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Topic # 239830 6-Aug-2018 22:00
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For context, a little bit about me:

 

Mid 30s and small/slim sized professional guy. Mercifully I don't have to wear a suit for work -- my preferred attire for both work and social occasions is a nice dress shirt, plus a pair of chinos/smart denim and then a nicer bomber jacket or blazer on top with either dress shoes or smart sneakers. 

 

I'm time poor and can't really be bothered going the route of getting clothing made-to-measure, so will always buy off-the-rack. Plus I work at a corproate where most of the men dress pretty badly/casually, so being too over-the-top just looks odd. Essentially, my preferred brands of choice are mostly the mid to mid-high tiers of off-the-rack brands (e.g. Barkers, Country Road, Rembrandt and Ben Sherman). Don't find the likes of Working Style and Crane Brothers to be worth the money.

 

It's unbelievable to me how hard it is to buy nice off-the-rack clothing at my preferred tier. The suckiness of the experience comes not only as a result of the often poor quality of the products and crap pricing but also (in my eyes) through a combination of poor retailing practices and just all round stupidity on the part of the sellers.  I'd love to know whether others feel the same way.

 

1. The dreaded colour fading on dress shirts - I wash my stuff 100% in-line with the instructions but, without fail, colours randomly come off the collars of all my blue Barkers shirts, in addition to random places near buttons. Their other colours are pretty prone to fading as well. Nicholas Jermyn's shirts also all have to be binned after a year due to this issue. And I rotate up to around 15 shirts, so I only wear anything 2 to 3 times a month max.  Rembrandt and Country Road do seem vastly superior in terms of quality although CR wouldn't know style variety within a season's range even if it hit them via a meteor.  

 

2. Ludicrous RRP - does anyone seriously think that your average Barkers or Country Road shirts are worth between $120 to even up to around $150 for so called travel shirts that need less ironing? I honestly very rarely see anybody buy any men's dress shirts at any of the named boutiques at full price.

 

3. Chain stores that don't act like chain stores - Country Road is the worst in this regard. I find that if you want to buy their business shirts, you frequently have to run around all their Auckland stores to find the style and/or size that you want. Certain stores basically never stock anywhere near the full range of anything. And if you think you can buy online.....

 

4. Do they know what omni-channel retailing is? - Online stores that almost always run out of a full range of sizes/never have them. CR I am looking at you.

 

5. Pointless, unexplained and unnotified changes in sizing - Buying from Barkers in this regard is the most painful. Even shirts from the same season's range (of the same size and fit) will often range from some being big and flappy like a wing suit whilst others I basically risk ripping the clothes at the seams, with the lats and chest being so tight as to be unwearable. So every shirt that I buy from Barkers I collect and then try at a retail store, in case I need to get a refund. I have no words for how stupid this is. Mercifully, no other brand named here seems to suffer from this.

 

Get your clothes buying bugbears off your chest!

 

 

 

 


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  Reply # 2069006 6-Aug-2018 22:57
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Have you tried RM Williams?

 

 

 

For that kind of shopping, I highly recommend a holiday to the USA. A great deal more choice and much better quality usually, as well as cheaper.

 

 

 

I think my biggest bugbear would be the lack of choice combined with the - as you point out - ludicrous prices. For me, clothes are things to keep you warm/keep you dry/stop you getting arrested/stop you scaring the horses. I used to buy expensive stuff when I had office jobs. Now I do not and unless I am actually on location or seeing clients, I will wear the same old stuff over and over until it falls to bits. Drives my wife nuts. For example, one of the T shirts I wear for mowing etc (because it had too many holes even for me to wear it to the shops!) came from Lands End's Outlet Store in Somerset when I first met my wife. That was 15 years ago and that T shirt still has regular wear. It was pretty cheap - probably the equivalent of $30 - but because Lands End is a good, solid basic make, it is still plodding on. Can't get Lands End here of course...

 

 

 

I have pointed out before that clothes and shoes sold in NZ that come from overseas have an additional 10% Duty on top of GST which only adds to the expense. Since probably at least 90% of clothes and shoes sold here come from overseas, it is just the least logical application of tariffs I can imagine.All it achieves is making almost everything 10% more expensive.






