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decent shoes in San Fran - Page 2

post #16 of 29

I've been to Wilkes a few times.  The first time I got about 3 feet into the shop when a voice boomed out, "Welcome to the best clothing store in the US!"  I lasted about five minutes. The last time was a few weeks ago. I was looking at some suede driving shoes with my wife when a SA approached.

 

SA: These are on sale. We tried to introduce concept to the US but the country wasn't ready.

 

Leftette: Driving shoes?

 

SA: Driving shoes without socks - all the rage in Europe right now. We were ahead of the curve on this one.

 

I lasted about 7 minutes.  The place makes me nostalgic for the sedate SA's of Paul Stuart.

 

Was at NM yesterday.  I walk in and a SA stops what he was doing and looks at my face, my crotch, my shoes, back to my crotch, my shoes again, then up my face. That makes me miss the SA at NM in SH who used to ask to touch my shoes. Far less creepy.

 

lefty

post #17 of 29
Pocket square-lobb doesn't fit me. I'm in between sizes. And I prefer other brands if I go bespoke.
post #18 of 29
You might want to try different lasts. That will make a huge difference in fit.
post #19 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by lefty View Post

I've been to Wilkes a few times.  The first time I got about 3 feet into the shop when a voice boomed out, "Welcome to the best clothing store in the US!"  I lasted about five minutes. The last time was a few weeks ago. I was looking at some suede driving shoes with my wife when a SA approached.

 

SA: These are on sale. We tried to introduce concept to the US but the country wasn't ready.

 

Leftette: Driving shoes?

 

SA: Driving shoes without socks - all the rage in Europe right now. We were ahead of the curve on this one.

 

I lasted about 7 minutes.  The place makes me nostalgic for the sedate SA's of Paul Stuart.

 

Was at NM yesterday.  I walk in and a SA stops what he was doing and looks at my face, my crotch, my shoes, back to my crotch, my shoes again, then up my face. That makes me miss the SA at NM in SH who used to ask to touch my shoes. Far less creepy.

 

lefty


This is the "new Wilkes". As you may know, in the Fall of "09, teetering on bankruptcy,
they were purchased by Mitchell stores, a Connecticut clothier. The old Wilkes was
creepy to many, but it had a certain dignity. The sales people were not pushy, at
least to me. Now many of the same personnel are acting differently.
post #20 of 29

^ The Jack Mitchell approach is "hug your customers" not "hound your customers."

 

lefty


Edited by lefty - 8/14/11 at 9:04am
post #21 of 29

I also happened to be visiting SF this weekend, and went to visit Wilkes Bashford on the recommendation of this thread.  I am staying only about three blocks away, so it's easy.

 

Friday afternoon, I stopped by and was greeted by a friendly salesman near the front.  I told him I had no specific shopping list, but just wanted to see the store and browse the merchandise.  For well over an hour, he showed me all three (or was it four?) floors of men's merchandise.  There were (obviously) some very nice pieces.  I tried on one pair of Kiton wool jeans that were on sale.  They were clearly the correct size, and fit well everywhere except for the crotch.  I couldn't even leave the dressing room in those pants.  I described the fit in that area as "immodest bordering on indecent."  Too bad, because they were great pants in every other way.

 

I tried (and loved) a beautiful tan suede Brioni jacket, but just couldn't justify its $3,000 price tag, especially since I wasn't there for a new jacket!

 

After my tour and trying on just a few pieces (mostly coats that are easy to pull off the rack and put on), I left without buying anything.  On my way out, I looked through the cufflinks, and identified one pair that would look great with an outfit I'm wearing tonight to a wedding.

 

Then on Saturday, I returned to the store, met the same salesman and purchased those cufflinks.

