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

Filtering by Tag: 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!

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.

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.

The summer sales begin...

Mark Kwak

 

Looks like retailers are looking to shed their summer pieces already. Crazy considering that summer hasn't even really started yet, right? Some sales have begun, and there are more to come. Here are just a few notable ones:

1. Barney's: Up to 60% off.

2. Billy Reid: Up to 50% off.

3. Brooks Brothers Black Fleece: 40% off all.

4. J.Crew : 40% off summer pieces.

5. Paul Smith: 30% off, but 50% with coupon SS13SALE20EUS today and tomorrow.

6. GANT: 40% off a lot of their items.

7. Allen Edmonds: Tent sale, up to 50% off select items like the Strand & Park Ave. Catch is that it's by phone or local only.

8. Nordstrom: The Half-yearly men's sale is on now!

I'll probably post more as the days go on, but get at it while you can! Some of these sales come really only twice a year.

Wardrobe pieces you can save on

Mark Kwak

I know I've been harping a lot of you to really invest in certain pieces of clothing. I believe that spending the extra buck on a pair of nice shoes or a suit will likely save you a lot of headache and wasted dollars in the future. Not only will you get more wear out of these pieces, but you'll also feel better wearing them.

However, investing so much in every piece of your wardrobe can get expensive... real expensive. Truth is, I think there are some areas where you can actually save money, and still look/feel great.

Here's where I try and save money when purchasing clothing:

T-shirts: I don't think there's any reason to get fancy with T-shirts. I prefer button-up shirts in more dressier situations anyway. As long as your T-shirts are basic (no logos), and fit well to your body, you're good to go. I usually wear Calvin Klein from those 3 packs at Ross, and Banana Republic T-shirts when they go on sale for 40% off.

Sleepwear: No need to impress anyone with your sleepwear. Good news is, you can find some really comfortable and decent quality stuff out there for cheap; just head to your local Macys. Or I guess you could wear a suitjama.

Socks: No matter how nice your socks are, at some point you'll end up ripping holes through them due to natural wear and tear. Sure, some socks may feel better against your skin, but have you felt the Merona ones from Target? I think they're pretty decent, both in design and comfort. Best part? They're $2 each.

Swimwear: I usually get my swimwear from Target, JC Penney, or Old Navy. No problems so far, and I still get the occasional compliment.

Underwear: You'll be going through these as often as socks, so I think an inexpensive pair of Hanes boxer briefs from Walmart should do the trick just fine. Just make sure they fit snugly to your body and are comfortable.

Ties: Some ties are very nice, and it might make sense to spend the extra money on one or two solid staples. For everything else, I think you can get away with paying under $25 for a decent tie at your local Nordstrom Rack, Marshall's, or TJ Maxx.

Seasonal/trendy attire: There are some overtly trendy items out there that likely won't last for more than a single season. If you must take part in such trends, I say buy cheap, and think of those pieces as easily disposable.

Accessories: Apart from a nice watch, I think you should save on most accessories. Why get a fancy, bulky Prada wallet when a $10 stainless steel money clip will do? Do you really need fair-trade, rare-picked silk from the highlands of the Himalayas fabric for your pocket square? I don't think so. Want a nice tie bar? Go to thetiebar.com and get one for $15. Anyway, hope you get the point.

Henleys and long sleeve shirts: My henleys are generally from Old Navy or the Gap, and they've held up marvelously over the past few years. When the time comes to replace them, I won't care too much considering that I paid under $12 for each of them.

Now of course if you have the money, I think it's always best to buy quality clothing, which can come at a cost.

However, for the rest of us who don't swim in money, but are looking into purchasing a whole new wardrobe, the items above might be some good places to save a bit.

Couple Sales

Mark Kwak

So it looks like there's sales everywhere right now, but I wanted to point out a couple for you in case you have some last minute Christmas shopping to do:

1. Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren is having a sale of up to 65% off right now. This includes Purple Label, Black Label, and RRL too! I'm fairly excited about this sale. Some items I thought I would point out include this RRL Morgan Plaid Wool Jacket, Merino Wool V Neck Sweater and this Lindrick Calf Boot by Crockett & Jones.

2. Barneys

Barneys-New-York

Barneys is having up to 60% off on sale items. The problem is that most of their items are so expensive that even with 60% off, you'll end up paying quite a bit... but in case you have the extra cash to spend, I say the time to shop is now!

3. Billy Reid

billy

Love Billy Reid. Great clothing, decent pricing, and overall a solid company. They're currently running a private sale (whatever that means) and I thought I would let you guys know. Some stand-out clothes for me include: Madison JacketAstor Coat, and Tuscumbia BD.

4. Boylston Trading Co

sale-eow

30% off of any order with "LASTDAYS", and there are already some sale items! There is something for everybody: Jack Purcells for Converse, Common Projects, Ovadia & Sons, Gitman Vintage, Gant Rugger, Woolrich Woolen Mills, and many other great brands.

Happy shopping folks!