Photograph by Randy Squires/AP Photo
In the days before men scouted boutiques for luxury sportswear and $200 jeans, they used to hit their local Army-Navy stores for masculine basics. With a lot of fashion houses now channeling outdoorsman style, it makes sense to seek out the original sturdy cotton pants and no-nonsense flannel jackets. For extra points, do what the designers do and go straight to the source.
THE SKILLED SHOPPER
Photograph by James Macari
Think of your Army-Navy like your favorite up-and-coming neighborhood: There's plenty to get excited about but plenty to stay away from as well.
Fit Advisory: Most of the clothes you'll find in Army-Navy shops are crafted for the carb-loading members of the Plumbers and Pipefitters Union, not the Pilates-whittled elite targeted by fashion houses. Be sure to try on different sizes. You may be pleasantly surprised to find yourself in a small instead of a medium—without having done any extra cardio
What to Buy:
Classic wool peacoat
Buffalo-plaid zip-front jacket
Traditional workman pants
Snap-front plaid shirts
Leather lace-up boots
What to Avoid:
Any article described as "flame-resistant" or "high-visibility"
Camo field coats—make that camo anything
The best Army-Navy stores are in your back yard.
Atlanta: Forest Park Army-Navy
837 Main Street; 404-366-7479
Boston: Kenmore Army & Navy
477 Washington Street; 617-292-2769
Chicago: A-Z Wallis Army Navy
4647 N. Broadway Street; 773-784-9140
Dallas: Texas Army Navy
2600 W. Mockingbird Lane; 214-902-9102
Los Angeles: Army & Navy Surplus
6179 Van Nuys Boulevard; 818-781-3500
New York: Dave's New York
581 Sixth Avenue; 800-543-8558
San Francisco: Acme Surplus
5159 Mission Street; 415-586-4343