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Updates to This Fits eBay and Yoox Searches for Quality Menswear

Just a quick note that I made a few updates to one of this site’s most popular pages—the list of eBay and Yoox searches preloaded with quality brands to make finding great deals even easier.

Specifically, I added some filtering to do a better job of avoiding false positives, and I fixed the Yoox shoe search, which appears to have been broken for some time.

As always, I encourage you to see this as a starting point. After finding something intriguing, it’s always a good idea to do some of your own research to make sure you know what you’re getting—it’s easy to be misled by lower-quality diffusion lines and knock-off brands, or outdate styling.

Also—especially on Yoox—it’s worth straying from this searches and checking out unknown brands. Quite often, the best deals are found when you see something that looks good, do some research, and find that it’s from an obscure but high-quality maker.

Pictured above, a lot of 3 Vass shoes from my eBay shoe search, and a Canali jacket from my Yoox sport coat search.

See all of my eBay and Yoox searches here.

On Sale at Lands’ End: Stacked Discounts for Fall

Use promo code FAMILYTIME (PIN 1799) for 30% off through Monday, September 29th.

Lands’ End’s Friends & Family sale runs through Monday, and while the 30% promo code is good for their current batch of fall new arrivals, you can get a lot more mileage out of it by stacking it on already-discounted fall merchandise from last year.

Tailored Fit Twill Shirts, $19.58 ($49)
Available in season-appropriate plaids and tattersalls, including the ivory pictured above.

Waxed Canvas Work Bag, $52.49 ($99)
Okay, not strictly a fall item, but waxed canvas seems like the perfect complement to tweeds and wool sweaters and corduroy pants and chunky work boots. Don’t expect a Filson 256—one of the reviews suggests using graphite to smooth out the zipper pull—but this is a functional alternative if you’re on a budget.

Update: albuhhh offers this assessment in the comments:

"Fair warning, I bought a version of the same brief from a couple seasons ago, and the quality left a lot to be desired. Every button fastener ripped out of the thin cloth lining, every bit of leather either tore or had its stitching detach itself completely from the bag, and every brass component failed. I’ve never had an item that failed in so many different places."

Since that was a few seasons ago, it’s possible this brief is made with better construction and materials, but perhaps it’s best to be ready to use Lands’ End’s return policy on this one.

Striped Silk Wool Tie, $20.99 ($49)
Offered in olive-navy and burgundy-navy. I reviewed the solid version of this tie a year ago, which is also available on sale, but I prefer the striped ties for their versatility.

Archer Suede Footwear, $55.99-$69.30 ($99)
Available as wingtips, desert boots, penny loafers, and bucks. While I firmly believe you get what you pay for when it comes to shoes, I also think there’s merit in buying cheaper alternatives to see if a certain style works for you. Don’t expect these shoes to be great—I wouldn’t be surprised if they don’t last more than a season or two—but they’ll be just fine if you’re looking to mix things up a bit over the next few months.  

Suede is great for the fall, and the difference between high and low-end suede is harder to discern than other types of leather. If you find these work out great for you, then go ahead and consider splurging on a pair of Aldens that will cost you 10 times as much. And if they don’t work out — they probably cost you less than a dinner out. 

To see all Men’s sale merchandise at Lands’ End, click here.

On Sale at Brooks Brothers: An Extra 25% Off Sale Merchandise

Use promo code FF25 for 25% off. Code expires tonight, Monday September 22nd.

Brooks Brothers’ Friends & Family sale started last Friday and ends today, offering 25% off almost everything they carry. The most notable inclusion here is sale merchandise. If you’re interested in anything that’s currently full price, it may be worth holding out until the next Corporate Members sale (rumored to be in mid-October), which likely will raise the discount to 30%, but typically excludes sale and clearance.

With that in mind, I spent some time poking around the Brooks Brothers sale section to see if I could find anything interesting beyond the usual dress shoes and shirts that I typically write about.

Some of the deepest discounts are from two collections at the opposite ends of the price spectrum: youth-oriented Red Fleece and Thom Browne-designed Black Fleece. There’s a lot from both lines that’s  70% off retail after applying the promo code.

I particularly liked this color-block coat from Red Fleece—it’s just over 60% off and available in tan/navy and red/navy.

Black Fleece shirts are still pricey but deeply discounted—about $10 cheaper than the Black Fleece shirts on sale at MyHabit that I wrote about last week. Black Fleece accessories are also worth a look, such as this Mackintosh briefcase.

