wow 6 pages and not one mention of my beloved benetton
I know their presence in the US has really diminished, and maybe abroad as well - even the mens sections in the stores keep getting smaller and smaller (some stores eliminating the mens sections entirely)... still though I find myself loving some of the stuff I find there. The fits are good, the prices usually pretty decent, they have a great brand legacy + international heritage, and I also enjoy the fact that they are much more obscure than the other "mall brands" (good luck finding one in a mall!). Additionally on the sale factor, they rank very highly. I went to the one on Armitage in Chicago last summer and while it was EXTREMELY hot inside the store, I was treated to great service (the store manager attended to me and brought me a Pepsi - my favorite soft drink
- I left the store with said Pepsi, a great fitting dress shirt, 1 grey & 1 black v-neck sweater for a total of $25. I'll mention that they always seem to have crap that I don't like at all, but then again so do most of these aforementioned stores.
onto the others that I have experience with in order of preference:
Club Monaco - I mentioned in a thread the other day, they have some new logo that they have been putting on their clothes lately that to me looks very amjack. If you stay away from these items the rest of the stuff is pretty consistent. Yes, its expensive, but I haven't had any quality issues with them and they do have sales. Overall I think this store has some of the best fits & styling of the others (at least for this modern, minimalist look).
J. Crew - as others have noticed, JCrew just seems to be getting better and better. My style kinda treads the line between these three stores and I find myself going in here a lot more than I used to. Prices are reasonable to me and I think the "bang for the buck" factor is very high.
Brooks - obviously, a classic. Just too dressy for my everyday attire.
BR - I don't even visit their stores regularly anymore (although in college this was probably my favorite). Still, I have found some good pieces here in the last couple years (just not many).
the other stores listed I wont even go in. AE, Gap, AeroPostale ??? YUCK... ok maybe I'm a little snobby here, but these stores do nothing for me.
I've never been into an H & M, they always struck me as being very cheap, and having clothes strewn about everywhere. Reminded me of a cheap trashy womens store like Forever 21.
AF - I used to work here in college - I did it for the chicks. Their classic stuff like shirts & sweaters are well made, but then they have all that crap clothing where they just go way overboard with the branding & logos. Very tacky. Plus the high prices & shopping experience which is SO unpleasant, its just not even worth the hassle.
AA... not really into their vibe. It's just too much for me, and while I do love simple & comfortable clothes, I'm just not into the brand or their founder. Plus I hate being around hipster kids.
UO - this one is kind of a guilty pleasure. Like I said I hate being around hipsters and this store is basically all about exploiting counter-culture which I find kind of lame, BUT I'll admit they have some decent stuff occasionally. I must say their stores outside the US seem to have much cooler stuff, its almost like a entirely different selection.