The name Wilkes Bashford represents a venerable institution in classic menswear. Mr. Wilkes first opened his Union Square store in San Francisco in 1966. He was one of the premier stateside retailers to introduce fine-tailored menswear from Italian designers (like Giorgio Armani) to the American market. Over the years, the shop has held to its unbending principles of peerless quality, and it presently offers well-merchandised selections from lauded names like Etro, Loro Piana, Brunello Cucinelli, Brioni, Ermenegildo Zegna and more. Just last year, the store unveiled its newly renovated retail emporium — an ultra-luxury, 7-floor townhouse which provides a plush and welcoming backdrop for its exquisite sartorial collections.
A former Laundromat now houses the art, antiques and found objects of the Perish Trust. Look for handmade goods, industrial design, and heritage pieces that have withstood the test of time. All objects have been sourced within a hundred mile radius of this Divisadero Street shop.
Tucked back on the end of Grant Street at the base of Telegraph Hill, you’ll feel lucky to stumble upon the black wooden door of A-B Fits. Their clothing and accessories are essential to the SF uniform: Warm knit sweaters, soft cotton tees, and a definitive denim section. APC, Acne, Levi’s Vintage Collection, Dope + Drakkar, as well as limited quantity made-in-San Francisco jeans.
The Outer Sunset neighborhood lies on the western coastline of the city, home to sea dwellers and surfers alike. Mollusk is a surf shop brimming with California beach culture and a neighborhood gathering. You can find the sustainable wooden surfboards of Danny Hess, local surfer and woodworker. Surf gear and clothing are displayed on reclaimed wood between vintage couches. The shop also knows how to throw a party — Tecates included.
MAC, or Modern Appealing Clothing, offers high-end brands in a relaxed setting. The staff is warm and genuine, outfitting you in Comme de Garcons, Dries Van Noten, and Martin Margiela. MAC has two locations, one in Hayes Valley and the other in the Dogpatch neighborhood. The Dogpatch shop, hidden between industrial warehouses and shipyards, shares the sunny yellow building with Piccino restaurant, making it hard to visit one without the other.
If you can only go to one store in San Francisco, let it be Unionmade. This shop caters to the man who goes hiking on weekends, but does it in Red Wing boots with Kapital socks. The man who truck camps with Pendleton blankets in the back for a bed. His iPhone nestles in an Il Bisonte case. He smells of campfire and Juniper Ridge fragrances. Unionmade makes style inevitable.
When friends Otto Gustav Zoell and Stephen Chen decided to open their Castro menswear shop, MAAS + Stacks, they did what any of us dream to do: fill it with clothing, shoes and accessories that they would like to wear. Recognizable brands like Band of Outsiders and Robert Geller hang alongside lesser-known labels like Our Legacy and White Mountaineering. The common thread is a consciousness of quality production and clean, well-tailored looks.