There exists a stereotype about men and shopping: They hate it.
Not true. What we hate is what shopping has become: big-box stores, arranged assembly line-style, that shuffle us from one department to the next like cattle headed to abbatoir.
Present a man with a more thoughtful, personalized shopping experience — a drink in his hand, a leather chair upon which to sit, a clerk who wields a tape measure so deftly you'd think it was an extension of his own body — and we find men actually quite love shopping.
So on November 15th and 16th, we teamed up with the fine folks at Oris Watches to throw the inaugural Bespoke Bazaar, a two-night affair devoted to handcrafted goods and excellent service in a commodious environs.
Some 100 of our readers came through to check out the showcase. Here are the brands with whom they made fast friends.
Articles of Style Custom Suit Fittings (2 images)
Our hosts for the night, AoS is a bespoke suiting, shirting and outerwear emporium that operates out of an unassuming third-floor showroom in Soho. There, they host custom fittings in a beautifully appointed space that includes vintage leather furniture, racks of glorious, one-of-a-kind coats and blazers, and a bar run by Tanteo Tequila (more on them below). Guests were walked through AoS's custom-fitting process, and then presented with a nifty, wallet-sized card listing all their measurements.
From Our Partner: Oris Watches
Oris prides itself in being one of the last true “independent” Swiss watchmakers. They've been making their superior mechanical timepieces out of a small village in the Jura Mountains (Hölstein) for 113 years, and not a single watch leaves that village until it passes a series of rigorous inspections. At the Bespoke Bazaar, guests were invited to subject the collection to their own rigorous inspections with the help of the Oris team. Some of our favorites? The Big Crown 1917 Limited Edition (pictured above), which is nearly indistinguishable from a model that was originally released in (you guessed it) 1917; the Big Crown ProPilot WorldTimer, with an ingenious rotating bezel that changes time zones with a single, super-satisfying twist; and the wonderfully minimal — but technically sound — Divers Sixty-Five.
Distilled and bottled by hand in Jalisco, Mexico, Tanteo is the ultimate mixing tequila thanks to their penchant for best-in-class infusions, which include a jalapeño, chipotle and habañero expression. All three were used in the night's cocktail menu, which comprised spicy, imaginative takes on Old Fashioneds, Margaritas and more.
What separates London-based Troubadour from their rivals in the leather-goods community is simple: alongside their in-house collection of duffels, rucksacks, briefcases and wallets, they offer a bespoke bag program that allows you to build your very own bag — from color to features to pockets to monograms — from the ground up.
And finally, the olfactory geniuses at Jo Malone London set up a custom cologne consultation station, teaching guests how to mix and match complementary scents to achieve a unique, singular redolence that stands a man out from the crowd. You can book an appointment online to receive a similarly white-glove treatment in your city.