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A guide to help the average man... look less average

Filtering by Category: Sales

Put This On has an awesome list of sales for Black Friday

Mark Kwak

One thing I don't have much patience for is curating Black Friday sales. I mean where do you start, there are just so many!

The good news is that the gentlemen over at Put This On have done the work for us already. Some pretty decent stuff on their list, ranging from local sample sales (Ovadia & Sons, Union, etc.) all the way to department store-wide sales (Barneys, Saks).

Check it out here. And happy shopping!

Uniqlo +J is back

Mark Kwak

I think it was 2010 when I walked into a Uniqlo store for the first time. Back then, the only city with a physical Uniqlo store outside of Japan was New York City.

Having made the trek all the way out there from San Francisco, I had pretty high expectations, especially since I had heard so much about Uniqlo from friends who had visited that were re-buying their entire wardrobes from the store.  The good news was that the store didn't disappoint. Even today, I still think of Uniqlo as one of the best companies out there providing stylish clothing at an affordable price.

Admittedly, at the time, I didn't know nearly as much about menswear as I do today. Nonetheless, I remember seeing a really nice line of menswear pieces out in the back of the store marked with a +J logo on the tags. I didn't really know what that meant, but I distinctly remember being impressed with the collection, both in quality and style. I literally ran to a salesman to find out if any of the pieces were in my size (by then the stock was mostly oversized), but it was all to no avail.

Well, it seems as though good things come to those who wait. Uniqlo just recently announced that they will be bringing back their +J line this month.

Now, since I know vastly more about menswear today than I did back then, here's some context for you. The Uniqlo +J line was one of the first collaboration efforts Uniqlo had ever done with an outside fashion designer. This one was with the legendary Jil Sander.

For those of you who don't know, Jil Sander is a very respectable player in the high fashion game, both for men and women. Her stuff is often eclectic, dare I say weird, but you all know how the high fashion game works. Anyhow, one thing that you can be sure of when buying Jil Sander is that most pieces are ludicrously priced. I mean we're talking $700 for a pair of cotton pants.

The good news is that Uniqlo's +J collection won't be anywhere close to that price tag. They're saying pieces will range from $39.90 to $229.90. The official launch will be October 3rd @ their new Philly store, but the rest of us will have to wait till October 10th when it comes out to all the other stores and online. 

Here is the link to check the collection out.

Just in case you're curious, here are some of my favorites from the collection:

Slim Denim Shirt 

Uniqlo J Denim Shirt

Slim White Shirt

Uniqlo J Slim Shirt

Cashmere Sweater

Uniqlo J Cashmere

Cardigan

Uniqlo J Cardigan Puffer Coat

Uniqlo J Down Parka Chesterfield Coat

Uniqlo J Chesterfield

Flannel Jacket

Uniqlo J Jacket

Tapered Flannel Pants

Uniqlo J Flannel Pants So go wild fellas. Yes these pieces are rather basic, but they look great and won't let you down if they fit correctly. It's all about keeping it simple right? Cheerio, happy hump day.

Eying a particular piece... what should you do?

Mark Kwak

As I'm sure you know, people shop differently. Some write a very particular list of items that need to be bought, and stick precisely to that list. Others just get in the mood to shop for anything, and when the price is right, they pull the trigger, spontaneously adding one more piece to their sartorial arsenal.

Me, I'm a mixture of both of those camps. I like to go out to the stores with a pretty specific objective in mind, yet am (slightly) open to any temptations that may come my way. Hey, when the price and fit is right, sometimes it's a no-brainer.

However, the thing I want to talk about today is a situation when the price is not quite right. You know, that $1100 black leather jacket that you see out the corner of your eye at Nordstrom. Or those pair of $289.99 selvedge jeans at your local clothier that fit absolutely perfectly. You know you want it, but the retail price just hurts to even look at.

Well, I've been in situations like that more than a handful of times, and it doesn't feel good. Frankly, I'd like to get what I want, when I want it. But let's be real, money matters, and a big fat hole in the wallet might not be worth that perfect pair of jeans.

