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Century 21 stores closing

516 Views 7 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Avers
On September 10 sad news for those who are in NY metro area was announced - Century 21 stores are going out of business. Another victim of Covid pandemic. This particularly upsetting, I've been going to that store for years!!!

Their offerings were a mixed bag, but one could find some gems in their stores - Kiton, Zegna, Armani, Hickey Freeman, Allen Edmonds, Bruno Magli, Brioni and countless other quality makers...

They've been in business since 1960.

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I think we Tri-state AAAC members will be plunged into a pit of despair. Though at least I won't have to walk aimlessly around the Westbury store while my mother indulges her appetite for American bargains.

Thinking back on it, though, there was very little I ever bought there. $40 Lanvin ties, a sevenfold Bulgari tie for a similar price, a Polo shirt or two. I miss Syms far more.
It's funny, if you asked me, I'd say, "yes, Century 21 had some very good value," but to be honest, I didn't really like shopping there and I'm not entirely sure why. I have no issue with bargain stores - I spent many happy hours picking through racks and bins or clothes in dusty old Filene's Basement (the original one in Boston) - but I rarely went to Century 21.

At 56 and as our culture has evolved to casual dress, I simply need fewer nice items of clothing. I have more dress clothes than I'll ever wear out as I was well stocked for daily suit-tie wearing and, then, in 2012 I switched to WFH. So between that and the fact that rarely is any event or evening out or anything a dress event anymore, I just don't need to buy almost any dress clothes anymore.

As to casual clothes - chinos, OCBDs, wool sweaters, non-dress shoes, etc. - I, too, am well stocked, but also find that I can "stalk" items on the internet and usually buy them at a great price from the original store on this or that sale (i.e., not Ebay or some other reseller), so why make the effort to go to a bargain store, which only works if you go regularly anyway.

Lastly, I want to own less items anyway as, like most of us, I wear 10%-20% of my clothes 80%-90% of the time and the rest sit idle. Hence, I'm trying to only buy items that will be actively worn, which, if you stick to that discipline, really reduces your purchases.
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My situation is very close to yours, although I retired ten years ago -- I still do work in my old laboratory, but that hardly requires formal dressing! I have all the clothes I'll ever need, and a few years ago, gave away almost two-thirds of my suits, sport coats and dress trousers to an outfit here which provides dressy clothes at nominal prices for people who are looking for jobs or starting out in their careers, and need good clothes for interviews, etc.

I still pick up the odd item here and there, and I feel I am in need of another purge, another give away, or sale at a consignment shop. Still, I can't resist a find because I am a collector at heart. And that is why I have hung on to some of the nice pieces I have. Every now and then, I'll wear some nice clothes and shoes to an event, or even a lunch with friends at a good restaurant, or an evening out with a lady -- although evenings out have not happened very often, not since the infamous plague struck us all.

The biggest idler in my wardrobe? Neckties! I have an enormous number, and very few occasions left when I can wear them. So, one of these days, I am going to have to go through them and purge, send bunches of them to family members and friends. The trouble is that a lot of people don't want them, they have little use for them.
I love those organizations that do that and have contributed in the past.

Also, like you, I have some items that I keep simply cause I love them.

And I, too, have found that no one in my family or circle of friends (really, their young-adult kids) wants my ties or any of the dress clothes. I have three nephews in their early to mid twenties and they almost never wear what we consider to be "dress clothes" unless they are in a wedding party and, then, they need to buy the exact clothes that are required.

Hence, most of what I had (that survived a fired - another story), I've given to clothing charities.
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