Bonobos Sample Sale: The Lowdown

If you are looking for well-priced men’s contemporary sportswear at reduced prices, check out the Bonobos sample sale.
The five-day fashion event kicked off Tuesday at a space located at 260 Fifth Avenue near East 29th Street in New York City.
Bonobos Marquee
After hearing about it, I decided to check it out– having purchased a Bonobos seersucker suit and a pair of pants in the recent past.At the sale, you can find a variety of casual and dress shirts ($29) pants ($49), sweaters ($29),  blazers ($79), coats ($79), swimsuits ($19) and even accessories including neck ties ($19). Those are pretty reduced prices considering that shirts on are advertised for $98 without reductions.

Bonobos prices

I moved among the crowd – composed of what appeared to be mostly professional guys in their mid-twenties to early forties — and perused racks of  sweaters. If you are looking for wool and mixed material grey, blue, maroon or green pullovers, you will probably find  something you like. As a cardigan-lover, I struck out. I didn’t  see any cardigans among the marked-down merchandise..

Then, I moved on to racks of dress and casual shirts. There were quite a few long-sleeved button-down cotton alphabetically-sized shirts in XS, S, M, L, XL and XXL. There were shirts mostly in white, light and dark blue. There were also a few print shirts like the one I tried on.
print shirt on me
If you wear XS, XL or XXL, you’ll have a wide range of choices. If you wear tend to wear L, like me,  you’ll find fewer choices. In terms of shirts, with numeric sizing, it seems there was a sweet spot for a guy with a 15- or 15-and-a-half-inch neck and arms that measure 32 or 33 inches in length.  However, if you have a 16- or 16 and a half inch neck and 33 or 34-inch long sleeves, you won’t have much luck. Larger sizes seemed to be abundant.

 I wasn’t particulary interest in looking at blazers, but if you are, there is a wide variety available

At the sample sale, there is a makeshift dressing room on-site. It’s made of a few horizontal metal rods supported by vertical rods with black curtains draped over them. It got crowded in the dressing room, so be prepared to wait in line.

Once in the dressing room, I tried on a couple of different-sized shirts. At 5’8″ and 165 pounds with an athletic build, the “standard fit” shirt in Medium that I tried on seemed to be comfortable for my chest and torso. However, the neck when buttoned, felt tight and uncomfortable. I’d guess that the neck measurement for the Medium shirt I tried on was about 15-and-a-half inches. I didn’t find a shirt in Large that I wanted to try on so I tried on an XL. That size  seemed perfect for me in the neck when buttoned but the shoulder width was a little too broad and the back of the shirt was billowy when I tucked it into my blue jeans. It would have been nice to find a similar shirt in an L, but I was unlucky.

Shoppers I spoke with –who were familiar with the Bonobos label — say the sizing can be somewhat inconsistent when it comes to ready-to-wear. If you buy a  casual shirt in Medium one season, you may have to buy a casual shirt in Large the following season. That may be due to the fact that a lot of the clothing is made in China, according to the label attached to the clothing. It’s likely Bonobos uses a variety of factories, which is a way fashion brands produce a lot of clothing while cutting their production costs.

You better love what you buy because all sales are final! (Just in case you’re wondering, I didn’t buy anything this time.)

If you want to check out the Bonobos ready-to-wear line at a reduced price, head over to 260 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. The sample sale wraps up Sunday, February 28th.

Or, if you want to see more Bonobos clothing, check out their website:

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