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Questions about AEs and Hickey Freeman suits in Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Hey SF, I just have a few questions before I capitalize on this Nordstrom sale.

 

1) Currently I've boiled it down to three pairs of AEs, the black PAs, the walnut Strands, and the walnut Daltons.

 

I did use the search function before I posted but I have a few specific questions.

 

So far I'm thinking I definitely need the black PAs for interviews/funerals and general wear with suits. I'm under the impression that these could also be worn with a blazer/slacks? Especially at night in the city?

 

I did see in another thread that a lot of people recommended the walnut Strands over the black PAs if only one pair were to be purchased due to the versatility. Can I get some more input on this? I'm assuming Strands and suits would work, but would I be completely out of place if I wore them to an interview? (Note I'm still in college so it'd be for internships.)

 

The Daltons look amazing but is the walnut the 'classic' color for them? Or the color that provides the most versatility? What kind of situations could I wear the Daltons in?

 

If I were to only buy one pair, which one would you suggest? If I were to buy two out of the three, which ones would you suggest?

Also anyone has any insight on these AE Maxfield loafers? I wouldn't get them in black but the chili seems a bit flashy? Any recommendations on sub $200 loafers?

 

2) I noticed that there were a couple Hickey Freeman suits on sale.

Navy Worsted Wool Suit

Charcoal Worsted Wool Suit

Charcoal Addison Wool Suit (50% off)

 

If anyone sees a better deal in terms of suits in this sale then please let me know.

 

Is any of these three suits an acceptable first suit? I know navy and charcoal are the right colors but I meant in terms of the material and cut. I am 6'1 and 185lbs, athletic build - I don't mind a more traditional cut unlike a lot of young men today trying to look GQ but would this cut be specifically boxy? Is the price a good bargain? Or should I wait and look elsewhere.

 

Any help would be amazing since I'm just trying to get a few good deals out of this sale. Thank you.

post #2 of 8

I would get black oxfords first, and I would check out the Bruno Magli's on sale during the anniversary sale. They are not much more than AE and they are a much better shoe.

 

You can wear black oxfords with jeans if you want, and especially at night.

 

My second shoe would be the AE strand in walnut. It is a beautiful shoe but examine it closely because AE has quality control issues and Nordstrom is not like the Nordies of the past where you can return a shoe after wearing it 5 times because it is falling apart.

 

Hickey Freeman makes very nice suits. Tailor it to your fit and you will be good to go. I would ask if there will be a trunk show because you can buy a 2nd pair of pants. Jackets tend to last longer than pants.

 

Best wishes on your job interviews.

post #3 of 8
HIckey Freeman makes a very good suit. And, at $800 - $1000.00, they seem to be a pretty good value. I will point out that two of the 3 choices have pleated pants. While pleated pants are being shown more for F/W 2013 (fall/winter), I find that flat front pants offer a cleaner line (compare the pics and you'll see the fullness in the hip and thigh area of the pants). The last one at half-off only comes in a 46L which is way too big for you. IME, while HF produces a quality garment, I'm not too fond of the cut with the exception of the "B" series. It has a softer shoulder and the fit is really good.

Black PAs and Walnut Strands will pretty much cover all your shoe needs aside from those requiring sneakers. From what I've seen and read--I don't actually own any AE shoes, they are well received and are still a quality product. The beauty of those shoes are that they work well with suits, dress and casual slacks as well as jeans. They are timeless and versatile.

Now, I will offer a counter suggestion; Canali suits and Santoni shoes.

Canali suits were offered during the pre-anniversary sale. For some reason, Nordstrom.com took them off the website when the regular Anniversary Sale started. However, if you go into the stores themselves, your SA should be able to find them. I think there were 4 patterns to choose from and they were all single-breasted with flat front pants. I know they had a Navy stripe (very subtle), a black/white pinhead (looks like a textured medium grey), a charcoal grey plaid (again, very subtle), and I don't remember the other one (it may have been a med blue with a stripe, but not 100% sure). They were on sale for $1200.00 (I think they retailed for ~$1700). Given your height and weight, you're going to need either an Italian size 52 or 54 long.

The Santoni shoes (Bristol model) are very good. I find the fit and finish to be far superior to the AEs. It comes in both black and dark brown. These shoes would also work well with anything from suits to jeans. Sale price is quite a bit higher ($460.00), which is almost twice as much as the AEs. So, they aren't cheap by any means. Given that the brown shade is really dark, you could get away with just that pair for the time being. IMO, they are much better looking style-wise, yet conservative enough to work in a variety of business environments.