Over in main line Brooks Brothers, there are dozens of suits that are over 60% off. Most retail north of $1000, are made in Italy or the United States, and now go for just over $400. While no single style is available in all sizes, there are still plenty of sizes available in office-friendly navys and greys, and across all of Brooks Brothers’ fits, from the fuller Madison to the very slim Milano. You can see all the Brooks Brothers suits on sale here.

Finally, I really liked this casual Irish linen sport coat. With minimal structure, flapped, pleated patch pockets (both inside and out!) and a zippered interior pocket, it’s a great candidate for a travel jacket. Especially if you’re going on safari.

To see all Brooks Brother’s Men’s Sale merchandise, click here.

Blue Blazer
Full-canvas construction by Caruso, in a Loro Piana Zelander wool hopsack a shade lighter than true navy. 3-roll-2, classic lapel width, shoulder height gorge, moderate button stance, double vents, minimally-lined. The shoulders have more padding than I expected, but are still soft.
I’m not sure how I feel about the black buttons—a tad more formal than the brown horn I’d prefer. My instincts would also go for patch pockets, but the flaps are a better choice for a first navy jacket, as Mr. Newton assures us.
This isn’t my first navy jacket. But it’s as close as I’ve gotten yet to the ideal.

Blue Blazer

Full-canvas construction by Caruso, in a Loro Piana Zelander wool hopsack a shade lighter than true navy. 3-roll-2, classic lapel width, shoulder height gorge, moderate button stance, double vents, minimally-lined. The shoulders have more padding than I expected, but are still soft.

I’m not sure how I feel about the black buttons—a tad more formal than the brown horn I’d prefer. My instincts would also go for patch pockets, but the flaps are a better choice for a first navy jacket, as Mr. Newton assures us.

This isn’t my first navy jacket. But it’s as close as I’ve gotten yet to the ideal.

On Sale at MyHabit: Black Fleece, Holland & Sherry Flannel Trousers, Carlos Santos Shoes

Often, the lifecycle for flash sale sites follows the same narrative:

  1. Site launches with fanfare, rewarding early adopters with sometimes unbelievable prices on great products.

  2. Site’s user base grows, and bulk of product moves from high-end to mid-tier. Deals don’t seem so great.

MyHabit, Amazon’s entry in the flash sale space, seems to have followed this pattern lately, as it’s been a while since I’ve been compelled to write anything about the site. While they’ve held events for some higher-end brands recently (such as Brunello Cucinelli), generally you have to hunt a bit and put in some research to really come away with something great.

So that’s the spirit of today’s post. Here are a few things I’ve been checking out on MyHabit:

Brooks Brothers Black Fleece
Frankly, you can find Black Fleece for a better price if you’re resourceful (check eBay) or patient (wait for Brooks Brothers flash sales or clearance). However, this is still a pretty good sale for Black Fleece, and likely the best around right now when you consider selection, price, and availability. For example, the soccer bag pictured above went for slightly less on sale at Brooks Brothers, but is also currently sold out. And at $85, the Black Fleece oxfords at MyHabit are still hugely discounted from the $195 retail price, and only a few dollars more than the Brooks Brothers clearance price.

Corbin Flannel Trousers, made with Holland & Sherry Wool
Holland & Sherry is a 178 year-old British cloth merchant that specializes in wool suiting—their fabric books are well-known in bespoke circles, and quality ranges from top-tier to mid-range.

Corbin is an American brand, founded in 1947 and best known for their trousers, which can often be found at independent menswear shops. In 2003, they were purchased by IAG, which (probably not coincidentally) also owns Holland & Sherry, along with Oxxford, Gitman Bros. and a handful of other brands. IAG shifted some of Corbin’s production to South America after the acquisition, and some say there was a subsequent decline in product quality.

For what it’s worth, I think the first two Corbin flannel trousers pictured above—one in a tan houndstooth and the other in charcoal gray—are reasonably priced at $105, given that they’re made in America using Holland & Sherry fabric. Just note that these are high-rise (12”) with what appears to be a fuller fit (9” leg opening). The third pair of trousers pictured above is also made in America, but since the much more versatile mid-gray flannel is not from Holland & Sherry, it’s going for a relative steal at $79.

Santos by Carlos Santos Shoes
MyHabit added more footwear from this Portuguese maker last month. I picked up a pair of their double monks a while back, and I’m still very pleased with them—in fact, they’ve become my go-to shoes for tailored clothing. If you take the price of Allen Edmonds seconds and the price of Allen Edmonds full retail, you’ll find that MyHabit generally prices Carlos Santos shoes right smack dab in the middle for comparable models. I think that’s very fair. A case could be made that Allen Edmonds shoes have better leather, but Carlos Santos’ leather is still very good. The Portuguese shoes are also Goodyear-welted, and in my opinion have more elegant lasts, more interesting designs, and details often reserved for higher-end brands—note the beveled waist I highlighted above (more on beveled waists here).

