Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Inventory Time!

While I have been bagging on Daffy's merchandise in recent posts, there are definitely still some nice items if you take the time to sift through the lesser-quality merchandise. And starting today, you'll get an extra 25% off select Fall merchandise.

I've been told that inventory (at least at one of the stores) is taking place on January 10th, so if you want to wait a few weeks, you'll likely get some bigger discounts.

Personally, I just can't wait til the Spring merchandise comes in so I can [hopefully] get myself some better quality suits -- the best merchandise always comes in in the beginning of the season (probably end of February/early March), though 'best' is relative given this past season's poor selection.

Monday, December 13, 2010

$30 Suit Update

Was able to take pictures of the brand -- 'Romano Le Collezioni' -- see below. Apparently, however, the price on these suits was changed from $30 to $90. Did Daffy's corporate get the message?

Just as a side note, if you ever see anything which says 'Designed in Italy', or 'Fabric Designed in Italy', that's a sign that the garment is not actually made in Italy, and you're likely dealing w/inferior goods -- as is the case w/these suits.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Daffy's -- Home of the $30 Suit?!?

Well, I was going to write a post explaining Daffy's business model and how they are different from other closeout stores. But today's visit to my home-base store made me push that back a bit longer -- for now I have another 'What Were They Thinking?!?' post to add to the collection (see: Bill Cosby Sweaters, below).

So -- Daffy's men's suit collection has been horrible this season. They loaded up at the beginning of the season on sister brands called 'FB Class' (to be mentioned in a later post) and 'Linen Sartoriale' -- both made in Italy, but horrible quality. They had those brands last spring and they didn't sell, yet they loaded the stores again with them this fall and now all you see on their sale racks are those suits.

However, this post is not about those two brands. Daffy's buyers apparently decided that to remedy the poor suit selection this Fall/Winter, they would bring in some uber-cheap Italian-wannabe suits. I didn't get a chance to take pictures this time, but if you see anything marked 'Romano Le Collezioni', stay far-far away. My local Daffy's had 2 or 3 racks full of these 3-button, poorly constructed suits, all marked at $30.

One of the reasons I have loved Daffy's up until now is because their suit selection was unparalleled in terms of price and quality. They never carried department-store brand suits like you'd find at Burlington Coat Factory, Filene's, Syms, etc... -- always good closeouts from Italy. But now they're selling complete and utter junk - lower quality than what those other stores are selling. Other suit brands I've seen recently at Daffy's include Axcess, sold at Kohl's, and some random tuxedos made in Bulgaria which apparently came from Boscov's.

If this blog post ever reaches anyone at Daffy's Corporate, please ask yourselves -- Is anyone going to buy a $30 suit when they know right away it's going to be sub-par merchandise?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Brands to Watch For - Suits, Coats, Etc...

While the selection of these designers at Daffy's this season has been paltry to say the least, these are three brands that Daffy's has historically carried over the last couple of years that provide excellent options for high quality, on-fashion clothing. Particularly to be mindful of is the suit selection from these labels, as Daffy's offers these Italian-made suits for $200 or less. They are the best fitting suits you will ever find at these prices.

1) Jey Cole Man -- Sadly, Daffy's has carried virtually no merchandise from this label this season. I'd probably describe the brand as a cross between Banana Republic and John Varvatos. A sophisticated-urban style, but not overly formal. Of the three listed here, the suits probably have the best construction quality. The shirting, outerwear and everything else I've seen is also done very well, always on-trend, even though what you're buying at Daffy's is generally from the previous year. Shirts and sweaters from the label are on the pricier end of what you'll find at Daffy's, probably on the order of $50-60. Sportscoats generally range from $70-$90.

2) Gazzarrini -- Daffy's has had a limited selection of Gazzarrini merchandise this season, especially the suiting has been quite disappointing with only a few pieces going to select Manhattan locations (still one or two suits at both 57th St locations). That aside, Gazzarrini is probably the most fashion-forward merchandise you'll find at Daffy's. Everything is extremely slim-fitting, and you'll often find asymmetrical shapes and funky patterns in the clothing. Suits, again, are an incredible bargain for the quality and fit, though don't expect conservative styling. You should also watch out for the outerwear and leathers in particular which are superbly done. Every so often you'll find some shoes and accessories from this label at Daffy's, but they are rare -- at the beginning of the season, look for belts, messenger bags, ties and shoes - they're very sparse and go quickly, but they're great stuff. When looking for Gazzarrini merchandise, also look for a label marked '1G' or '1st Generation' -- it is the Gazzarrini diffusion line which produces some more casual, I'd say military-inspired, garb.

3) Patrizia Pepe - Again, a paltry selection this season at Daffy's - no suits at all this Fall, and what they did carry was very limited. This is another fashion-forward label, though not as much as Gazzarrini. Still, you'll again find asymmetrical lines and interesting pieces, more experimentation with color than the other two brands mentioned here. Like the other two, the best pieces are the suits and outerwear. Never seen shoes from this label, but I've seen a few belts and ties every now and again. Great stuff if you can find it -- the women's merchandise from this label is apparently a very hot seller, but sadly most men don't have a clue what it is.

-- As a general point, be aware as to what you're getting when you see these labels. This merchandise is sold in boutiques all over Italy and in some places in Europe. It's very pricey, and Daffy's is giving it to you at an incredible discount -- if you want to compare prices, just even on a suit, look at, which sells Gazzarrini suits on closeout at upwards of $400. The problem, particularly this season for some reason, is finding the merchandise; As will be discussed in a future post, you'll have to troll multiple locations to find what you want, and the stuff comes in only once per season -- one shipment at the beginning of each season (generally March for Spring stuff, late July-early September for Fall/Winter stuff). That also requires the Daffy's buyers to have bought the merchandise in the first place (another issue to be discussed at a later time, re: Daffy's buyers, most of whom are completely out of touch with modern style).

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Apparently Bill Cosby is the Style Icon of F/W 2010-2011

If you walk into any Daffy's right now, you will see [a] huge rack[s] of sweaters that can only be described as 'Bill Cosby' sweaters (pics below). Unless I looked at the wrong calendar, I believe we're in 2010, not 1992. Though, a friend did point me to a couple of recent blog entries, here and here, and an article a few years back in  New York Magazine. Still, the sweaters featured there are modern-takes on the so-called 'Cosby Sweater'.

Daffy's buyers have filled its mens departments with these sweaters as if they came directly out of 1992, not 2010. Perhaps they're hipster-chic, but they're truly one of the more absurd items you will ever find at Daffy's. And, yes, for anyone that cares, they are Made in Italy -- so you can get a high quality Cosby Sweater if that makes a difference to you. My advice -- stay clear away from these hideous monstrosities -- be on the lookout for brands marked 'Birillo', 'Stacatto' and 'Robert Banks.'

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Are You a Yellow-Bagger?

Do you find your bedroom floor covered in a sea of yellow? Is your trunk full of yellow plastic shopping bags? If so, then you're a Yellow Bagger. For those in the know, I'm referring to a chain of closeout stores on the east coast called Daffy's. As this blog progresses I will be providing a guide to buying menswear at Daffy's - what to buy, which locations to shop, brands to look for and those to avoid, etc... all from the POV of a guy only slightly-obsessed with Daffy's.