Re: Shopping



Ross and Marshall's are your friend. I'm 5'9", 145, my brother is exactly your size, and we pretty much get everything there. Cheap seconds or layaways or whatever you want to call them. If you're in Boston, the downtown Filene's basement is great.

By and large, though, pants suck. I've had six pairs for five years or so, and they're all starting to wear through in the back where I keep my wallet, and head hurts.

Posted by: Dan | Link to this comment | 12- 5-04 3:14 PM
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Not down here, where one can buy a nice pair for $100, but I suspect things are cheaper all-around here. I think $100 is ungodly. But I paid $90 for some Luckys just a few months ago; I wear them every day so I don't feel too bad about it.

Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 12- 5-04 3:16 PM
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I'm six feet tall, around 150 pounds.

You're too skinny, Ogged.

and came home, pantless.

That's happened to me coming home from parties, but never from the mall.

Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12- 5-04 3:37 PM
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Your tastes are too refined, ogged.

Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 12- 5-04 3:47 PM
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That pantless line was a cheap setup just for you, you know that, apostropher.

In my skinniness defense, I will say that I'm not what you'd call big-boned. For the recent spate of weddings, I had a couple of shirts made (for less than what I saw shirts selling for today), and in the neck and wrists, the next size down would have been in kiddie territory. That was embarrassing.

Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12- 5-04 4:47 PM
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Do you wear watches? My wrists are the same size as my gf's, who's a foot shorter than me. Watches always give me trouble.

Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 12- 5-04 5:31 PM
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I dunno about men's clothes, but if you can afford it, spend the money. Why not? Consider it your little way of evening out the score in terms of what the ladies have to spend on lingerie, cosmetics (even us non-makeup wearing girls, trust me, the decent face care stuff ain't cheap), dry-cleaning, haircuts...

I hear you on all the clothes being too big. After pseudonymous kid was born, I went down about 20, 30 lbs from where I'd been before i got pregnant. I had my pants taken in, and they all look really super baggy in the hips and thighs. A good butchy dyke kinda look, I guess, but sometimes a semi-femmy girl wants to be a little more tailored, sigh...

Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12- 5-04 5:49 PM
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I've always wondered where my Iranian twin brother ended up.

The last pair of pants I bought was a pair of $20 jeans, which look like shit. The pair of pants before that were $5, and I get nothing but compliments. Neither of these came from a thrift store -- I have the good fortune to live in Podunk, Illinois, with cheap consumer goods, and wages to match.

Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 12- 5-04 5:50 PM
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I'm now wondering if it's better to pay $100 for jeans and pay to upkeep the unjustifiable salaries of some corporate board members, or to pay $250 and make my contribution for the unjustifiable salaries of some drugged-up fashion designers and runway models?

Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 12- 5-04 6:04 PM
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After I got separated in 2000, I dropped from 210 to 175 in about two months. Turns out a diet of coffee, Altoids, and cigarettes doesn't give you much in the way of nutrition. Not the weight loss program I'd recommend, but an awfully effective one, nonetheless. I was okay with it, as I was turning into one fat bastard and all my clothes were getting too tight. Now, I'm idling around 200 and my clothes are tight again. Guess I need to start casting about for a new trauma.

was a cheap setup just for you, you know that, apostropher

I only take what's mine.

Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12- 5-04 6:07 PM
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Are you near a Macy's? If so, go there. You should be able to find decent men's pants there in the $50 - $75 zone.

Posted by: fiat lux | Link to this comment | 12- 5-04 6:12 PM
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Ogged, weren't you in Italy recently? With half as much money, you could have come back with some wonderful clothes. I understand the counter-argument: travel expenses, wedding gifts, etc..., but I believe you missed a great opportunity. Don't spend your money on $295 pants. That's crazy, unless you make half a mill a year; and even then, only to impress your other rich friends, or your model girlfriend. You can get a great pair of pants for $30 to $75 at any major department store anywhere in the country. Hudson's, Goldwaters, Norstrom, and Bon Marche are examples of great places to shop. Also, have you considered having your own (preferrably Italian!), tailor? They don't generally cost as much, and if you are loyal to one for a good few years, you will get your tailored clothes at a fair price; and you don't have to struggle with the pay to upkeep the unjustifiable salaries of some corporate board members, or some drugged-up fashion designers and runway models, as suggested, (note: most Italian tailors seem to be middle-aged, short and fat men, who don't make much money). This all said, the one other suggestion is to wait and see if your ideal weight is really 150 Ibs. Give apostropher the benefit of the doubt: you might be too skinny!. Otherwise, you might spend the money now and in a short time later have a wardrobe full of very small, and very large clothes, to no avail. Also, the leaving of a great friend (the Ph.D. lady), might force some weight fluctuation upon you.) Good luck.

Posted by: Veiled | Link to this comment | 12- 5-04 7:11 PM
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Jesus wept. $295? No, that's not normal.

