There’s gridlock in the House and Senate, the markets still look shaky, and the Caps can’t catch a break—when’s the last time the Washington man got to check something off in the win column? But take heart, guys: At least nowadays you can look good while listing those #firstworldproblems, thanks to a slew of cool new men’s stores that have popped up in Washington this past year, just begging to help you update your pleated khakis and tired North Faces. From 3D body scanners to yellow bow ties, here are six new ways for men to refresh their closets.
The wardrobe necessity: A suit that actually fits
Where to find it: Alton Lane
Alton Lane’s Dupont Circle showroom combines the comforts of home, the look of a private club (leather couches and Scotch on the rocks included), and a state-of-the-art 3D body scanner to create an entirely new custom suit experience for men.
And what can you expect to find on the racks? “With the colder weather, we’re selling a lot of tweed blazers and flannel suits, which are both great ways to stay warm and still express your style,” says cofounder Colin Hunter. As for opening the DC showroom after much success with the New York flagship, Hunter couldn’t be more excited: “We want to not only be a part of the [men’s style] movement in DC, but also help steer it.”
Alton Lane. 1506 19th St., NW; 646-896-1212.
The wardrobe necessity: Rugged, outdoorsy weekend wear
Where to find it: Federal
Specializing in made-in-the-USA items and boasting the tagline “head to toe quality,” Federal is your one-stop shop for heritage brands such as Filson, Pendleton, Red Wing, and Levi’s Vintage Clothing.
“We’ve handpicked a lot of classic items that are new to DC,” owner Greg Grammen tells us. “Every city should have a store that carries these products, so we’re filling that void.”
For example? “Every guy needs a pair of Red Wing boots,” says Grammen. “I wear mine every day.” He suggests pairing the boots with a water- and wind-resistant Filson weekender coat and Levi’s 501 shrink-to-fit Red Line selvedge denim jeans. You’ll find these items and other classics piled high on Federal’s industrial wooden tables, which give the store a decidedly rustic-cool vibe.
Federal. 2216 14th St., NW; 202-519-3375.
The wardrobe necessity: Smart, sturdy laptop, travel, and gym bags
Where to find it: Jack Spade
“Full of personality without being overly precious” is how Jack Spade store manager Antonio Commisso describes the brother brand to preppy-chic Kate Spade.
The store carries a selection of top-selling heavy canvas waxwear bags, which are a must have for every busy Washington man.
Jack Spade is also a destination for classic American sportswear: suiting, shirting, utilitarian chinos and sweaters.
“We focus on the raw materials, the needlework, the construction and the finish,” says Commisso, who is thrilled to have set up shop in DC: “Jack is rooted as an American heritage brand—what better place to showcase that than in the nation’s capital?”
Jack Spade. 1250 Wisconsin Ave., NW; 202-333-1905.
The wardrobe necessity: One-on-one styling sessions with a woman who will dress you better than you ever could
Where to find it: The Black Room at Lost Boys
The latest venture from this Georgetown men’s clothier is a decked-out private upstairs studio where owner Kelly Muccio styles clients in one-on-one sessions with inventory that spans far beyond what’s offered downstairs. (Read our full review of the Black Room here.)
“Every man has a signature style, and that’s why each item in the Black Room is individually selected and brought in,” says Muccio. Her most coveted item this winter has been a burgundy-black Ferragamo boot. Muccio agrees there’s never been a better time for men to shop the District: “There’s been an explosion of creativity in the city—new restaurants, new art—and men are taking notice and taking more chances with what they’re wearing.”
The Black Room at Lost Boys. 1033 31st St., NW; 202-333-0093.
The wardrobe necessity: Non-boring bow ties
Where to find it: Accoutre
“Our bow ties aren’t what you’d call typical, and definitely not conservative,” says company founder Eliot Payne. His handmade designs range in style from “mildly subversive to outright brazen” (like the metallic leopard print one he sported on New Year’s Eve). Wintertime bestsellers have pleasantly unexpected textures, like blue velvet, vintage corduroy, and a reversible fuchsia and denim number—all popular with a DC client base becoming more interested in style and dressing well, and which Payne says is growing. So is Accoutre for you? According to Payne, his ties work for “anyone who is comfortable standing out in a crowd.”
The wardrobe necessity: Basics from a bunch of different brands
Where to find it: Streets of Georgetown
A casual sport coat? Check. A great-fitting suit? Check. A sense of style creativity? Check! You’ll find all three at Streets of Georgetown, which offers made-to-measure services through Hickey Freeman, Hart Schaffner Marx, and Coppley (without upcharges for, say, different linings or buttons).
Streets—so named for its many brands converging under one roof—has its flagship in Beverly Hills. Local manager Jack Eggleston is thrilled that the second shop has opened up in DC. “Georgetown was a logical location for us because of its rich culture and heritage,” he says. Streets also offers a wide selection of off-the-rack tailored clothing. Its best-selling item? “Our woven sport shirts,” says Eggleston. “Ranging from $145 to $295, these flew off the shelves. It’s a great piece to add to your wardrobe without spending a tremendous amount of money.”
Streets of Georgetown. 1254 Wisconsin Ave., NW; 202-295-9098.
The wardrobe necessity: Get-noticed neckties and punchy pocket squares
Where to find it: Derringer Friday
Derringer Friday’s colorful patterned ties and pocket squares are unique and eye-catching—“from the cut to the fabrics we use to the way we suggest men wear them,” says cofounder Scott Perman.
Derringer’s aesthetic occupies both ends of the style spectrum. “We like to make relatively eccentric, limited-run ties to sell at events, and those tend to sell out pretty quickly,” says Perman. But don’t worry if your wardrobe requires something a bit more conservative: “We [also] always have some sort of solid blue tie available,” he adds.