How Men Can Make Cyber Monday Less Manic
Get past the slightly sinister name, and you’ll find that shopping for menswear, from staples to accessories, can be a very pleasant alternative to queueing at all those big-box sales.
If you were to judge Black Friday by its marketing name alone, history suggests you’d assume it signifies something sinister, along the lines of Black Monday (the 1987 stock market crash), Black Tuesday (the even worse 1929 stock market crash) or, continuing in the ominous color trend, even The Red Wedding (the 2013 bloody massacre of Robb Stark and co. in Game of Thrones). Actually, your likely negative conclusion concerning Black Friday may not be that far off the mark. This tradition—brick-and-mortar retailers offering massive one-time-only sales on the day after Thanksgiving—has devolved into something of a shopping hysteria, with ludicrously early store opening hours, snaking lines, and frenzied crowds, not to mention social protests, class warfare, record-high gun sales, violent altercations, injuries, and even death. To make matters worse, according to the busy fact-checkers at The New York Times, less than 1 percent of Black Friday promotions were actually “good deals.”
What’s a savvy bargain lover on the hunt for gently priced menswear to do? Here’s where (the also creepily named) Cyber Monday comes in: An online alternative to Black Friday, aptly falling on the Monday after the Thanksgiving holiday, it lets consumers up their discount clothing game in the comfort of their own bed, and, bonus, finally enjoy turkey dinner without stressing about waking up at 5 a.m. to stand outside a store in the freezing cold with ill-tempered strangers. It’s no surprise then that Cyber Monday has become the country’s biggest e-commerce sales day ever, with 2015’s take ringing in at a whopping $3.07 billion, an increase of over 12 percent from 2014.
And, for those who think this is a ladies-only buying bonanza, Robert Denning, founder of the cult unisex eyewear line Westward Leaning, strongly disagrees: “My theory is that men secretly love to shop, and Cyber Monday is our opportunity to shop like a pro, shame free, and without gendered pressure.”
Of course, while there may be no IRL lines, you will still need to read between the lines. Navigating the surfeit of web discounts is no easy task, whether you’re doing e-tailer’s offer math (no judgment if you’re still unclear about calculating percentages), wading through a brand’s urgent social media posts, or, you know, figuring out if the advertised reduction is really worth it. Since we promised you a stress-free turkey food coma, The Daily Beast pounded the digital pavement to find the hottest deals for dudes on the coolest clothing, scoring insider intel direct from some of our favorite labels to put together the ultimate Cyber Monday men’s fashion cheat-sheet.
Uh-huh, our curated guide cuts through the Internet chatter to maximize your savings on items in a wide-variety of categories. Need an inexpensive designer bathing suit for your New Year’s beach vacation? We got you. An Instagram-worthy sweater for your office Christmas party at a fraction of the price? Done. Now’s the time to pick up everything on your wish-list without breaking the bank (we know you need to pay for the aforementioned tropical getaway) though we may have lied about the getting up early part—after all, yours aren’t the only fingers itching to add something-for-less to that (online) shopping cart.
First off, the always necessary sunglasses: Luxe Australian eyewear brand Sunday Somewhere (a favorite of Jay-Z), is offering its masculine-with-an-edge Kai style, part of a collaboration with renowned surfer Luke Stedman, for $100, pretty sweet considering the pair sports handmade Italian resin-coated UV blue-black mirror lens. Also on the optical front, Zenni, a purveyor of on-trend, affordable glasses, is letting customers take 20 percent off their entire orders (without any restrictions!), meaning affordable just got more affordable. Finally, Westward Leaning, whose founder already told us he is a fierce Cyber Monday men’s advocate, is getting in on the action via a special promotion in support of the brand’s Custom launch (you can now design your own style via a bajillion different frame, lens, and finishes options): With the purchase of two custom pairs of sunglasses, the third custom pair will be free. Still feeling shady? Cali-cool, easy-on-the-wallet line Perverse says if you buy one pair, you get one pair free, the same deal you can find on the more upscale, fashion-editor-approved eyewear at Raen.