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  Reply # 2069040 6-Aug-2018 23:20
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Err yep. And in other news, Lands end.com seems to ship here!


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  Reply # 2069042 6-Aug-2018 23:44
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howsitgoing:

 

Err yep. And in other news, Lands end.com seems to ship here!

 

 

 

 

It does but only very recently. If you want to pay more shipping costs etc. and buy the stuff without being able to try it on and then have the expense of international shipping to return it etc etc In a number of locations they have actual physical shops.

 

 

 

They do have a pretty cast iron Guarantee. It says you can return an item at "any time" for a full refund if you're not happy. Maybe I should try sending back my knackered old mowing shirt!

 

 

 

We stand behind our goods and services and trust you will be happy with your purchase. In the event you're not, we have two words to help you rest easy: Guaranteed. Period.®
"If you're not satisfied with any item, simply return it to us at any time for an exchange or refund of its purchase price."






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  Reply # 2069052 7-Aug-2018 02:28
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At least you guys can actually find clothes that fit. I have large thighs in relation to my waist. This makes buying any shorts or pants extremely difficult. As clothing retailers assume that you are somewhere on a scale between beanstalk skinny, and morbidly obese. They haven't yet figured out that there are other body types. Loose fit looks like super skinny fit on me, unless I buy a waist size that is 10-20cm bigger than my actual waist size. If I try to buy my actual waist size, I can barely move, assuming that I can even successfully put them on in the first place.

I'm actually forced to buy shorts and jeans from Aliexpress. As they are about the only place that sells cheaper clothes that fit me. I tried visiting every men's clothing store in both Dressmart Onehunga, and Westfield Albany. The Just Jeans outlet store at Dressmart had a pair of athletic fit jeans. Which actually fitted me. I asked for some more, and they told me that that was the last pair in the whole country, and that that style was the most popular at that store. (I would have bought 10 pairs right then and there If they were available). Presumably head office don't actually talk to the stores, as that style is now unavailable.

I might have to start doing what my Maori and Islander friends do. And start wearing rugby shorts.

And then there is shoes, it turns out that my feet are also wider than normal, more problems there.

And retailers wounder why everyone shops online from overseas websites.

Someone even did a Kickstarter, which was solely offering jeans that fit people like me. And it raised 49X its original goal.

https://www.shopify.co.nz/blog/barbell-apparel-bootstrapping

Which shows that market research is an unknown concept to clothing companies.





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  Reply # 2069068 7-Aug-2018 06:54
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My biggest bugbear is the drop in quality of clothing. There used to be a time when if you brought a top brand i.e Ralph Lauren. They used heavyweight fabrics and manufacturing techniques that would last decades. Now even the top brands use lightweight fabrics which get holes and tears so easily. Bring back quality - I'm happy to pay more.





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  Reply # 2069080 7-Aug-2018 07:31
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Geektastic:

 

For that kind of shopping, I highly recommend a holiday to the USA. A great deal more choice and much better quality usually, as well as cheaper.

 

 

 

 

This. My wife is Canadian and we go back every 2-3 years, pretty much the only time I do any clothes shopping in an outlet mall in the US because shopping here is so meh. It's be an interesting experiment to do the maths and see how many years shopping it would take to make it cost the same as a trip to Dress Mart.

 

 

 

 


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  Reply # 2069087 7-Aug-2018 08:14
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I buy 90% of my clothes and shoes in the US simply because I can buy sizes over there that fit me for both. Not having to get pants/jeans shortened and actually being able to find so many shoes in 4E widths makes shopping enjoyable.

 

I last went shopping for a new pair of jeans here about 3 years ago and after visiting every retailer one weekend couldn't find a single pair that fitted with the major problem being they were all too tight through the thighs or when I did find some they didn't have the correct size or length.

 

I'm lucky I'm normally in the US at least a couple of times per year so can do my shopping there. Many people aren't quite so lucky.

 

As for shoes I find it interesting that with the large number of Polynesian and Maori people with big feet (that are also wide) that buying wide shoes is such a nightmare here.

 

 


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  Reply # 2069096 7-Aug-2018 08:35
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My bugbear is shoes from non shoe companies - avoid them. For instance, if you see shoes in a CK, Hilfiger etc store - avoid. They seem to contract cheap shoes rebranded that fall apart in six months. Stick to shoe companies for shoes that last for years

 

 


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  Reply # 2069101 7-Aug-2018 08:54
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I buy Levis from Amazon. Shipped via YouShop. I wear jeans to work every day.

