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Uniqlo > Rugby > J.Crew > H&M > BR > A&F > Gap ...

Discussion in 'Streetwear and Denim' started by TheDroog, Oct 30, 2008.

  1. Using Technology

    Using Technology Senior member

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    J. Crew always has some crazy deals online that make me buy some clothes... but I'm almost always dissapointed.

    For me it would probably go:

    #1 Uniqlo for all the reasons listed. I like almost all their stuff and the prices are right.

    #2 Banana Republic. I feel weird putting this one so high, but for decently priced (at least with sales) "dress" clothes I'm not sure what would be better.

    #3 Zara. Horribly disorganized and sometimes their quality is atrocious. But often you can find great items for a great price, if you are willing to wade through the piles at their store.

    # 4 J. Crew. Fantastic deals, but the cuts and styles always disappoint me. Bland preppy stuff. I bumped this to four since it is so damn cheap though.

    #5 H&M... although I try to avoid it, seems like they carry decent stuff.

    #6 Gap. Poor man's uniqlo as the first guy said, but still a place to get simple stuff with fair quality.

    #7 American Apparel. I enjoy their clothes, but they seem way overpriced for almost every item. If you can find them on sale on Ebay they make good items though.


    Of the above, Uniqlo is the only place I shop on any kind of regular basis.

    Most of the other stuff listed here is either way too expensive and if I'm paying that kind of money I'm getting something better (Club Monaco type places) or just horrible (American Eagle type places). A&F seems to stamp some ugly fake faded logo on every item. can't get down with that.


    I don't think I've ever shopped at a Rugby store though.
     
  2. Robert

    Robert Senior member

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    That "bland preppy stuff" is what others, myself included, might call "vintage American," meaning non-fadish, classic, timeless. Yes, BR has good "dress clothes" for work if what you want is a rather contemporary but yet plain look. But J.Crew, imo, has some edge to it due to its vintage styling.
     
  3. Using Technology

    Using Technology Senior member

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    No, I mean bland preppy stuff, not what I at least would call vintage american. J. Crew isn't brooks brothers. I don't find their stuff to be timeless at all. Just looks like bad versions of a style popular in the 90s.

    But I think I actually have to reorganize my list. BR at 2 and Zara at 3 seems wierd.
     
  4. Robert

    Robert Senior member

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    Okay, well, that's a unique view, anyway.
     
  5. Using Technology

    Using Technology Senior member

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    I mean they deals are pretty unbeatable. And they do have plenty of classic clothes... but those same classic simple clothes can be found at most places like the Gap or whatever. on the flip side, they have a lot of stuff that just seems like A&F without the logo and a lot of other pretty stuff that I wouldn't consider timeless or classic (glancing through their sales now, I mean stuff like this or this). Mainly though, the clothes I have bought, while great deals, seem to be cut poorly (for my body at least) and have patterns/colors that just don't do much for me. Lots of little things, like the shape of pockets or collars or the shades of the colors used, that in person make the stuff look kind of blah to me. but to each his own.
     
  6. Using Technology

    Using Technology Senior member

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    perceived exclusivity due to lack of local retail presence can do a lot to make what's boring and passe in one place into *the* must go store in another place.

    hence the ga-ga'ing over Uniqlo in the U.S.[​IMG]


    I think the above is true to a good degree.... but Uniqlo really does rock. For example, if I want to buy a button-up and go to Uniqlo almost all their ones will be the perfect blend of simple and classic yet interesting/nice enough to wear. Various colors of gingham, subtle checks, thin stripe combos that work well together, mico-houndstooth, etc. Really I could go to uniqlo and walk away with a half-dozen button-ups I'd love every time and their

    I can't say this about any of the other stores on the list. I go into gap sometimes and I'm lucky to find one or two button-ups that look nice to me, outside of plain solid color ones. Ditto for most of the rest here.

    And people seem to think I'm wearing some really fancy brand when I have something like a Uniqlo shirt on. That may sound weird, but I've gotten tons of compliments on my uniqlo button-ups and I've never gotten a compliment on any of my J. Crew or Gap button-ups.

    Toss in the fact that uniqlo is pretty damn cheap and the store is just perfect for me.
     
  7. norbertr

    norbertr Member

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    i wonder if anyone's tried the whole shirt and tie scheme under the rugby on a lot of the product images on the rugby site haha i've actually never seen it except on store websites and ads. SOME of it looks good actually. just wanted to see what others think or wanted to know if they've done it before. what do you think?
     
