The Shops For Men Who Hate Shopping
Sitting behind Carnaby Street, British brand Albam has its quaint-looking central outpost. Favoured by those in the know for its traditional fabrics, textures and colours, the brand’s first store is an easy-going destination for kitting yourself out with practical, well-crafted staples that last. Inside, it’s a sort of plywood-lined mock-art studio that exudes an air of calm. A second store in Islington closely follows the template of the original.
23 Beak Street, Soho, W1F 9RS
Charlie Casely-Hayford's brand covers tailoring and casualwear for men and women. The flagship store’s teal-hued walls and homely feel are a match for the cool suits and alternative menswear. Different parts of the store are decorated like the corners of an elegant city dwelling, filled with interesting trinkets and intriguing artwork. The result is a place with real charm.
Chiltern Street, Marylebone, W1U 7PB
One of the bevy of cool and compact menswear stores on Lamb’s Conduit Street, the Folk shop embraces the laidback, Scandinavian aesthetic of the overall brand. In between the rails of relaxed and unstructured tailoring, the store is decked out with contemporary art and hand-picked furniture, so there’s plenty to gaze upon if you’re just browsing. Want to look fashionably dishevelled? Folk will cater to you perfectly with its array of tonal hues and effortlessly stylish outerwear pieces. If Holborn’s a stretch, Folk also has fine menswear stores in King’s Cross, Notting Hill, Shoreditch and Soho.
49 Lamb’s Conduit Street, Holborn, WC1N 3NG
Designer Margaret Howell has a cult following of people who appreciate timeless, functional design and clothes that look relaxed and lived-in. Her love of ‘British tradition and quality’ is woven into all of her designs, and evident through the fabrics and colours she uses throughout her collections. MHL is an offshoot of her main line, specialising in everyday wardrobe essentials. The Shoreditch store is a minimalist’s dream, neutral in design and compact, with everything laid out in a concise way that draws you in and invites you to browse. You can also find MHL-focused outlets in Marylebone and King’s Cross.
19 Old Nichol Street, Shoreditch, E2 7HR
The famous Parisian brand opened its first London outpost on Beak Street, where it sits alongside similarly aspirational brands like Le Labo, Paul Smith and Rag & Bone. Don’t be confused the storefront: it is still branded under its previous occupier, John Wilkes Gun Makers, which operated in the Grade II-listed space for nearly 80 years. Inside, wood panelling, dimmed spotlighting and green velvet curtains create a warm and relaxed feel, making you actually want to shop.
79 Beak Street, Soho, W1F 9SU
A uniquely British brand with a true eye for detail, Oliver Spencer has a Lamb’s Conduit Street store that is a lesson in how to create a retail oasis in the centre of London. Its eponymous founder started off selling his designs in Portobello Market, but is now a bit of a menswear sensation with five standalone shops around town. All of them are similarly splendid, decked out with burnished wood furniture and antiques from local markets. The Berwick Street store is the most recently refurbished and possesses a distinctive urban appeal, representing the ethos of the brand.
81 Berwick Street, Soho, W1F 8TW
Private White V.C.
Mayfair’s Duke Street has become known for housing some of the best menswear stores in the city. Behind its attractive shopfronts you’ll find a plethora of cool, independent brands, including Private White V.C, which has been making coats out of the same Manchester factory since 1932. Its London outpost is a clean, white affair, with low-hanging lighting and copper countertops. The product is quite traditional in appearance, but the layout of the shop prevents it from feeling stuffy or pretentious. The simplicity of the store interior allows the clothes to stand out for themselves and makes this a place to enjoy spending time in.
73 Duke Street, Mayfair, W1K 5NR
An age old men’s outfitter, specialising in t-shirts, boxer shorts and polo shirts made from luxury fabrics, Sunspel is the go-to for expertly made basics. Their store is the embodiment of the brand, a mixture of contemporary and old school, in line with the tradition of British heritage retailers along historic Jermyn Street. It kind of resembles a fancy polished oak closet, which gives the shop real character, as well as the vintage prints lining the walls of the reception area.
21a Jermyn Street, St James’s, SW1Y 6HP
The utilitarian outfitter for guys who appreciate toned-down, well-made designs that will endure for as long as you want them to. Co-founder and designer David Keyte is an expert in branding and knows how to create a unique space that makes shopping at their stores a real pleasure. They have a few shops in London, but the Lamb’s Conduit Street location ranks as the best. It’s simple, stylish and unassuming – a perfect home for their characteristic clothing.
37 Lamb’s Conduit Street, Holborn, WC1N 3NG
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