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: Overall style and fits are pretty close to J. Crew, at much more palatable prices. Especially if you wait for one of the many extra 30% off codes. Went online in the last year or so and now everyone has access to them. That’s huge. Their 80% wool suiting is phenomenal for the price. Their summer cotton suit is also quite good and can be had for a song. Merino V-Necks held up well this past winter, and speaking of winter, their tweed sportcoats from this past winter were fantastic for $125 on sale. They’ve had an incredibly good year. So much so, that they might be the best overall place to shop for those making $35k or less.
Weaknesses: The entire “we’re not open until the weekend” thing. Yes they take the link off JCrew.com, but all you have to do is go directly to their webpage, or simply google up “J. Crew Factory” and you’re there. Stock and sizes can go extremely fast when something good goes on sale . Some have raised concerns about quality, especially when it comes to accessories like ties and belts. Shipping can get expensive quick.
How they got here: Bounced stalwart GAP with ease in the first round.
Strengths: Heritage, consistency, and variety. They’re the wardrobe anchor for many a man on a budget. Off the rack suiting might not fit superb, but if you’re willing to settle a little on some areas of fit, and you’ve got a good tailor, you can look extremely sharp. Plenty of casual stuff too. Variety of brands is strong. In-house names like Alfani, Alfani Red, Bar III, and sometimes INC can produce some positive surprises. Their One Day Sales. Decent affordable jewelery selections for the ladies in your life if you play the sale game. Brick and mortar shopping experience is usually pretty consistent.
Weaknesses: With that heritage and consistency comes the tendency to be safe and predictable. For affordable style, they seem to be a solid B 90% of the time. Rarely A+. “Full retail” can be eye-roll worthy when compared to their perpetual sale prices. You really have to play the wait for a sale/coupon game with Macy’s. Can also seem to be a bit out of touch with younger and more fitted styles. Not a lot of must-have unique items. Website can be clunky sometimes. Over-promotion of a so-so shipping policy with countless catalogs, emails, and web ads that scream “FREE SHIPPING!” and then in tiny print reminds you that free shipping only kicks in “with $99 purchase.”
How they got here: Crushed scrappy newcomer LastCall.com in the first round.
Your votes determine who goes on to the next round. Cast your ballot below. Voting ends at midnight ET.
UPDATE: J. Crew Factory proves formidable and takes a win over Macy’s.
Store Wars Rd. 2: J. Crew Factory vs. Macy's
- J. Crew Factory (64%, 437 Votes)
- Macy's (37%, 254 Votes)
Total Voters: 683