Sizing Up Syms

— Wed, 2nd September 2009 —

In a depressing turn of events, Albo momentarily resigns himself to a life mediocrity with a trip to Syms. [NY Times]

What does he turn up? Miles of “marked-down cubicle-wear,” too faux leather, too blocky shapes, “goofy weekend-dad outfits” interspersed with “wacky standouts,” … Pretty much what you’d expect from a retailer that caters to guys who a) are not inspired by clothes, or b) are not aware that clothes can inspire. (Neither cardinal sins, by the way.) Borrowing a slogan from another agent of averageness, could a Syms shopper like the way he looks? With the right direction and expert tailoring, sure. But he most likely doesn’t care. (Again, not a criminal offense.)

At the risk of sounding naive, we do take issue with Albo’s implication that finances alone determine a man’s exterior. There are just as many poorly dressed millionaires as dapper bohemians in this world, which leads us to believe that one’s “relationship” with clothing — both emotional and functional — and “sense” of style matter a great deal.

There’s also the matter of a patient, educated consumer — something that, despite its own slogan’s claim, we don’t image most Syms customers to be. Indeed, as we attempt to regularly demonstrate, knowing when and where to execute purchases can make all the difference.

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