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House brand labels

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone, I was wondering what you guys thought of house brand labels in terms of quality. I'm talking about labels like Barneys, Bananna Republic, etc... Would you be willing to buy shoes at BR under their name. I think that their stuff is good quality, so would it be a mistake to assume that their shoes will be the same quality. The problem is that sometimes they change their manufactures so much, that you don't know who produced it and have to rely on the house label. And, what do you think of their prices. At the Warehouse sale, the Barney shirts were half off. But, do you think their original price for their dress shirts is justified. Sometimes, it seems that house labels are cheaper than designer labels even though they are the same quality.
post #2 of 17
The problem with Banana Republic shirts is that they are sized S M L XL, which is not good enough for me other than shirts for casual use. I am curious about the quality of BR shoes as well.
post #3 of 17
I bought a pair of BR black seamed oxfords about four years ago, and they've held up pretty well.  I follow the rule of not wearing them two days in a row (usually they get more rest) and haven't had to re-sole the shoe.  The area under the arch (a bar?) gets somewhat uncomfortable if I've been walking around all day.  Also, I seem to recall their sizing runs half a size smaller. The soles run thicker, so I don't believe they would pass muster in an office requiring conservative business attire, but I shine them every month or so and they still look pretty decent.
post #4 of 17
It's not always safe to assume that all the types of clothes sold under a brand name will hold up to one high standard of quality. This goes for house brands and for designer brands. I'm sure people here can give you tales of many different designers whose shirts are impeccable but their shoes are so-so, etc. I've heard that BR's shoes are cheaply made and uncomfortable but I have no first hand (foot?) experience, but my experience with their shirts, pants and sweaters is that they hold up practically forever with careful use. I have one shirt I've had for 5 years now with regular wear and there is still nothing really wrong with it. The best idea IMO if you want the best quality-to-money ratio is to buy shirts from a shirtmaker, shoes from a shoemaker, etc. However, buying everything from BR or another designer does pretty much guarantee it will all go together to create their "look". It's also obviously much more convenient.
post #5 of 17
banana republic does not sell good shoes. the leather is cheap and as soon as they start to fall apart they do so very quickly. i don't recommend their shirts as true dress shirts, but if you plan to wear them casually i suppose they look okay. i have a few br dress pants that i use as casual pants and they do hold up very well over time.
post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
It's interesting that BR shoes are pieces of crap. I would have thought that their shoes would been good in order to protect their name. Wouldn't they be afraid that people would be so dissatisfied with their shoes that they would associate the rest of their merchandaise as crap. Oh well. How about Barney dress shirts. NO sale, they cost 120. Are they worth it, at even half off.
post #7 of 17
Quote:
It's interesting that BR shoes are pieces of crap.
Actually I have found the opposite to be true. I have a pair of oxfords from them that are over 3 years old now. They have held up very well, albeit resoling them is imminent. They still look quite good, especially considering that I often wear them consecutive days in a row.
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the problem with Banana Republic shirts is that they are sized S M L XL, which is not good enough for me other than shirts for casual use.
Actually Banana Republic has started to size their shirts in terms of neck and sleeve length. They are moving towards making their shirts into more true dress shirts, as opposed to the casual nature of their past shirts.
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but my experience with their shirts, pants and sweaters is that they hold up practically forever with careful use.
I have found this to be true as well. I have a couple cashmere sweaters from them that are pushing 4 years old, and both are in pristine condition. I get lots of wear from their shirts and trousers as well. The stuff tends to wash and wear very well, although I don't advocate exclusively buying your clothes from Banana Republic. They do make nice quality stuff though for the price.
post #8 of 17
It depends alot on the store. Most department stores and larger chain stores (including many regional independent clothing stores) use private label to increase the margins. If these stores sell merchandise that is carried all over the place, and often on sale, private label is a way to protect net margin%. However, better stores rarely use private label as a margin item. For most of us, we buy things that the brands are not doing and we want to offer to our clients something unique. For example, I started going to Italy to buy shoes for our store because we were not interested in the "fashionable" shoes everyone was showing. I wanted an old fashioned mix of shapes and styles for our shop. Therefore, we do not charge more for these items, we just offer our customers something unique. It pays to get to know a store, and how they merchandise. And of course, shop with them.
post #9 of 17
I bought a pair of BR shoes a few years ago and wore them once cause of the bad quality. I wouldn't recommend them. Barney's house brand is great. I have a few shirts from them that are of superior quality. You can usually find it on sale as well at the end of each season.
post #10 of 17
I have purchased "House Brand" from Holt-Renfrew and Harry Rosen in the Toronto area and have been quite pleased with the quality and value of the items (predominately shirts and a couple of suits). The prices were great since most of the purchases were on sale and drastically reduced. While I am the least qualified person to discuss quality, the items have held up quite well over the years, and thus to me this is a sign of quality.
post #11 of 17
Quote:
I bought a pair of BR shoes a few years ago and wore them once cause of the bad quality.
You wore them once because of the bad quality? That doesn't seem like you gave them much of a chance. Obviously, Banana Republic is no where near the quality of the likes of Allen Edmonds or Lobbs, but certainly they are not so bad that you can only wear them once and not get any other use out of them.
post #12 of 17
Quote:
It's interesting that BR shoes are pieces of crap. I would have thought that their shoes would been good in order to protect their name. Wouldn't they be afraid that people would be so dissatisfied with their shoes that they would associate the rest of their merchandaise as crap. Oh well. How about Barney dress shirts. NO sale, they cost 120. Are they worth it, at even half off.
Barney's dress shirts got great reviews on his board, I believe.  Try a search.  However, from my personal experience, I will never buy another...the pleat front (or is it called tab style, English plac?) was made improperly, and is impossible to iron smooth.  I thought after a few washings, the material might shrink to size...wishful thinking. If you're a 16/35, I have a couple I'm looking to unload cheap, brand new with tags. As far as BR...their shoes aren't really CRAP, per se.  But most would consider them lower quality, similar to the way most on this board would consider Kenneth Cole inferior quality.  Nothing really wrong with either, just not a shoe-man's shoe. IMO, they're exactly what I'd expect from BR (take that however you want). As far as BR in general...not sure what you mean about protecting their name...what exactly do you think they would be protecting?
post #13 of 17
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If you're a 16/35, I have a couple I'm looking to unload cheap, brand new with tags.
How do they fit? Are they slim-fitting? What colors do you have?
post #14 of 17
Quote:
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If you're a 16/35, I have a couple I'm looking to unload cheap, brand new with tags.
How do they fit?  Are they slim-fitting?  What colors do you have?
They fit on the slim side.  I just did a direct comparison: they're just about the same size/fit as Brioni or Thomas Pink, running a few inches slimmer than Zegna or Lorenzini. I have two that are brand new with tags, not even unfolded.   They are the most conservative colors, both plain - one white and the other light blue.  Please let me know if you're interested, and I'll post a pic. Renault78law@hotmail.com
post #15 of 17
Renault, Sounds like they will be a little big for me. I've tried on a Brioni just for kicks and it was pretty baggy on me. Thanks for the reply though.
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