Though it may have taken years for Dallas to catch up to other cities’ art and culture scenes, the Big D has always been home to incredible shopping of all kinds. From the ascendancy of Neiman Marcus in in the 1950s to the multitude of strip malls and discount stores that litter the suburbs, there is an endless number of places for women to spend their hard-earned cash on fashions of all styles and price points. What there has not been much of, though, is boutique fashion for men. Until now.
Across Dallas, there are dozens of small boutiques that offer unique clothing and accessories for women. In nearly any neighborhood, you can find a small shop that purchases just two of each sweater, or is the only shop in town that carries a niche indie line of sunglasses. But for men, the choices have largely been limited to stuffy old clothiers like Joseph A. Bank and its more upscale counterparts, or mass-produced, fast fashion. Now, though, a bevy of boutiques for stylish gents is popping up across Dallas, many of which are situated on Henderson Ave.
Last year, online menswear giant Bonobos opened their first brick-and-mortar in Dallas, and Warby Parker, a similarly digital purveyor of the finest hipster eyeglass frames soon followed. Now, amongst the coffee shops and restaurants and, yes, women’s boutiques, you’ll also find Trunk Club, an upscale bespoke boutique, where a designer helps dress a man according to his preferences.
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Outside of Henderson Ave., you’ll also find Traffic LA in The Joule Hotel, a Los Angeles transport with edgy styles and heart-attack inducing price tags. If you’ve got enough cash, it is entirely possible for Dallas’ trendy dudes to shop almost exclusively at the city’s new boutiques that cater to them. The real question, though, is: will they? Or, more importantly, are they even stylish enough?
Considering the sheer number of cargo shorts and sock-with-sandal ensembles that one can see in even the hippest of hipster neighborhoods, it would be easy to assume that these shops are just a few months away from closing their doors and selling the fabulous leopard print Alexander McQueen smoking slippers that they just couldn’t convince Dallas guys to love at rock-bottom prices. Most of these trendy men’s boutiques have been open less than or just over one year so it’s really too soon to tell whether or not they’re here to stay.
It is worth noting that many of these boutiques are transplants from San Francisco and Los Angeles and New York, where men are (largely) much more adventurous when it comes to fashion. There are plenty of stylish men in Dallas, many of whom could drop $800 on a suit without blinking, but wouldn’t they just go to Neiman Marcus? Or a tailor that doesn’t rely on a computer to construct the perfect suit?
In all likelihood, these boutiques will live or die by whether or not they can cultivate an aesthetic that fits in logically with Dallas’ men — reasonable, comfortable clothes that aren’t overly flashy or gaudy. Gucci leather pants and flamingo pink shorts from Façonnable may go flying off the shelves in New York or L.A., but as much as we hate to give in to stereotypes, that probably isn’t going to be a trend that takes off here any time soon. If they figure out how to make a business-casual flip-flop, or fuse cowboy chic with classic preppy in some irresistible way, however, lines will soon start forming out the door.