The Grass Is Always Greener - A Trip to the Bay Area

Bodega Head

My wife and I have family in California, and we generally use any excuse to take a vacation out there. I particularly love San Francisco and the Bay Area, where it's almost always shoulder weather at some point in the day and you're a short trip from wine country and the jaw-dropping rocky coasts of the Pacific Northwest. I live on a block of Philly that abuts an alley the entire city's homeless population uses as a restroom, so it's not actually a reach to say traveling to CA is a real breath of fresh air, or at least air without the slight twinge of urine stinging the nostrils. Don't get me wrong, I really like Philadelphia, but SF is the sort of magical place that makes a small part of me resent people who are able to live there (including Ian Anderson/From Squalor To Baller and Derek Guy/Die Workwear).

This time up, I jumped on the chance to stop into a couple of menswear stores I've always wanted to visit, Unionmade and Self Edge.

Unionmade

Unionmade - Mission SF

If you care about the things you own, you probably know Unionmade Goods, a SF-based mens shop focused on quality menswear, footwear, and accessories. A couple of times a year their online store runs an archive clearance of past seasons' stock - hands down one of the best and craziest sales of the year for both price and quality of selection. It's not really a surprise that their physical storefront is also a bit of a mens' wonderland. When I went the retail space was split into two sides, with new stock on one side of the store (including a beautiful wall of Aldens and some interesting Japanese brands like Tomorrowland) and the other side housing their sale items.

Tomorrowland

Alden cordovan
With so many international brands and the potential for getting your size wrong given the various differences from brand to brand/country to country, it's a real treat to be able to handle all of the pieces and try things on in person. Even barring that, the selection of products they have is worth the trip. I'd highly recommend stopping by if you're in or nearby the Mission district. By the way, if this is your first time hearing about their Archive Sale, sign up for their email list. It's not the type of thing to be days (or even hours late to) if you want cream of the crop at rock bottom pricing.

Sale section at Unionmade
A little RRL never hurt anyone (ask Julian Landa)

Self Edge

Self Edge - Mission SF

The Flat Head outerwear 

An oasis for denim enthusiasts and everything indigo, this store actually has another location on the East Coast in NYC as well as a few others in the nation. Nevertheless, the SF store is worth checking out and houses an envious array of top-end denim and other heavy duty apparel. They also have a denim repair service at the shop, giving guys a more specialized service than trusting the average tailor with such prized possessions.



Upstairs there are a few pairs of jeans in glass cases on display like pieces of art. Looking closer you can see the model, the name of person who owned them, and the age/washes it took to get them to that level of faded glory. It's a pretty creative and artistic way to decorate the space with lived-in items, and it makes me want to dive deeper into the denim world than I have been dipping my toes into for years.



Vintage Iron Heart  
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I regretfully didn't have all the time in the world to nerd out on menswear while in SF and see every place I had on my wishlist as I'm usually with family, but next time I go I want to check out Britex Fabrics and upgrade my button situation. For more spots to check out, head over to FromSqualorToBaller's San Francisco Clothing, Accessories, and Services post for some great recommendations. And while you're in the area, grab a pizza at Pizzeria Delfina, a few scoops at Bi-Rite Creamery, and sit up on the hill at Delores Park in the Mission on a sunny day. Can't beat it. Tell them Dan sent you.

They'll have absolutely no idea who you're talking about.

Alex Mill, Hillside x Gap, Wolverine, Seagull @ Delores Park

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