In a state where the uniform tends towards cargo shorts and flip flops, San Francisco stands out as a place where guys like to dress up.
The question is, how to do it so you look put-together, but not uptight.
Let the experts at Wilkes Bashford guide you, as the iconic Sutter Street department store unveils its seven-story facelift Friday.
We suggest taking the elevator directly to the penthouse. The previously private space houses a contemporary zinc and walnut bar area which flows into a fireplace lounge. Swirl the giant cube in your Manhattan as you stare out at the skyline, or watch a few minutes of a classic SF film noir before calling dibs on your next Kiton or Brioni suit.
Of course, no department store survives for half a century without excellent, ultra-personalized service. So you can rest assured that you won't regret that Brunello Cucinelli anorak a year from now.
Because this is San Francisco. You'll be freezing in shorts and flip-flops.
Price: 4 (out of 4)
Straight from Italy: The entire Brioni boutique -- from the $100 Euro hangers to the working fooseball table -- was assembled by Brioni in Italy, then taken apart, shipped to SF, and reassembled where you're standing.
The old sign: The charmingly retro gold sign letters have been relocated from the store's facade to the brick wall behind the first level bars. (Yes, this department store has two bars.)
Only at Wilkes Bashford: The store prides itself on having close relationships with premium Italian designers (it was the first U.S. retailer to feature Ermenegildo Zegna), which is immediately evident when you see a Kiton suit lined in Wilkes orange. The staff will be happy to help guide you to other only-in-SF items.