Back to Top
Wednesday 18 Jul
86164 users - now online: 1068 people
86164 users - now online: 1068 people login
Printer Friendly Page  
Hunting for pretty clothes in Amsterdam

by Gert Hekma in Lifestyle & Fashion , 13 maart 2001

Though of course it`s always fat fun to go hunt for pretty clothes in foreign fashion centers, Amsterdam these days offers a wealth of wonderful possibilities.Starting in the bend of the Nieuwendijk with Tip de Bruin. For a long time shopping there just wasn`t done, due to the high Jordaan, meaning common, quality. These days Tip owns three men`s stores next to each other which are really nice. The first one offers your regular Replay, Diesel, Paradise, the second more exclusive labels like Versace, Dolce&Gabana, JPGauthier, Exté, of which they have a beautiful assortment in stock. Be quick when the new collection arrives: the nicest items sell like hot cakes. The third shop still has the slick show-off look of old, offering mainly suits, but I have to admit I bought my nicest (Garage) shirt there.

A bit further down the Nieuwendijk you see Roy Franklin, around the corner of The Web, where sometimes you can find something nice. From here aim for the Bijenkorf on the Dam Square. There the ground floor and the Chill Out on the fifth floor offer a sizeable collection of men`s and boys` clothes. There`s so much you`ll always find something nice, but you might have to look for it. The choice of the purchasing agents is tasteful; last season they had Mexx fake furs which weren`t for sale in the Mexx stores.
A highpoint for sexy clothing is the Magna Plaza behind the palace on the Dam square. On the top floor you`ll find Velvet Uomo, a new store with the most beautiful clothes: Versace, Dolce&Gabana, Paradise, Cavali. The service here is near perfect: friendly but not pushy young men. One floor down are two Replay stores. Unfortunately Replay has always more for women than for men. Yet I bought some nice shirts here and sexy satin pants. Recently the biggest one of these stores got a gorgeous new interior. On the ground floor is Jet Set, selling their own brand next to Gauthier and Blue System.


From the Dam we walk through the Damstraat to the Oude Hoogstraat where you`ll find another gem of men`s fashion: 2pr. In one store they have the classier apparel by Hugo Boss and Belgian fashion designers, in the shop next door more hip stuff. A must, also because of the friendly personnel. The Kalverstraat has recovered from its malady of cheapishness it has suffered from for so long, especially the stretch between Spui and Munt. Between Dam and Spui there`s only one nice store, Energy. Last fall there they sold satin shirts, t-shirts with slave" and ayor" prints, tigerpants and a wide selection of disco apparel. Opposite the Historich Museum Zara will open its doors soon - we can`t wait.

On the corner of Kalverstraat and Spui you`ll find Esprit (grey apparel for palefaces) and H&M. Since the H&M store in the Kalvertoren is so much more gay and cozy we quickly cross the Spui. In the Kalverstraat on the right hand side there`s now a whole row of very promising stores. First there`s Western House, where in earlier days I went berserk buying satin Diesel pants, but they`ve gone down dramatically. Next is Kamikaze for the trendy hiphop scene with fun blouses and shirts, but those baggy pants for die-hard queens, no way babe. Right next door there`s Men at Work for the butch guys. A next highpoint is Bendorf with a wide selection of men`s clothes: G-star, Diesel and Replay next to Handsome and Paul Smith. Don`t be put off by the first part of the store, offering Marlboro, Lacoste, Hilfiger and Dockers junk.

Keep your gaze fixed steadily on the pretty boys serving a delectable mix of urban male beauty. Bendorf is followed by Mexx: skip it and walk on to the second Energy store. On the other side near the Heiligeweg 9 is the Bonneterie, popular mainly with males of Anglosaxon orientation. All those Scottish checks and lawyer`s apparel doesn`t appeal to your average greedy queen. Except maybe the little bit of Versace and Paul Smith in the new Image department. Anglosaxon types had better aim for the Heiligeweg to satisfy their conservative tastes. Wild boys aim for the Kalvertoren. Right before that to the left is Sissy Boy for men. Unfortunately they`ve cut that lovely name down to SB, which says nothing at all anymore. Except their own sissy" clothes, they sell Handsome, Pringle, Paul Smith, French Connection and Exota. You can also pass straight through the Bonneterie store itself to go to Agnes B at the Rokin. Here I mainly bought sporty vests. Watch out with those French shirts: even bigger sizes are very small. Parisian garçons are a lot smaller and tinier than what has sprouted from Dutch clay.


The Kalvertoren near the Munt is a phenomenon in itself. Built in the Middle Ages as a nunnery, it became a prison after the Reformation. The beautiful gate with the symbol of Justice and two prisoners in chains can still be seen over the entrance at the Voetboogstraat. Here in the eighteenth century sodomites were imprisoned. In the twentieth century it became a swimming pool where gays cruised each other and later nude swimming was introduced. Recently it got a gay destination once again: a shopping centre for the top floor of the market. I was surprised to see so few gays strolling around there, since the middle plaza of the three floors virtually invites parading and cruising.
After a long walk you can take a breather here: cheap and cozy at the Hema, a bit more classy in an espresso bar. For a splendid view take the elevator up and you`ll find Amsterdam at your feet. The Kalvertoren offers three proprietary brand stores for the spoiled fag: Hugo Boss, DKNY and Replay. Here you also find Guess (fun for women, disastrous for men) and Levi`s (they work hard at their come back). And also the sissiest H&M of Amsterdam. Watch out with their clothes though. When fitting a pair of pants it started to go at the seams there and then. Their clothes won`t survive two or three washings. Unfortunately the unsurpassed Mac&Maggie is dead and gone since several years: they offered clothes more colourful and of much better quality at the same price.

