Best Dress Shirts, August 2009
In Los Angeles, if you’re looking for the broadest selection of shirts with Italian labels or Japanese fabric and, of course, $400 price tags, you head to one of the three Beverly Hills department stores: Barneys New York, Saks Fifth Avenue, or Neiman Marcus. Only their shelves have stockpiles of Etons and Brionis, Isaias and Zegnas, Armanis and Kitons. Yet if you’re willing to pay the price of a Florence vacation for a half-dozen shirts, shouldn’t the store you purchase them from exhibit the same appreciation you do? Barneys’ and Saks’s shirt departments are known for their nearly zealous staffs as well as for carrying enough shades of mauve (this season’s pink) to outfit the Velvet Mafia. Their departments feel undersized, however, when held up against the spread at Neiman Marcus that practically spans the entire fourth floor. No need to blindly pull shirts from high shelves; designer labels are laid out under glass (allowing side-by-side comparisons of collars and plackets), and sales associates will share a half hour of their time and expertise to help you (finally) find that ideal Borrelli. Yes, there’s enough Italian stitching here to hold together the Berlusconi administration, but L.A.’s only Charvet collection is also available, near a bar where you can toast your purchases with that Campari you won’t be enjoying on the Piazza della Signoria this year.