Where to Find Club Wear, From Shirts to Jeans, Swimwear and Leather

Club wear: It’s one way to help you make a personal statement about your look — or even what you’re looking for. And, as they say in the world of fashion — some dress to fit in and others dress to stand out. Either way, here are a few suggestions for you to get your look on.

TAGG (720 9th Avenue): Tagg has survived the death of brick and mortar stores by doing classic club wear well. They have a seemingly infinite selection of name brand underwear and swimwear, so many selections of t-shirts and jeans you’ll go crosseyed before you’ve seen them all, and just enough accessories to provide a splash of color or bling to complete your look. Located pretty much in the heart of Hell’s Kitchen, the store is always well-stocked with a variety of subtle to in-your-face looks. And even if you’re only window shopping, the eye candy clientele can’t be beat.

Nasty Pig (259 West 19th Street): Most of the world has to get their Nasty Pig wear — a staple of bear and leather culture — from the label’s online store. But New Yorkers are lucky enough to have an actual shop in Chelsea where customers can drop in, check the fabrics and the fits before they make a purchase — unlike Rufskin, their onetime down-the-block neighbor who went virtual a couple of years back. The selections here range from nondescript (jeans and hoodies and much of their athletic wear is close to family friendly), to jocks and racier items that leave little to the imagination. And while TAGG may have you scoping out the other customers, at Nasty Pig it’s hard to beat the very helpful and easy-on-the-eyes sales staff. Woof.

VIBE (212 8th Avenue) There are several stores within a few feet of Vibe on 8th, but none offer the variety or quality of this Chelsea mainstay’s club wear. Not only do they have a wide array of tanks and tees, but jeans designed to fit and flatter all shapes and sizes. They’re also among the few that offer an assortment of garments to flatter the female form – or the aspiring petite drag ingenue. You’ll find jocks and shorts and gym wear that might make you feel slightly self-conscious in the Bible belt (or the outer reaches of the city, for that matter), but certain to show off all your attributes, be they muscle earned at the gym or gifts you may have received genetically.

The Leather Man (111 Christopher Street) This is the spot where Daddies and boys, masters and slaves and doms and subs go to get geared up for those late-until-dawn dance events. You’ll find harnesses (including those LED numbers that light up, and in a variety of colors as well), leather cop shirts, chaps and motorcycle jackets. In other words, this is where Tom of Finland would have gone for inspiration. There are captain’s and cadet caps, and most everything that requires alteration is done in house with a typically quick turnaround. They also do a bustling mail order business (and they have an online store as well). So if you’re visiting, you can go in to shop, have a fitting and have your gear mailed to you anywhere there’s a mailbox.

Jackson Boutique (8810 Roosevelt Avenue) Just because you don’t haunt the so-called gayborhood doesn’t mean you can’t find what you’re looking for up in Jackswon Heights. Jackson Boutique has every bit as much to offer as their downtown counterparts, with an assortment of fetish wear, swimwear and underwear for both the discerning and adventurous LGBTQ clietle — and for straights who might enjoy takinhg a walk on the wild side.

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Kevin Phinney
Tags: fashion

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