This time of year is an especially stressful one. Not because of all the holiday preparation and partaking, but because of the deluge of sale e-mails I get in my various inboxes, touting slashed prices, free shipping, a virtual countdown to the Christmas holiday. The pages upon pages of half-price jewelry and fancy socks haunts me, creeps into my dreams and instills a renewed urgency to snatch before something is gone forever. That ShopStyle alerts me whenever something of my prior bookmarking drops in price, doesn’t help.
Alas, as during the remainder of the year, I don’t have a budget that can accommodate such carefree spending. Nor do most people. Rather than pout about it, I thought I’d highlight some of the key pieces I would buy, if I had the means, in an ultimate sale wishlist.
Thematically, the 2014 fall-winter season maintained what has been brewing for some time: backpacks and rucksacks; camouflage and military-inspired looks; colorblocking. But trends don’t define style. Trends are fleeting, and keep fashion freshly plumped. However, most trends have an arc, and key pieces can be weaved into a personal style, taken from momentary trends.
Gucci displayed a series of thick-soled, almost bulbous shoes for fall, in various formats (oxford, brogue, monk strap, horsebit loafer). For half of its original $890, I would choose the chestnut brown double monk strap. Strange and curious, but the more I see, the more I like.
With slim jeans, they are sure to be the focal point of an outfit. Most sizes are still available on Gucci.com.
Through various iterations, backpacks are not my favorite carrier format. The classic primary school look, with a rounded top and grafted-on patch pocket, looks adolescent, and vaguely droopy.
This one, though, in paper-thin shiny nappa leather, from Marni, hits the spot, combining utility with luxury. It evokes continental backpacking across Europe, a rite of passage for many young adults around the world.
At 40% off it’s original price of $1,775, it is still no bargain, but looks to be a classic, timeless piece. Lane Crawford is a Hong Kong department store, akin to the U.K.’s Harvey Nichols or the U.S.A.’s Barney’s.
Aside from their skull theme, the designers at Alexander McQueen (R.I.P.) have implemented an interesting motif onto polo and dress shirts this season: harnesses.
If nothing else, it adds visual interest without bulk or being arcane. For $273, it can be yours.
Belstaff has also modified the traditional polo look, only with quilted shoulders, a nod to its quilted and padded biker jackets, the core of the brand. Bergdorf Goodman has the Aspley polo shirt on sale, in blue, for $90, down from an original price of $225.
If you follow fashion at all, you’ve probably noticed that athleticism has enmeshed with high-end style, due in part to the work of brands like Y-3 and Christian Louboutin. Golden Goose Deluxe Brand, based in Venice, makes relaxed luxury its basis, with a consistent line of leather sneakers with vintage Chuck Taylor inspiration.
I’m not keen on blocky white rubber soles, but I found these low-profile black runners from GGDB that hit the spot. $277.41 down from $369.88.
Unfortunately, Farfetch shopping necessitates $24 worldwide DHL express shipping, which puts a slight damper on the sale discount.
A carry trend I have embraced, and frankly love, is that of document cases (see post here). Essentially, oversized leather pouches large enough to carry the essentials most men end up stuffing into their pockets.
This season, Gucci made a playful version in muted leopard print canvas. Not too dressy, with just a touch of cheek.
MR PORTER has it on sale, 40% off of its $440 original price.
Say what you want about animal prints, but colorblocking is difficult to fault. It is nothing new, and always a standby of modern, architectural designers. Maison Martin Margiela, Jil Sander, and Marni use the theme a lot. Thus, this gray and white t-shirt at Saks. Clean and simple.
An almost free way to showcase colorblocking is with this ASOS long sleeve turtleneck t-shirt. Only $16! Sleek and wintry.
In recent collections, denim jackets have seen a resurgence, finished in more streamlined cuts and shades. Although I default to dark denim, a lighter wash indicative of loving use over many years can also be appealing.
Michael Bastian created this washed version, made in Italy. Understated, subtle Americana, just like most of the designers’ outputs. Available only in a 50 (medium-large), for $267 at Nordstrom.
To round out the wishlist and in many ways, the epitome of my personal style, is the humble baseball cap. In cashmere, from Giorgio Armani, it can be had for $357.
When my hair is uncooperative, and I just need clean lines, a baseball cap ties up my loose ends.
For less than a small fortune, Kenzo made a wool colorblocked version. It’s on final sale from SSENSE, for $74 down from $245.
It is exciting enough to virtually shop all year long, pinning and pining after the pieces that tickle my heart. Once they (mostly) all go on sale around this time, and at the end of the Spring, I can hardly contain myself, or prevent maxing out my credit lines.
For what was originally a shopping cart worth $5,686.20, I could get all of these items now, on glorious end-of-season sale, for $3,305.49, an overall 42% discount. Considering the astronomical markup of luxury goods, it should come as no shock that there will still be a healthy windfall for the designers, brands, and middle man retailers, even with a nearly half cut in price.
Santa, oh Santa, won’t you bring me just one of these items? I’ve been a good boy all year, but I’ll let you spank me anyway.
Merry Christmas to all, and thank you for reading!