Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving Weekend Recap Part 1 - Daffy's

This will be a multi-parter, just b/c of the sheer amount of stuff and the little time which I have to update the blog at the moment. So, in general Daffy's stores are at that point in the season where most of the locations have basically nothing worthwhile - While there's a great selection of shirts from Milena SpA in each store right now, including lots of boxed shirts from Carrell and Del Siena, the rest of the items leave a lot to be desired. Here are the highlights:

44th & Broadway (Times Square) store:
-- Large amounts of Transit (made in Italy); Probably the best selection in the entire chain right now. Includes a number of items I have yet to see in other locations.

-- A huge selection of items from Tyrone's is available only at this store as well - Tyrone's is a high-end men's boutique out on Long Island; Daffy's gets shipments once a season from them. Pics to the sides show the items available, including suits and blazers from Isaia (to the left), Pal Zileri, Zegna (above), Belvest and Boglioli. And in the Pal Zileri merchandise, there were a few 3-piece tuxedos which caught my eye as well. There were also plenty of casual items, including shirts from Luciano Barbera, pants from Valentini and jeans from Agave Denim. 
-- By far my favorite items however, were suits and sportcoats from Tombolini (made in Italy) (right). The construction and design on this stuff just far exceeds anything I've seen at Daffy's for these prices -- $199/suit, $89.99 and up for blazers. Sadly, for both the Tyrone's merchandise and the Tombolini items, they were all in larger sizes (read: nothing below a size 40 jacket size, and size 34 pant size). All items were marked as Samples (always the best stuff).

57th St. East Side: Large amount of suits and blazers from Beau Brummel, a small boutique based in Soho. Most were branded with the store name, or a brand called "Giovanni Gentile". There was also one double-breasted suit from Thierry Mugler (made in Italy) (see pic to the left - pretty awful, but Mugler usually has some pretty strange designs to begin with). Again, mostly large sizes though there was one suit in a size 38, still too big for me (I'm a 36). The same selection found its way to the Jersey Gardens location, including the Thierry Mugler suit.

44th & Madison: A few blazers from Beau Brummel, under the store brand; decent quality

18th St: The only place I saw this stuff, and hopefully it will stay that way, but this store had several items from a men's lingerie company called 'Mansilk', including men's thongs in deep red colors. I understand there's an audience for that, but not my cup of tea.

East Hanover, NJ: Only store that had snow suits from an Italian company called 'BITING'. Can't find much about the company, but seems that these things go for well over $100 in the EU- Link

Several stores also got in some Joseph Abboud chukka boots, which were decent. Off 5th stores also seemed to get in the same items.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

A Sign of the Future?

A very good read on the closing of the entire Syms/Filene's Basement chain.  Just because people are now looking for bargains and discounters are doing well, doesn't mean everyone is profiting - a warning to our friends in Daffy's corporate that it's time to shape up. WSJ Article

I will have a full report on my live tweeting adventures later this weekend on the blog. For those of you that missed the tweet regarding 44th & Broadway - they got in a HUGE shipment of merchandise from Tyrone's (check prior posts), which included a number of great looking suits from Isaia and Pal Zileri, and sportscoats from Zegna, Belvest and Boglioli. And the store also got in suits from Tombolini (made in Italy) - those things were truly awesome - $199 each - a steal.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgivng! + Live Tweet Update

Happy Thanksgiving!

Per request of some readers out there, here are pics of the Santoni shoes I picked up at Marshalls last week - one is a pair of beige suede brogues w/rubber sole, the other is a pair of gray suede ankle boots also w/rubber soles, both of which I'm saving for Spring. There were some nicer ones in the store w/full leather sole, but none in my size and I was too excited to remember to take my phone out for a few snapshots.

And a quick update on Daffy's merchandise - I stopped into Philly on Wednesday, literally just to wish the staff a good holiday, and a glance of my eye caught wind of the fact that they're now selling Norelco and Panasonic shavers. I truly hope this is just a seasonal thing for the holidays.

Anyway, I will be starting my live tweeting tomorrow (!/yellowbaggers) around 10AM eastern from the 44th & Madison store in NYC. The plan then calls for the new Times Square store at 44th & 8th, then 34th St., then Soho, then 18th St., then a brief stop at the TJMaxx/Marshalls combo on 18th St. a few blocks away, then back uptown to the two Daffy's on 57th St. All in all I'm planning on 7 Daffy's total, and will be live-tweeting from all of them if everything goes to plan. Saturday will continue with stops in three Jersey stores - Paramus, Totowa and East Hanover. Sunday may be a Daffy's-free day, though I may stop over in the two Elizabeth stores if I have time to kill on my drive back down to Philly. So it's possible I may visit literally one dozen Daffy's in the next three days. Why, you ask? I have an addiction :)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011 Spring Preview + Live Tweeting This Weekend just opened up its preview section for Spring merchandise. I don't see any Daffy's stalwarts listed there yet in terms of brands, outside of Incotex, but definitely some nice stuff coming. Check out the selection here.