IME, I disagree with the previous poster about changes in Nordstrom's legendary "no hassle" return policy. I purchased a pair of Ferragamo bit loafers that had a rubber sole about a couple months ago ($495). They felt great at the store and I wore them several times to the office. However, I noticed that if I stepped on rocks or pebbles, I could feel them right through the sole. So much so, that it hurt my feet. I figured I was screwed because I wore them outside and resolved that they would just be a very expensive pair of house slippers. During the sale, as I was trying on the Santoni shoes, I mentioned it to the SA, who just happened to be the department manager. She told me to return them. When I reiterated that I had worn them several times her response was, "so what?". When I brought them back, I went to the counter and told the SA that I wanted to return them because they hurt my feet. I never mentioned my conversation with the manager. He credited my account an apologized for the shoes not working out for me. Based on this, I think their "no hassle" return policy is alive and well.
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomboys View Post

HIckey Freeman makes a very good suit. And, at $800 - $1000.00, they seem to be a pretty good value. I will point out that two of the 3 choices have pleated pants. While pleated pants are being shown more for F/W 2013 (fall/winter), I find that flat front pants offer a cleaner line (compare the pics and you'll see the fullness in the hip and thigh area of the pants). The last one at half-off only comes in a 46L which is way too big for you. IME, while HF produces a quality garment, I'm not too fond of the cut with the exception of the "B" series. It has a softer shoulder and the fit is really good.

Black PAs and Walnut Strands will pretty much cover all your shoe needs aside from those requiring sneakers. From what I've seen and read--I don't actually own any AE shoes, they are well received and are still a quality product. The beauty of those shoes are that they work well with suits, dress and casual slacks as well as jeans. They are timeless and versatile.

Now, I will offer a counter suggestion; Canali suits and Santoni shoes.

Canali suits were offered during the pre-anniversary sale. For some reason, Nordstrom.com took them off the website when the regular Anniversary Sale started. However, if you go into the stores themselves, your SA should be able to find them. I think there were 4 patterns to choose from and they were all single-breasted with flat front pants. I know they had a Navy stripe (very subtle), a black/white pinhead (looks like a textured medium grey), a charcoal grey plaid (again, very subtle), and I don't remember the other one (it may have been a med blue with a stripe, but not 100% sure). They were on sale for $1200.00 (I think they retailed for ~$1700). Given your height and weight, you're going to need either an Italian size 52 or 54 long.

The Santoni shoes (Bristol model) are very good. I find the fit and finish to be far superior to the AEs. It comes in both black and dark brown. These shoes would also work well with anything from suits to jeans. Retail is higher than the AE's--$460.00, which is almost double. So, they aren't cheap by any means. Given that the brown shade is really dark, you could get away with just that pair for the time being. IMO, they are much better looking and would pair up with the Canali suits very well.

IME, I disagree with the previous poster about changes in Nordstrom's legendary "no hassle" return policy. I purchased a pair of Ferragamo bit loafers that had a rubber sole about a couple months ago ($495). They felt great at the store and I wore them several times to the office. However, I noticed that if I stepped on rocks or pebbles, I could feel them right through the sole. So much so, that it hurt my feet. I figured I was screwed because I wore them outside and resolved that they would just be a very expensive pair of house slippers. During the sale, as I was trying on the Santoni shoes, I mentioned it to the SA, who just happened to be the department manager. She told me to return them. When I reiterated that I had worn them several times her response was, "so what?". When I brought them back, I went to the counter and told the SA that I wanted to return them because they hurt my feet. I never mentioned my conversation with the manager. He credited my account an apologized for the shoes not working out for me. Based on this, I think their "no hassle" return policy is alive and well.

First of all, thank you very much for taking your time to write such a wonderful response.

 

I didn't realize the 50% off one only came in a 46L so that's definitely out of the picture. I don't personally mind the pleats since it's only one reverse pleat, but the fit does still worry me - I don't think I would look bad in it, but I think I could look better in a suit that's a bit slimmer. I will definitely go into the store today and ask about the Canali suits. I live in NYC so I'm not sure if that means I'm more likely to find them or that they're more likely to have been bought already. $1,200 is a bit pricey for my first suit, but definitely still within the budget range; however, do you think those patterns are subtle enough for me to wear all the time like a solid charcoal or navy suit?

 

Thank you for the suggestion on the Santoni's, I will take a look at them too when I go in today. The only thing being that I might be an E instead of a D which I did not see online, but maybe they have it in store. Now I'm all for spending more money for something of better quality that'll last me longer but in this case I feel like getting two pairs of AEs might be more practical than the one pair of Santoni's, but I'll get to compare them side by side in store.

