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Flash Sale at Brooks Brothers: Up to 80% off Black Fleece

Sale ends Saturday, 4/19 at noon Eastern. Should note a weird quirk: Brooks Brothers customer service confirmed with me this morning that free 2-day shipping from ShopRunner isn’t offered on Black Fleece-only orders. However, you can get free shipping if you have at least one regular Brooks Brothers item in your cart—like a pair of $7 socks.

So I guess a 36-hour online sale is a thing Brooks Brothers is doing every weekend now? Last week was a really good discount on their top of the line luxury dress shirts, and today through mid-day Saturday its a sale on Black Fleece, Brooks Brothers’ high quality, high-priced, and highly-regarded collaboration line with designer Thom Browne.

Of course, it is Thom Browne—albeit toned-down Thome Browne—which means this sale is full of bold if not down right weird clothing.

(I actually can’t find anything I’d call really weird in this sale. Either Thom’s mellowed out a bit, or I’ve been spending too much time around #menswear.)

That said, I spent some time last night at a ridiculous hour combing through the site to pick out a few things that are fairly wearable for the average guy like myself. I tried to pick things that still have plenty of sizes in stock, but since this post is now live many hours later, it’s quite possible much of it is sold out.

As it turns out, I have a $100 Brooks Brothers gift card that I’ve been meaning to put to use. That makes for a nice discount on this grey coated cotton field jacket ($159 flash sale price) recommended by Die, Workwear! a while back, or this wool trench coat ($190), which should go well with plain navy or grey suits. It also makes this cable knit sweater ($202.50) somewhat reasonably-priced.

Of course, not everyone has a $100 gift card just sitting around. At $70, these cotton dress trousers are 80% off retail—no gift card needed, and they’ll look great with unstructured cotton blazers for a more dressed-up look this summer.

I’ve been on the look out for a casual, non-leather belt for the warmer weather we’re having, and it’s hard to argue with the $17 price tag on this macrame cotton belt—especially with an original retail price of $85. There’s also a wool flannel version in navy and red for $25.

Curiously, some of the best deals don’t even appear on the flash sale page. For example, there are a bunch of handsome Dopp kits ($30), laptop cases ($50), and briefcases ($130) that aren’t on the sale page—but judging by the 80% off discount, they should be. You can find them here.

Also missing from the sale page are pebbled leather belts going for just $25 from an original retail price of $125. All sizes still available in black and brown.

On Sale at Club Monaco: Made in America Sport Coats, starting at $279

Use promo code APRIL30 for 30% off sale merchandise, and orders over $150 ship free. Code expires Monday, 4/21.

Blue/Brown Check Houndstooth, $279

Cashmere Grey/Black Check, $349

Harris Tweed Navy/Grey Glen Plaid, $279

Cashmere Brown/Grey Windowpane, $349

Original retail on these fall/winter jackets is $575 for the wool sport coats and $750 for the cashmere sport coats, making this a very respectable discount. I don’t know who makes them for Club Monaco, but I suspect it’s Southwick, the Massachusetts company that produces tailored clothing for a number of brands, including Brooks Brothers and Todd Synder. I like the American trad details Club Monaco went with on these—all four styles appear to have hook vents and natural shoulders, and some also feature flapped patch pockets and 3-roll-2 buttoning.

As you can probably tell from the product photos, Club Monaco jackets run short with a high button stance—I size up in length from a 38S to a 38R, but I’m betting going up a chest size to a 40S may work out pretty well, too.

Speaking of sizes, most from 36S to 42L are available across the various jackets, though it’s really limited right now for the oversize houndstooth.

Hi, I enjoy your blog! This doesn't seem to get addressed very much. It's only April and already 93 here in LA. During hot weather, what types of menswear allows you to remain dapper without going into boring casual territory (ie. solid tshirt and cotton shorts), but also doesn't require you to cover every inch of your body like you would in the cooler months? Your advice would be greatly appreciated! (If you post this question please feel free to edit anyway you want.)

Asked by
lordrodli

Hey there,

I can relate with you—I was down in Southern California last week, and summers up here in NorCal are no joke, either.

An easy upgrade for the t-shirt is a nice polo shirt. Kent Wang makes great ones for $65. For a cheaper option, check out the polos from Michael Bastian’s Uniqlo collaboration—they’re $23 each, but be warned: they seem to run pretty slim.