The models I highlighted above are the Avante ankle boot and the Galiano wingtip oxford.

If you’re not yet a member of MyHabit, please consider joining through my referral link by clicking here.

Autumn Inspiration from Paul Stuart

I enjoyed flipping through the Fall 2014 catalog that came in the mail this past weekend from Paul Stuart, the venerable New York-based clothing brand. Working with the Smithsonian Institution, the company juxtaposed many of the lookbook’s shots with paintings from the National Portrait Gallery, with striking results.

Paul Stuart’s menswear best distinguishes itself from other storied American brands through its embrace of color, with the company’s catalogs assembling bold and sometimes unexpected combinations that still somehow harmonize. To be honest, in the past I’ve often found it a bit brash and over the top for my tastes.

But I really like what’s in this Fall’s catalog—and not just in the ensembles that stick to a safe blue, grey, and brown palette. And while I appreciate the green Loden coat and the brightly-accessorized tweed suit, when looking for inspiration over the next months I’ll likely return most often to the quilted jackets, textured sweaters, and colorful cords of the more casual outfits.

You can see the whole catalog by visiting PaulStuart.com.

On Sale at eHaberdasher: Ties from Kiton, Battisti, Borrelli…

Use promo code TIES20 for 20% off all ties. Code expires September 8th.

Through Monday, eHaberdasher is running a promo code for 20% off all their ties, which are already discounted as much as 70% off their retail prices. eHaberdasher has a great selection of neckwear, with most of their neckwear made in Italy by a number of venerable names, such as Kiton, Battisti, Borrelli, Drumohr, Corneliani, and Zegna.

A few I wanted to note:

  • There are a ton of Battisti ties, including a handful with a hidden pocket—sealed by mother-of-pearl buttons—large enough to hold a credit card or some cash. It’s a neat but wildly impractical design detail.

  • The Drumohr selection includes some really nice bicolor knit ties.

  • Possibly the best deal here are the ties by Benjamin, eHaberdasher’s in-house line. They’re made in Como, Italy using jobber fabric—leftover silks used for ties from bigger brand names. With the 20% discount, they’re just $32 a piece.

To see all the ties on sale at eHaberdasher, click here.

On Sale at Sierra Trading Post: Filson Natural Bridle Leather Belts

Use promo code SFB9114 for 25% off and free shipping, no minimum.

STP just got in a bunch of Filson belts in “Natural”. Made in the USA with durable yet flexible bridle leather, over time with use the belts should develop a nice patina—typically a deep, reddish tan. I own one of these belts myself (in Brown, not Natural), and am quite happy with it so far.

The belts at Sierra Trading Post are available in both 1.5” and 1” widths, with all sizes available from 28” up to 48”. As always with STP, the deals get especially good when you stack one of their promo codes on top of the sale price. The code above brings the 1.5” belt down to $30.45 and the 1” belt down to $27.30. That’s nearly half off the regular retail price.

This probably won’t last long, as I’m seeing sizes disappear as I write this.

To see the Filson bridle leather belts at STP, click here.

Kenton Suede Footwear at J. Crew

Goodyear-welted with suede uppers and red brick EVA soles, J. Crew’s “Kenton” line of suede shoes look like great options for fall, especially for anyone who’s not ready to shell out double the price for the Aldens that J. Crew also carries.

J. Crew initially introduced the Kenton line a year or two ago with suede bucks, wingtips, and penny loafers. I kept an eye on the loafers in particular, hoping to see them drop into J. Crew’s sale section, but it seems they never did—the company seems intent on maintaining a premium on the shoes. They happen to be eligible for J. Crew’s current 25% off promotion (use code SHOPTIME), bringing them down to about $150—not bad for what you’re getting.

For this fall, they’ve introduced two handsome-looking boots to the Kenton line as well.

To see the whole Kenton line at J. Crew, click here.

On Sale at Lands’ End: An Extra 30% Off Sale Merchandise

Use promo code PUMPKIN (PIN 1606) for  30% off your entire order. Expires Monday, September 1st.

