The best men's stores in Chicago put other retailers to shame with all of the finest offerings, from made-in-America shirts and small-batch accessories to fine leather shoes. The best clothing stores in the city have the kind of stylish pieces that make everyone ask, "Where'd you get that?" Whether you need a new getup for a date at a romantic restaurant or are looking for an unforgettable present you won't find at most gift shops, this list won't steer you wrong.
Best men's clothing stores
You've likely seen Stock Mfg. Co in places like Esquire, Refinery29 and GQ, and for good reason. The previously online-only men's clothing and accessories company has become known for its fashionable, well-made and reasonably priced designs, created in its local Garfield Park warehouse. The brand recently opened its new West Fulton Market storefront in April 2015, so you can try the quality goodness for yourself in the flesh. Because the shop is a bit off the beaten path, the brand made sure it's well worth the trip—delivering an unforgettable personal experience—half lounge, half shop. You can shoot pool at the vintage AMF table, and enjoy a complimentary brew or two, in addition to shopping the latest in menswear.
At the River North headquarters of this wildly popular menswear service, expert stylists meet with customers to build personal trunks of clothing and accessories. They pull together a mix of established brands (Billy Reid, Jack Spade) with up-and-coming designers based on guys’ styles and body types before shipping them out—no strings attached.
The name of George Vlagos’s shop has many layers of meaning. Not only does it reference the independent nature of all the lines this men’s store carries—from Imogene + Willie denim to tops and bottoms from Engineered Garments—it also points to the overarching theme of the shop: Everything in the store is manufactured in the U.S. Among them are Vlagos’s handmade shoes, Oak Street Bootmakers (a convenient tie-in to the shop’s street address). Doubling as Oak Street Bootmakers’ flagship, the store features the entire shoe line, plus occasional exclusives. Find a shop-in-shop of Shrine (the former resident of this space) selling non-U.S. brands.
This Montreal-based menswear brand opened its second U.S. store (the first was in Boston) in Chicago in August 2015. The company designs and manufactures monthly collections in rich colors and contemporary cuts. That's right—every month you'll find a brand new batch of duds. “Every single piece in this store is something we designed: We sourced the fabric, we manufactured and we distributed, and every single piece in the store is refreshed monthly,” says Eric Alper, senior vice president of marketing.
Zach Uttich is a man who knows his suits. From the time he started reading his mother’s Vanity Fair magazines as a child, he became enthralled with tailored clothing. Fast-forward a couple decades, after successful stints at places like Mark Shale and Suit Supply, he went out on his own to open his West Loop suit shop, which offers custom suiting, jackets, trousers, shirts and waistcoats in fabrics from Loro Piana, Ermenegildo Zegna, Thomas Mason, Vitale Barberis Canonico, E. Thomas, Reda, Albiate, Delfino, Distef & Quaregna. Custom two-piece suits start at $750, shirts at $165. By appointment only.
RSVP is like an indie product blog come to life, stocked with plenty of covet-worthy items—many of them exclusive to the store. Hard-to-find styles include Phillip Lim’s men’s line, Comme des Garçons BLACK and the Just Don hat Jay Z wore in the “Otis” video. And now that you know where to find them, scoop up these übercool products before they sell out.
Love the look of custom suits but cringe at the prices? This brand works hard to offer quality, made-to-fit suits at a fraction of the cost. With showrooms in five other cities, Alton Lane brings its business to Oak Street. Interested customers book appointments with style experts, who take their measurements and guide them through a slew of custom design options.
Unlike his previous shop, Bonnie & Clyde’s, store owner Stephen Naparstek’s newest concept focuses exclusively on menswear by high-end designers. Look for items by Rick Owens and Raf Simmons, as well as art books, fragrances and visual art by a rotating cast of artists. For guys who could use an assist in the aesthetics department, the shop comes to the rescue with styling services and recurring art seminars.
Owner Noah Zagor takes a simple, modern approach in his new Logan Square menswear shop. Among the highly curated selection of comfortable, sleek pieces: Monsieur Lacenaire shirts and Common Projects sneakers, plus a mix of lifestyle accessories from candles to grooming supplies.
The Detroit-based company has built a reputation for quality watches, made right here in the Midwest. In addition to its trendy timepieces, you'll also find a collection of leather goods like journals, wallets and bags, as well as casual apparel and gifts.