1. Welcome to the new Styleforum!

    We hope you’re as excited as we are to hang out in the new place. There are more new features that we’ll announce in the near future, but for now we hope you’ll enjoy the new site.

    We are currently fine-tuning the forum for your browsing pleasure, so bear with any lingering dust as we work to make Styleforum even more awesome than it was.

    Oh, and don’t forget to head over to the Styleforum Journal, because we’re giving away two pairs of Carmina shoes to celebrate our move!

    Please address any questions about using the new forum to support@styleforum.net

    Cheers,

    The Styleforum Team

    Dismiss Notice

In praise of full retail shopping...

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Artisan Fan, Sep 2, 2006.

  1. Artisan Fan

    Artisan Fan Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    32,345
    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2006
    Only the less expensive lines are made there and they are great quality shoes in any event: I've been wearing with great success for nearly ten years and the service and antiquing is well worth it. [​IMG] Her full bespoke line is terrific quality as well based on what I have seen.
     
  2. EL72

    EL72 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,860
    Joined:
    May 11, 2006
    Location:
    Toronto
    Why am I not surprised to see your sarcastic replies not limited to the CE Forum?

    I don't know. I was really trying my best to surprise you but it seems I have failed. I'll try harder next time.
     
  3. Artisan Fan

    Artisan Fan Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    32,345
    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2006
    I guess EL is still upset about that hefty sales tax. Has to vent his anger somehow. [​IMG]
     
  4. Drinkwaters

    Drinkwaters Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,275
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2004
    Location:
    Cambridge, MA
    Ok, I agree with most of the logic here. As a retailer for most of my life, I have come to realize that there are three types of shoppers, 1.) the individual who buys at full retail because he understands added value and seeks the relationship which is what should be provided, he likes to hear his name as you greet him on his arrival, his expectation of you knowing his size, what he likes, what will fit him and most important, what will complement what he already owns. When you discover a sales person like this, he should become your "Jeeves". 2.) the individual who buys at full retail but shops the sale to do some "Cost Averaging". No quams here, we all do it with all commodities. 3.) "The Sale Customer" having little expectation of the experience, cares not about find anything in particular, has all the time in the world to go to a million places to find "Compromises". Often times these customers have closets that look like a bag of balloons. But hey! They help us clear out our inventory and it's off to the races again.
    To often, I hear SF members slam the full price idea without any consideration as to the process in which we go through to bring it to you.
    Countless hours until your cross-eyed looking at fabrics to put into a garment that we hope you will like, fit you and work with what you already own, fielding a gazzilion phone calls from agents who want you to carry their stuff for your customer and making our stores look dazzeling so that you can feel the essence of the season. Most importantly, bring you ideas that are fresh, intrigueing and up to the moment.
    I'm on this "shop local" campaign so that we can keep the brick and mortar guy alive. He's the guy who brings passion to your wardrobes.
    Sorry if I've ruffled anyones feathers but I'm just a passionate guy with a an opinion.

    Gary
     
  5. DocHolliday

    DocHolliday Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    16,118
    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2005
    Location:
    Tombstone
    Ok, I agree with most of the logic here. As a retailer for most of my life, I have come to realize that there are three types of shoppers, 1.) the individual who buys at full retail because he understands added value and seeks the relationship which is what should be provided, he likes to hear his name as you greet him on his arrival, his expectation of you knowing his size, what he likes, what will fit him and most important, what will complement what he already owns. When you discover a sales person like this, he should become your "Jeeves". 2.) the individual who buys at full retail but shops the sale to do some "Cost Averaging". No quams here, we all do it with all commodities. 3.) "The Sale Customer" having little expectation of the experience, cares not about find anything in particular, has all the time in the world to go to a million places to find "Compromises". Often times these customers have closets that look like a bag of balloons.

