Alarmingly, on my last trip to our beloved East London, I realised middleagedad now has a better selection of clothes shops to visit than us girls do. Menswear independents such as Hostem, Present, Albam and Anthem are popping up everywhere and all have a great selection of quality, stylish clothes and fabulous accessories for blokes. Soon middleagedad will be better dressed than us.
I visited Anthem for the day job and found lots to be excited about, not least that Simon and Jeremy, who co founded the store, had a couple of those boro Japanese futon covers we were talking about here, so I immediately warmed to them. And when did middleagedad’s selection of bags get so covetable? I loved the leather and canvas ones from Stanley and Sons, below, a small firm in Brooklyn New York that specialises in hand making men’s bags and aprons.
There’s a sale on at the moment and I bought some great thick woolly socks for middleteen, who is finding the cold of a student house in Newcastle tough to cope with and a denim work shirt for eldest teen from Atre Provera, a brand that is hard to find outside Japan. The store is definitely going to appeal to men as it has a reassuring manly smartness and is full of wonderful quirky sculptures and art pieces that all have stories attached to them. Simon and Jeremy happily admit they are ‘mostly rubbish’ at selling things, as they don’t like to pressurise anyone, but get them talking about the artefacts, or how they went down to Wales and paid hardly anything for the sculptural wood panels that they made into the shop walls, and you’ll be there all day.
The store currently has no website (‘we’re working on that’) which means you have to visit, no bad thing, as it really is a treat.
Anthem is at 10-12 Calvert Avenue, Shoreditch EJ2EP. Calvert Ave, you may like to know also houses Ally Capellino, Leila’s Deli and Luna & Curious, all favourites of ours. The new Margaret Howell MHL store has also just opened around the corner.