Thursday, June 11, 2015

Hey Guys, It Doesn't Cost a Fortune to Look Good

It's 2:30 in the afternoon and at the Marshalls near La Canada, California, (the town where the Disney executives live) you can see attractive, affluent Korean-American women accessorizing with their St. John suits. You can't get a St. John suit at Marshalls, just as men can't get a Brioni or Armani suit, but these women can find items to complement their outfits.
For women, shopping at Marshalls has limited possibilities, but for a guy who isn't afraid to wait for the right month, he can score a Hugo Boss sport coat or a Ralph Lauren Polo suit. In fact when I think of Ralph Lauren, I think of Marshalls. A guy who wants to look well-dressed can buy Polo shirts, ties and underwear there. Surprisingly, I picked up a Cole Haan trenchcoat that  wears like iron.
A lot of women who dress well go to Marshalls and get disappointed. But because guys aren't very good shoppers you don't have much competition and it's a movable feast.
Here's how it works. Suppose Polo contracts with someone to produce 130 suits for them. The factory will make 150 and sell 20 to Marshalls. Since men's clothing varies much less than clothing for women, frequently (just like with a Lexus) last year's model will be hard to tell from this year's.
This is not the place for guys who shop at Barney's. Marshalls isn't going to carry menswear that is that avant-garde. But, especially if you can live with a modified preppy look you can come up with good-looking clothing all year round. It's the best place to shop for cashmere sweaters. They're all made in China anyways, so you have nothing to be embarrassed about. And since the Macy's Cashmere sweaters, which cost more, all end up pilling, you're way ahead of the game.

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