Thursday, August 14, 2008

Barney's Warehouse Sale report: Mens

Mens (as told to me by my tried-and-true male shopping companion)

On the mens side of things, Day 1 had plenty to offer – assuming you had plenty of money to spend. We weren't yet into the grab-a-bag-and-throw-everything-you-see-into-it type of shopping that you get in the final weekend. Instead, today was more suited to someone who is looking to drop 2-3 grand for some really really nice stuff at just around half-off or attain that singular item missing from his couture collection.

If you’re one of the first ones in, everything is still extraordinarily neat, a strange site for BWS. At the start, it looks like mens shoes are 50% off: Prada shoes abound on the racks, with fine leather loafers marked down ~$300 and sneakers ~$200+. The shoe section was clearly the most popular destination, as it remained a mob scene from opening through several hours later. If shoes are your thing, arrive at 7:20AM to get in line, and RUN, then GRAB whatever you can before the heathens behind you make it to the racks. Even arriving a little bit late (I wandered around a bit first), then pushing through the throng, you could still find a nice selection of expensive shoes.

Suits, although plentiful, were pretty disappointing price-wise. Suits that retail $1400-2000+ were marked at $800+, and the cheapest suits on the rack still clocked in around $600. A handful of gems did hang from the racks though, like $450 Zegna “Couture” line business shirts going for $170, various Paul Smith items (canvas shoes $109, button-down sweater $100, socks $19), James Perse t-shirts ($30), Etro business shirts ($140) and plenty of Armani jackets and shirts. The usual selection of Varvatos and Barney’s house brand filled a lot of the still-neatly-arranged bins and racks.

All in all, the best “deals” on Day 1 were probably to be found in the far back corner, where tailored-then-rejected jackets and pants were going for $200 a piece – leaving you to play a high-stakes fashion version of Memory/Concentration trying to piece a full suit back together for a nice little bit of sweat equity. Socks also appeared to be a dark horse sleeper in all of this, as a single gentleman grabbed a trash bag and literally dived into the bin Michael Phelps-style, raiding every non-duplicate, non-Barney’s brand of sock in site. I’m thinking he knew exactly what he was doing and made out pretty darn well.

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