· Thursday August 18, 2016

First things first: this place is a little hard to find. But in that way that a good happy hour is hard to find, which is to say that it’s totally worth the search. And like those most magical of hours, Contra delivers the goods – with no gross after-office crowd and much less restrictive opening hours to boot.

Owner Matt Kyte has curated a selection of local and international labels to create a veritable menswear mecca. All your bases are covered, with clothing, footwear, accessories, magazines and lifestyle products strewn all over the clean and welcoming shop space. Labels include Ètudes, Christian Kimber, Soulland, Dr. Martens, Il Bussetto, District Vision, Lou Dalton, Liquiproof, YMC, as well as Contra’s own house label. He’s even pulled a Drake with a Contra-branded lint roller.

The best thing about the store though is the complete lack of pretension. You’re just as likely to find punters simply shooting the breeze as you are to see customers trying on a pair of shoes or sizing themselves up in a mirror. Sure, it’s a retail store, but it’s also a space for likeminded people to interact and revel in their culture.

Come for the world-class labels, stay for a chat and a laugh – my idea of the perfect shopping experience.