This is Soho – a menswear destination of eclectic tastes and vibrancy
Soho has been a retail destination for decades. Housing a variety of music and clothing establishments, while a host of bars and restaurants have been coming and going with exciting chefs and mixologists making it that more of a destination and worthwhile to hang out.
The past few years has seen a menswear focus with a nice edit of brands to satisfy any fashion conscious gentleman. For those of you put off the idea of shopping, Soho’s mix of bars and cafes will be able to indulge you once you’ve reached your tether. Although, hopefully after a pint or a coffee you’ll be refuelled to go and tackle a few more of the independent shops in the area. With a mixture of independent labels and larger brands nestled closely together, it’s a vibrant neighbourhood perfect for browsing and dedicated shopping alike.
I visited a number of shops that I think are worthwhile your visit. All within the vicinity of Berwick Street, Broadwick Street, Beak Street and beyond, you’ll be able to do a very easy hop and skip to all of them.
40 Berwick Street
One of my favourite brands for a while now, Universal Works curate a collection dedicated to timeless workwear inspired garments and accessories. You can find staples such as wide-legged trousers to cotton shirts with a nod to workwear. Their recent collaboration with Sanders ticks all the boxes with traditional Derby and loafer shapes with a crepe soul. They also have playful prints or punctuating their collection, but with no-nonsense staples such as shirts, t-shirts and socks, you’re guaranteed honest quality with no compromise.
Despite having to contend with a small space, the shop is well merchandised with a friendly feel and bright environment. Shelves are smartly held together by nylon straps giving a nod to the workwear attitude in their clothing.
79 Berwick Street
Sandqvist have year on year expanded their product categories to include enough varieties to appeal to business men, cyclists, nomads, and holiday makers. Evolving shapes that cater for all, they also use numerous fabrics to suit – including leather, nylon and canvas. The hardest thing now is deciding what bag you want. With an evolving lifestyles and various needs and demands for those lifestyles, Sandqvist offer ranges for the outdoor type as well as the commuter and businessman.
29 D’Arblay Street
For the past decade or so Nudie Jeans has been at the forefront of denim retail. Bringing a variety of fits and washes relevant to the modern man. They have also pushed the use of organic hemp and cotton in their garments. Their Soho store boasts their first denim surgery outside of Sweden where Nudie owners can bring their worn out jeans for repair. It’s a free service and can be done over and over again until the owner feels they are due a new pair, where Nudie will offer a discount on a new pair with trading in the old ones – which will then be used in turn as scraps for further denim repairs.
Downstairs you’ll find a denim wall packed with various fits and washes to suit. There’s plenty of guidance from knowledgeable staff who will help you find what’s right for you. There’s no need to be delicate with Nudie Jeans, they’re meant to be worn. Just bring them back for a repair and you’re good to go.
Chris Kerr Bespoke Tailor
31 Berwick Street
With a Savile Row background and a client list of who’s who. Chris Kerr Bespoke Tailors are perfectly positioned on Berwick Street allowing easy customer access for your tailoring needs. With a healthy selection of fabric choices from all the top British mills you can choose from anything classic for a work suit, or something more dashing for evening attire.
Chris works closely with costume departments for movies and tv series, using his skills to make suiting of varying styles and from different eras. You can see Chris and his team working away on the worktops through the window as you walk past – and hopefully walk in – with patterns being made and cut, with bundles being prepared to be taken to their workshop. It’s great seeing all of this onsite and easily accessible.
81 Berwick Street
Stalwart of contemporary casual tailoring, Oliver Spencer‘s Soho shop gives a glimpse into the world of Oli’s relaxed approach to style and tailoring. Making sure that you look and feel good in all aspects, there’s an array of choice from outerwear, footwear and accessories. It’s a great full-look shopping experience for any discerning gentleman. The shirt wall for example offers an array of choices ranging from contemporary grandad collars to smarter poplin variations – but all with a softer feel to them rather than rigid office shirting.
I also saw some really nice travel suits that have been made with the modern day traveller in mind – offering contemporary cuts with lighter fabrics that don’t crease. It’s clear to see that Oliver Spencer pride’s itself on a breadth of fabrications and colours. There’s currently a nice selection of pastels and dusty pinks that are worth a look.
Other notable places;
Other/Shop, 3 Berwick Street
Moscot, 37 Beak Street
Paul Smith, 46 Beak Street
Joe + Co. Barbers, 22 Peter Street
A.P.C., 48 Lexington Street
This is Soho