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: Their presence as a brand. Yes they’re a business that’s there to make money, but they’re one of the few retailers out there that don’t act like their sole focus is separating you from your cash. They seem to be driven more by happiness than dollars and cents (how hell bent for cash must you be if you’re taking the time to produce, photograph, and promote these things?). Incredible customer service. The Ninjas know what they’re doing. The fit of their pants is still lauded by many. Made in the USA travel denim. The standard fit of the oxfords which now come in an additional even trimmer fit. Shopping experience online is (now) terrific, and many have taken advantage of their Guideshops. Curation of 3rd party merchandise is well done… Bonobos sells lots of great brands. And finally, the re-emergence of the every-once-in-awhile extra 30% off sale items code has been a welcome return.
Weaknesses: Expensive. Were talking $88 for their washed chinos. $65 for shorts. $300 trench coats. $600 blazers (super 160s? Whoa that’s up there). They seem to have gotten past the once frustrating web experience of not knowing what sizes were available at a quick glance, and the crashing of their site during major sales. Oxfords are no longer made in Philadelphia.
Strengths: Ol’ reliable. Every once in awhile they hit a home run with a cotton blazer or a piece of outerwear. Their basic leather belt in brown and black continues to be one of if not the best bang for your buck leather casual belt on the market. Their slim (if you’re real slim) and straight fit (if you’ve got some meat to your frame) denim washed chinos and thicker fabric 5-pocket pants are almost always a good bet. Every summer they put out a couple of good, interesting polos. Lots of sales.
Weaknesses: So basic that they can get extremely forgettable. To the point that plenty of us have started breezing right past their brick and mortar locations while on the way to something else. One way they’re trying to spice things up is through a partnership with GQ and their Designers of the Year, but last year that seemed to fall flat for plenty. Like big brother B.R. (and little brother Old Navy), they’re perpetually on sale, so you better be good with playing the codes and coupons game. Sometimes their sweaters can feel flimsy compared to B.R. In danger of becoming a bubble store next year.
Your votes determine who goes on to the next round. Cast your ballot below. Voting closes at midnight ET.
UPDATE: And after being neck and neck for most of the day, Bonobos comes through at the wire.
Store Wars: Bonobos vs. Gap
- Bonobos (54%, 1,127 Votes)
- Gap (46%, 963 Votes)
Total Voters: 2,089