Alexander McQueen: As fashion's enfant terrible, the brand's hyper-talented founder was a hard act to follow. But Sarah Burton, McQueen's former right-hand woman, is garnering as much praise for her menswear (A/W 2011 is the first she has done fully solo) as her womens' collection. The razor-sharp tailoring and signature McQueen theatrics are all there – with a subtle new touch.
Open Sun-Wed 10am-10pm; Thu-Sat 10am-midnight. The Dubai Mall (04 339 8760).
Biancioli: The average man might look aghast at the price tags (or, at the very least, start calculating how many drinks he could buy for said amount), but the average man doesn’t shop at Biancioli. The man who shops here probably thinks nothing of handing over a small fortune for softer-than-butter leatherwear, luxurious, fur-lined winter coats and chunky knits. Everything exudes quality and style.
Open Sun-Wed 10am-10pm; Thu-Sat 10am-midnight. The Dubai Mall (04 339 9599).
Boss by Hugo Boss (Orange Label): This is how it should be done. While many designers seem to regard their diffusion lines as an opportunity to prey on victims of status anxiety, charging megabucks for cheapo white T-shirts with their logo splashed across the front, Hugo Boss is showing the way with intelligent clothes that will hold the room’s interest even if your chat stinks. This collection takes its lead from the London music scene, with skinny ties, salt-and-pepper jeans and punk-style badges all present and correct. Crucial, however, are witty and distinctive flourishes – a beaded slogan here, a fur collar there – which add design value and go some way to justifying the price tags. He’s the Boss for a reason.
Open Sat-Wed 10am-10pm; Thu-Fri 10am-midnight. The Dubai Mall; www.hugoboss.com (04 434 1400). Other locations: BurJuman (04 355 7845); Dubai Festival City (04 232 6411); Mall of the Emirates (04 341 0702); Mercato (04 342 2021); Deira City Centre (04 295 5281).
Brioni: If you could tear your eyes away from his comb-over, you’d see that Donald Trump is always very well suited and booted. His tailor is the Italian house, Brioni. The name might not be as well known as some, but Brioni has been clothing the well-to-do for years. New York crime boss John (the 'Dapper Don') Gotti famously wore their suits. There's a bespoke tailoring service here and, as may be expected, the prices are not easy on the immaculately-lined pocket.
Open Sat-Wed 10am-10pm; Thu-Fri 10am-midnight. The Dubai Mall; www.brioni.com (04 434 1418).
Bugatti: Men in the market for a well-cut suit could do worse than heading for Bugatti. This German fashion house stocks a decent range of both formal styles and casual jackets, with prices ranging from Dhs500 up to Dhs2,000.
Open Sun-Wed 10am-10pm; Thu-Sat 10am-midnight. Dubai Festival City (04 232 6355).
Burberry: British heritage brand Burberry has been totally transformed since Christopher Bailey became its creative director, from stodgy purveyor of trench coats and cashmere V-necks to fashion-forward label. Still, its heritage – dating back to 1856 – is not to be sneezed at. In 1911, when Roald Amundsen became the first man to reach the South Pole, he was wearing Burberry.
Open Sat-Wed 10am-11pm; Thu-Fri 10am-midnight. BurJuman; www.burberry.com (04 351 3515). Other locations: Deira City Centre (04 295 0347); Mall of the Emirates (04 340 5559). Dubai Mall (04 339 8357), Outlet Mall (04 425 5314).
Calvin Klein: Although the brand's boxer shorts are what many men associate most strongly with Calvin Klein it’s worth remembering that Calvin and his crew make a very decent range of outerwear. Granted, the sleek suits, shirts and trousers here are more straightforward than cutting edge, but they will stand the test of time as a consequence. And the jeans have never looked finer. After all, there’s no point in wearing your best clothes where nobody can see them.
Open Sun-Wed 10am-10pm; Thu-Sat 10am-midnight. Dubai Festival City (04 232 6767; www.calvinklein. com). Other locations: Deira City Centre (04 294 8729); Mall of the Emirates (04 340 3448).
Cerruti 1881: Three things it’s worth knowing about this Parisian fashion house: 1) Founder Nino Cerruti trained Giorgio Armani, like a Jedi Knight training his Padawan learner, in the ways of cloth; 2) Much of his tailoring is still sharper than Armani's, but that’s fine: head to the master, not the pupil; 3) Cerruti’s classic wool suits are winners. They even made the deranged Patrick Bateman in the movie American Psycho look good. So, imagine what a bit of Cerruti on your back could do for you.
Open Sun-Wed 9.30am-10pm; Thu-Sat 9.30am-midnight. Wafi (04 324 8132). . Other locations: Mall of the Emirates (04 341 0773);The Dubai Mall (04 339 8334).
Dolce & Gabbana: The high-end Dolce & Gabbana collection is smarter and more subdued than D&G, its younger, cheaper cousin (remembering that ‘cheaper’ is a relative term, however). Sharp tailoring and skinny-legged trousers contrast with youthful, colourful street-inspired casual wear.
Open Sat-Thu 10am-10pm; Fri 2pm-10pm. BurJuman (04 351 5551; www.dolcegabbana.it). Other location: Mall of the Emirates (04 341 0626).
Emporio Armani: Black floor, black walls, spotlights: entering an Emporio Armani store is like walking into a drama studio. This is the Italian designer’s cheaper line, with the shallower pocket of the younger consumer in mind. Not that much shallower, mind: it’s still Armani. Mix and match from a decent selection of pin-striped jackets, knitwear and slim-fit trousers. Stick to the simple and elegant because wearing big logos is a total style no-no.
