Friday, December 4, 2009

Secret Weapons: Filene's Basement

Odds are, you don't know how good you have it for inexpensive fashion in D.C. because you've never been to one of our many Filene's Basements.  Friendship Heights, Farragut North, and Metro Center all boast a Filene's.  Why do I love Filene's?  Let me begin to count the ways:

Paper, Denim & Cloth jeans, $50 or less (list ~$170)
Hickey Freeman suits, $450 (list $1,200)
Massive selection of ties, $20 (!)
Massive selection of cufflinks, $15-20 (!)

Filene's gets a lot of stock turnover in certain categories, but one visit per week should be adequate.  I look forward to mine.

A few complaints:

1.  The ties are not organized by color, so you can't walk in (like you can at, say, Jos. A. Bank) and find the cluster of ties with the color you're looking for.  Then again, you pay $20 instead of $60 for the tie.  Filene's comparative virtue is obvious to me.

2.  They don't carry inch-increment sleeve sizes in men's dress shirts, so if you're a straight 34 like myself, you can only get a too-short 32-33 or a billowing 34-35.

I almost never leave without a new tie or a pair of cufflinks.  Stop by on your lunch break or the next time the significant other wants to go to Friendship Heights.  You won't regret it.

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