  8. norbertr

    norbertr Member

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    and sorry for going a little off tangent in advance
     
  9. JFKJean

    JFKJean Senior member

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    Location:
    Brooklyn, New York
    Remember guys that this is all personal preference.

    I've never shopped a Rugby store so I can't rate them, A&F and AE to me pretty much triggers people who only follow trends have no style at all. But I'm sure underneath all of that, you can find one or two solid pieces here and there and topman hasn't come to the states yet so I can't rate them on their clothing but for one, they need to fix their shipping system...and pronto.

    1) Banana- The reason why I'm putting them at #1 is that they of all of these brands listed balance casual and dressy better for my personal style (classic european from brooklyn). Its all in the pieces you find and the price points are solid. It sucks their trousers aren't slim enough and their shirts suck (saggy collars). Their shoes are either a hit or miss and for the most part being misses but their hits are spot on.

    2) Uniqlo- I don't shop here too often but they do have very solid pieces at very affordable prices. When they had cashmere turtlenecks at $60 last month, I nearly fell out and this is the norm for them. I was told their jeans are very good (not suprised but I am married to levis 511 for now) and I'll do some research on their dressier items.

    3) J Crew- I'll put their casual wear light years ahead of BR but their formal wear does not do it for me at all. They don't offer too much here with very little variation at that, in regards to their suits and shoes. They've been good to me as far as quality goes so I go in expecting pieces to last me for season upon season. This is my go to store these days b/c their deals/promos are too good to pass up. Their desert boot trumps BR anyday. J Crew's women line? Best of this list no doubt with Banana not too far in 2nd.

    4) Club Monaco- I personally think their okay and can be better but when they are good casually, their as good as J Crew. Love their blazers (hate the single vents) and they offer a lot of variety that Banana certainly doesn't and J Crew won't...even at a ridiculous price point. I mean come on, $450 for a Tartan Blazer w/ shawl collar? You can go piss off....

    5) H&M- The only reason I'm placing them in front of Zara is affordability. With that being said, I rarely shop there but I always do spot checks here and there and noticed their S/S '09 is as good as I've ever seen (still needs work though). In a supermarket analogy, they're like perishable foods, they do well for you in the short run and leave you having to buy, buy, buy again. In this ecomonoy, they should be doing well with the promos they throw out there. Their womens line? You can't find anything better at their price points and they'll be quality finds too!!

    6) Zara- They offer the best suits to me as far as fit goes (banana, a bit pricey and not slim enough for me but good variety, H&M- too skinny and trendy) but that's about it for me. Their shoes remind me of shoes that Steve Madden/Aldo offer with the way too skinny square toe that slopes (I call em the "Aspens") and represent the ugly side of Europe we Americans would not like to know them for or like to see. With that being said, I bought some sick military inspired boots a month and a half ago which I love to death.

    7) Gap- Poor gap. I saw Patrick Robinson about a month ago in the financial district and he's such a cool guy in general, but for his brand, not so much. Their F/W ads were awesome(!) and they usually are but their items still lack in quality. Aesthetically they don't look right and even worse when you try them on. They don't totally get it wrong, I love their cords from last season, and plan on getting a gray/green stripe cardigan very shortly. Wmns/gap kids/baby gap? They totally work.
     
  10. JFKJean

    JFKJean Senior member

    Messages:
    295
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2009
    Location:
    Brooklyn, New York
    Remember guys that this is all personal preference.

    I've never shopped a Rugby store so I can't rate them, A&F and AE to me pretty much triggers people who only follow trends have no style at all. But I'm sure underneath all of that, you can find one or two solid pieces here and there and topman hasn't come to the states yet so I can't rate them on their clothing but for one, they need to fix their shipping system...and pronto.

    1) Banana- The reason why I'm putting them at #1 is that they of all of these brands listed balance casual and dressy better for my personal style (classic european from brooklyn). Its all in the pieces you find and the price points are solid. It sucks their trousers aren't slim enough and their shirts suck (saggy collars). Their shoes are either a hit or miss and for the most part being misses but their hits are spot on.

    2) Uniqlo- I don't shop here too often but they do have very solid pieces at very affordable prices. When they had cashmere turtlenecks at $60 last month, I nearly fell out and this is the norm for them. I was told their jeans are very good (not suprised but I am married to levis 511 for now) and I'll do some research on their dressier items.

