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A clothing 'blog

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Anyone had a look at the new blog over at jderickson.com?  Thus far he's written about customer service expectations at semi-annual Louis Boston sales, the untucked shirt look, and the pitfalls of combining sundry casual clothes together in an effort to emulate a hipster look. Here's the LINK.
post #2 of 19
Interesting, I for one will post a comment. Jon.
post #3 of 19
Hm, despite my uncomprising avoidance of livejournals/blogs (I can't stand the things and 95% of the people who use them), I may find myself compelled to post a response to his critique of sales shoppers. He seems like he's venting about the image of the snooty salesman, yet it kind of seems like he's perpetuating that image in doing so. I'd probably shop more often at mens' stores if I didn't get the impression that knowing better than to pay retail (or not being able to) made one persona non grata among the people working there.
post #4 of 19
I'd better qualify my response by saying that I've met John, and I think he is a good guy. However, my opinion would be the same if that were not true. I don't blame him at all for not tripping over himself to promote the sale or to help sale-only customers. Even more than selling clothes, Louis is providing a service. During the sale, they are just selling clothes, and only because it is necessary. Customers should not expect royal treatment if they can't pay full price - the store simply cannot survive on a customer base like that. And I don't think anyone (except maybe the competition) would like Louis to go away. Now how do I reconcile this, being the king of sale shoppers? Simple - I don't expect help from staff when I shop sales. I help myself, pay for what I select, and leave as quickly as possible - generally quite happy with my purchases. And having been to as many sales as I have, I will say that they are AWFUL. Everybody is on their worst behavior. I always feel very sorry for employees who have to work those days.   Just my 2 cents...
post #5 of 19
Well in general, I tend to see a lot of "customers suck" threads, and while I can see how working sales can be frustrating at times, I tend to roll my eyes when I see them. I've never been to Louis, and I'm sure the staff there is likely far superior to that of your average high end department store/boutique. I'm also responding to that post alone, since I've never met John, though he does seem reasonable in his other comments. That said, I don't care much for shopping at department stores, and I almost never go to boutiques because I'd prefer not to deal with salespeople. Like you, I just want to look around alone, pick up what I need, and get out. Of course, like you, I also have a pretty strict general policy against paying retail, if only because it's so easy to wait and pick something up on sale, the web, or a discount store. Most of the time when I go into a high-end store/boutique during the normal season, I just want to look and be left alone. Of course, what I usually get is salespeople hovering around me and acting like I've wasted their time horribly by just browsing around unassisted and then leaving. When I have ask for help every so often, I find I get treated like I'm a clueless kid who has no business shopping at nice places. Honestly, I feel most comfortable in the crowd at sales, when the salesmen are busy with other customers and I don't have some evil eye on me hinting that I'm persona non grata. Now this doesn't happen all the time, but it does happen enough that I pretty much avoid boutiques and the more service oriented sections (i.e. suits, shoes) of high end department stores. I've also heard enough good things about LB from the board to think they're above this. Still, every time I see a hint of disdain for customers, even when a lot of it is justified, it tends to annoy me.
post #6 of 19
Huh, fascinating since all the times I have been in Louis Boston (I think 4 or 5) I was treated with the same level of "˜service' you describe, and it was definitely not during sales time. Now, I may be only 21, but I was well dressed (a prerequisite for posting here, no?) every time I went into the store. Last two times I remember distinctly what I was wearing: "˜Twas November and I was wearing a wonderful Loro Piana SB 3-Button double vented heavy black cashmere sports coat, a Zegna white shirt contrasted by ever so light cyan checks w/ barrel cuffs, a cyan / greenish RLPL cashmere v-neck sweater, a Zegna woven cashmere / wool / silk tie in a light cyan hue, a pair of mid-gray Loro Piana double pleated pants w/ cuffs (turn-ups), and all this was covered by a RL Polo SB 3-Button black 120's Overcoat, paired with Ferragamo Studio black lace-ups in deerskin with rubber soles. July, the previous year I was wearing a RLPL 3-Button double vented 50/50 cashmere / silk, cyan / greenish (yeah, I know there is a color pattern emerging, but it is a very SoFLA color), a white H&K cutaway shirt with French cuffs, and white silk knots, and a pair of off-white double pleated pants, paired with AE Hillcrests in black. Now, during the November trip, I was unable to get attention from any salesperson, period. After I got the partial attention of a sales person and I asked a question regarding Oxxford's bespoke service, I was told halfheartedly to "hold on" and he left and did not return. I felt like I was being snubbed because of my age. I can't exactly recall the July incident, but it was a similar lack of complete and total service. Jon.