FWIW, I'm 6' and weight 140 lb. A few months ago I discovered Express Men. I bought a pair of jeans that quickly became my favorite pair of jeans. Then I bought a pair of dress slacks that became my favorite pair of slacks. They seem to have an America's Test Kitchen approach, and do lots of testing to see what actually fits. Or maybe I'm just lucky.

I went shopping this weekend, and bought a pair of Hugo Boss black jeans. They were from Nieman Marcus, aka "Needless Markups". They were $89- on sale, but still. $300 is silly talk.

Posted by: Ted Barlow | Link to this comment | 12- 5-04 7:39 PM
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Wow, y'all are great. First up though, this business about Macy's and Nordstrom: that's where I went. I should be clear, I'm not looking for khakis or work pants; I have those and it's true that they cost between $45-80. I need fancy pants for suit-fancy occassions when a suit isn't quite appropriate.

Even so, b, $300 for pants just seems insane to me. I'll go $150, but more than that feels dirty.

And veiled, it's true what you say about Italy, but I had just dropped nearly $2k on a suit and wasn't in any mood to shop.

So, for now, I'm holding out. Anyone have good online clothes shopping experiences?

Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12- 5-04 7:53 PM
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Try the Nordstrom Rack (you're in SoCal, no?). They generally have a wide range of styles marked down to sensible prices.

Heck, just try plain old Nordstrom. They're pretty good at having a wide range of sizes in a wide range of prices. Even The Gap and Old Navy should be able to set you up with some acceptable khakis.

LL Bean might be useful for you too.

And no, $295 is not a normal price for a pair of pants unless you're a model in the NY Times Mens Fashion Supplement.

Posted by: LarryB | Link to this comment | 12- 5-04 7:54 PM
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Sorry, cross-posted with you. You're looking for fancy-pants, eh? Try an independent, free-standing men's clothing store, the kind you find in the downtowns of waspy suburbs. They know all about the dress pants and sport jacket thing. Really.

I find it interesting that you have occasions to wear semi-dressy clothes - I really haven't needed anything in between a nice pair of corduroys and a jacket and a full-on business suit in years.

Posted by: LarryB | Link to this comment | 12- 5-04 7:58 PM
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Online clothes good experience: I bought a really nice pair of nicer-than-casual-but-not-quite-a-suit pants there a few years ago.

Oh, man, they don't sell direct any more. Um, you can get 'em a bunch of places online, but I don't know about reliability.

In general, I've been very happy with LL Bean (as mentioned above) and Land's End.

On the discount side, I've been pleased with sierra trading post ('re kind of like a Marshall's for outdoor gear, but have expanded into casual and dress clothing, and I've never had a problem returning stuff.

Posted by: Dan | Link to this comment | 12- 5-04 8:10 PM
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Lots of cross-posting going on!

Ted, you're too skinny.

Hey, that feels pretty good.

I'll look for an Express Men though.

LarryB, my location is top secret. I know the kind of store you mean though; it's the kind of place where I had those shirts made. And you're right that it's an odd clothing niche to have to fill. I recently went, you'll recall, to a friend's play, and I let myself be talked into a season package at the theater. Judging by the other theater-goers, fancy-pants are in order.

Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12- 5-04 8:11 PM
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There are such as pants, at a discount, here. Though actually the dress pants selection is kind of thin, I see.

Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 12- 5-04 8:53 PM
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I am not too keen on ordering fancy pants online. I have a suggestion which might help you. I have some very expensive suits which I use on important meetings, negotiations, etc.... Also, I have a tiered down collection of suits which I use for ordinary days at the office. The less expensive suits I have bought from $200 to $450. At times I wear the pants from my less expensive suits, without the suits; and I wear them to suit-fancy occasions, like the one you are thinking of. I won't do that with my expensive collection for the possiblity of mis-match with the jacket color. My tailor tells me that the expensive suits would never allow for shades of colors, but I just don't want to take the risk. So Ogged, why don't you spend the money on less expensive suits, and you really can get a nice suit in the range I gave you, and use the pant for your suit-fancy occasions? In essence, if you are planning to spend $200 to $300 on a pair of pants, just buy the suit, and use the pant; you will also have a jacket for bounus. Does that solve the problem?

Posted by: Veiled | Link to this comment | 12- 5-04 9:34 PM
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That's an interesting idea, veiled. I have a couple of nice cheap suits, but those are the too-big untailorable ones. Maybe you're right; maybe I should just spring a bit more money and get suits. Hmm...

Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12- 5-04 10:20 PM
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I've worn suit jackets over other pants, but I've always felt that suit pants just don't look right if they've been separated from the suit. Something about the cut, I suppose.

I'm not sure what Veiled is getting at with the discussion of color shifts. If it's from dry cleaning, my rule is always dry clean the whole suit at once. I've never had a problem with that.