    3) J Crew- I'll put their casual wear light years ahead of BR but their formal wear does not do it for me at all. They don't offer too much here with very little variation at that, in regards to their suits and shoes. They've been good to me as far as quality goes so I go in expecting pieces to last me for season upon season. This is my go to store these days b/c their deals/promos are too good to pass up. Their desert boot trumps BR anyday. J Crew's women line? Best of this list no doubt with Banana not too far in 2nd.

    4) Club Monaco- I personally think their okay and can be better but when they are good casually, their as good as J Crew. Love their blazers (hate the single vents) and they offer a lot of variety that Banana certainly doesn't and J Crew won't...even at a ridiculous price point. I mean come on, $450 for a Tartan Blazer w/ shawl collar? You can go piss off....

    5) H&M- The only reason I'm placing them in front of Zara is affordability. With that being said, I rarely shop there but I always do spot checks here and there and noticed their S/S '09 is as good as I've ever seen (still needs work though). In a supermarket analogy, they're like perishable foods, they do well for you in the short run and leave you having to buy, buy, buy again. In this ecomonoy, they should be doing well with the promos they throw out there. Their womens line? You can't find anything better at their price points and they'll be quality finds too!!

    6) Zara- They offer the best suits to me as far as fit goes (banana, a bit pricey and not slim enough for me but good variety, H&M- too skinny and trendy) but that's about it for me. Their shoes remind me of shoes that Steve Madden/Aldo offer with the way too skinny square toe that slopes (I call em the "Aspens") and represent the ugly side of Europe we Americans would not like to know them for or like to see. With that being said, I bought some sick military inspired boots a month and a half ago which I love to death.

    7) Gap- Poor gap. I saw Patrick Robinson about a month ago in the financial district and he's such a cool guy in general, but for his brand, not so much. Their F/W ads were awesome(!) and they usually are but their items still lack in quality. Aesthetically they don't look right and even worse when you try them on. They don't totally get it wrong, I love their cords from last season, and plan on getting a gray/green stripe cardigan very shortly. Wmns/gap kids/baby gap? They totally work.


    I forgot Express which I'd place in front of Gap. This was my go to store back in '04 when I didn't know any better and for the last couple of years, held a nasty grudge against them. Gave them a chance a month or 2 ago ago, they still don't offer much for both men and women but I did pickup a really cool navy chalk stripe vest with a navy/white polka back. Even at a small and with the back cinched in, it's still a bit on loose but great find nontheless. They seriously need to step it up soon or be ready to fold
     
  11. TheDroog

    TheDroog Senior member

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    UPDATE ... after everyone on this thread came to the defense of Club Monaco, I actually popped inside the Soho shop this past December for the first time in 2 years.

    It's not bad. The garments themselves look good and I could easily incorporate many of their better offerings into my wardrobe no problem.

    But I still have a huge issue with their retail prices, which are, on the whole, absurd. For me to even *consider* buying anything in this store, their items would have to be price slashed 2-3 times, ie, they have to hit the clearance racks. This is not a problem for the Soho location, since they had many nice items on sale. But the Club Monaco at my local mall has a tiny sale section -- if anything goes on sale at all -- which makes this store practically useless to me.

    So I guess it's all about location.
     
  12. JFKJean

    JFKJean Senior member

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    Location:
    Brooklyn, New York
    UPDATE ... after everyone on this thread came to the defense of Club Monaco, I actually popped inside the Soho shop this past December for the first time in 2 years.

    It's not bad. The garments themselves look good and I could easily incorporate many of their better offerings into my wardrobe no problem.

    But I still have a huge issue with their retail prices, which are, on the whole, absurd. For me to even *consider* buying anything in this store, their items would have to be price slashed 2-3 times, ie, they have to hit the clearance racks. This is not a problem for the Soho location, since they had many nice items on sale. But the Club Monaco at my local mall has a tiny sale section -- if anything goes on sale at all -- which makes this store practically useless to me.

    So I guess it's all about location.



    +1

    What about Gant? Did we forget them for a reason. I popped into their 5th ave Flagship and they a few decent pieces as well for prices that were reasonable. Still needs work though.. on my list, I'd place them after CM
     
  13. blackdarkeye

    blackdarkeye Senior member

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    has anyone heard of ruehl? better than a&f quality with similar price and less logos
     
  14. ArtisticShowcase

    ArtisticShowcase Senior member

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    Location:
    Philadelphia
    has anyone heard of ruehl? better than a&f quality with similar price and less logos

    owned by abercrombie.
     