 

Likewise I have only heard good things about their customer service. My mom is an avid shopper at Nordstrom and Bloomingdales and she always seem to be able to exchange and return stuff at will.

 

EDIT: Do you know anything about the Daltons? I probably won't buy them this sale but I was curious as to their use/versatility since they're beautiful boots.

post #5 of 8
I would get the black Park Ave before getting a walnut Strand. The Strand, while a nice shoe, is not that versatile IMO. I would never wear these to an interview, funeral or wedding (unless it was an outdoor warm-weather affair). I would not wear either pair with jeans, especially for a night out. The Park Avenue is too business-y and not sleak enough for going-out clothes, and the Strands are brown brogues, so that is 2 strikes against them for evenings.

I do like the Dalton a lot and would probably wear them with jeans or odd trousers in the fall/winter.

Also, regarding the Bruno Maglis, I am not sure I agree with the above poster. Many of the shoes they put out are crap. I believe they have one line that is decent (not sure if this is the one the poster was referring to), but they are more expensive than AE, and I doubt they are a "much better shoe."
post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeneralW View Post

First of all, thank you very much for taking your time to write such a wonderful response.

I didn't realize the 50% off one only came in a 46L so that's definitely out of the picture. I don't personally mind the pleats since it's only one reverse pleat, but the fit does still worry me - I don't think I would look bad in it, but I think I could look better in a suit that's a bit slimmer. I will definitely go into the store today and ask about the Canali suits. I live in NYC so I'm not sure if that means I'm more likely to find them or that they're more likely to have been bought already. $1,200 is a bit pricey for my first suit, but definitely still within the budget range; however, do you think those patterns are subtle enough for me to wear all the time like a solid charcoal or navy suit?

Thank you for the suggestion on the Santoni's, I will take a look at them too when I go in today. The only thing being that I might be an E instead of a D which I did not see online, but maybe they have it in store. Now I'm all for spending more money for something of better quality that'll last me longer but in this case I feel like getting two pairs of AEs might be more practical than the one pair of Santoni's, but I'll get to compare them side by side in store.

Likewise I have only heard good things about their customer service. My mom is an avid shopper at Nordstrom and Bloomingdales and she always seem to be able to exchange and return stuff at will.

EDIT: Do you know anything about the Daltons? I probably won't buy them this sale but I was curious as to their use/versatility since they're beautiful boots.

You're very welcome.

Unfortunately, the sale suit you looked at is now listed under Nordstrom Rack which means all the residual inventory has already been sent to their clearance centers. As such, finding your size in that suit--if it even exists anymore--is going to be like finding a needle in a haystack. It's a shame too because IMO, that was the best of all the ones you listed. As far as pleats are concerned, stick to flat-front for now. The problem with pleated pants is that it can be difficult to keep them laying properly. Something as simple as sitting down can cause the pleats to rumple which can lead to the pants "billowing" after a few wears. There was an article years ago about when Pierce Brosnan met with Brioni to discuss what his character (007) would be wearing in one of the upcoming films. When Pierce came into the room, he was wearing pleated pants. Before he sat down, he tucked his pleats inward (I think). The reps for Brioni were extremely impressed that he knew how to "properly" wear pleated pants.

The two Canali suits that I would consider--as a building block for your tailored wardrobe, would be the navy stripe or the grey pinhead. Both have very subtle patterns which lend themselves to working with a variety of shirt/tie patterns. True, they're not as "idiot-proof" as a solid suit, but they're pretty forgiving overall. Are they worth the extra money? Dunno. Only you can answer that for yourself. Try one on in your size--even if it's a full priced one, just to get the overall feel and silhouette. Compare it to the Hickey. Quality-wise, they're comparable, so go with what you like better.

For me, I'm partial to Canali because it's a "90%" suit OTR for me. Meaning, the fit is 90% of where it should be straight off the rack. And when I say straight off the rack, the only alterations I get, if any at all, are shortening the sleeves ~half an inch. My recent sports coat--from the sale--required zero alterations. Even the tailor was surprised. Also, it's not just that it fits, it's flattering on me as well. I worked for a high-end retailer years ago in my youth, so while i may not be as "passionate" about correcting that remaining 10% as some on this site are, I do know what should absolutely be done and what could be considered "optional".