On a separate note, I will be hitting numerous Daffy's locations starting in NYC on Friday, will be continuing through Sunday at the NJ stores.  I will likely be live-tweeting as I visit each Daffy's location. Follow along at -!/yellowbaggers

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Mid-Week Update

Somehow managed to get out of work early today, so I stopped in by Daffy's for a minute just to take a look around; surprisingly, the store had gotten a lot of stuff in early this week, whereas most weeks the majority comes in on the Friday truck.

Tons more shirts from Milena SpA (made in Italy),  especially under the Del Siena and Carrel marks. Very nice stuff indeed, $29.99, as per usual. Unsure if most stores will be putting these out on the racks or leaving them in boxes. Will vary by store depending on how many shirts they get in/how much room they have.

Small selection of ties from Bruno Piatelli (made in China), slim cut; last season I was not impressed with these, but they're better quality than almost all the new ties they got in from Kenneth Cole, Geoffrey Beene, Penguin, etc... - a few very nice wool ties, though they're 50/50 wool and poly, but no one will be able to tell the difference. $19.99 a pop.

Shoes from R.J. Colt and Unlisted by Kenneth Cole. The RJ Colt ones had these huge lug soles, almost like they came off a 70's disco floor, really ugly. And the Unlisted shoes weren't much better. Avoid both at all costs.

In sportswear, seems like all the stores got in a selection of Avia athletic shorts, though none in a size small, and just came in this week were some pretty awful fleece sweatshirts under that label as well - I mean, if the fleece feels cheap, it can't be good.

Finally, all sale merchandise is an additional 25% off. There are some good deals to be had there, especially on items from Sait/Mastai Ferretti, and jeans from William Rast that are already marked down to approx. $47.

And for those of you w/access to the new store on 44th & 8th, it has been reported that there are blazers from Ortenzi, and pants from Tombolini, both made in Italy and highly recommended by yours truly.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

New Times Square Store Opens Tomorrow, 10AM

According to Daffy's Facebook and Twitter accounts, the new Times Square store will be opening tomorrow at 10AM. The store is at 44th St. between 8th & Broadway. I will have full reports in a week and a half, but until then, please send reports if you get a chance to stop by. Specifically looking for details of any new merchandise that hasn't been seen in any other stores as of yet - perhaps there's an unlikely chance that they've been saving Mabitex for the new opening (more like zero chance, but one can always hope).

And for those of you keeping track of what I honestly believe is kind of absurd -- there are also stores at 44th & Madison, 34th & Broadway and 57th & 7th, all within an easy 15-20 minute walk or 5 minute subway ride of this new store.

Monday, November 14, 2011 Now Open

As if we needed another discounter entering the online market, Loehmann's just launched an online service, which features men's and women's apparel. Surprisingly, they decided to skip the flash-sale trend, and go for the traditional online retail environment.

What's not surprising, however, is the poor men's selection and steep prices. You can take a few seconds and look yourself, but I don't believe there's much there worth your time or money.


Saturday, November 12, 2011

Marshalls, Century & Twitter

So not much at Daffy's this week; really the only new merchandise that I saw as of Friday were some scarves - $39.99 for ones from Portolano, and $24.99 for ones from Altea (made in Italy). Both nice things, though I'm quite happy w/the $13.99 ones they've had out for the last month or so, also made in Italy.

Not merchandise related, but --- the Daffy's Facebook page keeps teasing that the new store is opening soon. I never really quite understood the purpose other than its Times Square location, b/c they've got so many other stores right in that area. But I'll be checking it out over Thanksgiving break if it's open at that point. Wondering if there will be merchandise exclusive to that store, or what, if anything, it will be stocking that's particularly special.

The Philly store had some interesting news -- according to some employees, the building down here has been sold by Daffy's corporate. I am unable to confirm this story, and it is only rumor at the moment, but would be interesting to see if they move to a new location as the space that is there is simply not being used to capacity. Sale of the building does not mean that they are necessarily moving, it may just be that corporate thought it was a good time to cash in, and possibly get out of having to make any necessary repairs to the building that's on the older side.

