Best new place to buy plain clothes (2008)


It can be hard to find the simplest clothes. What some stores tout as basics—solid-color T-shirts and button-ups, striped polos, plain khakis—often come emblazoned with unwelcome, unattractive logos or labels. And for every one of those ugly tags, the price seems to go up another $10—these companies should be paying us to advertise for them! Things are different at Uniqlo . The first time I went to this Japanese retailer—in Japan—I found myself in a four-floor paradise of basics that really were, and almost nothing cost more than $20. I returned to the U.S. with a bag full of shirts, doubting I'd ever get the chance to shop at this special place again. But—lovers of plain clothes, rejoice!—Uniqlo has set up shop in Soho. Plus, this fall the company promises the grand opening of a 36,000-square-foot "global flagship store" at 564 Broadway—which will, no doubt, offer a vast selection of tasteful, inexpensive shirts and pants (which they will alter to fit). Back in the '80s, Japanese upstarts like Toyota forced U.S. automakers to change their ways; could Uniqlo do the same to American clothiers?


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