    Gary, I think you're painting with a very broad brush here. There's a charcoal Corneliani on STP right now I'd put up against any of the fused numbers to be found at Neiman/Saks. The difference? The Corneliani is better made and 1/3 to 1/4 the price. A man who buys one of the Cornelianis has made no sacrifice at all. He's simply a smart shopper who got a great bargain.
     
  6. Soph

    Soph Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,149
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2006
    Location:
    Bologna, Italy
    Only the less expensive lines are made there and they are great quality shoes in any event: I've been wearing with great success for nearly ten years and the service and antiquing is well worth it. [​IMG]

    Her full bespoke line is terrific quality as well based on what I have seen.



    Can we get a witness. [​IMG]
    What lines?
    I was under the assumption that the vast majority if not all are almost entirely blake stitched and done by factory house SBi.
     
  7. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member

    Messages:
    33,334
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2002
    Location:
    Moscow, Idaho
    I think he`s talking about the atmosphere of the shopping experience.

    When shopping retail, you can sit down in a quiet area over a cup of coffee/tea, and choose what you want in a relaxed atmosphere, with no pressure of competing with herds of people to buy something at discount.


    I'm a sport shopper, both retail at the beginning of the season (trying to identify and snatch up the best pieces before someone else does) and at discounters or sale time (trying to identify the hidden gems and get them before someone else does) so this doesn't really apply to me. I actually enjoy the adrenaline.
     
  8. Drinkwaters

    Drinkwaters Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,275
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2004
    Location:
    Cambridge, MA
    Gary, I think you're painting with a very broad brush here. There's a charcoal Corneliani on STP right now I'd put up against any of the fused numbers to be found at Neiman/Saks. The difference? The Corneliani is better made and 1/3 to 1/4 the price. A man who buys one of the Cornelianis has made no sacrifice at all. He's simply a smart shopper who got a great bargain.

    Agreed, I have assume that a vast majority of individuals who shop online or aimlessly shop the sale rack have not the savy that you evidently do and will inevitably acquire a product that does not fit correctly, made of inferior quality and has no relationship with what already exists in their wardrobe.
    For most, time equals dollars and that being said, where is the value when inappropriate purchases are made.

    Gary
     
  9. Get Smart

    Get Smart Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    12,158
    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2004
    Location:
    A town called Malice
    I don't ever pay full price at the "big" stores (Neimans, Barneys Saks etc) but I do buy quite a few items at full price from the Paul Smith store. My salesdood is good enough to let me know that a shoe I'm interested in has been getting zero interest so he advises me to wait for their sale at the end of season where I can get it half off, and sure enough he was right and I did. Then there are shoes that even I know will be completely gone in a couple weeks so I'll pay full price since it's something "I can't live without" and, lo and behold, they're all sold out within a month.

    I agree with "enjoying the adrenaline" aspect to buying full price and at saletime.
     
  10. Soph

    Soph Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,149
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2006
    Location:
    Bologna, Italy
    At full retail you can go bespoke with a custom tailor.
    That's my issue with full retail hence why I rarely do full retail unless it's complete bespoke.
     
  11. Artisan Fan

    Artisan Fan Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    32,345
    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2006
    No, her bespoke line is full bespoke with measurements and all.

    This is what I do. I have a "barbell" approach with value shopping for basics and MTM/bespoke for business dress. I also look at sales online for deals of things I need often I just don't see the selection in my size. Lots of loud colors or off colors.
     
  12. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member

    Messages:
    33,334
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2002
    Location:
    Moscow, Idaho
    Gary, I think you're painting with a very broad brush here. There's a charcoal Corneliani on STP right now I'd put up against any of the fused numbers to be found at Neiman/Saks. The difference? The Corneliani is better made and 1/3 to 1/4 the price. A man who buys one of the Cornelianis has made no sacrifice at all. He's simply a smart shopper who got a great bargain.

