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NYC: An afternoon in midtown menswear

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Spark, Jun 23, 2013.

  1. Spark

    Spark Senior member

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    Quick business trip to NYC let me with a rare 3-hour window of downtime before heading to the airport and back West so I made a run through the midtown menswear corridor. Here's the highlight reel:

    C&J: My first trip here. I had done business with them when they had the old shop above T&A (in both NYC and LA) and in London, so I was interested in what the standalone act was going to be like. A quick search will show a lot of beefs from other members over service/attitude levels, so the bar was low. I was pleasantly surprised. Very warm and friendly from the start when I was the only guy in there. Bigger range than the website would lead you to believe they carried in he US, great service in terms of presenting a range of sizing and sole options without asking, but prices were quite steep - benchgrades ranged from $550 on up; Handgrades were in the $800 ballpark. They did have quite a few models on sale though. Shop filled up while I was there and a number of sales staff suddenly appeared and I found myself in the middle of a open-ended conversation between other customers over C&J vs Alden and backorder times on shell options with staff chiming in on relative merits and issues. Shoe geek central...pretty sweet... and that Polo Suede in real life is something to see.

    JPress: Normally not a Press man despite abandoned formative preppy antecedents, but they were sporting a summer sale with 25-50% discounts so I popped in. I think this is a new shop as I remember the old one being around the corner from 346 - right?- and this was just up from Paul Stuart on Madison. Nicer selection than I would have thought. Good accessories - some great summer scarfs at deep discount...I thought they were Drakes at fist glance. Staff was friendly and knowledgeable and the line showed some progressive updates from what I recalled. Worth a look...

    Paul Stuart: This one was perplexing. On one hand it was - hands down - the most sumptuous men's shop I've visited in a while. The real deal in spades...everything is first rate and the selection is deep. Between the color combos and the textures, the eye initially has trouble focusing and the staff is the best dressed I've seen - a cross between stylish, impeccably tailored traditional and carefully curated Pitti. They were also incredibly frosty - everyone acted like they were doing me a favor just by saying hello. It seemed to get worse as I went deeper into the store and by the time I reached the bottom of the stair way to the second floor I noticed two things: there was 4 staff standing around at the bottom of the stairs ignoring me and I was the ONLY customer on the floor. That was enough of a signal - I left.

    Brooks Brothers: Yes it's the flagship store, yes there was a big sale on, but what a contrast from P Stuart - the place was packed and the staff could not have been friendlier or more down to earth. I wound up in very warm conversations with folks in the shirting, shoe, and accessories departments on the merits of sizing, models, and suggestions on the best way to stack discounts to my benefit without any pressure to buy. In fact, the folks in shoes waved me off some considerations with a very detailed exchange over fit issues despite my interest. FWIW, if you have a BB in your town chances are they have maybe 1/2 of the catalog on display; here you have it all and if it's not right there, some one will dig it up. Crowd seemed to be lots of regulars and lots of Europeans. Better than I would have guessed.

    Time constraints prevented me from heading downtown to do some Carmina sizing and boutique cruising, but it was a great break and the weather was in the mid 70s with almost no humidity and a nice breeze. Pretty hard to beat for an afternoon on the road.
     
  2. Kai

    Kai Senior member

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    Wish I had an afternoon to spend shopping in Midtown.

    Whenever I'm on the East Coast, I'm so busy with work, I can't ever take the time to slip into the city to do anything fun.
     
  3. clee1982

    clee1982 Senior member

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    Paul Stuart's SA are all over the shop, some are great, some are..., though it's hard to find the combination they offer in terms of color and in that style.
     
  4. Torsion

    Torsion Senior member

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    Agreed - I've been over there 3 times in the past couple of weeks and in I found in particular an older SA in the shoe area to be pretty cold. In fact I'd probably boycott the whole store just on the attitude of that one guy however I found some of the others ok.
     
  5. gyasih

    gyasih Senior member

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    It was probably the manager of the department.
     
  6. Torsion

    Torsion Senior member

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    It's the second time I saw this guy - my immediate thinking was if you don't like your job then do something about it!

    A smile never hurts especially if you're client facing. Other than that it's a superb store!
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2013
  7. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    You should have gone to Bergdorf.
     
  8. Torsion

    Torsion Senior member

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    [/quote]

    What's Bergdorf?
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2013
  9. edmorel

    edmorel Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    What's Bergdorf?[/quote]

    :eh:
     
  10. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    What's Bergdorf?[/quote]

    :confused:
     
  11. clee1982

    clee1982 Senior member

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    What's Bergdorf?[/quote] Bergdorf Goodman, department store, part of Neiman Marcus. Should have been to Barenys New York as well
     
  12. TM79

    TM79 Senior member

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    What's Bergdorf?[/quote]

    :puzzled:
     
  13. Torsion

    Torsion Senior member

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    Sorry guys - I'm new to NY so learning about all these places!! :embar:
     
  14. TM79

    TM79 Senior member

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    Haha, it's fine. But it's a huge department store so you were definitely going to catch some flack for that one.
     
  15. Veremund

    Veremund Senior member

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    Hell, I'd shop there all the time. I wish sales staff would leave me alone when I'm shopping.
     
  16. ThinkDerm

    ThinkDerm Senior member

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    Paul Stuart. It is what it is. Great menswear store selection though.
     
  17. Spark

    Spark Senior member

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    Just to clarify - when I say "frosty" I meant it came across as a dismissive coldness, like they were doing me a favor just by looking my way. Not one person asked if I needed any help or even said hello.

    Now, if I had showed up in oversized cargo shorts, an XXL Jets jersey, some Velcro sneakers and orange mirrored sunglasses I guess I could see being dissed in a place like that. But I had just come from several meetings and was wearing an Isaia suit, C&J Audleys, a solid Hober grenadine, and a custom shirt...I'd like to think I looked like a viable prospect for a sale, not a sneer.

    So it goes...

    I travel a fair amount for work (senior consultant) and it is often years between having a gap like that on a business trip, let alone the ability to hit a bunch of stores within a few blocks and it was a great way to wrap up the day. Bonus Round: I got bumped to 1st class for the flight back!
     
  18. jrd617

    jrd617 Senior member

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    C&J is a good stop, as are Paul Stuart and the high end department stores.

    Can't forget Kamakura.

    Also Moulded Shoe if you like the modified last. Won't find that big of a selection anywhere else but Japan

    Dunhill and Zegna also have midtown stores
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2013

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