Next to the Kalvertoren on the Heiligeweg recently a Dept branch opened its doors. Quite nice, but to make your mouth water walk on to the Leidsestraat, to Khymo with a big collection of Girbaud, Bill Tornade, McKenzie, Bikkemberg. Next door two repetitions: Sissiy Boy and DKNY. On the other side of the street is Metz where on the third floor they sell men`s clothes. Even on the busiest Saturday you`ll see one other customer and maybe two salesmen bored to death. Two years ago they had the unfortunate idea to get things going by making a pact with the Gay Krant. Little did they know where fashion is concerned even discount coupons won`t get the readers of this periodical moving. And trendy fashion queens wouldn`t be seen dead with this magazine. Yet they offer some nice brands like Farhi and Boss. Metz had better invite the 2pr or Velvet Uomo boys to breathe new life into this mausoleum of men`s fashion.


By way of the Keizersgracht you then go to the Runstraat where on both corners Local Service is located. Again a gem of a store in the line of Khymo with top names like Paul Smith, Comme des Garçons, Stone Island and Richmond. In the Runstraat the Nieuwe Kleren van de Keizer (the Emperor`s New Clothes) offers extravagant diso apparel. One street and bridge further on in the Wolvenstraat Razzmatazz caters to the alternative chic. Quite exclusive but not too expensive is the WMEVVJ brand by Simon de Boer with a store on the Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal: home-produced woollen sweaters, fur coats an t-shirts. Some time ago he had a golden-shower-collection and made sexy versions of everyday clothing.

From Metz you can also walk on to the PCHooftstraat with five top stores for men: Reflections, Didato, Heeren, Questo, Spirito Sportivo. Here you`ll find Comme des Garçons, Prada, Paul Smith, Versaci, Exté and lots more. Also Armani, Boss and DKNY here have their own stores. Don`t go shopping on a Saturday afternoon. You`ll be tripping over smooth operators. Personnel is very friendly. In Reflections I once came upon two loud-mouthed customers trying on clothes in the middle of the store (a terrible sight, I tell you). The personnel remained calm and friendly, but I went for the door.
Shopping for clothes generally means buying nothing. First make the rounds and return later to those places where you saw something that stuck out. Sometimes you go for something immediately and you get an instant hard-on seeing it in the store. Go for it right then and there. In all other cases wait your while. With a closet full of clothes you`ll easily make it to the next sales, starting sooner each year. When stock is large or new stuff comes in late, with a little bit of waiting you`ll see prices drop quickly. An important and pleasurable part of shopping is made up by shop-assistants and customers. In Velvet Uomo and 2pr they have sexy assistants, in Sixty the cutest shop-manager.

Customers in stores like Bendorf and Replay offer a nice array of the diverse ethnic beauties in Amsterdam. Cheeky short-haired Maroccans, self assured Surinamese, shy whites. You see them at a moment that they want to be beautiful, sometimes half undressed, always a nice moment for their weaknesses to show most clearly. Then the butch as well as the shy lads are uncertain and get something touching about them. Watch out trying to give sound clothing advice. They often do not appreciate it. Listening to a poof makes them come too close to being one themselves. Shopping comes mainly down to voyeurism, also in dead certain gay stores. It won`t be long ere the shops and streets of Amsterdam offer once again the combined joy of strolling and cruising. It`s my ideal future, a mix of shopping and parading amongst men, who have given up their macho behaviour and are approachable.

And don`t forget to pay a visit to Clubwear House (Herengracht 265) for designer clubwear and ‘t Oortje (Haarlemmerdijk 104-106) for casual and streetwear clothes

(Some of the illustrations are taken from "Versace/Avedon" - Random House Publishers)



In the New Issue of Gay News, 323, July 2018

More from Lifestyle & Fashion
More from Gay News- issue 115
More by Gert Hekma


Leather, Rubber & Twisted gear

learn more |visit

Cuckoos nest

Cruise bar with big darkroom

learn more |visit

bottom image

Entire © & ® 1995/2018 Gay International Press & Foundation G Media, Amsterdam. All rights reserved.
Gay News ® is a registered Trademark. articles Gay News; duplication forbidden. Inclusion only allowed after written approval of the publisher, with clear source mentioning Articles used by third parties will be invoiced and cashed where necessary. Gay News | ISSN: 2214-7640 | ISBN 8717953072009 | Wikipedia.
Follow Gay News:
Twitter Issuu
RSS (dutch) RSS Editors (dutch) self-employed Escortboys

Contact us

© 1995/2018 Gay News ®, GIP/ St. G Media