    I think that this only goes for an experienced shopped with a very good idea of how a piece will fit him, and how it will coordinate with his wardrobe. I think that I am pretty good at this, but even so, I'll take a suit with me if I am trying to find a shirt and tie to wear with it. The subtleties in color and texture and patterns just can't be fully captured on a computer screen, ime. You can put together a decent outfit using the internet alone (actually, a lot easier with streetwear than with suits and ties,) but putting together something really spectacular is considerably more difficult.

    I think that unless you are blessed with a sample size physique (usually younger guys who can't afford full retail - the world balances out that way,) and have a fair bit of experience in pattern matching and a good understanding of the color and texture, brick-and-mortars with knowledgeable proprietors and employees working the floor are your friend. That said, sales shopping is lots of fun.
     
  13. Soph

    Soph Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,149
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2006
    Location:
    Bologna, Italy
     
  14. AlanC

    AlanC Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,805
    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2003
    Location:
    Heart of America
    Sorry if I've ruffled anyones feathers but I'm just a passionate guy with a an opinion.
    As a full price retailer certainly you would feel that way. We bottom feeders need for there to be full price retailers to keep the rest of us going.

    That said, how many stories have there been about salesmen in full price retailers who have no clue what they're talking about, harass shoppers and push a poor fit or odd item simply in order to move merchandise and get a commission? The idea that full retail B&M is simply kind hearted salesmen looking out for the good of their customers is a bunch of hogwash. Some of the retailers who hang out around the forums really are interested in helping the customers, but they aren't representative of retailers just as the other members here aren't representative of most shoppers.

    Yeah, I've made--and make--mistakes in my discount shopping. But when I realize it I can brush it off as a lesson learned rather than having that sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach that I just dropped $3k for a white elephant that some retailer sold me on because he needed a bigger commission that day.

    Do retailers ever make mistakes in the inventory they carry?

    I've certainly not painted retailers with any broader brush than you have painted discount minded shoppers.
     
  15. paper clip

    paper clip Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    116
    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2006
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    This is all very nice but really a moot point. If you can afford it, sure - who wouldn't buy under those conditions? The reality is that I could never buy the brands and quality I like and want if I cannot get them at a deep discount via sales, discounters and especially eBay. I am therefore perfectly willing to forego all the frills so that I can buy a $2,000 suit for $500 - even if it takes a while to find. My other option is to shop at full retail at JC Penney.

    Just my $0.02 on the subject...do you agree with me?


    Right on. I concur on all points.
     
  16. Ivan Kipling

    Ivan Kipling Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,114
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2006
    Totally, totally agree with the quote, from above. I have never ever, listened to what fashion editors have to say. A stylish person knows what suits him or her, and sticks to it.

    Regarding retail shopping, I love to stand for fittings, and made to measure, is extraordinary in some cases. But lucky for me, although I'm not tall, I am proportioned. A 38 regular in Armani, fits me very well, with minor adjustments to a sleeve, and hemming for trousers. That's about it.

    Had I the resources, I would buy couture, because I love craftsmanship, and 'forever' pieces. As it is though . . . I will go wherever I can find the best possible price, including Value City, if necessary. I don't need much these days, but when I shop . . . it's always for things on sale. I should add: my size is small, and most of the time, I can count on things being discounted. More popular sizes, sometimes go much faster. [​IMG]
     
  17. Bradford

    Bradford Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,708
    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2002
    Location:
    Phoenix
    I'm a bargain shopper, but I don't mind buying a few things at full price - especially if I can support a local retailer. If I ever get to Boston, I'll go visit Drinkwaters.

    However, I just don't see the value proposition of paying $750 at Nordstroms for the same suit I can find online for $180. I suppose if I won the lottery or something, this would not be an issue. But for those of us who want to look good, without breaking the bank, bargain shopping is a necessity.

    As an example - for my recent job interview I wore a Hart Schaffner & Marx suit that retails for $695 (I paid $120 at the Dillard's outlet), a blue Nordstrom's dress shirt that I got for $10 at Last Chance, a gold tie by Robert Talbot for Nordstrom's ($2 at the Junior League Rummage Sale) and a pair of black Allen Edmonds Park Avenues for which I paid $39.95 ($305 new).

