STORE WARS: Banana Republic vs. Thrift Stores
Starting March 13th and running through April 2nd, Dappered.com is hosting a bracket based tournament with the purpose of eventually crowning the all around Affordable Men’s Style Retail Champ for 2012. 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: If you wanted to, and some would, you could build an entire good-looking wardrobe from casual to dressed up to everything in between out of stuff found at Banana Republic. Short of watches, they’ve got it all. They’re the top floor of GAP’s three story brand structure, and in the past year they’ve pulled even further away from mid-level GAP in terms of style. Prices remain relatively low as long as you hang out for sales and play the promo-code/coupon game. Their modern fit blazers and suits come with a welcome contour, higher than normal armholes, and slim shoulder pads. They’ve really stepped up their suiting game lately. The Italian fabrics used in some of their garments are superb. Outerwear is usually outstanding. Sweaters are right up there. Shopping experience in-store is usually clean and professional. Everything online ships free over $50. Returns are free in-store.
Weaknesses: Like all GAP brands, you’ve got to play the code and sale timing game, and then sometimes the exclusions can be numerous. Paying full retail at BR should rarely happen. Most of their goods are made in China. Many have complained about bad quality for their shoes. Mad Men/Monogram markup is steep.
How they got here: Breezed past Amazon in the first round.
Strengths: Well, it’s kinda hard to beat the prices. Shopping at thrift stores can almost feel sporting. It’s a bit of a hunt. A good clean addiction for some, and those same some are usually really, really good at thrifting. One of the last outposts to find high quality, made in the USA stuff at a price that’s (more than) affordable.
Weaknesses: The inconsistent, manic nature of thrifting. Can really depend on where you live and what types of thrift stores you have access to. The risk is you turn into the sartorial version of a stubborn, weekend hacker on the golf course. All it takes is one great outing, and you then spend the next few months trying to replicate that one awesome trip to no avail. Or, you’re really good at it, know where to look, and are surrounded by solid inventory, and you make out like a champ.
How they got here: Despite their opponent’s Ninjas, Thrift Stores upset Bonobos in round one 56% – 44%.
Your votes determine who goes on to the next round. Cast your ballot below. Voting ends at midnight ET.
UPDATE: Sorry thrift addicts. BR moves on (but maybe that means more good finds for you?)
Store Wars Rd. 2: Banana Republic vs. Thrift Stores
- Banana Republic (74%, 704 Votes)
- Thrift Stores (32%, 300 Votes)
Total Voters: 946