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:
Strengths: Last 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).
Strengths: Easily could have been a #1 seed. Some have understandably questioned why J. Crew and J. Crew Factory are separate competitors. The price ranges and level of quality (most of the time) are different enough, plus J. Crew Factory has such a strong presence that with a different name, they could easily stand alone as their own brand (they’re almost Banana Republic’s GAP). They’ve been online for awhile now, and that means access for everyone to their flagship Thompson suit separates (in wool-blend, all wool, and cotton), their tweed-like winter blazers, and merino wool v-necks. Factory is also smart enough to not make their jacket sleeve buttons functional, or even throw any accent stitching around them… makes for easy tailoring. Lots of sales, so if you’re patient and play the code game, you can get some great looking stuff for an extremely reasonable price. Seems like they actually responded to requests by those of you who wear a 36R or 36S to start making their suit jackets and blazers in that size. $4.95 flat rate shipping is one of the lower shipping rates out there.
Weaknesses: They can sometimes miss on quality. For example, plenty reported not being happy (at all) with their herringbone wool blend blazer from this past fall, yet the grey tweed-like blazer was up to snuff. Some accessories like belts, sunglasses, and ties have also been disappointing to some leaving feedback in the comments. Not everyone is head over heels for the Thompson (it’s fused, and can be a little stiff at first in some fabrics).
How They Got Here: Beat up on Amazon in Round 1, then cruised past Bonobos with surprising ease in Round 2.
Your votes determine who goes on to the next round. Cast your ballot below. Voting closes at midnight ET.
UPDATE: And the all J. Crew Final is now a possibility….
Store Wars: Banana Republic vs. J. Crew Factory
- Banana Republic (44%, 938 Votes)
- J. Crew Factory (56%, 1,200 Votes)
Total Voters: 2,138