T+L Reports: The Best of Male Fashion
Concept stores like Colette in Paris should be looking over their shoulders—their masculine counterparts are moving in. London's Ted Baker Endurance Store (1-4 Langley Court; 44-207/497-8862; www.tedbaker.co.uk) gives each customer a "credit card" encoded with his measurements. After browsing the collection on a touch-screen catalog, he can summon any items he wants to the fitting room (in the right size, of course). Nearby Microzine (66-67 Colebrooke Row; 44-207/704-6667; www.microzine.co.uk) is a hybrid of boutique and magazine: its stock changes every month and everything is for sale (even the fixtures). The shop's Web site doubles as a magalog, showcasing content and commentary; better yet, both on- and off-line Microzine is chock-full of exclusive products, such as those red-hot runway-only Chanel Pump Fury shoes. Not a place to be left behind, Los Angeles has Alpha (8625 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood; 310/855-0775; www.alpha-man.com), whose owners want to re-create the waggish vibe of a gentleman's club—think overstuffed leather chairs and a fake fireplace. In addition to smart togs from John Bartlett and iPod accessories, they also offer a personal-services division that can arrange a portrait-sitting session or even a house call from a closet-organizer. And don't overlook the Favorite Things corner, where, each month, local celebrities "curate" five items that they can't live without.
—Heidi S. Mitchell