Best of Shopping 2008 Mens
Category: Shopping + Fashion Articles
RAG Men’s Style
Bellevue, 10500 NE Eighth St., Suite 115; 425.637.3979
Watch TV, get a shoeshine and sip a gratis beer by the in-store pool table at this clubby spot: With a little scratch (billiards skills aside), guys can look like a million bucks without even noticing they’re shopping. Open since August 2007, RAG promotes investing in quality, not quantity. Start with a Duncan Quinn shirt ($295) and made-to-measure suit (starting at $2,300), add a graphic tee by Bellevue-based Hill and Rich (starting at $40) and a great pair of jeans. Mix. Match. Repeat.
Best Shop for the Upscale Hipster Look
(Ballard, 5410 22nd Ave. NW; 206.547.2524; helloblackbird.blogspot.com)
Don’t try to pigeonhole the Blackbird man: The store has an eclectic, “skinny look” reputation, yet stocks plenty for the full, buff physique. You’ll find funky designs and also many basic pieces. Prices range from Paul Frank tees at $40 to a Band of Outsiders blazer at $1,555. Slim denim jeans from Japanese cult favorite Diet Butcher Slim Skin ($300) fly out the door. The must-have fall accessory? A vibrant scarf from Denmark’s Henrik Vibskov ($160–$185).
Best Shop for Boomers Looking for Color
Downtown, 1420 Fifth Ave., Suite 120, 206.264.8300; Bellevue, 202 Bellevue Square, 425.451.8800
At this relaxed shop, where all clothing is Road’s own label, life is in the details—particularly those of their woven shirts ($88–$135), made of richly hued, patterned and sometimes embroidered fabrics, terrific over the perfect layering piece: their supersoft Ultimate T ($54), available in a dozen colors. Road’s own newly created denimline comes in ultracomfortable Lyocell Lux fabric (better known by the brand name Tencel, $108), Earthwash (imparting a brown tone, $125) and classic blue-hued stonewash with suede-trimmed pockets ($88–$98).
Best Shop to Get Made-to-Measure
Downtown, 1513 Sixth Ave.; 206.223.1461
Sometimes the clothes really do make the man. Positioned between “off the rack” and “full bespoke” (meaning hand-tailored from start to finish), suits made to measure—by which customers select from certain styles and hundreds of fabrics, linings and buttons—is a flexible option that’s gaining wider recognition at posh Mario’s. Luxe Italian lines like Brioni ($4,500) and Kiton ($5,500) marry Old World craftsmanship with timeless style. Order in early autumn for pre-holiday delivery and allow at least an hour for the initial consultation with a Mario’s specialist.
Best Shop for a Marvelous Manbag
Bellevue, 1083 Bellevue Square; 425.679.5610
Belgian designer Martin Margiela’s distinctive leather messenger and travel bags ($800–$1,200) are transportable art; also handsome and a little easier on the wallet are Jack Spade’s Warren Street line ($300–$600) and choices from Rian’s Versailles ($400–$795). In