Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Outlet Shopping: Common Pitfalls and Ways to Score Big

Though there's been much more exposure on outlet malls and factory outlets over the past few years, retailers have still remained successful in convincing the vast majority of the public that products at outlets and factory stores are premium quality and exceptional deals when usually the opposite is true.  However, if you look carefully and know what to look for, you can find some real values.

Here are some specifics to take note of. 

The Factory Store Charade 


Factory stores generally contain the lowest true discounts that one can come across - by that I mean a product that was originally meant to be priced at a certain point and subsequently discounted after it didn't sell well.  Almost everything at any factory store is made for the factory store.  You will occasionally hear stories about RL Black Label found at a Ralph Lauren Factory store or a Golden Fleece suit found at a Brooks Brothers Factory - don't expect to find anything like that yourself unless you go very frequently and get very lucky.  The basic tenet of factory stores is that they make lower quality clothes and hope you will think they are the same - basically preying upon the ignorance of the masses, and it works. Look closely at the labels and you'll see they don't match mainline labels.  BR uses three stars to denote factory lines, Brooks Brothers 346, etc.  Those are all lower lines with lower build quality and cheaper materials.

Friday, July 24, 2015

J. Crew - Select Items 75% Off (Final Sale)

I usually try not to post about J. Crew sales, because they are usually about the same type of thing at 40% off or so.  However, there have been some Alfred Sargent double monks in suede that have been sitting there for a week or so.  After midnight, suddenly they went an extra 75% off.

That brought the price to $100 from the originally $399 sale price.  Are you kidding me?  Instant purchase (got the last pair of grey suede I believe).

And to think, I was so sad I missed out on the Carson Street Clothiers 80% sale.  When God closes a door...

There is still every size available in blue suede, and a lot of new items put into this extra 75% category.  There are the blue suede boots as well in more limited sizing - same ridiculous price.  I also picked up the denim deck jacket with the metal snaps for $42.50 from $169, but take a look around - Code SUMMERSALE.

Go now.  This will be picked through by the morning.

PS - I don't mean to toot my own horn, but if you sign up through emails or follow me this will come to you in a manner that you're not reading about it when it's too late.  Good sales don't sit around.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

In Review: Randolph Engineering Sportsman Sunglasses

Randolph Engineering has an incredibly rich history.  Founded in 1972 by Polish immigrants Jan Waszkiewicz and Stanley Zaleski, they first produced eyewear as a subcontractor for the military in 1978, and shortly after were contacted by the Air Force to produce their aviators directly for them.  During Desert Storm Randolph actually stopped commercial sales to ramp up manufacturing for the armed forces and supplied over 200,000 optical inserts for soldiers' chemical-biological masks.  In 2000, RE was awarded the Frame of Choice contract, providing soldiers with an alternative to current standard-issue military glasses for the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, and NASA.  They've maintained that contract through their 4th five year term now.   Impressed yet?  On top of that, they also expanded into the commercial market after civilians became aware of their products and have built up a great reputation for quality work and solid service.

All that being said, the Sierra Trading Post deal I posted about a while back was just too good to pass up myself.   I broke down and ordered a pair of Sportsman sunglasses in black matte frame/grey flash mirror (nonpolarized) and they arrived a couple of days ago.

Anyway, let's get on with it.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Barbour Bedale $110 + Free Shipping (Made in UK)

Somehow an even better deal came across STP today.  Extra 35% off code SFV70939 brings the price to $110.47 + free shipping. This is an instant purchase as far as I'm concerned if you're interested in Barbour at all.

Made in the UK, unlike the Ashby.  Sizing is "classic," meaning on the fuller side, and sized 30-40, all sizes available at the time of this post.  Consider sizing down one size or two if you want a slimmer fit, based on feedback from some online forums.  Here is a useful sizing and general guide for Barbour.  100% waxed, thornproof, weatherproof cotton.

Let me know if you pick this up and what you think of it.  It won't last.

PS - This jacket was not available this AM.  STP must add stock in the afternoons as well.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

The Rise and Fall of Temple of Jawnz: The Drew Keith Story

I love almost everything about menswear and style, but there isn't much I'm as passionate about than good piece of leather.  My Schott Hand-Oiled Perfecto is one of my most prized possessions.  If you are even a little more than casually interested in leather jackets, you may have already come across the name Temple of Jawnz aka John Coppidge before.  This is the story of the rise and fall of TOJ - an ongoing drama that has turned into a complete fiasco and produced perhaps the most wanted man in menswear today.

