Kent Wang is an interesting brand. A favorite of /r/malefashionadvice for providing a great value, it comes -- as with any such brand -- with a few compromises.
One of those compromises is their retail space. If you've heard of people in NYC living in closets and shoeboxes, you might understand this. Kent Wang's "store" is only open two days a week, and only by appointment. It's not listed in its building's floor directory, so I had to call up to figure out what floor it's on -- I'm sorry to say that I've since forgotten.
A friendly salesman named Aaron opened the door, welcoming me into a room they share with another brand, separated by a divider -- the cheap kind, not the fake wall of a flex. And it's about the size of a larger-than-average walk-in closet. The floors are crude and unfinished, as you'll see, and there aren't too many places to sit. But I didn't mind, really. I wasn't there for the ambiance.
Oh, the things we do to look good.
The pocket squares are a selling point for the brand. Although I only bought a plain white linen square myself ($20), I've often found myself enamored with their patterned squares (generally $45, generally silk). I'll close off this article with a few instagram posts showing them off -- something to look forward to.
Aaron actually offered to sell me his own Rose Window pocket square, since they didn't have a regular one in stock. That's a cool move, Aaron, even if you will just get another one for free.
The gloves were also great. Deerskin with Cashmere Lining. Really solid option there.
But then... The shawl cardigan (which is inexplicably in the outerwear section of their website). This is one of the pieces I really wanted to try out, but in person, it really didn't live up to my (admittedly high) expectations. It was a warmer, yellower tone than any of the photography showed. It was a full size smaller than you could reasonably expect -- definitely size up. And the material was itchy and just... not very pleasant. I guess it must break in. I'm sure some people would appreciate it, but it was not for me, so the main lesson here is just: Try things on before you buy them.
Watches! I've had my eye on their Bauhaus watches (left) for a while. They're nice mechanical/automatic watches for $350-$400. Well-designed. The Art Deco watch (right, $450) is less my speed, but might be right for you.
Their Keyhole Sunglasses ($55 for acetate, $150 for horn) are pretty cool. They're a point of pride for the brand, and at those prices, they really should be.
They have candles and fragrances from Jardin de France.
And they have thick ebony chopsticks at $5 a pair. I almost bought two, but this was their only pair in stock, and I was looking for a set I could share with a guest.
The dress shoes seemed pretty nice at a glance. Some cool antiquing effects. The sneakers were nice too, although rumor has it that they come with the stink of a thousand leather goods, and retain that stink for months, so I'm looking elsewhere for sneakers.
And here's a great reason to go in person: they have an extremely large number of fabrics and linings to choose from. Like, more than you see here. A huge portion of their office is just piles and piles of fabric books for your perusal. On top of the old standards, I really enjoyed the Drago fabrics. Their lining options didn't just include the standard solid bembergs, but a variety of materials, subtle patterns, wacky patterns, cultural references, pieces of art, you name it.
Another customer was there with me -- I was there early, and his appointment ran long -- and I heard him going over his options. They offer way more customization than other MTM shops. A few stood out -- I believe they mentioned four different pocket width options, which... I can see why I would want that, but I might not ever have thought to ask. So that was pretty exciting.
They do fully canvassed MTM suits and half canvassed outerwear at great prices. But you have to go in person.
They have Grenadine Ties for $75. Grenadine ties are a really cool weave that provides texture that can make a solid color interesting. They also have Ancient Madders for $75 and Sixfold Ties for $85. These are more really solid prices.
If you're curious to learn more about the brand, consider reading Kent's AMA on reddit. Now, get ready for some funky squares.