Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Anatomy of a Daffy's Hang-Tag

While I settle into my new job, I figured I'd do a post I've been wanting to do for a while. This post will describe the finer points of the information available on a Daffy's price tag. Those out there who are true hardcore Daffy's fans may already know much of what I'm about to say, but for the casual shopper there's a lot of info to take in. And I assure you one of the points below will have you thinking about what treasures you may find on your next trip to Daffy's. (Hint: It's letter C)

A - This is the unique code which identifies every single garment at Daffy's. The only time you'll ever see two pieces with the same 13-digit code is when they are identical (though, different sizes will still be under the same number, I believe). Thus, if you ever need to find whether another store has the same item, different size or not, you can have the clerks behind the register look it up for you. Mind you, they are often very reluctant to do that as they have to go to a special computer. So be nice, and ask for a manager if the first person won't help you. Be aware, however, that given the nature of the business Daffy's is in, the whole chain is lucky to get 2 or 3 of the same exact item, so chances are always slim that there are duplicates, regardless of whether the sales people are nice enough to help you out.

B - This happens to be a unique feature of this particular hang-tag. Oftentimes, Daffy's items are designer samples, rather than closeouts, seconds, etc... - the best part is, those items are almost always cheaper and better-quality than the regular stock Daffy's gets in. So be on the lookout for any hang-tags marked 'SAMPLE' -- best deals at Daffy's.

C - This bit of text generally indicates the source/manufacturer of the garment. The tricky part is that the letters must be read backwards. In this case, the letters when read backwards spell, 'ITAL'. Believe it or not, that particular code means that the item came from Raffaele Caruso - i.e., I purchased a Caruso-made sportscoat (see item description at top of tag) for $39.99! How I know this particular correspondence is a story for another day, but most other source-designation codes are a bit easier to decipher -- I would assume this particular tag is marked this way to protect any association by the casual observer. The following are some codes for which you should keep your eyes open (listed as they would be on a Daffy's hang-tag, so make sure if you see them, you read them backwards) ---

'LOCJ' = Jey Cole Man
'TIAS' = Mastai Ferretti
'SSET' = Tessilform SPA, makers of Patrizia Pepe
'UDNI' = Incotex
'ELIM' = Milena SPA, makers of some great shirting (see prior posts)
'REHG' = Alessandro Gherardeschi
'SMAG' = Messagerie
'REIP' = Gazzarrini (stands for Piero Gazzarrini, head designer of the line)
'CCMN' = NCM SRL, makers of Futuro, Asfalto & Bocodo
'EPOC' = Copen Group, makers of some great suiting options, including Royal Hem

D - Each season of merchandise at Daffy's receives a new letter code. We are actually in season 'D' right now, which corresponds w/late-spring/summer arrivals at the store. This hang-tag is marked w/letter 'C' which means the garment came in a bit earlier in the spring season. Last winter, items were marked w/season-code 'A' --- so if you ever see any items around the store w/that letter, scoop them up - they will be extremely cheap (there are definitely bits and pieces in each store). And if the discount doesn't come up, be sure to speak w/a manager and point out that the garment is from the prior season.

E - Suggested retail price. The trick here most of the time is really to just ignore this. Believe it or not, Daffy's actually undervalues most of its clothing in the MSRP section of their tags. And, in fact, most sample items have no MSRP listed, even though they're some of the best items in the store. So while it's a decent indicator of value, you're better off knowing the brand of item you're purchasing, and the quality of the garment.

F - As much as one would think the 'Size' portion of the tag is pretty straightforward, it's actually a common misconception of Daffy's merchandise, which I still continue to make. This particular item, even though marked a size 40 both on the tag and on the inner-label, actually fits as a size 36. What happens more often than not is that the garments fit much smaller than are indicated on the tag, whether it's b/c they're made for the European market or b/c the mis-sizing is specifically why the item made its way to Daffy's in the first place.

Particularly to watch out for when looking at sizing info on a tag at Daffy's is when you're dealing w/shirts. Shirts are never marked their true size from the shirt label (i.e., 15, 15.5, 15.75, 16, etc...) - instead Daffy's marks them as S, M, L and XL. Your best bet is really just to find a shirt with your corresponding neck size. I've found, as a guy w/a size 15.5 neck, that I can pull off both 15.5 and 15.75 shirts, but generally anything size 16 and above will be too big in the body of the shirt -- yet Daffy's in its infinite wisdom marks all of those sizes (15.5, 15.75 & 16) as Mediums. So if needbe, try on several sizes and see what fits.

One glaring error which Daffy's continues to make is when they get in pants from Mabitex which are manufactured for a brand called Loewe, a Spanish-luxury retailer owned by Louis Vuitton. Those bottoms are made for the Spanish market, which has a different sizing scheme than the rest of Europe. A size 26, which is often the most common size I've seen in Loewe items, is actually a size US 32/EU 48 -- and NOT a size 26 waist, though, Daffys' hang-tag would have you thinking otherwise. Believe me, no manufacturer, American or European, is making mens' pants/shorts in a size 26 waist -- that is a boys size.

....I hope you've enjoyed my little foray into the details hidden in a Daffy's price tag. There are actually more pieces of info in there which I have yet to fully decipher, but I hope this was useful as a first-run. And yes, once again, this proves how overly obsessed I am with Daffy's - but hey, we all need a hobby :)

1 comment:

  1. Any idea what the letters IMEK (or KEMI backwards) would signify? Just picked up a nice-looking suit at 57th and Lex today with those letters on the tag. The brand is listed in the suit as "Linea Sartoriale since 1967"