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: While $469 is a lot of money, it gets you a LOT of suit (and their more expensive suits get you even more). One of the more exciting new companies to enter into the U.S. retail market in awhile. Half canvassed, great construction, fabrics are terrific, and the off the rack fit of the Napoli jacket hits that sweet spot of neither too tight nor too big. Jacket tails aren’t chopped, the lapels aren’t too skinny, the cuts are sharp, the armholes are high, and the shoulders are lightly padded. In short, everything a suit should be and all for under half a grand. It’s a stretch on the budget for a lot of us, but every time someone asks “I’ve got $400 for a suit, what should I buy?” the answer is almost always: “Can you scrape together another $69 plus tailoring?” They’re that good. Lots of linen, linen blend, and cotton options for summer. The few brick & mortar stores that they’ve opened in the U.S. are impressive (expect an in person coming next week), and they’re opening a few more in April. Returns are free, but shipping is $10 for orders under $500. They obviously focus on suits, but they also have blazers, outerwear, accessories, shoes, etc… Started a partnership with the Italian shoemaker Antonio Maurizi for a capsule collection. They also outfitted the Dutch Olympic team in London.
Weaknesses: $469 is still a lot of money. While they do have a foundation of basics like solid navy, charcoal, and lighter grey… they seem to spend a lot of effort on… risky designs. They seem to be in love with large peak lapels. Jackets come with functional sleeve buttons, and while they offer a wide variety of short and long sizes, tailoring the sleeve length will be a pain if need be. Non suit offerings seem expensive (like their shirts, and… $300 for a quilted jacket?)
Strengths: Great customer service. An upgraded fit that’s solid for guys who aren’t hefty, but aren’t super slim either. A wide variety of stuff that spans casual basics like tees and polos, to surprising blazers in boiled wool or madras. Their Made in the USA jeans, when on sale, are a terrific value for the guy who doesn’t really care about selvage and just wants a good looking pair of jeans that were actually crafted here in the states. Plenty of us have one or more items from L.E.C. that we love, has held up extremely well, and we got for dirt cheap.
Weaknesses: Lots of variety (from t-shirts to Chambray Suits) but the total number of things they have to pick from just isn’t that great. Seems like they’ve taken their foot off the gas a bit? Or is that just perception? Doesn’t it seem like L.E.C. is starting to fade some? Sales are great, but usually their stuff starts out at a retail price that’s super high (plus we’re now conditioned to wait for sales). Fits, while closer, are still way too big on some. Every season they seem good for at least one or more “the hell is that?” items. Starting to get squeezed by jcp on basics like OCBDs.
Your votes determine who goes on to the next round. Cast your ballot below. Voting closes at midnight ET.
UPDATE: That was a photo finish. Checked the voting logs just to be sure. Final score Suitsupply 889, L.E.C. 874. Suitsupply at the buzzer, with the cold blooded squeaker of a victory.
Store Wars: Suitsupply vs. Lands' End Canvas
- Suitsupply (50%, 889 Votes)
- Lands' End Canvas (50%, 874 Votes)
Total Voters: 1,763