5420 E. Broadway Blvd.
READERS' PICK: In a city where men's idea of dressing up is wearing a shirt with at least two buttons, Mills-Touché is one of the few bastions of sartorial splendor. Of course, Manhattan's captains of commerce may sneer that even the swell clothing here is a bit downscale by their standards, but we aren't the ones getting suckered into paying $2,500 for a business suit that smells funny when it rains. What we do get suckered into -- oh so gladly -- is shelling out $15 for a single pair of dark wool socks, so soft yet empowering. Or handing over perhaps five times that amount, but rarely more, for a fine cotton dress shirt assembled with such care that the stripes on the yoke align with those on the sleeves. This is establishment haberdashery, appropriately purveyed in a spacious shop of wood paneling and silence. The salesmen are helpful, but assume their customers know the vocabulary of tailoring; as they mark the cuff on your new slacks and ask if you want a break, they're not offering a discount. Just answer yes. Enter Mills-Touché, and surrender to your suaver instincts.
"Fifty percent of our clientele is women," we were told when we called Franklin's to get the low-down on this perennial favorite for upper-end sports wear and men's suits. Which explains a lot. Women aren't afraid to take clothes to task for the durability of their seams, the cleanliness of their lines, the quality of their fabrics. Locally owned Franklin's passes with flying colors (power colors, that is). The half-dozen Italian and American brand-names were Greek to our ears, and we aren't likely to get acquainted with them on a journalist's salary, but it's nice to know the classic and traditional marches on in sporty leather and dignified wool-blends at Franklin's. Prices here are a notch above the men's department at your typical department store, but attentive service, a more flexible return policy, and the fact that you don't have to visit a mall to get there make Franklin's a solid bet for the well-dressed set.
READERS' POLL RUNNER-UP: Buffalo Exchange, 2001 E. Speedway Blvd.; 7045 E. Tanque Verde Road. (See Best Resale Clothing, page 102.)
MORE MANIA: Savers, 290 W. Fort Lowell Road; 5845 E. Broadway Blvd. Combining the organization and selection of a department store with the prices and offbeat finds of thrift and vintage shops, Savers truly saves the day, as well as saving you some cash. Featuring daily 50-percent off sales on selected items, which include clothes to shoes (of course), but also furniture and a motherlode of used Tupperware. With excellent hours and two locations, you have few excuses not to get out and save!