It's been a tough few years for menswear retailers in San Francisco.
First, the summer of 2019 saw the permanent closure of trendsetting Unionmade, then more were forced to shutter during the pandemic (RIP Maas & Stacks and Tanner Goods).
But fear not, gents of taste: The beat marches on, and there are still plenty of on-point menswear shops where you can find a nonchalant hoodie, selvedge jeans, and subtly curated accessories.
Ready for some fresh looks? Here are our favorite men's clothing stores—from casual to hipster to classic—for fashionable guys of all ages in San Francisco.
PS: This is all to say nothing of SF's strong vintage and consignment scene.
Mr. Lin: For impeccably dressed, Scotch-swirling misters
Mr. Lin strikes a blue note with custom wall murals by East Bay artist Caroline Lizarraga.
The plush leather sofas and fully stocked bar are savvy temptations to convince the guy who hates to try stuff on to stay awhile. Designed by San Francisco tastemaker Eche Martinez (a dapper dude in his own right), Mr. Lin is a sophisticated man cave where you can sip a whiskey while you peruse Barena cotton zip-up jackets, Haupt printed linen shirts, and Paul Smith accessories. As for the moodily painted wall murals by Caroline Lizarraga, we're obsessed. (Psst: The ladies might recognize this as the brother store to the longtime womenswear shop from owner Betty Lin.) //3615 Sacramento St. (Presidio Heights), mrlin.com
Taylor Stitch: For nature-loving gentlemen
(Courtesy of @taylorstitch)
Sophistication meets durability and sustainability at Taylor Stitch, which prides itself on the use of recycled fabrics and regenerative fibers and the avoidance of harmful chemicals and pesticides. Begun more than a decade ago with the simple idea to create a shirt that lasts, Taylor Stitch's staple piece employs French seams with 22 stitches per inch to ensure you’re getting the most bang for your buck. The earth-toned Mission store is lined with shirt cubbies and also stocks knits, outerwear, and footwear that will take you from chopping wood to the office to coffee breaks at Ritual. // 383 Valencia St. (Mission), taylorstitch.com
Rolo: For casual, urban guys who support local
(Steven Bracco, courtesy of Hoodline)
Founded in SF by Roland Peters and Mark Schultz in 1986, Rolo is a guy's go-to for quality closet staples—classic T-shirts, hoodies, and accessories—both from Rolo's own label and iconic designers such as G-Star Raw, Brixton, and Fred Perry to name a few. Stop by R by Rolo (2267 Market St.) for workout apparel, men's swimwear, and athletic shoes. // 2351 Market St. (Upper Market), rolo.com
The Archive: For the avant-garde guy who doesn't go with the flow
(Courtesy of @thearchivesf)
The Archive was forced to close its longtime Union Square shop due to Covid-19, but thanks to a new pop-up space in SoMa it's still a guy's go-to for avant-garde, fashion forward pieces that you're unlikely to find elsewhere. A great place to discover unique menswear from a thoughtful curation of visionary designers, The Archive is worth checking out for its design-focused, high-end men's clothing and accessories from the likes of A.F Artefact, Blake Kuwahara, and Guidi 1896, to name but a few. Think sculptural silhouettes, textural layers and innovative design details, all set against a predominantly black, white and gray palette. // The Archive, 440 Brannan St (Union Square), archivesf.com
The Darkside Initiative: For the guy who knows his kicks—and then some
(Courtesy of @thedarksideinitiative)
In a city where sneakers have a firm footing in the daily dress code, the regularly updated selection at The Darkside Initiative caters to aficionados with a dark, minimalist side. With its slick collection of Nike sneakers, streetwear and limited-run accessories, including hard-to-find pieces by Japanese street labels Neighborhood and WTaps (they are the exclusive distributor of WTaps in SF), the brand presents each item in a clear, coherent way in two stores in the city. // The Darkside Initiative, 1827 Powell St. (North Beach; temporarily closed for renovation) and 989 Valencia St. (Mission), thedarksideinitiative.com
Cable Car Clothiers: For the guy who wants classic style and a shave
(Courtesy of @cable_car_clothiers)
A Financial District institution for over 75 years, the high-ceilinged, emporium-style Cable Car Clothiers is an impressive one-stop destination for dapper dressers. The traditional men's clothier caters to enthusiasts of classic menswear, with an emphasis on British style—though they also carry updated renditions of old favorites such as a Tellason's indigo striped selvedge shirt. Step inside and you'll find everything from handmade Loake wingtips to iconic Stetson fur felt and straw hats. There is also an on-site barber shop and shoe shine service, ensuring a head-to-toe finish for those so inclined. // Cable Car Clothiers, 110 Sutter St. (FiDi), cablecarclothiers.com
Self Edge: For the die-hard selvedge denim fan
(Courtesy of @selfedge)
If denim's your thing, then Self Edge on Valencia should be your first stop. This SF outpost stocks an unparalleled range of jeans from some of the best makers in the world, including Iron Heart, Stevenson Overall Co. and Studio D'Artisan. It's where denimheads come to feed their addiction for unsanforized denim—jeans that come with a grittier texture and are then shrunk to fit, rather than being pre-shrunk—and a sweet spot for rugged silver jewelry and leather accessories from the likes of The Flat Head, not to mention an on-point collection of inspirational indie mags. Also, check out the store's online jean finder to discover your perfect pair of jeans based on body measurements. // Self Edge, 714 Valencia St (Mission), selfedge.com