31 May 2012

Determination Yields a Bargain

Those of you who pay attention to men's clothing and fashion will know the name Michael Bastian. He's been offering luxe interpretations of traditional styles for more than half a decade, and in the process has become one of menswear's most admired designers.

But man, his clothes are expensive. Even after he terminated a manufacturing arrangement with Italian luxury brand Brunello Cucinelli (supposedly to reduce costs), his stuff is still way, way out of my price range.

For example, this red cotton jacket was one of the standout pieces of his spring 2012 runway show. Care to guess how much it retails for? When it finally showed up in a GQ fashion layout a couple of months ago, they had it listed at $875. I had to squint at the magazine to make sure I was reading the number correctly.

I've been looking for a red jacket similar to this (minus the epaulets) for some time. I could have just bought a Baracuta-style jacket, but I don't care for the stand-up collar or the raglan shoulders, and Baracutas are overpriced too. After I saw the Michael Bastian jacket, I was even more determined to find a reasonable facsimile, and even more determined to find a good deal. The knockoffs haven't had time to hit the market yet (probably in the fall), so I figured I would have to dig around on eBay.

I spent some time one afternoon with eBay's shopping tools, narrowing down the hundreds of thousands of available items in the men's coats and jackets category to make searching more manageable and, maybe more importantly, to eliminate the stuff I knew I didn't want. From there I looked at individual brands; I wasn't especially concerned about finding a particular brand, but for me it's just an easier way to search for an item within a specific category, and it allows me to avoid looking at items that I know will be logo-encrusted or of poor quality. After a while I found this:
It was in unworn condition, for $13 plus shipping. It's at least a decade old, but probably older, back when Gap actually made decent stuff. Remember that? It's a slightly darker red than the tomato hue of the Michael Bastian jacket (and my mediocre camera makes it look even darker), but for what it cost me it doesn't matter. Of course, now that summer is setting in, I won't be able to wear this until at least September.


Anonymous said...

n4rensibgood buy on red jacket for sure, patience paid off! Just looked at last 2 days, how did app't go? Give me a call over weekend. ME

unitedstyle said...

Michael Bastian makes nice stuff, but unfortunately sticker shock is always included.

unitedstyle said...

Michael Bastian makes nice stuff, but unfortunately sticker shock is always included.