Purveyor of contemporary-cool and unafraid to showcase something directional – dare we say quirky? – on its shop floor, Browns Fashion is a multi-brand retailer with a difference. The store on South Molten Street is like an Aladdin’s cave of finds, precisely laid out but in a way that’s easy to browse without feeling regimented. High-fashion fans; this one’s for you, whether you’re looking to update your wardrobe with the most of-the-minute runway picks or add the latest statement accessory to your collection, get set to feel inspired.
There’s an undeniable effortlessness about the Acne Studios’ aesthetic and the store on Dover Street is the kind of place that you leave feeling like you need to completely cleanse your wardrobe and replace everything with your finds. From capsule pieces (precision-cut jeans, cotton basics, throw-on sweatshirts) to that seasonal trend-focused investment (shirting in conceptual cuts, oversized puffer jackets, ‘that’ Velocity shearling jacket) you’ll find everything you need to build that season-long capsule wardrobe.
Spitalfields celebrates both emerging, one-of-a-kind designers and more established retailers within its shopping space and there’s a Jigsaw store within its midst that’s purely dedicated to menswear – a welcome surprise to some and a familiar reprieve from the bustling market space outside.
If there’s a brand that knows how to do swimwear well, it’s Orlebar Brown, and the boutique in Mayfair is small but well-equipped to bolster your getaway wardrobe. Styles are based upon tailoring patterns as opposed to traditional swim short designs so there’s not a drawstring in sight, which means flattering, smart silhouettes that fare just as well worn with a linen shirt or a cotton tee at the bar as they do in the water.
There’s only one label on our radar when it comes to finding those all-important wardrobe basics and that’s Sunspel. Founded in Britain, it offers well-made, high-quality picks that promise to form a solid foundation for any weekend wardrobe, whatever the time of year. Make its cotton T-shirts and impeccably soft sleepwear your introduction to the brand if you’re yet to purchase.
The only boutique in our line-up that’s primarily based outside of London, Oi Polloi keeps its roots in its heritage city despite its second store on Marshall Street in Soho. This is perhaps what gives it its edge and aesthetically it is one of the most contemporary and unique menswear destinations in the city. The brand offering includes the likes of APC and Superga so the overall look is one of contemporary, laidback style and the interior is designed to look like a stockroom, resulting in something personable and down to earth.
Reiss started life in 1971 as a menswear suiting specialist but now the collection spans everything from bespoke made-to-measure tailoring to premium off-duty separates. The suede and casual jackets are our top pick as they hold their relevance season after season and lend any look a stylish edge. The flagship store on Barrett Street offers an in-store tailoring service as well as twice-yearly customer events.
You needn’t be in the market for a sharply tailored suit or a signature striped keepsake to visit to Paul Smith’s Covent Garden store as the interior is as much of an attraction as the clothes themselves. Stairs are adorned with vivid patterns and artwork is perhaps more of a feature than clothing, so you really get a feel for the personality behind the brand (and you’ll get a great shot for Instagram to boot).
Bedecked in the most premium of natural looking furnishings; walnut wood display tables, rough stone walls and an artfully uneven floor, Vertice is the epitome of understated elegance done right. The minimalistic space on South Molton Street is home to some of the industry’s most well-received brands (Balmain and Yohji Yamamoto if you’re asking) as well as some Scandinavian labels that you may or may not have heard of, but that you’re glad you discovered.
Part clothing store part art installation, Late Night Chamelion Café (or LN-CC for short) is a creative thinker’s dream. Despite stocking the latest releases from directional labels such as Raf Simons and Thom Browne, it’s also home to some of the city’s most imaginative interiors – you walk through a tree-lined tunnel to get into the accessories hall, for example. Collaborations-wise, this store is one of the first to stock them…brands just see this retailer as cool, and it’s clear why once you immerse yourself in the world according to Creative Director, John Skelton.
When it launched in 2002, Folk aimed to bridge the gap between a sophisticated, architecture-inspired aesthetic and urban streetwear, and that notion still stays prominent within the collections today. Pieces emit a quiet luxury, championing luxe fabrications, classic, wearable cuts and subtle accents of colour. A true lifestyle brand, the store on Lamb’s Conduit Street also stocks furniture and relevant artwork.
Positioned on Marylebone’s affluent and ever-stylish Chiltern Street, Trunk Clothiers is one of the most prestigious menswear boutiques in central London. It offers a bespoke made to measure tailoring service alongside established contemporary brands such as Incotex and Common Projects. Pop in after brunch at Chiltern Firehouse if you’re in the market for modern classics with a considered undertone.