Santoni shoes come in D width. Some models come in a wide (EE), but I don't think this model did. I, too, wear a E width. So, I went up half a size and the shoes fit like my Canalis, 90%. Maybe 95%. Give it a shot and like the suits, compare the two.

My thoughts on the Daltons? I need to go no further than cite your own feelings about them; you find them beautiful. As such, you'll find something to wear them with and a reason to wear them. At the end of the day, it's about putting on something that makes us feel good about ourselves. In this regard, logic seldom plays a role.
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomboys View Post


You're very welcome.

Unfortunately, the sale suit you looked at is now listed under Nordstrom Rack which means all the residual inventory has already been sent to their clearance centers. As such, finding your size in that suit--if it even exists anymore--is going to be like finding a needle in a haystack. It's a shame too because IMO, that was the best of all the ones you listed. As far as pleats are concerned, stick to flat-front for now. The problem with pleated pants is that it can be difficult to keep them laying properly. Something as simple as sitting down can cause the pleats to rumple which can lead to the pants "billowing" after a few wears. There was an article years ago about when Pierce Brosnan met with Brioni to discuss what his character (007) would be wearing in one of the upcoming films. When Pierce came into the room, he was wearing pleated pants. Before he sat down, he tucked his pleats inward (I think) before he sat down. The reps for Brioni were extremely impressed that he knew how to "properly" wear pleated pants.

The two Canali suits that I would consider--as a building block for your tailored wardrobe, would be the navy stripe or the grey pinhead. Both have very subtle patterns which lend themselves to working with a variety of shirt/tie patterns. True, they're not as "idiot-proof" as a solid suit, but they're pretty forgiving overall. Are they worth the extra money? Dunno. Only you can answer that for yourself. Try one on in your size--even if it's a full priced one, just to get the overall feel and silhouette. Compare it to the Hickey. Quality-wise, they're comparable, so go with what you like better.

For me, I'm partial to Canali because it's a "90%" suit OTR for me. Meaning, the fit is 90% of where it should be straight off the rack. And when I say straight off the rack, the only alterations I get, if any at all, are shortening the sleeves ~half an inch. My recent sports coat--from the sale--required zero alterations. Even the tailor was surprised. Also, it's not just that it fits, it's flattering on me as well. I worked for a high-end retailer years ago in my youth, so while i may not be as "passionate" about correcting that remaining 10% as some on this site are, I do know what should absolutely be done and what could be considered "optional".

Santoni shoes come in D width. Some models come in a wide (EE), but I don't think this model did. I, too, wear a E width. So, I went up half a size and the shoes fit like my Canalis, 90%. Maybe 95%. Give it a shot and like the suits, compare the two.

My thoughts on the Daltons? I need to go no further than cite your own feelings about them; you find them beautiful. As such, you'll find something to wear them with and a reason to wear them. At the end of the day, it's about putting on something that makes us feel good about ourselves. In this regard, logic seldom plays a role.

 

Were you referring to the Hickey suits as having been moved to Nordstrom Rack? How can you see that? I can still add it into my shopping cart in the main sale. Just to clarify the AEs in the sale are firsts right? Cause I have heard quite a few bad things about seconds on this forum. 

 

I am going in tomorrow to try on the shoes but I think I'm going to pass on the suit at this point and wait for a better deal.

post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeneralW View Post

Were you referring to the Hickey suits as having been moved to Nordstrom Rack? How can you see that? I can still add it into my shopping cart in the main sale. Just to clarify the AEs in the sale are firsts right? Cause I have heard quite a few bad things about seconds on this forum. 

I am going in tomorrow to try on the shoes but I think I'm going to pass on the suit at this point and wait for a better deal.

Sorry, the Hickey suit I was referring to was the 50% off one, not the anniversary ones. Everything at Nordstrom's main stores are first quality. Dunno about the Rack stores.

Yes. There can be better deals--albeit finding them tends to be more blind luck than anything else. In fact, i was at a different Nordstom store over the weekend just to return some stuff. I was goofing off meandering when I noticed this rack right next to the registers in the suit department. Low and behold I found 4 Canali suits in my size at half off. There was a really nice silk and wool blend solid charcoal suit--almost black, but I decided it looked a little too "Las Vegas". However, I did walk out with a solid smoke blue one. At first I wasn't too sure about the color because it looked a little flat (the lighting in that department reminds me of, well, a morgue). Fortunately, I looked at it today in the natural light and the color is understated, but very rich. I had my reservations yesterday, but as of today, it's a keeper. I guess my self-imposed cap on spending just got delayed by one more day...
Edited by Tomboys - 7/30/13 at 1:49am
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