As you may assume from the by-line above, I am a woman. When recommending menswear to the legions of male readers (and the women that tolerate them), I’ll readily admit a certain aesthetic bias, if you will. Some women like a man in uniform, some prefer a three-piece suit, and still others prefer a sort of “skater” chic. The following men’s designers and boutiques are not only renowned for their impeccable quality of clothes, but they’re a personal recommendation to the male species inhabiting Los Angeles. Put plainly, if I were dating every last one of the men in this city and I took them all shopping (just one of a woman’s many exhausting jobs), these are the places we’d go.
A custom clothing designer based here in Los Angeles, David August creates a man’s wardrobe based on four distinct and equally important categories: David August Black (hand-tailored garments), David August Couture (a lighter, custom garment), David August Accessories (think ties, pocket squares, and cuff links), and Footware. Every man should own something beautiful from each of these categories, whether they believe in cuff links or not. While dressed in one of David August’s sport coats, you may be tempted to order a martini… shaken, not stirred. Just remember that your business card doesn’t say “James Bond, 007.”
David August is based in Costa Mesa. To contact the company, call (714) 545-7848
You’ll be hard pressed to find tailoring as good as it is in Italy. Cesare Attolini, originally from Napoli, knows this almost better than anyone. A true family company, Cesare Attolini is widely considered one of the world’s best tailors and custom suit-makers. Track him (or one of his two sons) down, provide them with your one-of-a-kind measurements, wait up to six weeks, and enjoy your hand-made, personalized suit courtesy of old fashioned, Italian style handiwork. Any lady-in-the-know will take one look at your label (an Attolini signature) and instantly undress you with her eyes.
Rodeo Drive is better known for being a women’s paradise of procuring beautiful items than it is a man’s shopping haven. Pop into Stefano Ricci, however, and everything will change. For well over 30 years, Mr. Ricci has created some of the most covetable, classic, and impeccably made Italian menswear. Their ties are the penultimate and their cuff links will be the envy of the rest of the men in the country club. Among the more expensive menswear collections, Stefano Ricci is the kind of line from which you buy to pass down to future generations – hoping your son will be as stylish as you.
Stefano Ricci is located at 431 N. Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills (310) 858-9595
For the quirkier man who’s not afraid to wear bright colors and fanciful prints, Paul Smith is here to dress you. Every man’s got a bit of Brit in him, so let Paul Smith fix your wardrobe from top to bottom – they make it all from swimwear to suits in prints from polka dots to stripes. His immediately distinguishable boutique on Melrose is so recognizable for its bright pink outside wall that runs alongside the small parking lot. It invites men, not those light of heart or aesthetic, to shop. They’re not exactly redesigning the wheel, they’re just taking your bold, fantasy self and dressing him in reality – try their green and white Bengal stripe shirt, a suit in a Prince of Wales check, or go simply with an Intarsia stripe cardigan. You’re a whole new man.
Paul Smith is located at 8221 Melrose Ave in Los Angeles (323) 951-4800
A certain kind of man shops at John Varvatos. There’s also a certain kind of man who dates a woman who’ll take him to John Varvatos. Mr. Varvatos is known for sleek, skinny suits, beautiful fabrics, bold accessories, and vivid colors. He’s collaborated with Converse, has a casual line called simply John Varvatos USA, and makes everything from shoes to leatherwear and from hats to t-shirts. Borderline trendy, the best things to buy from John Varvatos, whose store is situated on the corner of Melrose and Robertson (just across from Cecconi’s), are the sport coats, casual trousers, t-shirts, sunglasses, and shoes. Don’t forget a hat or two and perhaps a V-neck sweater. You won’t be able to walk out without a couple big black Varvatos bags filled with loot – make sure you’ve got room in your closet.
John Varvatos is located at 8800 Melrose Ave in West Hollywood (310) 859-2970