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: 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).
Strengths: Remember when Amazon sold almost nothing but books? No? Well, remind this aging brain at a later date and you shall be regaled with tales of things called 56k Modems and Geocities. At hotbot. Do not forget hotbot. Where were we. Right. Watches, shoes, and a growing presence in clothing. Amazon Fashion has a long way to go, but the 800 pound gorilla of web retail that is Amazon is getting there. Prices on watches and shoes are almost always the lowest through Amazon, and the every so often code can help push them down further. Shipping and returns are easy, and the Amazon Prime service ($79 a year and the list of beneifts is long) is friggin’ incredible. Get a terrific rundown on Amazon Prime from Primer Magazine here.
Weaknesses: When it comes to style, Amazon is a solid source for watches, shoes… and really that’s it. With as enormous as Amazon is (for crying out loud they’re now selling wine), it’s hard to believe that there’s something to sell that they’re not doing so hot at. But clothes? The shopping experience with clothes ain’t that great. At all. Also, pictures of shoes and some watches can do the product no favors whatsoever. Pricing moves around very quickly. So much so that in the morning an item can be a steal, while in the afternoon it’s back up to almost full retail. The presence of 3rd party sellers is annoying, and you’ve got to pay attention to who you’re dealing with. Lots of items get sold on Amazon that aren’t sold by Amazon, or even shipped by Amazon, so if there’s some sort of problem, you might have to deal with an oddball company.
Your votes determine who goes on to the next round. Cast your ballot below. Voting closes at midnight ET.
UPDATE: J. Crew Factory shrugs off Amazon with ease.
Store Wars: J. Crew Factory vs. Amazon
- J. Crew Factory (73%, 1,135 Votes)
- Amazon (27%, 424 Votes)
Total Voters: 1,557