So what do you do when you're in such a pickle? Do you try to find a more economically viable alternative and run with that? Or perhaps you just try to forget about it and move on, regardless of that daily nagging that occurs in the back of your head.

Well I don't know the right answer, and I'm sure it depends on your personality, but I can tell you what works for me. If there is a piece of clothing that I've been eying for quite some time, and by quite some time, I mean at least a month, then I find that pulling the trigger is absolutely worth it. No substitute will satisfy.

You see, there's usually a pretty good reason why a piece of clothing will continue to stay on your mind for that long. It obviously means it fits perfectly, has the exact look you've been searching for, or is just incredibly you. Before, I used to ignore that feeling and just find another piece that would do the job, but not get me 100% of the way there. Usually, I ended up never wearing the piece, throwing it away, or wearing it with less and less satisfaction each time I put it on (since I knew it wasn't the piece I actually wanted).

If the price isn't quite right for a particular item, I pass the first time. I just move on, and usually, within a couple days, I've forgotten entirely about what I was eying in the first place. But every blue moon, there is that one dress shirt, or one pair of shoes that I keep making an excuse to see. It leads me to wasting a ton of time searching for deals on the internet, or visiting the store to check it out again,

Does this mean you should blow your entire paycheck on a jacket? No. Keep it within reason. However, if it's above your price threshold by just a bit, just pull the trigger and get it. You'll likely be satisfied far more than buying an alternative. Plus, with return policies as they are today, if you aren't satisfied, you can always return it.

Sorry. And also Indochino in SF

Mark Kwak

A couple things of note in today's post. 1. My site has been down for the last 3 days. So, so sorry about that. Some weird things went on with the webhosting. If you're still with me, thank you big time.

2. Spring is almost already here. Unbelievable how time flies by huh? My slacking in putting out content about winter coats and trends needs to come to an end.

3. Indochino, a men's made to measure suit, shirt, and accessories company, will be coming to town in San Francisco this coming week and a half.

For those of you guys who aren't familiar with Indochino, let me try to fill you in as best as I can. A couple years ago, online made-to-measure suit companies started to pop up like flies, coming in all directions. Some preached the value of being able to measure yourself without paying for it, others offered to pay for any afterward alterations that you made to any suit of theirs.

Either way, this concept became pretty trendy, and a couple companies stood out as frontrunners of this movement. I would argue the top two known brands were Suit Supply (located in NYC) and Indochino.

To be frank, I've never tried on an Indochino suits before, but the word of mouth has been nothing short of awesome. Some of my friends have worn Indochino suits to their own weddings, so I trust that the product is pretty decent. I'll certainly have to try one in order to make any of my own judgements though.

So onto the details. Indochino is going to be at Union Square in SF from March 13th (yesterday) to the 23rd. They'll bring their "traveling tailor" pop-up and will give you a free fitting in the case that you're looking to try one of their suits. Check it:

March 13 - 23 117 Post St. San Francisco

Mon - Fri 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. Saturday 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. Sunday 10 a.m. – 7 p.m

Here to book an appointment.So sorry for those outside of the Bay Area, but hopefully they'll be visiting your city soon. Go get 'em guys!

It ain't cheap, but here are a couple quick sales

Mark Kwak

Towards the end of the year, a bunch of giant sales start to show up at some luxury online retailers. The sales are giant because they consist of markdowns somewhere between 50-80%, which is a fantastic thing to see. The problem is that even with these discounts, it's not easy to go wild and participate in a shopping spree.

Why? Because even at these ridiculously marked down prices, everything is still absurdly expensive. Jacket marked down 80%? Oh, it's still $1,750. Keychains at 65% off? Ah, but it still breaks the 3 digit mark.

Anyway, the good news is that sometimes, you can still find decent pieces for relatively okay prices. And so, I wanted to mark a couple of them down for you here.