Madras is a traditional warm weather cotton fabric. I like mine in deep, bright colors.

Also look into linen. My favorite linen shirt is this icy blue one from Brooks Brothers. They’re usually around $100 at the beginning of Spring, but drop to around $35 near the end of summer.

Linen also makes a good fabric for trousers, either by itself or part of a blend. J. Crew and Lands’ End usually stock affordable linen-cotton blend trousers in the summer.

Finally, consider going sockless (or wearing no-show socks) with loafers, boat shoes, or suede boots.

To see this all put together, this is about as dapper as I get in warm weather. I wore that to attend a graduation ceremony with temperatures in the 90s.

On Sale April 15th at vente-privee: Levi’s Vintage Clothing

They’re back.

vente-privee is featuring Levi’s Vintage Clothing tomorrow, including their usual big discounts on LVC’s much-loved 501s. Faithful reproductions of archival versions of the iconic jeans, LVC has them made in the USA with selvage denim from North Carolina’s Cone Mills.The sale tomorrow has them as low as $65, quite a discount off the retail price of $260 or so.

I picked up a few different pairs to try the different fits during one of vente-privee’s previous sales. While the 1947 button-fly version seems to get all the love, I found I preferred the 1954 501z—the first 501 with a zip-fly, it features a slimmer fit with a higher rise and a tapered leg opening. Priced at $89 during tomorrow’s sale, it’s easily my favorite pair of jeans right now, and I usually wear it a few times a week.

I’ve been given access to the line sheet for tomorrow’s sale, and it’s absolutely massive: I count over 200 different items, all menswear. Not surprisingly, most if it is jeans, chinos, and denim jackets, including what looks like a raw denim trucker for $75. Beyond that, the pieces I’m eying include the blue suede jacket ($245, from $985), a red wool Harrington ($135, from $450), sweatshirts (starting at $49, from $165), a shawl cardigan ($65, from $285), and a denim duffle ($45, from $179).

If you’re not yet a member of vente-privee, please consider joining through my referral link.

In anticipation of all the emails you’re going to get tomorrow about how to spend your tax refund, I’m reblogging a post from last year with a challenge: set aside just a few bucks from your refund to buy one personal finance book. The one I recommended last year is just $8 right now.

thisfits:

Alright, so I’m starting to see posts and emails come through from retailers innocuously suggesting how to blow spend your tax refund.

Now I wanted to write up a post about how you should take that money, open a Roth IRA, and invest it in a low-ER index fund, but let’s be honest: your mom has been bugging you about this for a while, and you haven’t done it yet, so there’s no way you’re gonna listen to me, either.

Besides, halfway through my last sentence you started thinking about Mark McNairy’s sand suede Dainite contrast sole double monks, and you’ve almost convinced yourself that they’re a refreshingly modern taken on classic menswear that are pretty much an  essential wardrobe investment, and hey, you’ve got this refund check lying around so … 

Allow me this one indulgence then: set aside just $12 to buy and read one personal finance book. Just one.

My personal recommendation: Ramit Sethi’s New York Times bestseller, I Will Teach You To Be Rich.

Don’t let the scammy name throw you off: it’s an excellent book, targeted toward the This Fits demographic: 20-something recent college grads.

For a taste of Ramit’s style, check out the video I’ve embedded in this post. His tone is abrasive, funny, and potentially offensive, but here’s the thing: it actually works.

Last week, I used some of his techniques to negotiate $140 in discounts for phone and Internet. In the past few months, I’ve also used his tactics to:

  • cut my car insurance bill in half
  • negotiate my salary, and
  • ace job interviews

Much of this advice is available for free on his site, but his book goes into more detail, while organizing and compiling everything into a more convenient form.

So go ahead and pick up those McNairy double monks. Just consider spending a fraction of that on a real investment piece.

On Sale at vente-privee: Paul Stuart and Phineas Cole

Sale starts today, April 5th, at 10am Eastern.

vente-privee is killing it these days, easily outstripping flash sale competitors like MyHabit and Ruelala in terms of desirability of goods on sale. They notch another win today with a sale featuring Paul Stuart, the venerable American menswear label best known for often colorful, high quality tailored clothing and sportswear. I own an older tweed jacket from Paul Stuart that I picked up from eBay—beautiful colors and full-canvas construction. I don’t know if the more recent offerings from Paul Stuart are up to the same standard, but they’re still very good, and this sale represents pretty steep discounts from the regular retail prices.

