• The Best Men’s Store in America

    Store Profiles  

    It's almost four o'clock on a Monday as my driver (yes, you too can have a driver too via UberX) pulls off Howell Mill Road on the west side of Atlanta. For those familiar, you know I'm pulling up to Sid Mashburn. It's been almost three years since I was last in...five since I profiled his then two year-old shop here on Unabashedly Prep. While the shop has waxed cooler with the addition of a giraffe procured from a Parisian flea market and a shoe room straight out of the pages of Fitzgerald's Gatsby, whispers had been swirling that the southern hospitality had supposedly begun to wane.

    If you don't walk in in the "uniform"—four-in-hand knot askew, natural shoulder jacket, and Chelsea boots (a recent affinity)—I could see it. While this has never been my experience, I could see it. The uniform portrays a certain type of club, the cult of Sid. The thing is, it's a really great club to be a part of...a master class on how to dress like a grown-up. Esquire recently crowned Sid Mashburn the best menswear shop in America, a coronation few would dispute. But what of putting gentlemen at ease? That's where Curt Benham comes in. He's been tasked with essentially making guys feel really welcome. As Curt walks me through the finer points of their new sack jacket (my bourbon of choice in hand, naturally), it's definitely working.

    Sep 24, 2014 | Permalink (0) View/Leave Comments

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  • Second Time Around

    Store Profiles  

    by Moses Y. Bension

    When you were in prep school you probably wore a Barbour or Bean sweater that wasn’t exactly new when you got it, especially if you were the youngest brother or sister in your family to attend said school (unless you had a university named after your great-great-great-great-grandfather). We’ve always borrowed (or stolen) clothes out of each others’ closets, so it’s about time there was an upscale thrift shop consignment shop that facilitated the tradition of that exchange.

    Second Time Around is that consignment shop. Since 1973, it has expanded from its little shop on Newbury Street in Boston to over 40 boutiques. It’s now known up and down the East Coast as the place to shop great second hand. Check out the women's "preppy" section at their Madison Avenue boutique. Brooks Brothers fleece blazers that still have the tags on them sit next to J. Crew cashmere sweaters in just as new condition...all for less than half of retail. How else are you going to get a hold of vintage Hermès? After all, new money is a concept that is relatively…well…new.

    Aug 30, 2013 | Permalink (5) View/Leave Comments

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    Kathryn left a comment on 10/5/2013 at 12:23 PM:

    Thanks for sharing!  My special hand-me-downs define my style so much that I started a blog about them.  This sounds like a store I would love, and I’ll plan to visit when I’m in New York in a few weeks.


  • J. Press York St.

    Store Profiles  

    by Tucker Chet Markus

    One-hundred-and-ten years of fathers and sons built this place: 304 Bleecker Street, New York, New York.

    In 1902, Jacobi Press, a Latvian immigrant, opened his first store on a quiet New Haven street corner and he called it J. Press. In 2010, brothers Shimon and Ariel Ovadia, New York City born and bred, started their own line of menswear—Ovadia & Sons. Now, 304 Bleecker is home to J. Press York Street—a menswear line designed for J. Press by the Ovadia twins, opened last year.

    As J. Press York Street’s flagship store, this location embodies not just the character of the pieces that clothe the store, but the ineffable magic of a marriage between old and new. Yellowing photographs of Yale alums, busts, and letters written between freshman-year sweethearts are flanked by neon lights, color-block rugs, all housed in straight lines and sleek architecture.

    The ethos reflects a bond forged between the traditional and the progressive. Suits in classic patterns with modern cuts, repp ties sitting on brightly colored oxfords—a line that maintains the soul of what has made J. Press an icon of American menswear while introducing it to a new generation of gentlemen.

    York Street is defined by heritage—and new traditions that arise and become part of a legacy they once challenged. Like a son emerging from his father’s shadow—different, and yet, unmistakably the same.

    The tile mason laid out the design of the bulldog entirely freehand.

    The J. Press Honor Roll recognizing the employees who left to serve in the military. Notice Elliot Gant's name, fourth from the bottom. He eventually left the Navy in 1947 to join his brother Marty Gant in the family shirt-making business. This honor roll was pulled from the New Haven location's basement.

    What guy doesn't love a hidden bookcase door?

    Aug 19, 2013 | Permalink (11) View/Leave Comments

    Paul left a comment on 10/20/2013 at 2:05 PM:

    I was in New Haven two weeks ago and found that the fountainhead store on York Street is being torn down and then rebuilt.  The store was in temporary lodges on Chapel Street, but also needs to move again as their present location is pushing them out.  So now they are moving to second temporary location on College Street across from the Shubert Theater.  Feel bad about he old building coming down - generations of Dads and Sons were advised and bought in that wonderful old sartorial house.

