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R BlockA Perfect Fit

In May, menswear retailer Bonobos opened their second guideshop in New York City at 35 Crosby St (the online retailer has additional outposts in Austin, Bethesda, Boston, Chicago, Georgetown and San Francisco). Since they are a mail order business, the guideshop provides a place for men to try on clothing and place online orders for home delivery—the answer to brick-and-mortar retail.  “We offer a one-on-one experience with a guide who will go through the product line with you, says the company. “We’ll find your sizes, you pick the colors, and we place your order, no shopping bags necessary.” But unlike their original guideshop in Chelsey, this new shop is street level and perfectly situated in the new Crosby Street shopping area — the hot new place to shop for men’s wear in New York City.

 

The five-block roadway between Houston and Howard streets has quietly evolved into a men’s retail destination, with small niche appeal stores.

 

“Crosby Street retains that quirky authenticity of a cobblestone street that some other SoHo streets have lost,” said Aria founder and Crosby Street developer Joshua Benai” in a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal. Each store has a little bit of individuality. This is part of the dynamism of New York.”

 

For Bonobos founder and Chief Executive Andy Dunn, Crosby Street provided an ideal spot to open a guideshop, the company’s second in New York and the first in the city situated at street level. The Bonobos business model is shopping bag-free, with men purchasing items online and the items shipped from a warehouse in Massachusetts.

 

The new shop at 35 Crosby is 1,200 square feet. Mr. Dunn said the company would need at least 2,500 square feet of space if it stocked its stores with merchandise.

“We’re excited for a new men’s shopping destination in SoHo that is a little more chilled out,” Mr. Dunn said. “I don’t know if anyone wants to be among the mobs” on Broadway.

 

When it comes to fashion, there’s no such thing as gender equality. It’s not about playing on a different level — it’s playing a totally different game. There are a million and one things women can do to individualize an outfit — for better or worse. You gentlemen face quite another set of challenges.

 

Shy of theme dressing (chaps? harem pants?), there are a handful of things that make your style yours. Within the scope of an office, your options are limited even further. So, while you spend time choosing the perfect pocket square and the toniest wingtips, you shouldn’t have to worry about how your chinos fit. Thank goodness Bonobos does it for you.

 

What started as an endeavor to offer men great fitting pants has grown into a multi-category fashion brand for men, though the curved waistband that distinguishes Bonobos trousers from the rest is still of central importance. The brand has expanded into all apparel categories by partnering with brands like Jack Spade and Timberland, so a visit to Bonobos.com can set you up with anything from denim to suiting, outerwear to accessories — all of it sleekly streamlined and ranging in colors from neutral to neon. ?

 

In addition to offering the best-fitting pants you can get without paying a tailor, Bonobos caters to their style-conscious, time-strapped consumer with web-based retail, exhaustive inventory, ninja customer service (that’s not a metaphor), and free shipping that’s estimated at 2-3 days, but usually happens in more like one.

 

If you’re thinking, “Wait a sec. If these pants are all about fit… shouldn’t I actually try them on?” Bonobos thought of that, too. They have five Guideshops — one each in NYC, SF, DC, Boston, and Chicago where you can make appointments to have a customer service rep help you find the perfect fit. Bonobos clothing can also be found in 70 Nordstromstores across the country. Did we mention they donate a dollar for every new customer to their support their namesake (the endangered Bonobo ape)?

 

Running out of reasons why you wouldn’t love shopping with these ninjas yet? That’s what the Bonobos experience intends to do. Now the real litmus test: Visit bonobos.comand snap up your new favorite pants (and belt and blazer). And on the off-chance you don’t love it — the return and exchange process is so easy a monkey could do it.

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