Navigating NYC's Menswear Shopping

Inside tips for scoring men’s fashions in Manhattan.

Courtesy Peter Johnston
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Saks Fifth Avenue

Inside the Fifth Avenue Club of the Saks men’s department, hidden among the Italian tailoring, the Kiton and Brioni, the Isaia and Cucinelli, there’s a small lounge. Within are leather club chairs and a window with a view of St. Patrick’s Cathedral. It’s quiet enough that you can sit, have a drink and read The New York Times. But it’s not so hushed that you can’t go over fabric books with your tailor and talk about what to use for your latest suit. Something in a Scottish worsted, maybe, or even a cashmere?

Need to Know: The tailor you want is Peter Johnston, formerly of Dunhill and Chester Barrie. Until recently, getting Johnston’s clothing without visiting his Edinburgh, Scotland, townhouse-cum-workshop would have been a challenge. But now clients can meet him by appointment in the club lounge, next to Johnston’s ready-to-wear and made-to-measure shop, to be fitted for his bespoke suits (from $8,000), all of which are hand-sewn under his supervision on Savile Row. It takes three trips to really dial everything in, but the result is more than worth the effort.

Insider Tip: In honor of Johnston’s Scotish heritage, Saks created its own black-and-white plaid. Ask and he’ll use it to run up a bespoke kilt (if you already have a clan, Johnston will use whatever plaid you’re loyal to). 611 Fifth Ave. saks.com.