Penner’s helps San Antonio express local fashion, culture


Downtown San Antonio is home to plenty of local gems that sum up the Alamo City’s culture and flair, particularly with its fashion sense. While older generations still dream of the days of Joske’s and Solo Serve, San Antonians old and young have been able to share the cherished experience that is shopping at Penner’s.

Located close to the Historic Market Square, Penner’s has been part of San Antonio’s scene since 1916. The family-owned company has not only been a constant as a business, but also in helping plenty of local residents express themselves through their clothing. Though I had heard the name throughout my childhood and seen social media posts recognizing San Antonians’ love for the store, I visited Penner’s for the first time this fall and realized why that’s so important to the city.

Penner’s has been a local institution since opening in 1916.

Sarah Martinez for MySA

After opening as a secondhand clothing store more than a century ago, Penner’s started selling tangerine Stacy Adams shoes. The footwear was often paired with a fedora hat, a look that Max Penner, a fourth generation Penner who runs the store today, says “caught on” in San Antonio. The look came to represent the lowrider community dominant in the city’s Westside and Southside.

T-shirts like this are the name of the game at Penner's.

T-shirts like this are the name of the game at Penner’s.


Sarah Martinez for MySA

Pick out your favorite flannel to complete your San Antonio look.

Pick out your favorite flannel to complete your San Antonio look.


Sarah Martinez for MySA

Stacy Penner's are a must-have for local fashion lovers.

Stacy Penner’s are a must-have for local fashion lovers.


Sarah Martinez for MySA

Sarah Martinez for MySA


That lowrider look is so prominent in San Antonio that Penner’s started making about 20 versions of the shoe. Penner, who leads the store’s operations with his brother Matthew and cousin Mitchell, says the custom items at the store, including the “bowling, Charlie Sheen type of shirt,” are selections that stand out and are worth appreciating.

“People want something unique that they’re not going to find at the mall,” Penner says. “They’re coming to us for things that are just very different.”

While Penner’s does indeed stock other items you’d find at department stores, like traditional dress shirts and business suits as well as casual wear and accessories, there’s another standout top that the store is known for: the guayabera.

Guayaberas come in a number of colors for fashion-conscious San Antonians.

Guayaberas come in a number of colors for fashion-conscious San Antonians.

Sarah Martinez for MySA

“With the culture down here, guayaberas can be worn for pretty much any occasion,” Penner says of the dressy, yet laid-back style that’s appropriate for a range of special occasions. “People resonate with that style.”

The look has made it all the easier for generations of locals to purchase and proudly wear the signature looks of their own. And they look all the greater with the free, in-house unique tailoring that aligns with the store’s old-school approach.

Fedoras are the only sensible hat choice from Penner's, which has lots of options for you to choose from.

Fedoras are the only sensible hat choice from Penner’s, which has lots of options for you to choose from.


Sarah Martinez for MySA

Penner's has lots of looks to offer, from business to dressy casual.

Penner’s has lots of looks to offer, from business to dressy casual.


Sarah Martinez for MySA

Sarah Martinez for MySA

“It’s definitely, for the younger generation, a surprise to see because they’re not used to that personalized customer service experience,” Penner says.

No matter the style, the Penner family – as well as its employees, some of whom have worked at the store for decades – has been a key figure in helping San Antonio men express not only their fashion sense, but their culture as well. Forget Men’s Warehouse. San Antonians like the way they look over at Penner’s.

In addition to livelier fashion items, Penner's has traditional business suits.

In addition to livelier fashion items, Penner’s has traditional business suits.

Sarah Martinez for MySA



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