Madison Ave at 45th St.
Style: Old-World Elegance
Known For: Gorgeous traditional fabrics with a more modern cut than their competitors
In the world of traditional American menswear there are a few names that rise above the others: Brooks Brothers, Ralph Lauren, J. Press, and Paul Stuart. Started in New York circa 1938. It has been at the forefront of American fashion ever since, being the first American retailer to offer side vents and three-button suits. Surprised? Don’t be, as soon as you enter the 60,000ft2 Madison ave store, which they’ve been in since the start, you’ll realize that they’re a serious player in the world of menswear.
Maybe the most elegant store in New York, you walk in with their upscale Phineas Cole (read more about Phineas Cole here) collection to your right and their famous tie collection (well over 1,000 different types to choose from). As you walk around the store, the first thing that hits you are the gorgeous fabrics. The linens, cashmeres, and blended jackets are a study in aesthetics. The clothing has an old-world charm that is very appealing.
We love their fabrics, but the best part of Paul Stuart is the vast selection of accessories. The ties, the socks, cufflinks, pocket squares, tie bars, belts, hats, wallets, watches, umbrellas, collar bars-you name it, they have it. This is the place to find elegant accessories. They have every type of tie in any pattern and color you could ever think of. Their socks take up a full wall and are totally awesome as they have a Paul Smith meets Brooks Brothers appeal. Don’t forget the footwear either. Although they’ll run you a pretty penny, the wingtips and driving mocs are gorgeous as shoes come–formerly made by the Edward Green and now benchmade in Northampton, England.
Wander into the back and you’ll run into their famous cashmere sweaters that, although they’ll set you back over $400, are just about the best in the business. Keep walking back and you’ll walk by their Cooper Linen shirts that are the perfect summer sport shirt. Finally, you’ll walk back into their world of sport coats and suits. Here is where you’ll find their elegant old school fabrics with a great modern cut. Linen sport coats to die for, some of the best blue blazers out there, and formalwear that will always look good.
The service at Paul Stuart is decent. They know their stuff, but they do come off a little pretentious. We could feel them thinking, “These kids don’t know the first thing about fashion, god knows they won’t be buying everything here.” We didn’t mind that much, though, because they stayed away from us and let us admire their great fabrics.
Stores Like It: J. Press, Brooks Brothers, Ralph Lauren
What to Get Here: Ties, Socks, Accessories, and Cashmere Sweaters
What Not to Get Here: Suits and Sport Coats are very pricey, Dress Shirts, and Oxford Shirts
Price Range: Shirts $150-$300, Ties $70-$150, Sweaters $200-$600, Sport Coats $500-$1,200, Suits $1,000-$2,500
Overall Rating: Excellent Clothing, High Prices, Decent Service. 8/10