Danté’s Inferno starts on “Maundy Thursday” in the year 1300. In the modern age, I believe his tenth circle of Hell would ensue on Black Friday – a day invented by retailers that makes employees want to kill themselves from pressure to make goal numbers and causes shoppers to kill each other (literally) to get the best price on even more stuff. I would rather swallow live bees than walk into a Macy’s, a Walmart or even Barney’s on Black Friday.
Aside from supporting my fabulous local businesses within walking distance, like Fine and Dandy and Domus, my Black Friday pursuits will happen strictly online in the warmth and safety of my own home, where the coffee, music and mood are infinitely better than what I’d experience in a mall.
When it comes to shopping for fit-specific clothes online, I prefer to buy from brands with which I already have a size and quality relationship. For example, I know I’m a 30/34 in Levi’s Shrink-to-Fit 501s, I know I’m an 8 1/2 in Aldens or Converse, I know I’m a medium with casual shirts and tees at J.Crew, and I know I can get a perfectly-fitting custom suit based on my measurement profile in my Indochino account.
As the shopping frenzy lurks, I happen to be in the market for what I mentioned above. Here’s a more specific list of what I’m looking for:
Levi’s Shrink-to-Fit 501s
According to an email I just received, Levi’s is offering 30% off site-wide, plus free shipping, until midnight on Sunday December 1st. I have two nicely worn pairs of 501 Shrink-to-Fits. One pair is very well-worn, and the other pair is in-between. I’m in the mood for a third pair to keep nice and dark, shrinking them down with hot water with that crucial first wash. From there, I’d wash them very infrequently, inside-out and in cold water with a hang dry.
Alden Plain Toe Chukka Boots
I’ve put these off for too long. And since Alden itself does not have an online storefront, one has to go through one of their stockists to snag a pair from the interwebs. For my purposes, it looks like Barney’s, who sells this lifetime investment in shell cordovan for a full retail price of $675. My fingers are crossed for some kind of site-wide sale for the holiday spendfest.
Converse Jack Purcells
I have exactly two pairs of sneakers. One is a pair of canvas Chuck Taylors in white, and the other is a pair in navy (now sun bleached and on their last legs). I’ve had my eye on an iconic pair of Jack Purcells for some time, and J.Crew has “remastered” versions of these canvas icons with some subtle style upgrades from the originals. They’re available in white or black and go for $60 full retail. I’d go with white.
Plain White Slim T-shirts
Speaking of J.Crew, I have three pairs of their slim “broken-in” v-neck tees and I love them. In my experience, a great-fitting t-shirt is surprisingly hard to come by. These tagless tees are arguably the best fitting and most comfortable t-shirts I’ve ever worn. I know it doesn’t sound like the sexiest purchase one could make, but I need a few slim broken-in crew neck tees.
Another Custom Suit
It’s no secret that I love Indochino’s custom suits. A recent purchase of a premium navy suit from Indochino whetted my appetite for another one. The hand of the Super 140s fabric (95% wool, 5% cashmere) is insane. I’m also looking at the Essential Blue Suit (Super 100s), which isn’t quite navy but something lighter, with a little slate in the tone. I do know Indochino is having a Black Friday sale from Tuesday November 26th to midnight Monday December 2nd. They’re offering 50% off select items, and 20% off all orders over $600.
I don’t think I’ll pull the trigger on all of these things, but I will definitely do some damage by Monday. I do know that when the stampede begins at midnight on Thanksgiving at retail rodeos everywhere, I’ll probably be asleep or watching Netfilx. But on Friday, keeping a safe distance from big stores, I will turn up my Holiday Spotify Playlist, enjoy my own amazing coffee and murder any leftovers from Thanksgiving dinner. I will also be visiting the aforementioned retailers and other favorite brands online to see what deals I can get on some handsome, well-made, affordable and workable goods.
At some point, I should also probably figure out what I’m getting as gifts for everybody else.