I’m able to share a bit of information about what will be available for this sale, with some samples pictured above: sport coats starting at $389, suits at $515, cotton trousers at $99, and wool trousers at $129. The sale also features sport coats and trousers from Phineas Cole, a slimmer-fitting, more aggressively-styled line Paul Stuart introduced in 2008. The Phineas Cole sport coats start at $389, but on average are a bit pricier than the Paul Stuart jackets. Trousers start at $135.

If you’re not yet a member of vente-privee, please consider joining through my referral link.

Solosso MTM Shirt Review

“Courtesy Of” is a series on This Fits in which I write about products that have been gifted to me for review. While I strive to be objective, I think it’s fairer to you, the readers, if I disclose when I’ve received merchandise for free.

Note: Be sure to check out the exclusive This Fits promo code at the end of this post.

I’ve developed a bit of a reputation for a boring shirt collection, especially after I shared a picture of my nearly-monotone closet here and on Facebook:

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Light blue shirts are the perennial favorites of #menswear enthusiasts everywhere, as they’re almost universally flattering and serve as reliable grounds for many jacket-tie pairings. When I started learning to dress well a few years ago, solid and striped blue shirts quickly formed the foundation of my wardrobe, as they’re hard to screw up.

All that blue can get boring and a bit formal, though, especially if—like me—you work in a more relaxed office environment where a sport coat is the upper limit of formality. As my taste and sense of style congeal, I’m finding that my wardrobe may benefit from more variety in my shirts.

So when Jan Klimo of Solosso approached me about reviewing one of their made-to-measure shirts, I decided to take the opportunity to venture out of my comfort zone and experiment with both color and pattern. 

A Swiss-Singaporean company, Solosso’s shirts are made in Thailand. With so many online MTM operations producing shirts in Asia, Solosso seeks to distinguish itself by emphasizing an ethos of corporate social responsibility. While that term is almost thoughtlessly bandied about in the corporate world these days, I get the sense that Solosso really means it—it guides the decisions they make about every aspect of their business, from where they source their raw materials, to how they compensate their workers, to how they ship their product. It’s an interesting angle, but I’m honestly not convinced that it’s compelling enough to sway very many men from one online MTM company to another. The deciding factor is typically value for money, as measured by how well Solosso stacks up against their competitors in making a high-quality shirt at an affordable price. I can’t really evaluate their sustainability practices, but I can say a thing or two about their shirts.

I opted for a brown and purple check in an 80s 2-ply Egyptian cotton. I almost never wear ties during the week, leaving my shirt collar open, so I selected an unfused button-down collar in the hopes that it would create a nice roll. When I ordered the shirt, an unfused collar was a special request, but Solosso has since introduced it as an option in the design stage.

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After choosing fabric and collar, it’s on to selecting your shirt details. Although I’m not  thin, I choose the slim cut and a darted back after consulting with Jan. I also went with a chest pocket since it’s a more casual shirt, and an “enhanced” tail since I intend to always tuck it in. I selected a split yoke back as a bit of a test for Solosso: when well-executed, it should allow the patterns to line up neatly at the shoulder seams. Some people also contend that a split yoke offers a better fit in the shoulders, but that seems to be an advantage only for bespoke, where a tailor can adjust the shirt by hand to the unique contours of a client’s body.  For their part, Solosso discounts the fit benefits of a split yoke and emphasizes the pattern-matching.

I requested a monogram, appreciating that Solosso lets you put one in the lower left above the belt line, my preferred position. To avoid previous bad decisions in regards to monogram thread color, I elected to go with “Match fabric” as the thread and let the tailor decide. Finally, Solosso allows and encourages custom requests in a notes area—along with the above-mentioned unfused collar, I also asked for longer collar points, hoping that would help enhance the collar roll.

