• I'm happy to introduce the Styleforum Happy Hour, our brand new podcast featuring lively discussion about menswear and the fashion industry. In the inaugural edition, a discussion of what's going on in retail today. Please check it out on the Journal. All episodes will be also be available soon on your favorite podcast platform.

  • Styleforum Gives - Holiday Charity Auction 5: Good Art HLYWD rosette courtesy of Self Edge

    We are very proud to present this year's edition of the Styleforum Holiday Charity Auctions, this year in support of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Spokane (www.rmhcspokane.org). Each Auction lasts 24 hours. Please follow and bid on all the auctions.

    The 5th auction is for a custom Good Art HLYWD bracelet courtesy of Self Edge. Please bid often and generously here

    Fok and the Styleforum Team.

  • STYLE. COMMUNITY. GREAT CLOTHING.

    Bored of counting likes on social networks? At Styleforum, you’ll find rousing discussions that go beyond strings of emojis.

    Click Here to join Styleforum's thousands of style enthusiasts today!

I hate malls

whiteslashasian

Stylish Dinosaur
Joined
Aug 20, 2008
Messages
11,917
Reaction score
1,973
This is my first thread so let us see how this goes!

I was visiting my parents this weekend when a friend of mine called me asking for style advice. He is going on his first business trip in a few days and needed new clothes. He was looking for a suit and two pairs of dress shoes. I immediately groaned because I knew this was going to be difficult. He's just starting out in his professional career, therefore he has a small budget and has no clue on style, quality, and value.

I grudgingly went to the local mall with him to find his budget business attire. First stop was Macy's. This is a pretty small Macy's and the men's selection was atrocious. The "dress" shoes were all square toed, chunky, poorly made loafers or derbies. I was appalled that there was not a SINGLE oxford in the entire store! At that point I knew this was going to be a horrible ordeal.

We then walked around the mall, checking the usual (and crappy) stores. Sears and JC Penney were even worse than Macy's, Aldo had awful shoes, J Crew was pretty barren, Express was full of poor quality and expensive stuff, the rest of the men's clothing stores included American Eagle, Hollister, A&F and other stores that my friend likes to shop at. There wasn't even a Men's Scarehouse...

Finally I saw a Bostonian store and while I would never ever suggest getting shoes there, it was pretty much our last hope. The salesman (and I believe proprietor) was pretty clueless as he thought Goodyear welt had to do with tires... After looking at awful shoes all day these were pretty much the best bet and the sale made it even more attractive to my friend. He walked out of there with black wingtips and burgundy cap toes for $150. They were blobby and unattractive however serviceable shoes...

Next we move on to the suit. After walking through the mall for a while I realized the only place to get an ok suit would be Macy's. While looking at rows of formless Lauren, 3 button CKs, and poorly put together Alfani's I finally saw something that seemed decent. Alfani has a "Red Label" line which seemed to have slightly better quality fabrics and a much more modern cut with 2 buttons, side vents, and flat front pants. My friend really liked the modern styling and the fit was pretty much spot on right off the rack. At $250 it wasn't too bad on the wallet either. We settled on a medium gray with subtle stripes as I felt that would be fairly inoffensive.

All in all I think it turned out ok for him (and his budget) but I cannot for the life of me understand how people buy the trash that is sold in those stores. Are there any alternatives for business attire that can be found easily and quickly? Are the convenience and close proximity of malls a factor in the decline of quality/fashionable men's clothing? Is there hope for men across America?!

Thanks for reading
 

acidboy

Stylish Dinosaur
Spamminator Moderator
Joined
Mar 13, 2006
Messages
21,169
Reaction score
1,750
Fact is a lot of men, if not the majority of men, find clothes as a necessary part of life and no more than that. And as much as you hate malls, I bet a good number of men does too, and so instead of taking time to appreciate the aesthetics of a good suit or pair of shoes, they just get the cheapest or easiest to buy and head back out.
 

whiteslashasian

Stylish Dinosaur
Joined
Aug 20, 2008
Messages
11,917
Reaction score
1,973
Originally Posted by playdohh22
why didn't you just walk your friend along madison avenue? since you hate malls so much.

I suggested we just hop on the train to NYC as there would a much larger selection of men's wear but he was adamant about staying close to home (Northern NJ). I seriously think he's afraid of the big city as he tries to avoid it.

Originally Posted by acidicboy
Fact is a lot of men, if not the majority of men, find clothes as a necessary part of life and no more than that. And as much as you hate malls, I bet a good number of men does too, and so instead of taking time to appreciate the aesthetics of a good suit or pair of shoes, they just get the cheapest or easiest to buy and head back out.

I can agree to this for the most part. My father used to care about clothing and how he looks, but as he is getting older he only cares about the functionality of clothing. He's always saying "Function over form" and it shows.