    So basically, I was able to wear an outfit that would have cost anywhere from $1,100-1,200 full retail for under $200.

    Saving nearly $1,000 on this outfit makes me feel much better than any salesperson ever could.
     
  18. Drinkwaters

    Drinkwaters Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,275
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2004
    Location:
    Cambridge, MA
    As a full price retailer certainly you would feel that way. We bottom feeders need for there to be full price retailers to keep the rest of us going.

    That said, how many stories have there been about salesmen in full price retailers who have no clue what their talking about, harrass shoppers and push a poor fit or odd item simply in order to move merchandise and get a commission? The idea that full retail B&M is simply kind hearted salesmen looking out for the good of their customers is a bunch of hogwash. Some of the retailers who hang out around the forums really are interested in helping the customers, but they aren't representative of retailers just as the other members here aren't representative of most shoppers.

    Yeah, I've made--and make--mistakes in my discount shopping. But when I realize it I can brush it off as a lesson learned rather than having that sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach that I just dropped $3k for a white elephant that some retailer sold me on because he needed a bigger commission that day.

    Do retailers ever make mistakes in the inventory they carry?

    I've certainly not painted retailers with any broader brush than you have painted discount minded shoppers.


    Alan C,

    I'm at 60% off at the moment and treat every person that walks through the door as if it was their first visit. There is no change in the level of service nor regard for their purchases. And to answer your question, yes we make plenty of mistakes. Sometimes it translates as too agressive, wrong colors, ahead of it's time or just what we call a dog. There are often times when customers never see a product we have selected because we have sent it back because it did not meet our standard.
    The picture I tried to paint was. What if there were no retailers to project a point of view? Lets say that the window displays of all the great shops in the world suddenly dissappeared and the stores inside were just racks of clothing with no definition or guidance from mannequins (our silent salesman) Would we get it?
    Yea, There are terrible, greedy salesman in every industry but we have to weed them out till we find the one for us.

    Gary
     
  19. AlanC

    AlanC Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,805
    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2003
    Location:
    Heart of America
    Gary, I completely understand where you're coming from, and I'm one of those guys that (naively) think it would be a blast to have my own high end men's store. And, honestly, if I had the money to do it, I would shop retail, at least a lot more than I do now. I love to scan websites with the season's offerings to get ideas, and try to incorporate those into what I have or see pieces to look for.

    However, I think the (mis)characterization of discount shoppers as simply a bunch of cheapskates who are dumpster diving and making all these wardrobe "compromises" is going way too far. For nearly everyone--except the super rich--life is filled with all sorts of compromises. For me, everything would be MTM Oxxford or bespoke SR, shoes by Cleverley, et al. There aren't very many people who really are capable of that.

    What I have armed myself with is knowledge to find quality clothing at a price I can afford (including, btw, Oxxford, etc.), and understanding the compromises I'm willing to make. Sometimes those compromises force me into creative moments--how can I tastefully incorporate this item in a way that reflects my style? Sometimes those don't work, but a lot of time they do. If they don't, I can toss them without much worry, and move on.

    I'm not at odds with retailers at all. I am at odds with a condescending attitude towards those who are attempting to dress the best they can--which is often quite well--in the financial position in which they find themselves.
     
  20. A Harris

    A Harris Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,582
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2003
    AlanC and Gary both make some interesting points. If it were not for retailers and the fact that they need to stock fresh merchandise each season, there would be no such thing as discount shopping. We all need to remember that. Also, those few retailers that really know what they are doing and offer truly amazing service to their customers are to be appreciated. I've always felt that, given a certain level of income, most men would be best served by developing a relationship with a salesman at a top store and aquiring most of his clothing that way. As Gary says, time is money.
     

Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by