1. Barneys Warehouse. This sale has been going on for quite some time now, but it's pretty great. Essentially you can take 50% off of anything on the website, and that's wonderful because everything is already marked down from retail. It is final sale, though, so be careful.

2. SSENSE. This online retailer carries some really awesome luxury brands, and right now, there's a sale of up to 70% off most of their stuff. Check it out!

3. Paul Smith. These guys are having their annual 50% off sale right now. Love the designs of this brand, and the quality is often pretty great, so check it out. Use coupon code AW13SALEUS to get the discount.

Anyhow, if you're in the mood to do some high end shopping, these three sales should help you do what you need to do. I've already ordered a couple things, despite my wallet telling me not to. Merry Christmas everybody!

 

A warning about Black Friday

Mark Kwak

Unlike a lot of folks, I'm a huge fan of Black Friday. Thanksgiving has just passed, the air is crisp, the malls are bustling with interesting people... If anything, it's a wonderful time to people-watch and hang with some friends in a busy environment.

This may also seem like the best time of the year to buy clothing, especially when every single store has a seemingly ridiculous sale going on at the same time. That's why I'll see a line out the front door at Macy's, or an ensuing fight between two middle-aged ladies clutching at a single purse in the Bloomingdale's line.

However, I do have one warning for you all: Black Friday is usually not the best sale you'll find all year, or even all season. So before you go to your favorite mall and wait in line for two hours, do some research, and utilize that nifty thing called your computer, to make things a bit easier for you.

Here are my observations around Black Friday:

1. Oftentimes, better sales happen around Black Friday, rather than on it. Shops like Macy's have actually told me that they have higher discounted pricing on weeks prior to Black Friday than Black Friday itself. Not sure what the strategy around that is, but it seems to be shared across a ton of other retail stores as well.

2. Look at sites like Slickdeals.net, Fatwallet.com, Dealsplus.com, etc. to find better deals than you can find on your own. These sites are amazing, and (warning) addicting as well. They curate some of the best deals on the web at any given time, and the deals during Black Friday are generally pretty ridiculous.

3. Electronics, toys, and other items are more heavily discounted than clothing. Contrary to popular belief, clothing is usually discounted only marginally during Black Friday. Most of the bigger discounts you'll find are related to other things like iPads, TVs, games, etc. Not always true, but just take a look for yourself!

4. Check blogs like Dappered & PutThisOn. Some menswear blogs post up sales during these times of the year. I would suggest you check them out for some of the deals that are ACTUALLY decent.

All this to say that there are smarter ways to spend your time shopping this Black Friday. I wouldn't recommend waking up incredibly early, waiting in line, fighting the crowds, and ultimately getting a deal that's inferior to one you could get weeks later, when you could go online and figure all that mess out beforehand. Just sayin'.

Either way, have a safe and homey Thanksgiving, fellas. I'll probably post before Thanksgiving again, but thought I'd put it out there for now.

Friends & Family sales

Mark Kwak

Hi everybody, happy Friday. A couple friends & family sales have popped up on my radar recently so I figured I'd put them up here in case you're interested. Not HUGE blockbuster sales, but decent sales nevertheless.

1. Jack Spade

Jack Spade is a company that I'm often on the edge on. They make fine pieces, but those pieces cost a little bit more than their quality is probably worth. However, I will say that they've been stepping up their game in design recently, and it's making me turn my head more every time I pass by their racks at Nordstrom.

I've definitely heard conflicting opinions on their bags, but personally think they're solid in construction and durability. Might be worth a look. Check out their wallets as well. Here's the code to take 30% off: FALL13FF

2. Saks 5th Ave.

Saks is currently having their Friends & Family sale as well- they're offering 25% off of most items. The issue with this sale is that sometimes 25% can seem negligible when the items being sold are way too damn expensive. I mean 25% off of a $2,000 jacket still keeps the jacket at $1,500.

Either way, I'm really considering pulling the trigger on this Miansai bracelet, which is a bit more cost-friendly. We'll see.

The code for 25% off is: FRNFAM

Happy shopping friends (and family), good luck out there!