2.16.2010

Think Different (seriously)

No, this post was not written on an original iMac.  The title is meant to encourage you to be open to brands you normally wouldn't expect to have anything to offer you.  Being a bigger guy can sometimes limit your options as far as designers and brands so you have to 'think different'(ly) about where to get stuff.  I know too many people that scoff at certain brands because of reputation or the stereotype of the average customer. 

For example: I have only once set foot in an American Apparel store and that was because I was there with a friend who is 6'5' and 160 lbs.  He fits AA's size demographic.  I do not and for that reason I did not consider it a viable source for clothes.  What I didn't realize then was that that shouldn't mean that they didn't have something to offer me.  Case in point: I ended up buying two of their plain, solid t-shirts (brown and gray) which I sourced (brand new with tags intact) from a second-hand store. They are quite short and tight but I like to rock one every once and a while under something else or [embarrassing to admit] a "muscle shirt" [/embarrassing to admit].  And hey, from now on I'm not going to rule AA out if I'm looking for some tighter t-shirts.

This brings me to my main point.  Think about the brand Eddie Bauer right now.  What are you picturing?  Maybe someone's dad wearing a fleece vest and ill-fitting cargo pants.  Maybe your crusty great-uncle who rides a snowmobile as his main mode of transportation in the winter.  Well, you might want to reconsider, for your own sake.

This past Sunday, I had some time to burn and I was near the local mall.  I just quickly walked through to see what was good.  I was drawn into the Eddie Bauer store because they were having a President's Day sale: everything on sale was an additional 50% off.  In these types of sales I go immediately to the accessories.  Socks and belts are what I seek out.  And socks and belts are what I found:
I found this really decent canvas belt with leather trim and two pairs of cotton/wool ragg socks, perfect for boots.  Total cost to me was less than $9.  This just goes to show that quality items can be found in a wide variety of places.  Especially when places are having huge sales, it can be worth it to venture outside your comfort zone.

I usually go into stores or shop online without much prejudgment.  Sizing may be completely different in one place as compared to another.  I'm a bigger dude, I'm used to having nothing off the rack fit me perfectly.  Skinny guys have it easier; basically everything large can be taken in or altered to a slimmer silhouette, thus they have a larger palette from which to paint (pants-wise especially).  But with accessories, the variance of fit brand-to-brand almost never matters.

Another example to leave you with: just a few months ago, Express Men was having a big sale online and I nabbed four or so pairs of nice argyle socks at a huge discount.  Although you might think that only guys who work at cell phone stores shop at Express, they actually have some decent stuff sometimes.  The same is true with Eddie Bauer.  I was actually quite surprised at all the other cool stuff they had for sale (shirts namely).  I didn't have time to check any of it out or try it on but I think I may soon.  In the future, I'm planning on also profiling some other pieces I've acquired that were sourced from unlikely places.  Cheers!

P.S. As always, click to enlarge pics.  I apologize for the terrible quality for now.  Too lazy to bust out the big-boy camera.

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