Okay, so only four of its seven floors are of interest to guys, but when you consider that's more than half of the 43,000 square feet, we figure that's plenty. Excelsior is a must-see megastore near the Duomo, offering a third floor with an amazing sneaker selection, excellent suiting — this is Milan, after all, and outstanding leather goods, a ground floor overflowing with the latest gadgetry and fine fragrances, a mezzanine "food court" that will have you rethinking your concept of the term, and a bottom floor grocery store that puts your local Whole Foods to shame. Just don't forget to bring your wallet — odds are you won't be leaving empty-handed (or empty-stomached, for that matter).
It's not the place to go buy the latest and greatest releases. Nor is it a place to go buy CDs, DVDs, or other hard plastic discs. But if you're looking for vinyl, Groove Merchant Records is the place to be. This collectors haven has been operating in the Lower Haight for over two decades, dedicating itself to finding the best rare and obscure vinyl from around the world, then tossing it onto the shelves for your amusement. As you might imagine, the staff — including owner Chris Veltri, aka Cool Chris — are highly knowledgeable and friendly, so even if you're new to record buying, you'll feel right at home.
The natural movements of water can be quite relaxing. So can a day of spa treatments. Combine the two with a trip to Bota Bota. Located in a transformed former ferryboat, this Old Montreal spa features five decks, housing two saunas with river views, a eucalyptus steam bath, outdoor whirlpool baths, cold showers and baths, chillout areas, a garden, various terraces, and a restaurant. While you're there, indulge in massages, body and facial treatments, manicures, pedicures, yoga, and pilates. And should you begin to feel a bit too feminine, just order up a martini and remember: you're on a boat.
Don't go searching through the brand names at Redeem if you're looking for reassurance that you're buying the right thing — selling established names isn't their mission. Instead, this independent boutique specializes in up-and-coming designers, and as such is stocked with names you might not be familiar with. Fear not, however, as the shop does a great job of curating only quality goods, most of which will normally leave you looking far more fashionable than anything you're going to find at the local mall.
Take your concept of a normal store and throw it out the window, because none of them apply to LN-CC — aka the Late Night Chameleon Cafe. This Dalston shop is split up into individual rooms that feel straight out of a movie set, with a library, record store, event space, shoe/leather goods room, outerwear room, and private in-store bar included in the list of various nooks and crannies. The products are just as interesting as the store itself, with items from Comme des Garcons, Dita, Lanvin, Rick Owens, and Yohji Yamamoto among the offerings. Just don't expect to show up and start shopping — the store operates on an appointment-only basis.
It's vaguely military inspired, so the name HDQTRS (pronounced "headquarters") makes some sense. But it sounds even better when you realize that the first half of the name is referring to an actual head — in this case, yours. One of just several cool retailers located near the intersection of 8th and G, this premium headwear shop offers unique caps from the likes of Benny Gold, Blue Marlin, Mint Creations, Official, Quintin, and more, as well as unique accessories that range from wallets and phone cases to shaving sets and jewelry. [Scouted by Garrick]
Tired of going to vintage shops only to be relegated to a small section in the back — or worse yet, just a single rack of mens goods swimming in a sea of womenswear? Swing by Joyride. This vintage store is dedicated to mens clothing from the Victorian period through the 1960's and later, with a large selection of shirts, suiting, and accessories. But like any good vintage shop, it doesn't stop with just clothes, filling out the gaps in its shelves with an interesting slate of collectibles, oddities, books, and other items that are sure to jazz up your home or office.
It doesn't matter if you plan to mind your P's & Q's or not — you'll want to make a visit to the South Street emporium of the same name. Family owned and operated, this well-designed shop offers a selection of hand-picked goods that exude quality and style. Labels including Baldwin, Gant Rugger, Naked and Famous, New Balance, Pendleton, Patagonia, Tretorn, Power House, and Taschen fill the shelves, encompassing everything from shirts and denim to shoes, accessories, and books. Whether you live in the area or are just stopping by, it's worth a visit.
We've long been fans of Topo Designs' gear, and finally there's a place to browse their whole catalog at once. The new flagship Topo Designs Store gives you an opportunity to browse their range of bags, apparel, and accessories, from accessory pulls and wallets to klettersacks and duffel bags. Also on offer are some choice outdoorsy magazines, as well as a range of camping and outdoor equipment and a solid selection of sunglasses. And as you might expect from an outdoor-focused company, the store itself is easy on the environment, as it's built from two recycled shipping containers, giving it an appropriately rugged feel.
Sure, Michigan might not be the first place you think of for a surfboard shop, but anyone who's ever been out on the Great Lakes can attest to the surfing being just fine — if you know where to find it. Third Coast Surf Shop seeks to outfit these hardy lake surfers, offering a full compliment of wetsuits, leashes, wax, racks, carriers, surfboards, paddleboards, skateboards, magazines, books, surfing DVDs, and self-branded shirts, hoodies, sandals, and hats. In addition, the company runs another location in New Buffalo, so you have more than one place to get geared up.
Most people might know it better by the name of the TV show it was featured on — Miami Ink — but by any name, the artists at Love Hate Tattoo Studio are some of the best in the business. Owned by Ami James and Chris Nunez, this shop is located just where you'd expect — in South Beach — and is home to a dozen artists, each with their own strengths. While they still handle walk-ins, they're rather popular (as should be expected), so it's probably best to make an appointment if you plan on getting work done while you're in town.
The Marvel Bar is one of the best bars in town. The Bachelor Farmer is one of the area's best restaurants. But the brothers behind them weren't satisfied, so they had to go and open one of the best mens stores in the area, too. Taking up a 1,000 square foot corner of the same restored warehouse that's home to the aforementioned purveyors of food & booze, Askov Finlayson is a well-curated collection of high-quality goods any guy would be happy to own. With a line of self-branded co-op goods and products from the likes of Apolis, Barbour, Fjällräven, Poler, Shinola, Topo Designs, and more, you're bound to find something to take home — even if you didn't mean to.