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spent the weekend "bargain shopping". what a disappointment

bauerbach

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Im new to the game, but wow, far more difficult than I expected.

started at saks off 5th, nordstrom rack, and last call nieman.

so I found NOTHING in saks off 5th, nordstrom had a few isaia, but nothing I would wear, nieman was same as saks.

down but not defeated, went to the outlet mall today. A different saks off 5th, they had some blue label RL, and... dkny/hickeyfreeman/saksbrand. They did have 1 nice looking isaia sport coat marked from 3k down to 500... it was isaia napoli argento or something... quick google search seemed to suggest that it might not be fully canvassed. I was really looking for a nice suit not a sport coat, so I kept my CC in my pocket.

on to the RL factory store. not a single black label in the store, plus the place was a total zoo...

lastly, brooks bros, where I learned that they stock the entire outlet with some subbrand line of clothes... no 1818 fitz to be had...

*shrug* Props to those that can manage this stuff, I felt dirty like I was too uninformed to distinguish deals from shady branding...

I sense Ill end up walking into the RL store and just paying full MSRP for a nice charcoal suit.
 

jerrybrowne

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I suggest you keep an eye out for sales, and make friends with sales associates. They will put you on mailing lists so that you get notified for the best sales and will allow you to purchase "presale". There are also often additional discounts for certain clients, and the best way to get on this list is to get to know your sales associate.....
 

halgrind

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If getting top-quality deals from outlet stores was easy no one would buy retail.

Took me about half a dozen visits to Nordstrom Rack looking through their shoe section before I found something - Allen Edmonds Cliftons for $44.

Nordstrom Rack labels suits that are actually from Nordstrom (as opposed to the lower quality suits that are sold only through Nordstrom Rack). Out of about a dozen suits in each size, maybe two to four are actually from Nordstrom.

When you buy retail, you're paying for the convenience of walking in and finding exactly what you want in your size, with a quality roughly consistent with the store's reputation. When you buy from outlet stores, you have to do your homework to determine whether it's a true clearance item or if they're cheaper goods the store purchases specifically to sell at that price (which tends to be most of the stores now).

But if you're patient and can stop by often, you can find things like a $335 pair of shoes on clearance for $200 with some tiny scuffs that gets it marked down to $44.
 
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tacobender

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I am not a big outlet fan for places like NM/Saks/Nordstrom

First things first: too much filler product that is bought specifically for the outlet. Robert Wayne footwear in NM Last call is widely available in everysize, never once seen it in an actual NM.

Second. The prices are sometimes marked up at outlet to a straight 50% off retail price. Last mark down at the retail level is typically 60-75% off. So the deal isn't always the best.

You see a great Drakes tie for 55 bucks at NM last call? Grab it. You just can't go in there expecting that tie to be there.

I've never been one to buy suits at Saks off 5th or brooks brothers, but I imagine the deals arn't too bad, provided you have a size they commonly stock, or if they have the buy one get one free deal.

From my experience the womens side of NM Last call or Saks Off 5th was actually a little more trendy and not shabby.
 

DocHolliday

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Outlets are typically a poor way to find something specific, especially staples by SF-approved brands. Those items tend to sell before they hit deep discount.

The enjoyment of outlet shopping, for me, lies in the unexpected discovery and the rare steal.
 

sportin_life

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I must say that my experience is very similar the last several times I went to an outlet. There are some supposingly nice outlets near me including one that has RL, BB, Off 5th, Saks, Neiman, etc. all in one and I always walk out with nothing.

I'm always surprised when members here are able to find a stash of RLBL suits or shoes at RL, for example. Mine seems to only carry the overbranded giant horse/writing on the back variety.
 
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RSS

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The problem is ... you are looking for bargains. Don't get me wrong, I love a good bargain and do take advantage of them when I find them ... but life has taught me they are rare ... especially if I'm looking for something specific. Of course, if you are willing to pay retail -- as you suggest near the end of your post -- the experience can be much more fruitful.
 

KObalto

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Most RL outlets sell primarily Lauren by RL. There are only a couple true RL outlets, one is in Woodbury Commons. The only true BB outlet I have been to is the one in Garland, North Carolina. I believe that is where SF member/seller Steve Smith gets most of his stuff, which he sells here at a very reasonable mark-up.
 

soxpats

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I never find anything either. Waste of time IMO. I'd rather just hit a Nordstrom's sale (June/July?).
 

JubeiSpiegel

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The enjoyment of outlet shopping, for me, lies in the unexpected discovery and the rare steal.

+1

Nothing like finding a couple of Kiton ties, at Saks of Fifth, for $45 each. And in the Florida wasteland of all places. The gems are rare, but it makes for a fun hobby...
 

dieworkwear

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The problem is ... you are looking for bargains. Don't get me wrong, I love a good bargain and do take advantage of them when I find them ... but life has taught me they are rare ... especially if I'm looking for something specific. Of course, if you are willing to pay retail -- as you suggest near the end of your post -- the experience can be much more fruitful.

This is perhaps the best advice you'll receive on here. It has been given to you for free, as well.
 

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