However my friend goes out of his way to spend a lot of money on horrible clothing from A&F, Hollister, A|X etc. I don't understand why he will spend $100 on a pair of slovenly looking jeans and then have a lot of trouble spending over $80 on a pair of dress shoes...I think he's just stuck in the college mindset and hasn't really graduated yet.
 

needshoehelp

Distinguished Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2007
Messages
1,150
Reaction score
2
Was there no Jos A Bank near you? That's better than the mall for basic dress attire.
 

whiteslashasian

Stylish Dinosaur
Joined
Aug 20, 2008
Messages
11,917
Reaction score
1,973
Originally Posted by needshoehelp
Was there no Jos A Bank near you? That's better than the mall for basic dress attire.

I kind of forgot about Jos. A. Bank. However there were not any near where my friend wanted to shop anyways...I will keep that in mind and point him in that direction the next time he needs business attire. Thanks for the suggestion.
 

needshoehelp

Distinguished Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2007
Messages
1,150
Reaction score
2
Originally Posted by whiteslashasian
I kind of forgot about Jos. A. Bank. However there were not any near where my friend wanted to shop anyways...I will keep that in mind and point him in that direction the next time he needs business attire. Thanks for the suggestion.

Good call. I mean, although their quality leaves a lot to be desired, at least the patterns are pretty standard and a lot more conservative than the three-button black stripey monstrosities at Macy's. Nevertheless, it seems like you outfitted your friend pretty well all things considered.
 

fuji

Distinguished Member
Joined
Sep 5, 2008
Messages
7,062
Reaction score
1,436
If you were in north NJ why didn't you go to some of the outlet malls or woodsburry common?
 

whiteslashasian

Stylish Dinosaur
Joined
Aug 20, 2008
Messages
11,917
Reaction score
1,973
Originally Posted by fuji
If you were in north NJ why didn't you go to some of the outlet malls or woodsburry common?

All things that I had suggested to my friend...he wouldn't have any of it. He said that mall has everything he needs and didn't want to get stuck in the ridiculous traffic/crowd around the Woodbury Commons. Next time he needs business clothing I think I will need to push for him to make a trip to NYC or at least the Commons. I'm not really sure if he was looking for advice or just someone to come along to make sure he doesn't buy something truly awful such as these.
 

mmhollis

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2008
Messages
770
Reaction score
0
Isn't there a Century 21 in Jersey? That may be another option in the future.
 

whiteslashasian

Stylish Dinosaur
Joined
Aug 20, 2008
Messages
11,917
Reaction score
1,973
Originally Posted by mmhollis
Isn't there a Century 21 in Jersey? That may be another option in the future.

You are correct. I just looked up the C21 website and there is a store in Morristown. It's a bit of a hike to get there but I think that could be a great option. It's probably not as well stocked as the one in Manhattan but it should be a step up from the mall offerings.

Thanks for the suggestion!
 

bluemagic

Distinguished Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2008
Messages
3,000
Reaction score
0
Find a new friend. (As he was not willing to listen to your real suggestions)
 

Musketer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2008
Messages
50
Reaction score
0
Sometimes you may hate something but still have to use/wear/visit it.

For example, where I am during the summer, it's EXTREMELY hot so even if I don't like them much I have to wear shorts and flip flops all those months. Anyone wearing long sleeves, trousers or jackets can evaporate.

It's the same with malls I guess. I don't think anywhere in America you can find new decent real leather shoes for $100-$150. Instead of visiting 10 stores with the same ugly shoes, you can buy one from the first shop you visit.

By the way don't you have Zaras there? I guess their shoes and suits would be better than what is sold in the stores you mentioned.
 

whiteslashasian

Stylish Dinosaur
Joined
Aug 20, 2008
Messages
11,917
Reaction score
1,973
Zara would probably be a little too fashion forward for my friends needs and the closest Zara is 1.5 hours away from where he lives. The H&M at the local mall has a very limited men's section and only includes casual wear. I guess I take the plethora of shopping in NYC for granted


I will try to point him in the right direction so he may eventually see the light
 

micbain

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 10, 2007
Messages
570
Reaction score
1
I think shopping malls are depressing for the most part. Shoddily dressed people buying more shoddy clothing
 

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by

Featured Sponsor

How many pairs of shoes do you own?

  • 1 - 4

    Votes: 28 3.6%
  • 5 - 10

    Votes: 137 17.4%
  • 11 - 20

    Votes: 257 32.6%
  • 21 - 30

    Votes: 124 15.7%
  • 31 - 40

    Votes: 69 8.8%
  • 41 - 50

    Votes: 47 6.0%
  • 51 - 60

    Votes: 23 2.9%
  • 61 - 70

    Votes: 21 2.7%
  • 71 - 80

    Votes: 17 2.2%
  • 81 - 90

    Votes: 7 0.9%
  • 91 - 100

    Votes: 8 1.0%
  • 100+

    Votes: 50 6.3%

Related Threads

Forum statistics

Threads
428,800
Messages
9,224,225
Members
193,625
Latest member
BeardGod
Top