As with most other online MTM companies, Solosso offers three methods of providing measurements: submitting body measurements, submitting measurements of a shirt that fits well, or sending in a shirt to be copied. As with previous online MTM companies, I opted to submit my own measurements. As always, I recommend having someone else measure you, rather than attempting to do it yourself. The measurements stage in Solosso’s ordering process is quite good, offering well-written descriptions and clear photos that show exactly how the measurement should be taken. Measurements can be entered in either centimeters or inches. I chose metric since I figured they’re a bit more precise, and perhaps the tailors in Thailand would be more familiar with them, but I’m not certain it mattered all that much. 

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That’s pretty much the entire order process. I got a shipment notification from Jan about two and a half weeks after placing my order. Shipping is free, and Solosso follows through on their commitment to sustainability by offsetting the carbon footprint of shipment through a partner organization. Shipped by DHL, the package left Thailand, routed through Europe, and arrived at my front door in just over three weeks. Thus, the total time from placing my order to delivery was almost six weeks. That seems a bit long compared to other online MTM companies I’ve dealt with, but it’s not the sort of thing I get upset over.

The packaging is the nicest I’ve seen from an online MTM shirt company: the overall impression is luxurious, no small feat given that the box is made with recycled paper.  The shirt is wrapped in crepe paper held closed with a wax seal, a detail I liked. My package included their standard stainless steel collar stays with the shirt, although I have no need for them with a button-down collar. They also gifted me a white linen pocket square, monogrammed and with plump hand-rolled edges. I’m not sure if this is standard for all first-time customers or special treatment for me as a blogger, but it certainly was a nice gesture.

The shirt itself certainly seems well-made: the fabric is crisp, the stitching very fine and straight, and there are the sort of little details you expect in a quality shirt, such as gusseted side seams. The mother-of-pearl buttons on my shirt are nice, but kind of thin. It’s funny, though—before I could even mentioned that to Jan, he contacted me and asked whether I thought they should use thicker mother-of-pearl buttons. Naturally I said yes, and a few weeks later, Solosso announced that they’re rolling out thicker mother-of-pearl buttons as standard for all shirts. Nice!

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I tried on the shirt after a wash. The slim fit isn’t too slim, so there’s no puckering or pulling under the arms or at the buttons. The sleeves, which I’ve messed up in the past on MTM shirts, are pretty close to ideal—maybe a half centimeter too long. I also wish the wrists were a bit tighter. These are nitpicks, though: overall the shirt fit very well, and it’s held up through several subsequent washes. I’m quite pleased.

I like how the collar rolls when the shirt is worn tieless, and as to with a tie … like Foo, I honestly have no idea what “good collar roll” is supposed to look like, so I’ll let you be the judge of that.

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As for my experiment with color and variety—while the shirt’s fabric is nice, I don’t think the pattern looks very good on me. The check is dense, resulting in a muted overall tone, especially from a few feet away. I’m probably more flattered by something with more of the white ground showing, such as a tattersall or graph check. That doesn’t change the fact that it’s a lovely shirt, though, and it’s found its way into my weekly rotation.

Solosso made-to-measure shirts start at $89. My shirt—made of 2-ply Egyptian cotton and with an optional monogram—would normally be $129. Given the quality and the fit of the shirt I received, I’d say that’s a fair price—and that’s to say nothing of the additional benefit one might place on working with a company that seems to sincerely emphasize social responsibility.

As it happens, Solosso is running a “Buy 2, Get 1 Free” special on their shirts through the end of this week, with promo code BUY2GET1FREE. That means you can get three made-to-measure shirts for as little as $59 each—a tremendous value, if you ask me.

If you don’t needthree shirts, Solosso is also offering a generous discount to all This Fits readers. Simply use promo code THISFITS for 25% off your order through the end of April.

To start designing your own custom shirt, visit www.solosso.com.

On Sale at vente-privee: Santoni Goodyear-Welt Shoes

Sorry for the short notice—the sale ends tomorrow, April 2nd, at 9 AM Eastern—but I definitely thought this was worth a mention.

Santoni creates several lines of varying quality—I’d be wary of the loafers in this sale, but their “Classic” line of Goodyear-welt shoes are generally considered a solid buy, comparing favorably with Alden. Full retail on these ranges from around $500 to over $600, but in this sale they’re starting at $289. In other words, if you’re in the market for a pair of Allen Edmonds, seriously consider taking a look.