Maybe I’m just imagining this, but it seems in the past year or so Lands’ End reduced the volume of promo codes they’ve put out. And when they do release a code, it rarely stacks on top of already-discounted sale merchandise. I wonder if they came across this blog post from a couple years ago, in which a former Lands’ End employee—by way of a letter to the company’s late founder Gary Comer—cautions that inflated “retail” prices and constant discounts threaten to erode the long-term viability of the business (maybe someone should send that letter to J. Crew).

All that to say, this Labor Day discount code is a bit of a rare promotion, as Lands’ End is offering an additional 30% off almost everything, including sale merchandise. That makes for pretty good prices on the sort of well-made basics that Lands’ End built its reputation on—that much hasn’t changed since Gary Comer’s heyday.

A few picks, all of which should be great for the cooler weather in the coming months:

Tailored Fit Harris Tweed Sportcoat, $126 ($348)
I’ve written about this jacket a few times (see here and here), and this is the lowest I’ve seen it go.

Tailored Fit Doeskin Blazer, $62.99 ($198)
I own a similar vintage blazer from Gant—doeskin flannel is soft, warm, and hard-wearing. This jacket looks like a great pickup for fall.

Tailored Fit Cotton Linen Blazer, $69.99 ($188)
I wrote about this jacket a few months ago, noting that the half Norfolk design makes it an ideal cycling or travel jacket.

Lambswool Crewneck Sweater, $27.99 ($69)
Not bad for an entry-level sweater, with the heathered lambswool adding some visual interest.

Canvas Lands’ End Washed Oxford, $17.49 ($39)
To be honest, I find myself less drawn to these kinds of shirts lately—I prefer a more substantial collar and a slightly fuller fit. But Canvas OCBDs were some of my first pick-ups when I first started learning to dress well, replacing my collection of Shirt.Woot graphic tees and gaudy striped “dress” shirts. So I have a soft spot for these oxfords, and they still see occasional weekend wear.

Tailored Fit Hyde Park Striped Oxford, $17.49 ($49)
Lands’ End’s Hyde Park OCBDs are still well-regarded for their substantial fabric, solid construction and decent collar roll, and Land’s End finally has them in their Tailored Fit. $17.49 is a fantastic price for these.

Elston 628 Straight Fit Chinos, select colors $17.49 to $24.49 ($58)
I’ve found Canvas’s Slim fit is way too skinny on me, while their straight fit is a much nicer slim straight—the leg opening on the 33 is just under 15”Update: Oops, leg opening is actually 15.25”.

The extended tab closure is a great detail, and the colors on sale are surprisingly versatile, including khaki, olive, and grey.

Straight Fit 628 “Jeanos”, $17.49 ($58)
Curious that there are no reviews and lots of sizes still available, as they seem like sure-fire winner to me. Chino twill fabric cut like jeans in a slim straight fit. Maybe it’s the name?

"Made in USA" Jeans in Weathered Wash ($55.99) and Rinsed Wash ($41.99)
Even the cotton was grown in America. Original retail on these was $118 and $98, respectively.

To see all men’s sale merchandise at Lands’ End, click here.

Suitsupply Fall/Winter 2014 Campaign

They had me at “astronauts”.

Thanks to the folks at Suitsupply for passing along this preview of their upcoming fall campaign, which officially launches later this week.

And since folks are asking me, I asked if they have any news on the opening of their San Francisco store. The official word: it’s been “pushed back a little till Spring,” and they’ll let me know as soon as they can share more details.

On Sale at Macy’s: Tommy Hilfiger Trim Fit Blazer, $84.99 Shipped
Use promo code BTS for 15% off $99.99 sale price. Code expires Tuesday 8/26.
I’d prefer a slightly lower button stance, but other than that this jacket hits a lot of the things I like in a blazer: hopsack wool cloth, moderate-width notch lapels with a shoulder-height gorge, and side vents on the back. Some people find brass buttons a bit ostentatious, so it’s a good candidate for getting them swapped with brown horn buttons instead.
I’ve found the fit on Tommy Hilfiger’s “Trim” jackets is quite slim—should be true-to-size on thin and average guys, while bigger guys should consider sizing up.
Macy’s says this jacket retails for $350, so it seems like it’s 75% off, but in truth it’s usually on sale for about half retail, so it’s more like 50% off.
Still, that’s a steep discount for a pretty good first navy blazer—one of those garments that always makes it on “essential wardrobe” lists.
It’s clear why, too: Tommy Hilfiger just introduced a new blazer: made in Italy with wool sourced from Lanificio Cerruti, it’s got patch pockets, natural shoulders, 3-roll-2 buttoning, and (ugh) functional cuffs, all for under $400. Menswear blogger bait.
You better believe I’ve got a sale alert on standby for the new blazer. Until the price drops, though, the original trim fit blazer is great if you’re on a budget.

