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Essential Pants

Khakis for men, cords for women, and jeans and tailored trousers for both.



546 Broadway, nr. Spring St.; 917-237-8800
The low-budget Japanese import’s huge selection of brightly colored sweaters and T-shirts can overshadow its extensive denim collection. There are slouchy, relaxed styles in a multitude of washes, and even Japanese selvage denim rarely tops $100 here. Another bonus: free same-day alterations.

99 Prince St., at Mercer St.; 212-966-2739 or for other locations
This chain store’s consistent ability to slightly twist the prep lexicon is admirable. The Italian chino’s slimmer cut can go solo with a T-shirt or more formal with a jacket, and it’s $118.

Michael Andrews Bespoke
20 Clinton St., nr. Stanton St., Ste. C-7 212-677-1755
Tucked away on the Lower East Side, Michael Andrews Bespoke is clubby but professional. Prices start at $195, which is what you might pay off the rack at some places, but for a pair fitted to your body, it’s a steal.


Bloomingdale’s Soho
504 Broadway, nr. Broome St. 212-729-5900
Of-the-moment high-waisted jeans and colorful skinnies abound, but there’s also an extensive stash of reliably flattering boot cuts and trouser styles. The best: dark-wash Joe’s Jeans jet trousers ($174), formal enough for the office but still able to say “jeans” on the weekend.

111 Greene St., nr. Prince St. 212-680-0581
AG is better known as a denim brand, but several of its most popular styles, like the slightly flared Club, are continuously available in soft supima cotton with a bit of stretch ($159). Depending on your top, they’ll be comfortable well into warm weather.

1157 Madison Ave., nr. 85th St. 212-988-8962
Practically an Upper East Side institution, with a stock of work-friendly wear that includes well-known names like Theory and Alice+Olivia. But better yet are smaller labels like Alvin Valley ($125) and Robert Rodriguez, whose classic flat fronts have wider but still flattering cuts.


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Cover of New York Magazine's Best of New York issue

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Other Best Of Guides

So what exactly does “best” mean in a city with thousands of pizza joints, hundreds of celebrity masseuses, and museum-worthy concept shops on every corner? Well, in the case of this, our annual “Best of New York” roundup, there’s a heavy emphasis on what’s new or what has somehow remained virtually unheard of (until now, of course).