*Disclaimer - this narrative was compiled from information at various online sources and forums.  I have no financial, personal, or other connection with Temple of Jawnz or the people connected with the company, nor do I have any insider information not readily available in the public arena with a lot of digging

Friday, July 17, 2015

Barbour Ashby in Sizes XS, S, and M for Sale on STP

It's rare that size small/medium Barbour makes its way into the STP pile and a lot of Barbour stuff that is in there in the larger sizes is not very palatable.

But lo and behold, the Barbour Ashby is available on Sierra Trading Post at a starting price of $179.95 with an extra 20% off with code SITEBIG715 in olive XS and navy S and M.  Usually STP will send out bigger discount coupons to bring the price down 30-40%, sometimes with shipping deals as well.  If you feel like you need this and are happy with $158 shipped using the 20% off code (which from a cursory search is already the best price I've seen it for) I would get it now as they're listed as "almost gone" in all sizes.   **See below for updated pricing

100% waxed cotton with 100% cotton tartan liner (Made in Tunisia, not in UK if that is a dealbreaker).  Standard Barbour stuff in one of their more classic jackets.

I haven't posted this to the forum deals pages as I'm going to start making an effort to do it here first from now on.  Let me know if you end up picking this up.  If I didn't already get the Barbour Sapper for a great deal a few months ago I would have been taking a very close look at this myself.  If it's still here in a few days and they start adding additional discounts to it, I can't promise I can hold off the urge.

The struggle is real.

**Update - As expected, just got a keycode in my email for 35% off, bringing the total cost to $130.92.  Contact me if you need it.

Monday, July 13, 2015

In Review: Apolis Moleskin Button Under Shirt


Apolis was founded in 2004 upon the principal of "advocacy through industry."  The brand partners with manufacturers all over the world with the idea that business can spur social change for the better.  Since its inception, Apolis has garnered a reputation not only for its social aspects but its quality of workwear-focused production.  Probably its most well-known piece, Apolis' chore coat has become a cult classic in the workwear movement as of late and is fairly well-documented online among enthusiasts.

As Apolis clearly takes pride in its ability to make socially responsible and well-constructed products, pricing generally reflects that.  Given that, I've been surprised a couple times to see some Apolis items at deep discount.  A few months ago I ran across some stuff at Nordstrom Rack - the archive jacket and an alpaca crew neck sweater that I had to pass on.  While they weren't quite right for me at the time, I was impressed nonetheless with the construction and materials, putting it in the back of my mind that I get my hands on something sooner or later to keep.

As much as I deplore Gilt for it's less-than-stellar return policy and shipping costs (store credit for return items <$200 and no free shipping), once in a while they manage to lure me in with extra % off codes.  I had my eye on the Apolis moleskin shirt for some time and with a discount code it basically took care of most of the shipping for a total of $35 shipped.

Here's what I found.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Randolph Engineering Sunglasses on Sierra Trading Post

It looks like Sierra Trading Company has a few more great diamonds among the poop.  Randolph Engineering is a Made in USA company that has been making sunglasses for the US military since the 80's.  They go head to head with anyone in terms of quality and I've been trying for a while to suppress the urge to supplement my classic Ray Ban Aviators with some Randolph Engineering.

But at ~$53 and $73 for non polarized and polarized versions in an array of options (Aviator - see right, Concorde - above, Sportsman, and Crew Chief), they are a rare value in an online market that usually regulates sunglasses prices pretty consistently.  If it's good enough for Don Draper, it's good enough for you.

Check them out here.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Selvedge Shootout: Naked and Famous, Uniqlo, and Neuw Denim

Naked and Famous Charcoal Selvedge, Neuw Denim Dry Black Selvedge, Uniqlo Black Selvedge


It's hard to know where to start when talking about denim.  Just like a foreign language, understanding the lingo can be a daunting task to say the least.  Whiskering, stacking, honeycombing, raw, nep, slub, right hand/left hand, sanforized - the list of terms goes on and on, and I don't blame people for being hesitant at even trying to make sense of it.  But I would also be willing to guess that getting into denim is a bit of an eventuality for guys interested in style.  It is just too ubiquitous, too much of a menswear staple, and too interesting to be relegated into being an afterthought.  So here in this post I'll examine three pairs of black or grey selvedge jeans I've picked up over the last year for <$70.