I've noticed that the quality of dry cleaning varies wildly from place to place. In NYC and its suburbs, I always had good experiences. When I lived in Rochester (NY), finding a good cleaners was a total nightmare - there were basically a couple of chains with central plants and they always managed to misplace my clothes. Here in NorCal, some cleaners are great and others are a horror show, and the results bear little relationship to the price.

Thankfully, I seldom need to wear clothes that must be dry cleaned.

Coincidentally, today I was laying out a suit for a job interview on Tuesday and discovered that my favorite suit had a small moth-eaten spot on the back of the collar. Bummer. But I think I can have it rewoven. I'm wearing my second-favorite suit instead, but it needs a brown belt and shoes. And of course, I can't find my brown dress belt, so guess who has to run to the store on the way to the airport tomorrow.

Posted by: LarryB | Link to this comment | 12- 6-04 1:24 AM
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Wow, thanks for the education. I'm glad I work in a field where Docker's are considered fancy pants.

Six feet tall and 150 pounds is lean! That is something I have never been, but have always admired. I'm a mesomorph, and the grass has always looked greener on the other side.

Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 12- 6-04 9:30 AM
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dude... ebay!

the key to the search term is "NWT" (new with tag). We're talkin $15 new jeans, $10 new sweaters... so long as you know your size, it's the best thing since sliced bread

Posted by: cm | Link to this comment | 12- 6-04 10:47 AM
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What was the greatest thing before sliced bread?

Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 12- 6-04 11:12 AM
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Chopped bread.

Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12- 6-04 12:03 PM
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Do they have Club Monaco where you are? Because Club Monaco is just about the best thing in New York. And I find Banana Republic to be very reliable for dressy not-suit-dressy clothes. Also J-Crew. But then, I'm a girl.

Posted by: Claudia | Link to this comment | 12- 6-04 1:08 PM
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wow, it suddenly makes sense why people were so enthused about sliced bread.

Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 12- 7-04 12:20 AM
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Yeah, my grandfather tells me that making sandwiches with chopped bread was a real bitch.

Posted by: Mitch Mills | Link to this comment | 12- 7-04 6:26 AM
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Amazon has a very reasonable selection of clothes-- although you have to know your size and how things fit you. $200 is too much to pay for pants, especially men's pants, especially everyday men's pants. If you're in SF, try MAC (Modern Appealing Clothing) near Citizen Cake in Hayes Valley-- they're amazing, pricey, stylish casual stuff. Lots of fancy schmancy belgian designers.

Banana Republic, Club Monaco, J. Crew, Express Men, all have reasonable clothes at reasonable prices... some get pretty dressy; I think at least BR and Monaco carry suits, so...

H&M caters to very skinny types, but is probably too young/inexpensive for what you need, even if they do have suits (for under $100!).

Department stores may be your best bet-- but where were you shopping, Saks? Try Filene's Basement, Filene's (regular), Macy's, Bloomingdales, Lord & Taylor, Nordstrom. Nordstrom has really good service, but at any department store it's hit or miss-- go on in and say to the service person "I lost a lot of weight and don't know how to dress my skinny new body, can you help me?"

Specialty men's retailers: Men's Wearhouse is another one that's got reasonable, relatively inexpensive clothes and pretty good service-- they'll sell you five items that combine to be three or four different outfits. Upscale from that try Brooks Brothers & similar.

If you happen to be traveling for business, try Hong Kong, Vietnam, or Thailand for custom tailoring. My brother got several shirts in Colombia for about fifty bucks and a couple bottles of beer, but I don't know about the rest.

In NYC there's Century 21, not the realtor but the discount upscale clothier, where you can find pants half off for Only $150, usually in weird sizes like 30-inch-waist and 33-inch inseam, which is what I'm guessing you're at.

You could also try weightlifting to increase your shirt size. ;)

Posted by: verbal | Link to this comment | 12- 7-04 1:52 PM
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Wow, thanks verbal.

I'll try not to be spooked that you know that I'm a 30-inch waist and 33-inch inseam.

Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12- 7-04 2:12 PM
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Wow ogged, you really go to elaborate lengths to get your readers to gift you with slacks. I mean, that transparent Glitter Ass post was one thing, but inventing a sock puppet named "Verbal" so that you can "accidentally" inform us of your pants size??? Just ask us straight out, man, it's okay.

Posted by: Mitch Mills | Link to this comment | 12- 7-04 3:55 PM
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Ogged, buddy, I'm guessing you're looking for something in beige to light brown, probably pleated, and cuffed. Maybe something like this, but a bit snazzier. Am I right, or am I right?

Posted by: 'verbal' | Link to this comment | 12- 7-04 4:16 PM
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Hey, these are just about right, but we're talking $200 again. Do $300 pants exist only to make $200 pants seem reasonable?

Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12- 7-04 4:32 PM
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Naw, baby, what you need is some pants.

Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12- 7-04 4:38 PM
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Or skip the pants and get one of these.

Posted by: LarryB | Link to this comment | 12- 8-04 12:42 AM
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