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Journal of a Bottom-feeder; Or How I learned to stop worrying and love outlets.

Daseinflaw

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I always hit up these stores when I'm in bigger cities since a major (expected) issue is that they only carry brands that are sold in the area. So since there is a lack of Nordstroms, N&Ms, BB outlets, etc. I rarely see anything worth buying in my TJ Maxx.
 

dinogj

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Personally I LOVE Last Call. Nearby me we have a real Neiman Markus with "Last Call" Racks scattered around the store. Gant shirts for 25 bucks. Made in Italy Polo 75% off. Talbott ties practically given away.... I dont get why they put the clearance stuff so close to the full priced stuff!
 

SpooPoker

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Originally Posted by thinman
I've bought some great shoes at NMLC (John Lobb and Alden)
Alden at NMLC? Never in my life have I even heard of this. NM first line stores sell Alden?
 

SpooPoker

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Originally Posted by Imhoff
+1 Never seen either Lobbs or Aldens at NM as well. Maybe it's a location thing?

Lobbs, sure. Aldens, I need visual proof.
 

Imhoff

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Then it is definitely a location thing on my end (thanks to being in the non-sartorial location known as Arizona). Hell, the Barney's over here doesn't stock anything great in-store. Not unless you are looking for Tommy Bahama which is stocked everywhere here.

Cliff notes to post: I need to move.
 

Patek

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I don't have the patience to sort through the crap in most of these stores. I will occasionally duck in to purchase gym socks or undershirts.

I hate dealing with crowds, lack of customer service, and weird sizes and made-for-outlet junk.
 

Amelorn

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Originally Posted by dinogj
Small warning about the polo stuff in TJ Maxx and Marshalls, some of their products are not manufactured by polo, but are outsourced for mass manufacture. by some of their products I really mean the mesh and Interlock shirt
The PRL Mesh polo shirt from the discount retailers have a cheap feel and construction, with hanging stitching, puckered seams, and fabric thats not up to grade. Hold up a real Mesh shirt from a PRL retailer after a few washes next to a marshalls one and you *will* see a differnce.

Now the interlock shirt is a completely differnt beast. This is the same inferior quality across the board, and is available everywhere. If you notice its practically impossible to find one of these shirts in any retailer (even official PRL stores) thats not on deep discount. This is Polo's "sale shirt"... The winning item that lets Marshalls say they get stuff from previous seasons yadda yadda yadda. (mind you its still a good shirt for 29.99, but dont believe for a second its actually worth more)

Before yall go rushing to defend your precious polo, remember Ralph Lauren is a BEHEMOTH company, but even then they dont have the resources to make enough polos for every TJ maxx/marshalls/Ross in the US.

Ive found that this problem only really exsists with the polo shirts, and the chinos or dress shirts are up to the usual high polo standards.


Well, that sets that straight. At the risk of sounding like a philistine, I will say that I prefer my interlock to my mesh polos.
redface.gif
The fabric is softer than mesh polos and have held up well at 6 and 3 months. I will say this though, the mesh polos have a far superior fit. I would like more mesh polos actually, but at $60+ per pop, it's out of the question.
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I do agree with you about the chinos and shorts. They're indestructible and were the best $30 per piece I have spent on bottoms/trousers.


seems that the best quality stuff at marshals is the average quality stuff at the rack, & the best quality stuff at the rack is the average quality stuff at off 5th. the item price does increase as you move up the retailer food-chain.
There's a special circle of hell for USPA.

True. I shop in such a fashion. I go in knowing what I want, but open to future needs...armed of course with some knowledge of what's worth what. I begin with TJ/marshall's-->Loehmann's-->The Rack-->Off 5th--->Lord and Taylor--->Mall (Macys, Nordstrom's, Bloomingdales)--->NYC. I will pay full price, but I want to make sure I've cleared the low priced options. Patek and others are right. It's time consuming and you sift through made-for-outlet junk. I do differentiate between outlet junk and decent "outlet stuff." For $10 for a pack of 3, Nordstrom V neck undershirts sport a superior fit, softer hand, and more substantial fabric than the thin, itchy fabric on a Hanes/mass market undershirt (burning nipple sensation
ffffuuuu.gif
). However, for me, this is a hobby. Even if I'm in arrears at a point (which happens periodically to students), I still go out and browse to see how X brand fits or check out the season's stock. I find retail interesting from a business standpoint as well as from my own as a shopper. It's a form of recreation and an excuse to leave the house. Now, with a full time job, wife, and kids....it would be problematic.