Open Sat-Thu10am-10pm; Fri 4pm-12pm. Jumeirah Emirates Towers Shopping Boulevard; www.emporioarmani.com (04 330 0583). Other location: Mall of the Emirates (04 341 0339); The Dubai Mall (04 339 8121).
Ermenegildo Zegna: If you think that living in our broiling climate makes it impossible to look (or feel) good in a suit, think again. This four-generations-old Italian tailoring firm doesn't just cut elegant, Milanese-style lines, it has invented a raft of exceptional high-performance fabrics that will keep you as cool and crease-free as it's possible to be in anything other than your own skin. Oh, and if you're worried about pronouncing the name, it's zen-ya (it's fine to skip the first name).
Open Sun-Wed 10am-10pm; Thu-Sat 10am-midnight. Mall of the Emirates (04 340 7711)
Gucci: Your credit card won’t thank you but if you have money to burn there’s something so outrageously decadent about wearing the label it’s almost worth it. However, steer clear of anything covered in the famous monogram. We'll say it again: wearing big logos is a total style no-no.
Open Sun-Wed 10am-10pm; Thu-Sat 10am-midnight. Mall of the Emirates; www.gucci.com (04 341 0669). Other locations: Jumeirah Emirates Towers Boulevard (04 330 3313); The Dubai Mall (04 339 8953).
Hugo Boss Black: The modern suits from this German tailoring brand will have you looking effortlessly elegant and feel as comfortable as your own skin. Among the more expensive brands out there, the shirts really do bring quality for the extra cost.
Open daily 10am-10pm. Mercato; www.hugoboss.com (04 342 2021) Other locations: BurJuman (04355 7845); Dubai Festival City (04 232 6411).
Kenneth Cole: If this shop were a recording artist, it’d be one of those mum-pleasing stubbly boys that you secretly have on heavy iPod rotation: it hits that elusive ground between work/formal and street/fashionable with a sharp yet sober look. As well as the shoes that made the brand famous, there’s a nice range of shirts, trousers and accessories, and the quality is unwaveringly good. The lightweight black luggage is particularly fine: as stylish as Tumi, but a third of the price. If you are the sort of person who can’t use the phrase ‘smart/casual’ without inwardly cringing, this is a very good place to start.
Open Sun-Wed 10am-10pm; Thu-Sat 10am-midnight. BurJuman (04 355 5872). Other locations : Dubai Festival City (04 232 6106); Mall of the Emirates (04 341 0320).
Marc Jacobs: Clothing from the pastel-hued main line store in Mall of the Emirates will make you feel as dapper as Jude Law in The Talented Mr Ripley. It’s a relatively small men’s collection but, like that perfect capsule wardrobe fashion magazines are always banging on about, all of the pieces (bib-fronted shirts, finely-woven cords) complement each other beautifully.
Open Sun-Wed 10am-10pm; Thu-Sat 10am-midnight. Mall of the Emirates (04 341 1202). Other locations: Marc by Marc Jacobs, Dubai Festival City (04 232 6118).
Paul & Joe: French designer Sophie Albou might be better known for women’s fashion but she started her design career in menswear. With its simple and elegant trousers, business shirts and sharp jackets, all with of-the-moment detailing, this brand (which the designer named after her two sons) should be on every man’s radar.
Open Sun-Wed 10am-10pm; Thu-Sat 10am-midnight. Mall of the Emirates; www.paulandjoe.com (04 395 1800).
Paul Smith: ‘Classic with a twist’ has always been Sir Paul’s mantra, and it’s not just the shirts and immaculately cut suits. The cufflinks – often cheeky and always cool – would make even a Bhs shirt look better. Other accessories, such as stylish wallets, share the sense of gallant joie de vivre. If you’re going to spend big on payday, this should be the first port of call for the fashionable man about town. Call it investment dressing.
Open Sun-Wed 10am-10pm; Thu-Sat 10am-midnight. Mall of the Emirates (04 395 1800). Other location: BurJuman (04 359 0099).
Polo Ralph Lauren: It’s fun pondering whether this fashion icon and tastemaker extraordinaire would have had the same global success had he stuck with his birth name (Ralph Lifschitz), or chosen darts rather than polo as his ambassador sport. What began in the 1960s with a collection of ties has developed into a vast sartorial empire that has defined aspirational American dressing. Polo RL, the brand's casual collection, has a couple of stores all to itself.
Open Sat-Wed 10am-10pm; Thu-Fri 10am-11pm. BurJuman (04 352 5311). Other location: Mall of the Emirates (04 341 4234).
Ralph Lauren: Most famous for the polo-player logo that defines the designer’s casual elegance, Lauren pulls out all the stops with his Ralph Lauren Purple Label which, the company says, embodies ‘the timeless grace and the spirit of America’. The superior-quality suits have that classically elegant look for when you need to impress somebody other than just your usual mates.
Open Sun-Wed 10am-10pm; Thu-Sat10am-midnight. The Dubai Mall (04 330 8005).
Tom Ford: Tom Ford (formerly Gucci’s main man) made waves in the Gulf when he put some designer pizzazz into a collection of kandouras. He’s huge in this region, and his 3,000 sq ft store in The Dubai Mall is aimed at discerning, stylish chaps with a penchant for luxurious threads. This is top-quality menswear in a palette of neutral tones, with accessories such as hip sunglasses, and even fragrance. Check out Arabian Wood – a potion created especially for the Dubai store opening.
Open Sun-Wed 10am-10pm; Thu-Sat 10am-midnight.The Dubai Mall (04 330 8300).