Next, let’s hot-step it to shoes, starting with exclusive discounts c/o super-swanky French accessories label Pierre Hardy, which is kicking off (excuse the puns) its holiday season with 50 percent off select styles, including the “Chicago,” a boot with haute construction worker vibes that will drop from $795 to $397.50. Then there’s fine Italian footwear brand Aquatalia, which is made even finer by up to half-off reductions and Cyber Monday-only free expedited shipping—make sure to keep tabs on the “Vaughn” chukka, a signature suede style going for $487, marked down from its original price of $695. If you’re in the market for something a little more casual, elevated sneaker line Greats has concocted a tiered level of Monday discounts: From 12 a.m. to 12 p.m., its entire line-up will be 20 percent off (plus free shipping site-wide); from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., all shoes are 25 percent off (but free shipping is then limited to only Italian-made shoes); after 6 p.m. the 25 percent decrease still applies, but free shipping applies only on shoes under $100. FYI, the standout here has to be Greats new sneaker style that’s debuting today, the Beast Mode 3.0 (and boy, do we like that name!).
Changing tacks, it’s never too early to start bathing suit shopping, especially if your winter vacation plans involve some sand. Sleek and classic brand Onia is running a buy more, save more extravaganza. Onia co-founder Nathan Romano says you should “take the Cyber Monday opportunity to stock up on seasonal essentials like our new ‘Alek,’ a multi-functional boardshort with durable side pockets.” Or you could surf over to Solid & Striped’s preppy-with-a-twist collection, which is 30 percent off using the code CYBERMONDAY. Last but not least, iconic male model Garrett Neff’s trunk line Katama has further discounts on past season styles, plus 10-20 percent off just-in pieces; Neff advises that your checklist should include the “Emerson” in a funky nautical boat stripe.
If your wardrobe is missing accessories, deals abound to fix the closet deficient, like Filson’s special, which includes free shipping, free gift wrapping, and even free embossing on leather products, plus tiered gift cards on purchases over $300. Luxurious ‘n’ tough leather brand Lotuff (handmade in the U.S.) has also joined in on the Cyber Monday fun, courtesy of some add-on goodies. Customers can swipe a free leather iPad case with any purchase over $500, while $1,000 grabs you any in-stock piece valued up to $195. Of course there’s more—if you like to initialize your swag, take advantage of its monogramming program gratis using the code MONOGRAM16. Meanwhile, Herschel Supply Co. is bringing back a sweet selection of last-chance items from prior seasons at up to 50 percent off, plus tiered discounts that could save you anywhere from 25 to 38 percent. To round out our accessory curation, the streamlined and sleek jet-set travel brand WANT Les Essentiels is celebrating the retail holiday with a fantastic 60 percent off all items in Les Archives and 40 percent off some popular seasonal styles … and free shipping to boot.
Moving on to watches and jewelry, click on Daniel Wellington’s site to receive a free watchstrap with any purchase of his timepieces. If your mood swings to something more Swiss, Larsson and Jennings super premium, super-elegant watches are all 15 percent off with promo code LJ15, but we suggest you register online to score an additional 15 percent in savings. Speaking of Swiss, the ever-playful Swatch has a rad take on Cyber Monday: hard-to-find vintage styles will be on sale as a set at #tbt prices, like pieces from the “Full Blooded” collection ($149 for two) to the cult “Retrograde” watches ($179 for two). And Miansai, the Americana-awesome jewelry brand, which rarely discounts, is throwing a 15 percent-off sticker on everything (that would mean their masculine watches, restrained necklaces, and those famous anchor bracelets). More wrist-candy can be spotted at George Frost, the men’s extension of New York-based jeweler Lulu Frost—now you can horde the vintage-inspired designs with a 25 percent off site-wide coupon for the regular collection (excluding sales), or 20 percent off fine jewelry with code fine20. Our number one pick would be the covetable Morse Code bracelets, with brass beads spelling everything from “loyal” to “luck.”
Clotheshorses won’t be left in the dark, either. The best bet would be Slate & Stone, whose polished essentials—hyper-soft tees, cashmere Henleys, slim-fit suiting—are must-haves for every dude’s wardrobe. Luckily, its Cyber Monday offering is perhaps the best-bang-for-your-buck next week since the entire website (including already marked down sale items), will be 50 percent off. Creative Director Jeffrey Jacobs picked out the “Graham Wool Peacoat” as his-go to piece (on Monday it will cost $249 instead of $498): “There couldn’t be a more perfect time to get this coat … it’s well suited to smart up—and cheer up—any look for the holiday season!”