 

Overall, a very pleasant experience, and a great way to entertain oneself for a couple of hours.  Great store, IMHO.

post #22 of 29
You will be seeing a lot more private label and a variety of price points at Wilkes in the coming seasons. The high priced Kiton and Brioni will be on an upper floor is what I am told and a fresh range of new looks and more affordable items will be on the first few levels. They recognize that they need to change and adapt but that takes time. It will be interesting to see how it goes. After all, it just doesn't make sense for them to carry all the same stuff as Neimans or Saks, they need to go back to finding interesting new things that aren't mass affluent brands IMO.
post #23 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by lefty View Post

I've been to Wilkes a few times.  The first time I got about 3 feet into the shop when a voice boomed out, "Welcome to the best clothing store in the US!"  I lasted about five minutes. The last time was a few weeks ago. I was looking at some suede driving shoes with my wife when a SA approached.

 

SA: These are on sale. We tried to introduce concept to the US but the country wasn't ready.

 

Leftette: Driving shoes?

 

SA: Driving shoes without socks - all the rage in Europe right now. We were ahead of the curve on this one.

 

I lasted about 7 minutes.  The place makes me nostalgic for the sedate SA's of Paul Stuart.

 

Was at NM yesterday.  I walk in and a SA stops what he was doing and looks at my face, my crotch, my shoes, back to my crotch, my shoes again, then up my face. That makes me miss the SA at NM in SH who used to ask to touch my shoes. Far less creepy.

 

lefty


rotflmao.gif
post #24 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by pocketsquareguy View Post

You will be seeing a lot more private label and a variety of price points at Wilkes in the coming seasons. The high priced Kiton and Brioni will be on an upper floor is what I am told and a fresh range of new looks and more affordable items will be on the first few levels. They recognize that they need to change and adapt but that takes time. It will be interesting to see how it goes. After all, it just doesn't make sense for them to carry all the same stuff as Neimans or Saks, they need to go back to finding interesting new things that aren't mass affluent brands IMO.

I agree completely. Even before the change of ownership, Wilkes carried distinctive merchandise,
compared to Saks and Niemans from the same brands. Except for the dreadful earth-tone period
in the 90s, I always thought that Wilkes was more tasteful. Probably a function of there actually
being Wilkes Bashford running things. I hope that he is more than a figure-head going forward.
post #25 of 29
Tyler Mitchell seems to be the one crafting the new image moving forward. He has been very candid that the WB model they purchased wasn't working and that the Mitchell model they used in CT didn't work in SF and now they will adapt to changes in retail and consumer demands.

I am in touch with retailers all over the country and there is no going back to the way things used to be. The winners will be those who come up with compelling new retail models, service and selection.

The Mitchell's will begin remodeling the place soon including letting in natural light on all floors (imagine actually using the windows!) adding chairs, creating more of a club like setting. I wish them well. It could be a cool place once again with the right changes.
post #26 of 29

The place could use a make over.  It's like entering a mausoleum right now.

 

lefty

post #27 of 29
I've been in WB twice. My first time was probably in 1999 or 2000, and the atmosphere was distinctly chilly and unwelcoming. Enough so that I didn't go back until this year. Everyone I encountered on the second visit was friendly and were prepared to help or leave me alone as I preferred. I'll definitely be going back—with money in hand, too!
post #28 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by ndsleep612 View Post

Barney's in SF has like only 2-3 model of C&J in stock, yet they carry a decent line of Berluti shoes. Allen Edmonds and Alden are in close proximity to each other. Your best bet would be Wilkes Bashford. They carry some of the nicer stuff that you see and read about on SF. Neiman Marcus San Francisco s*cks ass, unless you're only interested in common Ferragamo and Gucci shoes. Neiman's John Lobbs shoes aren't goodyear welted. You may want to check out Hermes on Grant Street as they also carry JL.

You need to actually talk to the SA at NM, you can get anything you want.
post #29 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevent View Post


You need to actually talk to the SA at NM, you can get anything you want.

I would say the two SA's that work at NM in SF are as good as anywhere. Good guys, excellent service.
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