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: The leader. Out of all of the competitors, J. Crew has most likely had the most influence on how a guy’s clothes should fit (and therefore look) in the 21st century. And they’ve done a hell of a job. Esquire recently summed it up this way: “Everyone Wears J. Crew“. The construction of their suits and blazers is phenomenal, and if you catch a sale, a fused-suit budget can snag a piece of the canvassed & quality-chest-piece high life. Their “in good company” curation and collaborations with brands like Red Wing, Danner, Billykirk, and Barbour. Their slim fit section trims up their already well fitting stuff for those who are on the real slim side. Many of their own in-house shoes are made in Italy with stitched soles. Their outerwear, like the Mayfair Topcoat and University Coat.
Weaknesses: Prices. They’re up there, and a lot of their goods are just flat out of reach until they hit the sale section. Sometimes it feels like they take themselves a little too seriously (see how soaring and over the top the language can get in many of their item descriptions). The price of their Quartz watches. Dress shirts can get expensive. The heck is Wallace & Barnes anyway?
How They Got Here: Despite vocal support for the opposition, they dominated Thrift Stores in round 1, and then showed their strength against the heritage heavyweight Brooks Brothers in round 2.
Strengths: From their website to the in-store shopping experience, Norstrom is top of the line while still remaining mostly accessible for affordable-minded shoppers (even if a lot of us wait for their Anniversary sale and Half-Yearly Sales for Men). Their selection of brands is terrific. Meanwhile, house brands like 1901, Calibrate, and plain ol’ Nordstrom always have something good going on. Their policy of free shipping and free returns, no minimum, eliminates that risk of shipping dings and return charges. While selection can vary by market, they seem to push some solid stuff the way of their outlets, Nordstrom Rack. For an all around department store experience in the 21st century, Nordstrom seems to blow the competition out of the water, all while remaining mostly affordable if you’re patient and wait for sales.
Weaknesses: They are on the top end of the price spectrum for most of us. They’re not Barney’s by any stretch, but you’re not going to find many suits for $250 there either. Despite a perpetually stocked sale section online, sale events that include much more of their normal goods are very, very infrequent. The few affordable blazers that they offer come from their house brands, and those usually come with too-short-for most tails. Suit selection is just flat out expensive.
Your votes determine who goes on to the next round. Cast your ballot below. Voting closes at midnight ET.
Store Wars: J. Crew vs. Nordstrom
- J. Crew (76%, 1,045 Votes)
- Nordstrom (24%, 339 Votes)
Total Voters: 1,382