Banana Republic vs. Indochino – #StoreWars Rd. 1

Last year's Champ vs. a #8 with a loyal customer base.

Store Wars 2013 Bracket 1STORE WARS: Banana Republic vs. Indochino

Starting March 19th and running through April 8th, Dappered.com is hosting a bracket based tournament with the purpose of eventually crowning the all around Affordable Men’s Style Retail Champ for 2013.  For a full introduction see this post.  The bracket on the right will be updated as the tournament progresses.  Click on it for the full size.  Make a case for your preferred competitor in the comments section, but don’t forget to vote at the bottom of each match up. On with today’s showdown:

StrengthsLast year’s champion and for good reason.  You can’t please everyone, but Banana Republic comes awfully close.  Almost everyone can walk into a Banana Republic and find something they’d like to wear.  Other strengths:  Their tailored fit cotton blazers.  Their outerwear (both their updated trenches and wool topcoats in the fall).  Their tailored fit suits, while fused, are probably the best fused suits for around $300 (with codes of course) on the market.  The fabrics and blends that they use like the silk/cotton/cashmere blend for sweaters, and the linen/wool or cotton mix they can use for summer suiting.  The Navy, 2-button, Italian wool suit.  Their line of soft wash slim fit shirts.  The luxe touch polos.  The perfect, not too thick, not paper thin line of pima cotton dress socks.  They’re incredibly accessible, they offer free shipping at $50 from their website, and returns are free if you drop the item off in store.

Weaknesses:  They’ve recently started excluding blazers from almost all of their codes.  Most of us have gotten used to playing the code game with the GAP Inc. brands, but the long list of exclusions for their codes has gotten frustrating. Perpetual sales have conditioned most if not all of us to ignore their retail prices.  The expensive “Monogram” line of suits… does anyone buy those?  Shoe quality can be hit or miss (many would say mostly miss).

indochino 8

Strengths:  Some guys absolutely love Indochino.  For $379 you can get one of their essential suits plus a $75 re-tailoring credit.  Taking that credit into consideration, you can get a suit made from the measurements you’ve provided them, with whatever type of lapel, vent, pockets, etc… that you want, that’ll be dialed in by your tailor on their dime on arrival.  You could easily spend $40 – $75 on nipping and tucking a department store suit, so the $379 for Indochino, in the end, feels more like you’ve spent $300 for the suit itself.  Plus it has a hybrid fusing/canvas interior that while not a true half-canvas, does move and feel much better than, say, a Kenneth Cole New York, Alfani Red, or Hilfiger Trim fit.  Fabrics are nice quality too.  And once Indochino gets your suit perfect (more on that in a second) many have reported out of the box, like-a-glove fits on their 2nd, 3rd, and 4th suits.

Weaknesses: Some guys won’t go near them.  They’re a risk.  Sometimes customers goof on their measurements, sometimes Indochino will seemingly chop a jacket tail way short (but that’s not always the case).  Sometimes there’s no telling what the hell happened, and there are message boards out there filled with bad experiences and Indochino suits that look like they came from the Island of Misfit Toys.  But let’s be honest, at the same time, online fit critiques can often get absurd.  Building a suit from scratch leaves a LOT of opportunity for error.  Meanwhile, their shirts are crazy expensive (why not go with ratio?), and some of their special collections are awfully gimmicky.  They’ll remake your suit for you, but if you just want to pull the plug and get out, you’re on the hook for returns.

Your votes determine who goes on to the next round.  Cast your ballot below.  Voting closes at midnight ET.

UPDATE:  And despite some support from their fans in the comments, Indochino is easily bounced by the champ.

Store Wars: Banana Republic vs. Indochino

  • Banana Republic (71%, 1,981 Votes)
  • Indochino (29%, 818 Votes)

Total Voters: 2,795

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