Buttoned-up British sportswear brand Fred Perry quietly unveiled its first Stateside store last week, bringing a preppy paradise of plaid, argyle, and tweed to Soho. In comparison to the similarly dandy Brit label Ben Sherman, whose flagship is just a few blocks away, Perry’s cotton piqué polos, checked button-downs, and wool V-neck sweaters are refreshingly affordable, with few items topping $100. (It’s also down the street from the flashy new underwear store of fellow tennis great Björn Borg.) The label’s laurel-wreath logo — a nod to founder Fred’s three Wimbledon wins in the thirties —decks just about everything, from T-shirts to shoe buckles. When we stopped in, the business-casual crowd browsing the wares was all male, but a smaller collection of womenswear in back included skinny black jeans, canvas ballet flats, and prim button-downs. Though the racks emphasize the ubiquitous polo — the brand dubs it the “ultimate leisure shirt” and peddles it in 32 colors — we were more inclined to bypass the basics to admire the retro accessories: vinyl messenger bags, canvas-tweed sneakers, and nylon track jackets. Thankfully, nostalgic mementos from Perry’s tennis heyday are minimal, limited to a couple of small black-and-white photos and a framed news clipping near the doorway.
Fred Perry, 133 Wooster St., nr. Prince St.; 212-260-4770