WINTER LOOKS Drop your Zappos, gentlemen, it's time to score some 2012 flash at the brick and mortars. Once slim pickin's in terms of local, independent, mostly affordable menswear options (RIP, Kweejibo and Huf), San Francisco's manly man shopping scene has been on the upswing lately, augmenting essential mainstays like Sui Generis, Upper Playground, Nomads, Azalea, D-Structure, Density, Darkside Initiative, and Revolver with fresh faves (including Welcome Stranger, pictured in this issue's fashion photospread). Here's a handful of relative newbies to get into.
It's been a wee while since I found myself clothes shopping in North Beach, but Acre/SF — above the usual touristy fray in a cool spot on Telegraph Hill — drew me in the moment I heard about it. It's brought to us by the folks at Acrimony, but with a stronger focus on handsome casualwear and a slightly lower price point. A nifty pop-up Gitman Brothers vintage-y flannel shop paired well with Acre's Blue Bottle coffee when I was there (it's also a café with a great view), and more such felicitous additions are in store, I'm told.
301 Union, SF. (415) 875-9590, www.acresf.com
The just-out-the-box Fillmore boutique falls into the Ivy League-aspirational category of current menswear trends, but with a dash of urban snazz. The natty clothes aren't priced too outrageously (button-down shirts are around $80), and familiar classics are tweaked with unique elements like scalloped collars and stripy inseams. Husband-wife owners Ron and Tricia Benitez have reworked an old mattress store into an absolutely lovely space with brick walls and blond wood floors. Here's where you'll score that funky two-tone cardigan, irreplaceable Oxford, or much-sought-after Makia tee. You'll have to supply your own air of undergrad gravitas.
1850 Fillmore, SF. (415) 567-5953, Facebook: Asmbly Hall
GANGS OF SAN FRANCISCO
A retro-cute Hayes Valley hole in the wall whose eponymous t-shirt line, designed by Buenos Aires transplant Laureano Faedi, emblazons vintage graphics of San Francisco historiana ("Sutro Speedway," "Bayview Butchers," "Fleischhaker Diving Club" ) onto comfy tees.
66 Gough, SF. www.gangsofsanfrancisco.com
MAAS & STACKS
Yum. I want to eat/wear everything in this small but powerfully curated shop at Church and Market, from the sturdily-structured Norse Projects hooded jackets to the micro-patterned White Mountaineering FW11 sweaters. Owners Stephen Chen and Otto Zoell are helping to finally make the Castro an actual shopping destination for people uninterested in fluorescent pink mankinis and rainbow love beads.
2128 Market, SF. (415) 679-5629, www.maasandstacks.com
NEW JACK CITY
This delicious Mission B-boy vintagewear throwback joint got some love in our Best of the Bay Editors Picks last year, but it's worth pumping what may just be the coolest secondhand gear store in SF for freaky-stylies. A mouthwatering selection of broken-in team jackets (satin even!), sports team tees and caps, geometric-patterned pullovers, neon tracksuits, and any number of awesome retro streetwear goods awaits you and your fantasy breakdancing self.
299 Guerrero, SF. (415) 624-3751, newjackcitysf.blogspot.com