    A Boston Blazer left a comment on 9/26/2013 at 7:14 PM:

    Nice to see these guys filling the vacuum that Rugby left. Brooks Brothers has a more youthful line in the save vein I believe. New England prep lives on!


    Michael left a comment on 9/26/2013 at 6:39 AM:

    @Fred….nice photos!

    Leith left a comment on 9/25/2013 at 1:15 PM:

    Wow.  Now that is true, unadulterated prep.  So rare these days.  I love it and I can’t wear anything in there.  Maybe I can pull off the sunglasses? - Leith

    Jack left a comment on 9/24/2013 at 8:33 PM:

    Fred, thanks for your reply. I noticed on one of your previous posts you had a jacket with a Rhone patch on it, and was curious, since Paris is not technically in that region.


    PSP left a comment on 9/24/2013 at 8:10 PM:

    F.E. I’am not so sure about this place. I have not been there yet but viewing their catalog they seem to be a B version of Rugby.  On a separate note, I was sorry to see that the Rugby Cafe closed in G town.  I was told it would remain opened.

    Lauren left a comment on 9/24/2013 at 7:57 PM:

    This looks like an amazing store! I love the back story!


    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 9/24/2013 at 6:04 PM:

    @Jack—Yes, Paris.

    Jack left a comment on 9/24/2013 at 5:55 PM:

    Fred—just out of curiosity, have you ever been to France?

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 9/24/2013 at 5:32 PM:

    @Mike—The Shaggy Dogs fit much better.

    Mike left a comment on 9/24/2013 at 5:17 PM:

    While we have all known about York St. for some time, I appreciate this look at it. I don’t live in the North East, so photos are welcome.

    As per the brand, I am interested in their Shaggy Dog sweaters and how they compare to those of traditional J. Press.


  • Creel and Gow

    Store Profiles  

    by Tucker Chet Markus

    There is a brownstone on 70th Street and Lexington Avenue that houses the world.

    Creel and Gow was established in October 2012 by entrepreneur Jamie Creel and Sotheby’s sculpture aesthete Christopher Gow. What has emerged from their union is an entirely one-of-a-kind accumulation of the natural world’s finest art. To cross the threshold of this place is to encounter the exotic. Inside is a collection of exquisite objects from depths of prehistoric oceans, 19th century Parisian ateliers, swaying jungle treetops—a museum of natural creation, though here, these pieces are meant to be brought home.

    A fossilized Sea Lily from the Jurassic Period (a time when North America and Africa were one stretch of land), $20,000; a Peacock whose ornate tail feathers plunge down its back, $3,000; elaborate statuettes hand-carved out of Moose antlers, $200; a black-and-white-striped rug that once roamed South African plains, $3,500—here, the face of Mother Nature is painted upon every portrait, carved into every sculpture.

    New York is a place filled by every corner of the earth, but at Creel and Gow, Earth fills a corner of New York—in a brownstone on 70th and Lex.

    Aug 12, 2013 | Permalink (5) View/Leave Comments

    closet confections left a comment on 9/6/2013 at 12:21 PM:

    this store looks amazing.  i love interesting little shops like this.  i’ll definitely try to swing by over the weekend.  thanks for the recommendation.

    Gregory Tenenbaum left a comment on 9/2/2013 at 5:32 AM:

    Proof that the UES is still King. Proof that there is a God. Proof that ... this is just awesome.

    Worldoyster left a comment on 9/1/2013 at 5:42 AM:

    This looks like a great store!! I will have to go visit next time I am in NYC.

    khordkutta left a comment on 8/31/2013 at 8:13 AM:

    Great Post, Very interesting store.  Thanks for the info.

    George left a comment on 8/30/2013 at 10:01 PM:

    The perennial question: Where do they find all this stuff?


  • Prestat

    Store Profiles  

    Valentines Day is right around the corner and you’re thinking chocolates? Well, they aren’t cliche if they’re from the heart...and from one of the top chocolate shops in the world. Prestat, founded by confectioner and chocolatier Antoine Dufour in England in 1902, has held the Royal Warrant as purveyors of chocolate from her Majesty the Queen for over 35 years—essentially making Prestat known as the Queen of England’s chocolate makers. They also make a brilliant truffle. In fact, Defour and family created the chocolate truffle back in 1895. They were so good that Roald Dahl—author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory—made Prestat truffles central to his racy novel My Uncle Oswald. Try the sea salt caramel truffles. If they’re good enough for the Queen, they’re good enough for your Valentine.

    Prestat's flagship shop at 14 Princes Arcade, Picadilly, London

    Jan 30, 2012 | Permalink (2) View/Leave Comments

    john left a comment on 2/17/2012 at 8:16 PM:

    Makes me hate that I swore off sugar.

    Jessica left a comment on 2/8/2012 at 3:54 PM:

    Dahl was one of my favorite authors, growing up!


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