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: From their website to the in-store shopping experience, Norstrom is top of the line while still remaining mostly accessible for affordable-minded shoppers (even if a lot of us wait for their Anniversary sale and Half-Yearly Sales for Men). Their selection of brands is terrific. Meanwhile, house brands like 1901, Calibrate, and plain ol’ Nordstrom always have something good going on. Their policy of free shipping and free returns, no minimum, eliminates that risk of shipping dings and return charges. While selection can vary by market, they seem to push some solid stuff the way of their outlets, Nordstrom Rack. For an all around department store experience in the 21st century, Nordstrom seems to blow the competition out of the water, all while remaining mostly affordable if you’re patient and wait for sales.
Weaknesses: They are on the top end of the price spectrum for most of us. They’re not Barney’s by any stretch, but you’re not going to find many suits for $250 there either. Despite a perpetually stocked sale section online, sale events that include much more of their normal goods are very, very infrequent. The few affordable blazers that they offer come from their house brands, and those usually come with too-short-for most tails. Suit selection is just flat out expensive.
How They Got Here: Bounced the always pesky eBay in round 1.
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?)
How They Got Here: Barely, just barely, took out a former champion 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: Nordstrom vs. Suitsupply
- Nordstrom (63%, 898 Votes)
- Suitsupply (37%, 538 Votes)
Total Voters: 1,435