post #7 of 19
I'm always puzzled by snobbery from salespeople. What about their position as clerks ("fashion consultants") puts them in a position of superiority? They're there to serve the customer. I don't look down on anyone who is working to make an honest living so this isn't a jab at their position, but I just don't get it. I doubt they're making any more than I am and are unlikely to be able to afford the clothes at the very store in which they work. They ultimately end up alienating their customer base as is evidenced by many posts in this thread and in the past.
post #8 of 19
I can honestly say that I have only been poorly served on a few occasions (caveat: poor = below expectations, I have had no sales people available for a few moments at a very crowded time, or none available period at Marshalls or the like. I expected both). Also, I am very bad about shopping and not buying, so I should be poorly served often. I often tell the salesperson I am working with that I am unlikely to buy. I think the reason for this is that I always go out of my way to ingratiate myself with the sale associate. I will make sure to compliment what they wear as soon as they begin helping me, or something similar. It only takes a moment and really changes their attitude. I learned the trick from a friend who is truly a master when it comes to inter-personal dealings. He receives discounts unsolicited (and sometimes solicited) quite often. Try it. BTW Jon -- great outfits. Perhaps some cyan berlutis should be your next wardrobe addition?
post #9 of 19
Actually, After re-reading my post, and fathom myself wearing my "˜November' outfit, with all that cyan peeping out of black and gray, I conjure up the scene in the Birdcage when Nathan Lane dresses in a black suit with black tie and white shirt with a pair of ordinary black oxfords and then sits down, crosses his legs, and pink socks show, and he utters those wonderful words: "Well, one does want a hint of color". Jon. P.S. thanks for the compliment, I could not find a better places to be sartorially flattered than here.
post #10 of 19
I just realized that I am wearing a pair of white-ish cotton / linen "˜beach pants' w/ pull-strings, a pair of Puma Speed Cats in black suede with neutral (off-white?), and a t-shirt in (you guessed it. ) cyan. Jon.
post #11 of 19
Quote:
I don't blame him at all for not tripping over himself to promote the sale or to help sale-only customers. Even more than selling clothes, Louis is providing a service. During the sale, they are just selling clothes, and only because it is necessary. Customers should not expect royal treatment if they can't pay full price - the store simply cannot survive on a customer base like that. And I don't think anyone (except maybe the competition) would like Louis to go away. Now how do I reconcile this, being the king of sale shoppers? Simple - I don't expect help from staff when I shop sales. I help myself, pay for what I select, and leave as quickly as possible - generally quite happy with my purchases. And having been to as many sales as I have, I will say that they are AWFUL. Everybody is on their worst behavior. I always feel very sorry for employees who have to work those days.   Just my 2 cents...
I also see the pain of some normal sales people during big shopping events, the Holland & Holland going out of business sale in NYC being the most notable. That being said, I used to live in Dallas and would often go to Stanley Korshak's big sales (for those who don't know, Stanley Korshak is very similar to Louis). I can honestly say I was ALWAYS treated with respect, utter helpfulness and patience by all of the staff there, even when it was clear that I was dropping a relative pittance at the store during the sale. For that, they have my undying gratitude and I ended up being a retail shopper prior to my blessed relocation.
post #12 of 19
I second Mr. Magoo's Korshak comment. Those guys treat you well regardless of whether you are buying a couple of Kiton suits at full retail or a tie on sale. I went in there once to pick up a tie and I saw an Isaia suit on the rack that I really liked. I had just bought a house and was about to get married, and didn't have the expendable dough at the time to buy the suit. That's what I told the salesman (Jay Evans). He still had me try it on and showed me a bunch of other great stuff for, in his words, "future reference." He never once made me feel like I was wasting his time. In fact, he told me that if the suit I was going to get married in needed any last-minute alterations to let him know and he would set me up with Korshak's excellent tailor. I wish more salesmen had his attitude. Some salesmen forget that the young guy hitting the sales one day may very well be their "important" client of the future.
post #13 of 19
I just made a post on his blog expressing my earlier sentiments, and also told him about the forum in case he hadn't heard. Hopefully he'll stop by soon.
post #14 of 19
He just posted something new on his blog, FYI. Jon.
post #15 of 19
Quote:
"Businessmen" have a uniform that can be roughly defined by that, but senators and congressmen are more specific: it's a navy or charcoal two-button sack-style suit with a center vent; a basic shirt, an Hermes necktie, black shoes (they love tassel loafers), and a modest wristwatch.
Maybe Erickson's extrapolating from Kerry, but the average American pol wears a navy suit from Jos Banks or Brooks, white point- or medium-spread-collared shirt, red (and usually not Hermes) tie. However, he's right about the tassel loafers. Senators generally dress a bit better than congressmen; luckily, everyone usually dressed better than James Trafficant.
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