milan via dell spiga

  
Milan is the centre of the men’s fashion industry, yet as far as style is concerned, there are surprisingly few shops worth visiting.

Via Montenapoleone, Via Della Spiga and the roads that run between them are all pleasant places to stroll. But the shops are 90% fashion houses with the same offerings as any other major city. 

In these guides we’ve tried to avoid such cookie-cutter chains. They’re certainly no part of the joy of travelling. As a reminder, here are the ground rules, established in the first sartorial guide (to London):

  • These are guides to quality. Only top shops with well-made products are included
  • The guides only cover menswear, and largely sartorial menswear
  • Most importantly, they only cover shopping experiences that are pretty much exclusive to the city. (There are fewer and fewer of these, and they should be celebrated.)

With that out of the way, let’s run through where to go if you ever find yourself in Milan.
  

1. Al Bazar
www.albazarmilano.it
Via Antonio Scarpa, 9

Top of the list not for its taste, which isn’t always perfect (eg over-coloured double monks) but for the originality of the male clothing in a town sadly lacking it. Tailoring in original cloths, nicely made polo shirts, and some great knitwear.

2. M Bardelli
www.mbardelli.com
Corso Magenta, 13

Perhaps the best traditional menswear store in Milan. Originally started as a hat business in the 1940s, it has a great range of classic, beautifully made, luxurious clothing. Particularly good on accessories and knitwear.

3. Tincati
tincatimilano.it
Via Gesu’, 7

Although it has branches in a few other major cities, Tincati is a Milanese shop with a bigger range at home and a strong local following. It is strong on tailoring, but also has casualwear, knitwear and accessories. Slightly brighter and holder than standard Milanese fare.

4. Tailors: Ferdinando Caraceni, A Caraceni, Musella-Dembech
www.caracenitailor.com; caracenimilano.comwww.muselladembechmilano.com 
Via S. Marco, 22; Via Fatebenefratelli, 16; Via Celestino IV, 9

There are, thankfully, still some great bespoke tailors in Milan, with the two Caracenis (Ferdinando and A, for Augusto) on top of the pile. All are friendly and welcome people to drop by, but still best to make an appointment. If you’re set on bespoke, also worth checking out Musella-Dembech and Sartoria Pecora among others.


5. Rivolta
www.calzoleriarivolta.com
Via della Spiga, 17

At Rivolta there are shoes made to very high standard (hand-sewn welts) and a bespoke service that attempts to use a digital scanner to model the foot. My experiences with the latter weren’t great, but I’m told they have refined the process. Classic designs with a good range of exotics; made by a third party.

6. Caruso, Uman
www.carusomenswear.comwww.umanconcept.com
Via Gesù, 4; Via Gesù, 10

Caruso is a top-class tailoring factory that has expanded in recent years with its own line of ready-to-wear. Although shops are opening slowly around the world, this opera-themed store is worth a visit both for the stock and the interior decoration. The company also has a cousin, Uman, around the corner. Both are part of the project to turn Via Gesu into a dedicated menswear street.

7. Siniscalchi
www.siniscalchicamiciesumisura.com
Via Carlo Porta, 1

The best known of the Milanese shirtmakers, north of the centre. A nice, if formal make (floating lining in the collars) and extraordinarily expensive prices. Other shirt makers include Evgeniya Kiyan, Camiceria Barone and Alessandra Passeri.

8. Rubinacci
www.marianorubinacci.net
Via del Gesù, 1

Rubinacci has stores elsewhere, of course, and is not from Milan. But the new shop off Montenapoleone is worth a visit, if only because there is such a strong range of accessories and some strong ready-to-wear.

9. Bigi
www.bigicravatte.it
Viale Gian Galeazzo, 16

The tiemaker Bigi opened a small retail section in its central-Milan workshop recently, where visitors can see both the ready-made ties and commission bespoke ones. A hidden gem in a city like Milan.

 

10. Etro perfumes and discount store
www.etro.com
Via Spartaco, 6; Via Verri, ang. Via Bigli

A big fashion brand with a lot of similar shops, but there is only one Etro store dedicated to its fragrances, and only one discount store.

11. Armani
www.armani.com
Via Alessandro Manzoni, 31

If you do want to visit any fashion brands, the massive block of real estate taken up by Giorgio Armani is the one place not to miss. An experience, whether you love it or hate it.

 

Many thanks to all the Milanese (and Italians generally) that contributed their views on this list. Alessandro, Alessandra, Antonio, you know who you are.

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Ramy Menhem

I was in Milan last weekend and I’ve visited a Shoe manufacturer that most certainly deserves to be on the list: Stivaleria Savoia owned by Marinella of Napoli. They are mostly a bespoke operation that makes everything by hand and on site, and they also have a small range of RTW shoes of impeccable quality

Petronio

I would add Pupi Solari (high end) and Cardinale (medium level but a hot spot for the Milanese business community for affordable English style shoes made in Italy).

Fabio

I would add Duca Sartoria: http://www.ducasartoria.com

Taylor made polos are simply the best.

