This 2004 StyleForum thread takes a nostalgic walk down memory lane and recounts the top New York City menswear shops of yesteryear, which have long since closed for business. The line-up included American trad / Ivy League stalwarts (Chipp, Tripler), tailors (Dunhill Tailors), shirts and accessories (Sulka), and Manhattan outposts of Continental European haberdashers (Knize).
So what would today's list of great men's RTW stores in NYC look like? Blogger Por Homme has compiled a nice list of NYC shops. If you tend to shop at the usual department store suspects and men's retailers like Paul Stuart, J. Press and Brooks Bros, the list may not fully register or resonate.
However, if you are in a different demographic or skew toward a more contemporary look, I think it's worthwhile to take a few weekends and explore the shops listed by Por Homme. These stores offer clothing ranging from very affordable (Uniqlo) to premium RTW pricing (Rag & Bone). I've visited Alden, APC, Billy Reid, Brooklyn Industries, J. Crew Men's Shop, Odin, Rag & Bone and Uniqlo.
I would also add the following to the list of men's stores worth visiting: Black Fleece (West Village), Gant Rugger (West Village), Epaulet (Brooklyn), Freemans Sporting Club in the Lower East Side, Memes in Noho and the newly opened NYC branch of Nepenthes, a Japanese brand collective including Engineered Garments. On a related note, this fall/winter season Brooks Bros introduced a new slimmer fitting University line of dress and sports shirts, jackets and knitwear.
Compared to traditional sizing, many of these stores/brands offer a slimmer cut and fit in suits, jackets, trousers, denim, outerwear. So if you're not quite ready to step up to full bespoke or MTM clothing, these stores can get you closer to wearing better fitting clothes and assembling a great-looking wardrobe at a relatively affordable cost compared to full bespoke.