A Gentleman’s Guide to the New Orleans Arts District
He sips mint juleps on the porch. He dons seersucker. He is unfailingly polite. He’s a true New Orleans gentleman, and he raises the bar for fellows everywhere. If you know a gentleman (or aspire to become one), here are a handful of shops in New Orleans’ Arts District, within a short distance of the Lafayette Hotel, that you must patronize.
Aidan Gill For Men (550 Fulton St., 2026 Magazine Street)
This barber shop is named for its owner, notorious New Orleans dandy Aidan Gill. It’s a haven for masculinity where a traditional hot shave comes with a shot of whiskey. The shop also sells handmade shaving accessories, high-end skin care lines, flasks, locally made bow ties and more, all geared to gentlemen of discriminating tastes.
Italy Direct (709 Tchoupitoulas Street)
Wool Italian suits line this men’s and women’s store, where the merchandise has a decidedly retro feel. From shoes to fedora, you can get outfitted completely at this wholesale boutique. You won’t have to drop a lot of cash for a slim-fit wool suit, but you will look like you just stepped out of a Fellini film when you leave.
Jos A. Bank (230 Carondelet Street)
To become a true New Orleans gentleman, shop where they shop. This Jos A. Bank location is owned by John “Jay” Batt, a fifth-generation New Orleanian and big brother to actor Bryan Batt. (And yes, he does shop at Jos A. Bank–if a boutique is good enough for the Mad Men alum, it’s good enough for us.) You’ll find everything from suits and sportcoats to socks and outerwear at this menswear emporium.
Friend (600 Carondelet Street)
Budding gentleman will appreciate this stylish, highly curated menswear shop, which boasts toiletries, bags, accessories, slim-fit cotton shirts that are perfect for New Orleans’ humid weather and more. It also frequently hosts artist pop-ups.
Tommy’s Cuisine (746 Tchoupitoulas Street)
When a restaurant has a dress code, you know it’s sure to be a respite for gentlemen. Tommy’s Cuisine requests “dressy casual” wear, and the weathered wood paneling, exposed brick, and dim lighting combine to create an elegantly masculine aesthetic. The Creole-Italian menu includes standouts like osso buco and baked Gulf oysters, but the true standout is the wine, scotch, and bourbon list.
Southern Costume Company (951 Lafayette Street)
What’s a gentleman to do should he find himself invited to a social occasion that requires a costume? First of all, resist the temptation to buy a cheap mask and beads from a Bourbon Street tourist trap. Second, head to Southern Costume Company, where you’ll find 9,000 square feet packed with professional-grade costumes, wigs, hats, masks and accessories that have appeared in Hollywood films including 12 Years A Slave and 21 Jump Street. Rentals are surprisingly affordable, and the options are almost unlimited. Best of all, you can return your costume after the event–meaning one less thing to pack and carry onto the plane.