  15. blackdarkeye

    blackdarkeye Senior member

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    owned by abercrombie.

    i know but they are quite cheap when on sale and quality isnt half bad, and it has less logos
     
  16. milosz

    milosz Senior member

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    Finally visited a few of these that I hadn't been to before:

    Club Monaco reminds me of the flashier, clubbier side of Banana Republic. Only flashier and clubbier. Retail was unreasonable.

    Zara - an even more Eurotrash Express. Struck me as an entire store of the kind of no-name designers you find at a Macy's.

    Ruehl - I actually liked the look of a lot of their stuff and sale prices were reasonable, but the fits were absolutely bizarre. Chest, shoulders and body/lenght were fine, but the sleeves were several inches too long. They'd fit like belly shirts on anyone tall enough to need those sleeves. Also, worst store design ever. At least with Hollister, etc. there's a continuous path between rooms.
     
  17. michaelp123

    michaelp123 Well-Known Member

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    Dec 7, 2008
    From what I see around here, Zara's line is slowly creeping into the Euro disco look with shiny fabrics, super tight fit, etc... the old Zara look is now the new Massimo Dutti look.
    Took the words out of my mouth. Not sure what they are thinking. A new store opened very close to my house, the slim cut works very well for my build.. but I've only ever bought 2 shirts from them, across multiple vists. Most of the stuff is cheaply made euro-disco trash.. have you seen how atrocious their shoes are? They have a large selection of outwear, but they are way too ornamented, bad fabrics and crappy construction. The staff is also tries to pull off this high-end boutique pretentiousness.. pathetic. Personally I'm starting to gravitate towards Barneys CoOp, for nice core pieces. Then fill in the gaps with a mix between J.Crew, Rugby and Brooks Brothers... with rare visits to the fancy designer boutiques in LA (APC, Marc Jacobs, Paul Smith, etc). I've also noticed BR has stepped up their game a little for SS 09. Sport jackets are quite nice.
     
  18. kmdsimpson

    kmdsimpson Senior member

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    Gap - Ugh. I hate this store. I have this thought, this dying passion to go into GAP and fall in love with something. I pass it often and go in. Nothing ever hits my eye. It sucks. I won't stop going there till I prevail, though. :mad:

    +1

    I think some of us can remember many years ago when Gap was the only game in town. I don't know if it's just my perception, or if the quality has dipped so much. I find the styling and quality to be sorely lacking, but I still hope there will be something good in there one day.
     
  19. svelten

    svelten Senior member

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    This is a good thread for SF, so I will bump it. Not all of us can afford to dress from Saville Row.
    Half of my closet comes from these "mall brands" so I have a bit of first hand experience with them.

    In order of preference...

    Uniqlo - Excellent, and further augmented with Jil Sander's input.

    J. Crew - Wonky fits on me, great classic styling and decent pricing make up for it. Particularly like their sweaters.

    Banana Republic - Terribly overpriced, but on a 50% discount (very frequent) they make great sweaters, scarves and gloves. I have items from here that have lasted 5 years. Their store is always a comfortable shopping experience.

    H&M - Quality is dismal, loose threads and buttons are common but it's hard to complain given what I paid for them. Items are generally quite slim-fit.

    Club Monaco - RIDICULOUS retail pricing, even moreso than BR. Nice store design, interesting use of color schemes; nowhere near worth the retail pricing. Their collared shirts are decent pickups for the slim & tall.

    Zara - Quality and styling worse than H&M IMO... may find a couple of decent items on sale

    A|X - They must have the biggest markups ever, because their sales can drop the price of collared shirts down to as low as $15. Logo-free materials are okay, but often not worth the time and effort to find on sale.


    Never would shop at the following:

    Gap
    Old Navy
    Guess (Horrendous! Douche-wear, buttons that fall out, ugly tacky garbage)
    A&F
    AE
    Mexx (They went out of business in the US for a good reason)
     
  20. Jr Mouse

    Jr Mouse Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    All of time and space, everything that ever was or
    I will never understand why so many people on this forum seem down on BR. I love the store. Great looking & fitting clothes at decent prices with frequent sales. Plus they cater to tall slender people with their Large-Tall sizes. It's one of the few places I can get a shirt or jacket that actually fits me properly.

    On a side note I have fallen in love with JCrew this year and am going to be buying a lot of my clothes there from now on.
     

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