Pictured above are the split toe Thorpe, cap toe blucher Remington, brogued balmoral Townsend, and the cap toe oxford Griffen.

For myself, I went ahead and placed an order for the Thorpe. I’ve been wanting to try a split toe shoe for some time, and the Santoni Thorpe is praised on the various men’s style forums for its versatility and solid construction.

Someone also ought to check out the Griffen and the Remington—both shoes have been made with shell cordovan in the past.

If you’re not yet a member of vente-privee, please consider joining through my referral link.

Restocked at Sierra Trading Post: Wolverine 1000 Mile Seconds

Use promo code SITEFOOL414 for 30% off.

When Sierra Trading Post stocks Wolverine 1000 Mile seconds—footwear with slight defects—it’s easily the best time to get the much-loved US-made boots. The sale price stacked with one of STP’s frequent promo codes often gets them under $175, a significant discount from the full retail price of $350 and up.

Word already got out on /r/frugalmalefashion last night, so inventory is disappearing quickly, but STP started this current batch of restocks over the weekend, and it’s possible they’ll continue to do so through the week. All the models pictured above are included in the sale: the apron toe Courtland (which I don’t recall seeing in previous sales), the closed lacing Rockford, the wingtip Addison, and the flagship 1000 Mile boot.

30% off isn’t the best promo code STP offers—a 40% off code just expired last night—but this batch of boots could well sell out before a better one comes around. Take a look while they’re still in stock.

Yesterday.

Say what you will about the failure or success of the abruptly-terminated York Street collaboration between J. Press and the Ovadia brothers—I’m just glad they offered this slimmer-fitting, “Made in Scotland” Shaggy Dog Shetland sweater that actually fits my 5’7” frame. Well under $100, too, during the recent clearance sale on York St. merchandise.

Bonobos, Lands’ End, York Street by J. Press, LVC, Peal & Co.

Yesterday.

Say what you will about the failure or success of the abruptly-terminated York Street collaboration between J. Press and the Ovadia brothers—I’m just glad they offered this slimmer-fitting, “Made in Scotland” Shaggy Dog Shetland sweater that actually fits my 5’7” frame. Well under $100, too, during the recent clearance sale on York St. merchandise.

Bonobos, Lands’ End, York Street by J. Press, LVC, Peal & Co.

On Sale at vente-privee: Walk-Over Shoes, starting at $105

Goodyear-welted, made in America (in Pennsylvania, if I recall correctly), perfect for the warmer weather coming our way (suede bucks, anyone?), and reputedly very comfortable.

While the suede shoes are my favorite—especially the boot and bucks above—there are also saddle shoes, wingtips, and loafers on sale.

If you’re not yet a member of vente-privee, please consider joining through my referral link.

Wore my other eHaberdasher Benjamin suit today, so I figured I might as well take a shot in the same location for a little comparison.

This grey suit (overdue for a visit to the cleaners) is the older Classico model; yesterday’s navy suit is the Napoli. The main difference visible in the two shots is the lower lapel gorge on the Classico: note how it lines up with the shoulder line, whereas the gorge on the Napoli rises above the shoulder. Given a choice, I prefer the Classico’s more moderate gorge height, which I suspect is more trend-resistant.

The Napoli also has wider shoulders than the Classico; I expected it would be too wide for me before trying it on, but I wonder now if that’s why the Napoli has cleaner arms than the Classico.

Shirt is a light blue striped Tyrwhitt, tie is E.G. Cappelli, square is Robert Talbott.

Wore my other eHaberdasher Benjamin suit today, so I figured I might as well take a shot in the same location for a little comparison.

This grey suit (overdue for a visit to the cleaners) is the older Classico model; yesterday’s navy suit is the Napoli. The main difference visible in the two shots is the lower lapel gorge on the Classico: note how it lines up with the shoulder line, whereas the gorge on the Napoli rises above the shoulder. Given a choice, I prefer the Classico’s more moderate gorge height, which I suspect is more trend-resistant.

The Napoli also has wider shoulders than the Classico; I expected it would be too wide for me before trying it on, but I wonder now if that’s why the Napoli has cleaner arms than the Classico.

Shirt is a light blue striped Tyrwhitt, tie is E.G. Cappelli, square is Robert Talbott.