories, and Services in San Francisco and Beyond

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. 

Read More

June 26, 2014
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.[[MORE]]
As most of you know, Alden is considered by many to be the quintessential American shoe company; although there were many in decades past, most of them have declined into corrected grain oblivion. Fortunately for us, Alden has continued to make exceptionally handsome and comfortable shoes out of wonderful materials. These shoes are not particularly dressy, sleek, or sexy; rather, they’re solid, informal, and decidedly American-looking. 
I had a chance to chat with Mike Golden, general manager of the store, and we discussed a few aspects of the San Francisco shop that make it unique. The first is its breadth - the store has a huge amount of styles, most of which are available in a large size range (from 6AA to 14EEE). I personally verified this by taking a quick peek in the back room - there are thousands of little green boxes back there. If you order a pair of Aldens online from their website the order will be fulfilled from the San Francisco shop for this reason. 
The second point of distinction is that the shop carries many unique models due to its close relationship with the factory. You will often see shoes and boots bear the store’s name on their insole, a sign that they were made expressly for this location. Some models catch on and are brought into the regular rotation. Others end up on the top-secret sale display in the back of the shop (it’s one of the very few places you can find discounted Aldens).
The last (and perhaps the most important) unique aspect of the SF Alden shop is their access to rare makeups. Those that keep up with the shell cordovan scene know that Alden is one of the best companies around when it comes to working with the unique material, and that there are many rare models that never get to see the light of day. Colors like cigar, whiskey, and ravello are made in very small quantities by Horween and are extremely difficult to find. Mike told me that they never advertise the available stock in these rare models because they sell so quickly. What’s a blogger to do, then? Just give the store a call and they’ll happily tell you what they have in the back room. In fact, while I was chatting with the staff, we had to pause for an incoming phone call - a gentleman wanted a pair of 12D longwings in whiskey cordovan, and it was his lucky day.
Alden’s prolific use of Horween shell cordovan has made them popular in many circles, but it’s important to remember that they have many other classic models as well. Personally, my favorite are Alden’s suede shoes. They are soft, supple, and come in a beautiful array of colors - I have a hard time resisting the urge to buy them whenever I stop in.
I took a few pictures around the tiny store, but the best way to experience it is to stop by. The shop is small enough that you could walk right by it if you weren’t paying attention, but that’s just part of what makes it so special. It’s like a little secret club for people that appreciate simplicity and good taste. Be sure to take a peek next time you’re in the area.


Suede unlined loafers - perfect for summer.

The Horween Cordovan wall - only black and #8 colors are displayed. 

Unlined bluchers - I’m hoping to grab a pair in suede soon. 

Nobody does tassel loafers better then Alden. 

Blue suede shoes. 

A simple but rare shoe - Alden’s chukka boot in Horween ravello cordovan.  

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.

Read More

February 21, 2014

From last weekend: a casual menswear meetup, made better with donuts, beers, guitars, and roof decks.

(cc: omgerald, jacobbockelmann, urbancomposition, edwinzee, looklikeme)

September 23, 2013

Dinner (and beers) for 25

San Francisco Styleforum Meetup, September 12th 2013

September 13, 2013

The San Francisco Styleforumers had another meetup last night, this time hosted by the great folks at Proper Suit. Needless to say, it was an evening full of laughing, drinking, and feeling hundreds of fabric swatches. Big thanks to McGregor Madden and Max Andreae for hosting a wonderful event. Their company is putting out some great products, and any Bay Area gentleman can get measured for a suit by making an appointment (Max is in San Francisco 1-2 times per month, but appointments fill up quickly). 

Thanks again to all who attended. I’m looking forward to the next one already.

August 13, 2013

Out & About: A-B Fits

I’ve never claimed to be much of a denim head, but the events at Denim Bruin earlier this month reminded me that San Francisco is one of the cornerstones of the denim industry, and that the products found here are some of the best on the globe. Jeans have been part of this city’s culture ever since Levi’s started selling 501s to gold miners (or so the story goes), and have been an integral part of West Coast style ever since.

One of the most famous purveyors of high-quality jeans is A-B Fits, a well-established and well-respected denim shop in San Francisco. The small storefront is nestled away in the North Beach neighborhood and has been supplying San Francisco with top-notch denim for over two decades. 

Read More

May 28, 2013

Urban Exploration - the Presidio

I find it very convenient (and surprising) that one of my favorite spots in the city still remains relatively unknown and very empty. San Francisco is a crowded place and it can be challenging to find a location that is both beautiful and tranquil within the city limits.

The Presidio is a strange place - for over 200 years it was an active military base until control of the area was transferred to the National Park Service in 1994. The area remains a surreal mixture of quaint neighborhoods, military compounds, wooded hilltops and scenic city vistas. It still boggles my mind that such a quiet piece of outdoor solitude can exist within a loud and active city. The smell of eucalyptus groves mixed with the views of the San Francisco skyline is a juxtaposition that I can’t get enough of. 

OCBD - Gant Rugger | Jacket - Gant Rugger | Sweater - J. Crew | Belt - Equus Leather | Shades - Warby Parker | Sneakers - Tretorn Nylites | Messenger Bag - Ernest Alexander | Denim - Gustin (review coming soon)

April 5, 2013

I’d like to thank all the well-dressed men and women that stopped by the styeforum meetup last night, as well as Beckett & Robb for hosting the event and letting us raid their liquor cabinet and rummage through their fabric swatches. There were a lot of new faces in the crowd and it was a pleasure chatting with a diverse group of people sharing a common passion for clothing. I wish I had taken more photos but I suppose the conversation had me occupied all night - this is about all I left with! If you’re in the Bay Area and weren’t able to make it I highly suggest that you stop by Beckett & Robb’s showroom at One Embarcadero Center. 

January 29, 2013

Out & About: Wingtip

The Financial District of San Francisco is an interesting place. I’m there all week but I rarely venture over during the weekend as it generally becomes quite desolate and empty without the bustle of business. However, I decided to change that and went on a weekend visit to the infamous Wingtip (formerly On the Fly), now located in the shadow of the Transamerica tower in the historic Bank of Italy building.

Now, before I even get in to talking about the store I think it’s worth giving a bit of background on the Bank of Italy building. As someone who designs buildings for a living I think it adds a nice bit of context to the whole experience. 

Read More

January 22, 2013
The Golden Gate Bridge as seen from the Marin Headlands.

The Golden Gate Bridge as seen from the Marin Headlands.