In other news ---

Yellow Baggers is now on Twitter -!/yellowbaggers -- The twitter feed will mainly be a short summary of blog posts, but it will also be an easier way to post updates when I simply don't have time to write out an entire blog entry.

Was back home today to help out with some family matters, and stopped in at the local Marshalls. They had a small assortment of beautiful Santoni (made in Italy) shoes, all marked at $99.99. I picked up two pair for myself. Quite an awesome price. Doubtful that they're offering this stuff at many other locations.

And finally, I found out after returning a tie at Century 21 that I'm on the "frequent refunder" list (or at least that's what the CSR called it). Apparently my credit card/membership card is flagged that I've returned too many items in the past --- so in order to return a $20 tie, I had to spend an extra 20 minutes, waiting for three different managers to sign off on the return. I get that they want security, but that's just absurd and makes me not want to shop in the store anymore. Not a way to treat a customer with so-called "Gold Member" status - sure I've returned a number of things, but you don't have to treat me like I'm on the 10 Most Wanted list or something.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

eBay for Inspiration

Every so often I come across some eBay retailers that are hawking some pretty incredible Italian merchandise for very little, and I'm always intrigued by the brands that never seem to pop up at Daffy's and/or Yoox. One such eBay retailer goes by beverlyhillsbazaar ("BHB") - there are alter-egos of this account, and prior accounts for the same seller from what I can tell.

Some labels I've come across on the eBay account that I wish we could get at Daffy's - Angelo Nardelli (they sell tons of this stuff), Cycle, Reign, Luigi Baldo; shoes from Certo, OXS, Buttero and others; and accessories from the likes of Tino Cosma and Tardini. Names you rarely see anywhere else, though I've come across some of these items on Yoox and in Century 21 in NYC.

By no means is this an endorsement of the seller's services; I bought literally one item from the seller nearly two years ago. I just wanted to enlighten everyone to the fact that there are other sources of merchandise out there -- how some of these sellers get the merchandise is beyond me in terms of who originally retails this stuff State-side, but they are out there.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Lots of Odds 'n Ends

Here's the rundown from the prior week - again, lots of little bits of random stuff --

The one major supply of merchandise that came in this week was from Space 2000 SpA, makers of Bomb Boogie, Censured, and a few other labels, including a new one which I noticed this year, Fred Mello. Space 2000 is an Italian company, but all of the items are made abroad. Still, decent quality stuff, along the lines of John Barritt, or thereabouts. The majority of what came in was in the coats section -- puffer jackets, and other casual coats, as well as an assortment of leather jackets. Some stores also got in knits and a few other random items -- I managed to head up to visit some NJ stores this weekend, and took in 4 additional locations.

As for the other nonsense, here's the rundown, though probably not a complete list:

- A new assortment of ties - Kenneth Cole, Geoffrey Beene, Penguin and Bloomingdales Men's Store. All appear to be from the same manufacturer. Ties also came into Philly from a different supplier under the name BelVetro - these were pretty awful. As a whole, I'd say to stay away from this stuff. Altea (made in Italy) ties are all on sale, and there are decent supplies of Moschino and Ferre ties in each store, so I'd stick with those any day of the week over this other stuff.

- Wheeled duffel bags from Beverly Hills Polo Club

- An assortment of hats including items marked London Fog and Bailey

- More winter accessories - Gloves and scarves from American Eagle (yes, the store in the mall); Scarves from Amicale (cashmere) - $35.99; Scarves from Elgin (made in Scotland);

- Cufflinks - Ben Sherman and Joseph Abboud

- Wool coats from Cole Haan (only saw these in Philly) - leathers came in a few weeks ago

- And as a side note -- new markdowns:

All Altea (made in Italy) ties are now marked down, approx. $12.49 each; and all shirts from Sait/Mastai Feretti (made in Italy) have been marked down as well. Select items from other labels, including Patrizia Pepe were marked down as well. If you're looking for dirt cheap items, the Paramus, NJ store has the remainder of the Spring merchandise, and they're desperately trying to get rid of it -- lots of PF Flyers in large sizes, $5 and under, 2-Xist underwear dirt cheap as well. Also lots of shorts/pants, though the selection is better in larger sizes -- all insanely cheap. Don't know how much longer that stuff is going to stick around there.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Lots and Lots of Chotchkies

Much bigger update to come later this weekend, but for those of you entering a Daffy's near you, beware that the stores are now likely to be cluttered with all sorts of chotchkies - i.e., knick-knacks, brick-a-brack, odds-n-ends.

I stopped in for a brief visit today, and I couldn't believe all the random items literally piled on shelves. Pics to come.