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. Not everyone is head over heels for the Thompson (it’s fused, and can be a little stiff at first in some fabrics).
How They Got Here: Roughed up Amazon in Round 1.
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.
How They Got Here: Used their ninja stamina to outlast GAP in the first round.
Your votes determine who goes on to the next round. Cast your ballot below. Voting closes at midnight ET.
Store Wars: J. Crew Factory vs. Bonobos
- J. Crew Factory (72%, 1,277 Votes)
- Bonobos (28%, 503 Votes)
Total Voters: 1,780