Men’s Free Style


Hold it, Mister
October 29, 2008, 18:48
Filed under: Discussion | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Residents of England’s fair capital will undoubtedly have heard that tomorrow brings the grand opening of the Westfield London shopping centre, said to be a largest in Europe (yes, I know it’s not a patch on what you’d find in most major US cities, but we get what we can over here).

Those of you who appreciate the stripped-back style first brought to these shores by Gap will be interested to know that favourite of mine Hollister will be one of the new shops on offer. It won’t be the first in the UK – that honour went to the one that opened a few days ago at Brent Cross – but the Westfield one finds itself in somewhat better surroundings so is likely to receive the most visitors.

You may not be aware of it, but Hollister is the baby brother of Abercrombie & Fitch, which already has one shop in the UK (in central London), and which sparked widespread fury when its doors opened over here as people realised they were in some cases being charged more in pounds than they would be in dollars across the pond.

True to my ethos of seeking out affordable style, I have checked out Hollister’s new prices in London. It appears (and we got the calculators out for this one) that at the current exchange rate you will be paying 28% more in the UK than in the US. I don’t think this is too bad given that at the time Abercrombie launched, its mark-up was around 100%, and in any case the overall price level in Hollister in lower than in Abercrombie despite the clothes appearing to be in many ways of identical quality.

The one thing to watch out for is a trend recently spotted in the US – namely, that the Hollister prices are being raised to levels similar to those seen in Abercrombie (no doubt to counter the inevitable shift in customers from over-priced A&F to reasonably-priced Hollister). Let’s just hope we get a bit of time to enjoy the new wares at Westfield and Brent Cross before the corporates have their wicked way in the UK.

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American Smooth
October 21, 2008, 19:10
Filed under: Advice | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Apologies that I have been away for a little while, but I can assure you it was all worth it – I’ve been shopping! The United States beckoned, and given that us Brits often have to spend a long time waiting for the opportunity to raid Uncle Sam’s stores, I was happy to answer the call.

As you will probably know, there are plenty of great shops that just aren’t around in the UK (American Eagle/Hollister to mention a couple), and you’ll see in the photo below they afforded me some great stuff very much in line with my motto.

Yet what made my visit all the more interesting was the fact that all the shops were preparing their rails for a sale. Now, having been subjected for too long to London prices, the extra discount was enough to turn me into shopping machine.

Which brings me on to a difficult topic for a man looking for maximum style at minimum price. The one thing that tends to happen with the sales is that you occasionally get what you want for a great price, but more often than not you end up getting what you don’t want, for a price you didn’t need/want to pay.

My advice: never abandon your style principles just because the clothes are cheaper. Stick to what you know – only then will you really end up with some true bargains.