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Above the Fray: First Varvatos Sale Doesn't Thrill

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After a lot of wrangling we were allowed to poke around the John Varvatos Collection and John Varvatos U.S.A. sample sale that isn't taking place at the Metropolitan Pavilion late this morning. It might not have been worth the wrangling. Pricing was pretty good, sizing was varied, and shoppers were treated to an attentive staff and a fair amount of breathing room. But the stock—and it was definitely overstock, it's doubtful that dozens of metallic leather military jackets in a variety of sizes would be sampled out—was kind of just meh.

A sea of of gray, brown, and muted blue wovens and knits were uninspiring but only $40. Nice enough basic suits were made nicer by their cheaper-than-Macy's-in-Pennsylvania price tag of $295 (from $1500 and up). Dress and sports shirts were generic Varvatos—they could've been snatched from racks at retail just yesterday, or pulled from four years of storage. At $50 (from $150 and up), however, the dull orange paisleys, rich brown windowpane checks, and solid blacks and browns might be worthwhile additions to a closet of crisp basics. Jeans looked kind of like your dad's (unless they were rendered virtually unwearable by texture, over-dying, or metallic treatments). They were $65. A snarl of gauzy scarves, smart (but very skinny) ties dotted with paisleys or a fleur de lis pattern, and vaguely rock 'n' roll-ish belts were worth a pick through at a mere $20 a piece.

Shoes were mediocre—flaccid boat shoes, the Chelsea boot, slightly-off slip-on oxfords—with the exception of one pair of gorgeous brown cap toes. Even better were the outerwear and sportcoats. Starting at just $125, our favorites included an olive-plaid canvas peacoat and a wooly blazer with leather trim. Other winning pieces were standard Varvatos—military inspired, trim, not flashy but with a hint of that whiskey-soaked rock sensibility that subtly infuses the collections.
· Above the Fray: A John Varvatos Double-Header [Racked]
· Dealfeed: John Varvatos [Racked]

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