On Sale at Macy’s: Tommy Hilfiger Trim Fit Blazer, $84.99 Shipped

Use promo code BTS for 15% off $99.99 sale price. Code expires Tuesday 8/26.

I’d prefer a slightly lower button stance, but other than that this jacket hits a lot of the things I like in a blazer: hopsack wool cloth, moderate-width notch lapels with a shoulder-height gorge, and side vents on the back. Some people find brass buttons a bit ostentatious, so it’s a good candidate for getting them swapped with brown horn buttons instead.

I’ve found the fit on Tommy Hilfiger’s “Trim” jackets is quite slim—should be true-to-size on thin and average guys, while bigger guys should consider sizing up.

Macy’s says this jacket retails for $350, so it seems like it’s 75% off, but in truth it’s usually on sale for about half retail, so it’s more like 50% off.

Still, that’s a steep discount for a pretty good first navy blazer—one of those garments that always makes it on “essential wardrobe” lists.

It’s clear why, too: Tommy Hilfiger just introduced a new blazer: made in Italy with wool sourced from Lanificio Cerruti, it’s got patch pockets, natural shoulders, 3-roll-2 buttoning, and (ugh) functional cuffs, all for under $400. Menswear blogger bait.

You better believe I’ve got a sale alert on standby for the new blazer. Until the price drops, though, the original trim fit blazer is great if you’re on a budget.

I love getting emails like this. Jed writes:

Just another thank you or your help with all of my questions on what to wear to my wedding last weekend. I took your advice and here’s a quick pic of my suit. It’s not the best picture but I was constantly told that it looked sharp and for me perfectly. Plus. The groomsmen looked awesome as well. Tailoring! All of your ideas for accessories were perfect. I tweaked a few here and there but your ideas were spot on. People really noticed.

Congratulations, Jed!
To be honest, Jed had most of this figured out on his own: he’d already picked out the suit, decided on a white shirt, and selected silver glen plaid ties for himself and his groomsmen. 
I just helped work out a few of the details regarding matching, collars, cuffs, and the appropriateness of a tie bar (go for it if you’re not wearing a vest).
A few things to note:
Tailoring makes a big difference. Jed doesn’t know where his groomsmen purchased their suits, but they all had extra tailoring done to zero in the fit.
It’s OK if you’re not perfectly matching. The groom and groomsmen aren’t wearing any accessories that match the bridesmaids’ dresses, but you can still tell they belong together.
It’s OK if the groom isn’t too distinct from the groomsmen. I think Jed was planning on wearing a slightly different glen plaid tie, but I don’t know if that’s what he ended up doing. In any case, it’s I’m pretty sure everyone figured out that he was, in fact, the groom.
And the details on what he’s wearing …
Suit: Suitsupply; Shirt: Brooks Brothers; Tie and Tie Bar: TheTieBar.com, Pocket Square: Put This On.

I love getting emails like this. Jed writes:

Just another thank you or your help with all of my questions on what to wear to my wedding last weekend. I took your advice and here’s a quick pic of my suit. It’s not the best picture but I was constantly told that it looked sharp and for me perfectly. Plus. The groomsmen looked awesome as well. Tailoring! All of your ideas for accessories were perfect. I tweaked a few here and there but your ideas were spot on. People really noticed.

Congratulations, Jed!

To be honest, Jed had most of this figured out on his own: he’d already picked out the suit, decided on a white shirt, and selected silver glen plaid ties for himself and his groomsmen. 

I just helped work out a few of the details regarding matching, collars, cuffs, and the appropriateness of a tie bar (go for it if you’re not wearing a vest).

A few things to note:

  • Tailoring makes a big difference. Jed doesn’t know where his groomsmen purchased their suits, but they all had extra tailoring done to zero in the fit.

  • It’s OK if you’re not perfectly matching. The groom and groomsmen aren’t wearing any accessories that match the bridesmaids’ dresses, but you can still tell they belong together.

  • It’s OK if the groom isn’t too distinct from the groomsmen. I think Jed was planning on wearing a slightly different glen plaid tie, but I don’t know if that’s what he ended up doing. In any case, it’s I’m pretty sure everyone figured out that he was, in fact, the groom.

And the details on what he’s wearing …

Suit: Suitsupply; Shirt: Brooks Brothers; Tie and Tie Bar: TheTieBar.com, Pocket Square: Put This On.