Jean Touitou’s Favorite $15 Shirt

— Mon, 12th April 2010 —

The key takeaway from GQ‘s 38 slide guide to dressing for less: A.P.C. founder Jean Touitou considered a JCPenney Big Mac his best chambray shirt… before his son stole it. At $15, these bad boys make Gap‘s $50 chambray‘s look extravagant.

True to form, the only mention GQ makes of sample sales is a warning (under the headline “Beware the sample sale”) about wasting your money on products you’ll never wear — a non sequitur it illustrates with an “Ed Hardy Sample Sale” billboard, i.e., the most distasteful image it can possibly associate with such events. Miraculously, the guide does mention sales — maybe a first for GQ — by suggesting that readers “hit sales right when they start [to] snag the best gear before it’s off the shelves.” Exactly how readers are supposed to find out about these sales and when they start, the guide doesn’t say.

The rest of the guide, meanwhile, is mostly repurposed from The Eye‘s recently published “Secrets to Affordable Style.”

  1. i know it's hard to do in the abstract, but i think it would be cool to hear in the comments from owners of mentioned sales or brands in the comments on the relative merits of the stuff. here for example,i'd be fascinated to here if that denim shackety thing would get more use than a lighter weight and potentially better fitting gap. price is indeed a consideration, but if i'll wear the wheels off the pricier one, i'd say money better spent.

  2. Interesting idea, Thanks Anon. To be clear, though, we didn't — nor would we ever — single out the shirt solely based on its low cost. The point is that it's only $15 AND Touitou called it his favorite shirt — notable because his clothing company (which we love, mind you) sells chambray shirts for upwards of $200.

    The Choosy Beggar

  3. reading the comments on JC Penny, some older people said the shirts have changed for the worse over the years, (ie, heavier, darker). so the shirt Touitou is touting is different.

  4. I think GQ is obviously wrong to dismiss sample sales out of hand, but the truth is, and I think this blog even proves, that at best maybe 1 out of 2/3 of them are really any good. Therefore, you need to approach them with diligence and caution.

    That said, they are most definitely worth the effort. Most of the nicest pieces I own came from the racks of a sample sale.

  5. Right, 1 out of 3 might even be too generous, but the odds are just as bad when searching around for full-price gear. That's why guides — bolstered by community participation — are so necessary! Our beef with GQ is that they've historically refused to acknowledge the existence of sales or sample sales, which, while far from ideal, definitely help guys look better for less. It's partly arrogance, and partly the fact that GQ's editors (and ad salespeople) are too close to the brands that they cover.

    The Choosy Beggar

  6. I ordered a few of these Big Macs from JC Penney (they don't stock them in stores) and the fit is huge. Smallest size is a medium and it fits bigger than an APC XL (with arms shorter than an APC Small). Too bad. It's a nice wash, but it's not going fit most Beggars.

  7. This shirt fit me perfectly. I wear an XL and I bought a Large because the XL was quite big. To me it is a great fit and beggar’s come in all shapes and sizes.

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