 

They fit, and they are available in more than just rinsed blue.

 

I also buy a t-shirt every time I buy a pair of jean from them - I can get named brands that fit me.

 

I'm a USA 2XL or 3XL. If I bought a 2XL T-shirt from a NZ retailer, there is no way it would fit. Sometimes Farmers has clothes that fit, with proper sizing indicated. The warehouse - never.

 

Same with Shoes - I take a 12.5-13, but wide-ish. I think places like the Warehouse and No.1 shoes possibly do not have one pair of leather(ish) shoes in their whole store that fit me.

 

When i was in the UK recently (and Germany) it was so nice to go into their stores and actually find clothes and shoes that fit. M&S was great (and they occasionally ship here for free).


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  Reply # 2069106 7-Aug-2018 09:00
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https://www.theiconic.co.nz/

 

Free next day delivery from Australia with free returns for any reason within 30 days (for over $40 orders). You can also do returns for 110% store credit.  I often order the same shirt pants in a couple of sizes and return the ones that don't fit.

 

Massive range with very regular sales.  Haven't stepped foot in a clothing store since I found it.


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  Reply # 2069109 7-Aug-2018 09:09
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Every year or two I take a long weekend trip to Melbourne and hit the DFS outlet malls. 

 

I usually find Levis at 3 for $150.

 

I bought a Cambridge jacket last time for $450 (RRP $250).

 

Rod and Gunn shirts cheaper than you will ever see them in NZ.

 

The good thing about Melbourne is that due to its climate you can buy warm clothing too.

 

 

 

In NZ: -

 

- I find 3 Wise men's shirts are reasonable quality and you can buy 3 for $300.

 

- RM Williams as mentioned make great shorts (bit pricey though).





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  Reply # 2069115 7-Aug-2018 09:18
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And my wife wonders I buy work clothes in bulk. I find a business shirt that fits well and I like the style of, so I buy 5 of them. Find a pair of trouser that also fit well, I buy them in navy, grey, tan, black etc...

 

 

 

I hate shopping and I never spend good money on work clothes as I punish them. For work clothes I prefer to buy cheap/on sale and just replace them. I don't find I get a longer wear from more expensive brands.

 

 

 

For casual clothes its a different story. Ted Baker is my go-to for good quality off the shelf clothing that fits me well but the cost of it here is incredible. 


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  Reply # 2069116 7-Aug-2018 09:19
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A bit like MikeAqua - I generally shop for clothes about once every two years at the Waikele outlet malls outside Honolulu. Stock up on a pair of jeans, pair of work slacks, half a dozen or so assorted golf shorts, polos and tees, a few packs of gruds, pair or two of togs, pair of work shoes, pair of golf shoes etc and I'm more or less good to go for another couple of years.

 

Needless to say, clothes shopping for me is a chore to be be got out of the way. Some people seem to shop for recreation.

 

 

 

 


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  Reply # 2069154 7-Aug-2018 09:53
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Another one here who shops overseas for all the reason listed above.

 

N.Z. letter sizing follows no discernible standard. Sometimes I swim in a M and sometimes an XL is just right. I never-ever pre-order tee shirts when a club/team/group wants me to buy one. It's the same as buying a raffle ticket - you might win, but most likely you're going the be disappointed and throw it away.

 

2nd vote of fabric being too light. Many new tee shirts are thinner and more flimsy than my 10 y.o. worn out tee shirts. Why would I buy a pre-worn out tee shirt when I already have a draw fill of them?


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  Reply # 2069157 7-Aug-2018 09:57
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I am a conservative dresser, the shops I use most are Rodd and Gunn, R M Williams and Bullick Blackmore in Masterton. My biggest bugbears are shoe sizes that are not standard across brands, buttons that are not sewn on properly and Malls that will have 50 womens clothes shops and two to four mens, it is one of the many reasons I avoid shopping Malls if I can.





Mike
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The views stated in my posts are my personal views and not that of any other organisation.

 

 Mac user, Windows curser, Chrome OS desired.

 

The great divide is the lies from both sides.

 

 


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