Grading the Retailers

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

  1. AlanC

    AlanC Minister of Trad

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    Okay, full retail is the way to go, trusting the advice and guidance of the big guns. Well, let's see how this season's big guns do. Below is what the stores' gurus recommend followed by my grade and comment.


    Michael Macko for Saks Fifth Avenue

    Michael Bastian Fine-Gauge Cashmere Sweater
    Price: $650
    Grade: C
    "I loved his sweaters with reverse intarsias that say 'Don't Forget' or 'Fabulous.' "
    Uh, yeah.

    The Fancy White Shirt from Elie Tahari
    Price: $228
    Grade: B
    Okay for what it is, I suppose.

    Prada Sport Boot
    Price: $890
    Grade: F
    It's a $900 Prada hiking boot.

    Theory Peacoat
    Price: $575
    Grade: A
    On their terms, no particular argument. A slight update of a classic piece.

    The Mariner Cap
    Price: $85
    Grade: B+
    I actually like it pretty well, but I don't see many people wearing it on a long term basis.



    Tommy Fazio for Bergdorf Goodman:

    Thom Browne Suit
    Price: $4,300
    Grade: F
    I want to drop $4k+ for a suit with a shoulder patch? You have got to be kidding me!

    SPURR Denim
    Price: $325
    Grade: B
    Honestly, I don't know enough about high end denim to grade this adequately, but I have a hard time with $300 denim anyway.

    Bamford & Sons Herringbone Overcoat
    Price: $2,395
    Grade: A-
    It's a lovely coat, and classic in design. The real question is construction--is this actually made in England? Regardless, it's a far better choice than the Browne suit at any price.

    Two-Tone John Lobb Cap-Toe Shoes
    Price: $985
    Grade: B+
    No argument with the label or quality, but that style is not a classic choice by any means. However, if someone is adding to his wardrobe and wants it, I have no argument with it.

    Gossuin White Button-Down Shirt
    Price: $295
    Grade: C
    Are those snaps on that thing? The shirt that is pictured is not a button-down, anyway, it's a button-up. This is a shirt that will date itself badly in a year, but if you've got money to burn have at it.

    Bergdorf Goodman House-Brand Hat
    Price: $195
    Grade: B+
    My knock on it is the pom-pon on top, but I don't have a big problem with this hat. I have a hard time seeing a grown man walking down the street in NYC wearing it with that ball on top, though.


    Tom Kalenderian for Barneys New York

    Juicy Couture Rabbit Fur–Lined Parka
    Price: $825
    Grade: C+
    We're not starting well, here. The coat isn't offensive, I don't suppose, but at the end of the day you've spent over $800 for a 'Juicy' rabbit fur coat and you're a man.

    Three-Ply Cashmere Turtleneck from Malo
    Price: $950
    Grade: A
    Okay, I'm accepting the shocking price as the price of much vaunted 'retail'. If you buy it you might feel like you paid too much, but you wouldn't be kicking yourself for it.

    Jean-Michel Cazabat Short Riding Boot
    Price: $595
    Grade: A-Someone who buys this will have lovely and classically styled boot. I confess ignorance as to contruction, which might hurt the grade significantly.

    Lanvin Floppy Bow Tie (and 'formal' wear)
    Prices: Cotton hand-pleated tuxedo shirt, $765; cotton trouser, $1,060; bow tie, $245
    Grade: F
    Your chance to look like an idiot at the Oscars.

    Leonello Borghi Fur Bag
    Price: $1,390
    Grade: F
    You're a man and it's a fur bag.
     
  2. kitonbrioni

    kitonbrioni Senior member

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    Interesting review. Please make it a regular piece.
     
  3. RJman

    RJman Posse Member Dubiously Honored

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    AlanC:

    Very entertaining.

    Re Cazabat, a Google search reveals his website. Apparently "Cazabat" etymologically derives from an Old French term for "Eden". Sort of a "Da Vinci Code" type thing.
     
  4. mrchapel

    mrchapel Senior member

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    Interesting price review. I agree with you mostly; and I can also state that none of the items listed I could afford with those prices, even your A-list items. But then that's why I'm a sales and clearance shopper.
     
  5. AlanC

    AlanC Minister of Trad

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    Interesting price review. I agree with you mostly; and I can also state that none of the items listed I could afford with those prices, even your A-list items. But then that's why I'm a sales and clearance shopper.
    I couldn't afford them, either, of course. The items that I gave an 'A' were classic pieces, which means that I would look for more classic suppliers. For example, if I wanted to drop money on an ankle boot I would seek out C&J or EG. But for the sake of the exercise, I'm trying to think in terms of simply walking into a store, being led to a recommended item--which these are to represent--and paying whatever price they came up with.
     
  6. modsquad

    modsquad Senior member

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    Right with you on the Cazabat boots. Very nice indeed, and the price doesn't seem out of line.
     
  7. fastrunningmom

    fastrunningmom Active Member

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    AlanC review
    humerous critique on NYC buyers' menswear recommendations for the coming season
    Grade: A+
    I would be happy to read this at any price. At the price it was offered, I'd like to indulge each season!

    [​IMG] Thanks, AlanC, for the entertainment and insights!
     
  8. AlanC

    AlanC Minister of Trad

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    At the price it was offered, I'd like to indulge each season!

    It's worth at least twice (or maybe that's half) what you paid for it. [​IMG]

    Thanks!
     
  9. johnapril

    johnapril Senior member

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    My seasonal pick: Canali 3-button moss velvet sportcoat $1095, at Nordstrom
     

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