Tim

Hello Simon,
These are exellent guides. I will be in Bologna next week, could you name a few shops worth a visit there? (I’m mostly looking to get some shirts)
Thanks/Tim

John

HI Simon,
Great idea! Following on from the post dedicated to London, this one on what Milan has to offer will be greatly appreciated too.
By the way, I thought Milan were stronger on womenswear.
John

Nick Inkster

And if you’re hungry, try SPIB Pizza.

Rabster

Armani , Simon?
Not being facetious but is there anything of theirs you would recommend?
I geninuely find it interesting you include them in the list.

AMS

One category you might add is menswear-oriented fabric stores, for men who desire to supply their own to their shirtmaker or tailor. Here in New York, the greatest are Tip-Top in Brooklyn for contemporary lines, and Blacktree in the Lower East Side for vintage fabrics. Both are open to the general public. What are their counterparts in Milan?

facebook_Tim De Rosen.10153020919771711

Check out Giosa in Via Ciovasso 6 for crocodile briefcases and bags. Expensive but much less than Stefano Ricci and major name brands. They also do bespoke.

Nick Inkster

In Milan you could do worse than visit VBC for cloth.

Jorge

Milan is a city that can be easily overlooked. Totally insipid and surely bound for dissapointment. How they can find so much inspiration and refinement in their designs …
Another mistery of this universe.

Paris is becoming THE mecca of men luxury fashion. Watch out Milan!

Anonymous

I think that’s a long time in coming…..Milan will be at th head of the class for quite a while….

Tim Hardy

Milan is so special and also for so many other things – my particular introduction was for the Mipel Leather Goods Fair some years ago now and I try to go back whenever possible. Thanks Simon

Adam Jones

Milan is a lovely city, and I think it is fantastic for side street boutiques (I found a great one which sold high end fragrance and cigars!)but I do find myself comparing this list to the london list. It has made me feel very lucky to live in (well near) london. It really is the best city for “sartorial dress” on the flip side It’s just a shame that the men of London are not as good at actually dressing.

BespokeNYC

Love this series, although was surprised to see you covered Milan before Naples, which is surely a more iconic destination for #menswear? Either way, I’m ready to give my $0.02 when you do the NYC version…

BespokeNYC

Good to know. I’d always assumed the high concentration of tailors and well-dressed men (if Tumblr is anything to go by) would mean lots of good menswear shops.

Speaking of Neopolitan tailors, I met Luca Avitabile this week on his first visit to NYC. Absolutely lovely guy. I really hope he will be able to make his visits a regular thing

Max

There is much more than that in Milan: Marinella’s shop is worth a visit, Melegari has and makes amazing hats of any kind, Il Vecchio Drappiere has plenty of fabrics for men, Valextra’s shop and outlet are worth a visit, Cale for selected perfumes, Maglia for handmade umbrellas … sorry the previous list didn’t reflect knowledge of the city

Max

Thanks Simon, still Marinella stays as Rubinacci and Melegari as a unique hat maker. Also Mazzoleni for gloves (for men and women), including repairing service …

Anonymous

I’ll add a Second for Il Vecchio Drapiere, excellent source for quality Italian (and English) fabrics

Tomasz

Dear Simon,
Would you mind writing some more about the shirtmakers you have mentioned (Evgeniya Kiyan, Camiceria Barone and Alessandra Passeri)? I have trouble finding any useful information about them online.
Thank you!

Joshua Aguilar

Dear Simon,

Would it be presumptuous to add Gianni Campagna to the list of bespoke tailors (assuming he still cuts)? Forgive my ignorance.

-Josh

Carl Rutberg

Any reason for not including Larusmiani?

Andrew Walker

Hi Simon,
Many thanks for another excellent and very helpful article. I am visiting Milan in a week to watch the F1 but also have time for a bit of architectural and sartorial sight-seeing. Sounds like M Bardelli and Tincati are very much worth a visit for accessories, shirts and knitwear in a classic Milanese style. Any items/styles in particular you would recommend looking out for?
Many thanks,

Poloni

Please note that Siniscalchi moved five years ago (to Corso Venezia)

Anonymous

Hi Simon,

I am new to Milan and was wondering if you knew or could recommend somewhere to get bespoke garments pressed?

Thanks

Tom

Thanks to Petronio for providing the info on Cardinale shoes. I went yesterday and picked up a couple of pairs of shoes for work. Great shop, great staff.

Rupesh

Hi Simon,

I am due to visit Milan in September this year for a week and would like your recommendation where I could purchase quality chambray/denim shirts in light and dark shades of blue. In addition, what brands offer great chinoes but are 100% cotton as I do not like the elastane composition which most brands are adhering to.

Thanks

Rivano

Hi Simon, I will be visiting Milan in January. Do you have recommendations for where can I purchase leather bags?

Olivier M

Hi Simon

I am thinking to go to Milan with my brother to get a bespoke suit for his marriage.
Do you have any recommendation for where i can get the best tailored suit?

thanks

Olivier M

thanks for the reply, wedding will be next summer so there is still time. apart from Milan, is there elsewhere in Italy you would recommend?