Unfortunately, while there is a Last Call in Deerpark (Tanger outlets), I've never had the reason/opportunity to drive out there. The best outlets are the ones you can hit once a week. At once a year, you're gambling with your gas, time, and patience.

After travelling throughout the US, I feel lucky to live in LI. The people may be backwards philistines, but the bagels, sushi, and shopping quality make up for it. Sure, maybe 10-20% of what's at a given outlet may have been sold at full retail at a department store, but it's far better than the 2-5% elsewhere. My only gripe is that the population is brand savvy, resulting in more competition.
 

LooknGr8

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I travel for work a lot and have made it a habit to hit thrift stores, Syms, and Filene's Basements wherever I land. Unbelieveable the variability between cities -- i.e. FB in downtown Chicago and Needham Mass have top-line stuff (Brioni! RLPL Etc.) and Syms/FBs elsewere (can you say Tampa?) have far less, although they are interesting nonetheless.
 

tacobender

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Originally Posted by Imhoff
Then it is definitely a location thing on my end (thanks to being in the non-sartorial location known as Arizona). Hell, the Barney's over here doesn't stock anything great in-store. Not unless you are looking for Tommy Bahama which is stocked everywhere here.

Cliff notes to post: I need to move.


Barneys is great, where else in AZ can you get MMM, Jil Sander, Dries, McQueen, C+J?
 

stevent

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Originally Posted by Nicola
You need to watch for made for outlet lines.

You need to watch for seconds.

In simple terms you need to invest time into learning what to look for. The money you save not paying full retail is offset by the effort.

If you're unwilling/or can't learn this stuff you'll end up paying what amounts to full retail for outlet lines. Caveat emptor.


If you are lazy and not sure you can just ask the salesperson. They should know which one is for the outlet and what is from the actual store. Was in Nordstrom rack a few days ago and my brother found a pair of N&F for $59 but couldn't find either of our sizes. Asked the salesperson to scan and she said they had five pairs. What she didn't realize was it wasn't five pairs of N&F it was five things from the actual Nordstroms store.

Originally Posted by Imhoff
Quick question about outlets that sell Polo and other Ralph Lauren products. Does the Ralph Lauren Polo Factory store sell the cheap stuff like Marshals and TJMaxx?

I picked up a nice tie last weekend in Vegas ($14, marked down). There is a store here outside of Phoenix. Are their dress shirts up to par? Like Regent Fits and Custom Fits?


I've seen Purple Label before and its the same shirt. As for the polos they may not be up to par since I bought a few a while back when I still wore polos and they seemed to fade a bit quicker than normal.

Originally Posted by bourbonbasted
One outlet/discount store that you missed is Neiman Marcus Last Call (totally different from the awful Last Call website). It is easily my favorite and from what I have seen it's far and away the most reputable in terms of carrying merchandize from it's mother store.

Yeah found Mason's back when they just came out there once for under $20 and few other things. These days it's a bit iffy and as someone mentioned earlier only Hickey Freeman is really a decent deal. Actually had Tom Ford the last time I was there but it was only about 25% off.

Originally Posted by SpooPoker
Lobbs, sure. Aldens, I need visual proof.

Seen Aldens once before and spent the next hour trying to find my size. Rare but happens every once in while. I missed the time they had Barker Black for $150-$200 as well. Was gone all summer get home and they have like two pairs left...
 

ShayaEXQT

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Originally Posted by Patek
I don't have the patience to sort through the crap in most of these stores. I will occasionally duck in to purchase gym socks or undershirts.

I hate dealing with crowds, lack of customer service, and weird sizes and made-for-outlet junk.


This is true true true, I got past it though.

I still don't find sifting through crap fun, but i learned to just skim through and if its looking bad I just get up and leave and if there was a gem amongst the thorns, it wasn't meant to be.
 

SpooPoker

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Originally Posted by Amelorn
After travelling throughout the US, I feel lucky to live in LI. The people may be backwards philistines, but the bagels, sushi, and shopping quality make up for it. Sure, maybe 10-20% of what's at a given outlet may have been sold at full retail at a department store, but it's far better than the 2-5% elsewhere. My only gripe is that the population is brand savvy, resulting in more competition.
colgate.gif
 

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