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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Wednesday, April 17

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Spook / June 14, 2007 10:47 AM

I got alot of cool stuff from New Orleans last time I was there and this place called Casa de Soul on Division Street in Wicker Park's got the fresh fly summer threads, son!

mike / June 14, 2007 10:58 AM

I hate to admit that the words Nordstrom and Rack are even in my vocabulary, but make of it what you will.

Sol / June 14, 2007 11:19 AM

J. Crew (I know, but they have nice summer dresses), any place that sells colored tank tops and T-shirts...whatever I find at thrift stores. I've been turning to Threadless for a lot of my wardrobe, too, though that probably needs to stop.

Mac / June 14, 2007 11:19 AM

Broke as heck: goes naked (never leaves apt. so you can uncover your eyes!)

mary / June 14, 2007 11:25 AM

thrift stores, h&M (cheap to begin with but i usually check out whats on sale throughout the year), target has cute stuff sometimes. come to think of it, thats where i shop for every other season. i usually go to jcrew for fall/winter, cause i love their sweaters.

Mo / June 14, 2007 11:29 AM

I shop for summer where I shop the rest of the year, Old Navy and Target. Or catalogues. If I can stop being so lazy, I'll get back to sewing, though, and make some cute skirts for myself.

d. / June 14, 2007 11:29 AM

there's a dumpster in the back where i get some sweet, sweet, rags.


Emerson Dameron / June 14, 2007 11:37 AM

Any Village Discount.

skafiend / June 14, 2007 11:43 AM

I'm with Emerson on this one (!)... Howard Brown, Salvation Army, Village Discount. In fact, the black polo shirt I'm wearing right now came from Village Discount, the one in Roscoe Village. Coinky-dink!

The last thing I bought new, summer or otherwise, was a new pair of running shoes and a new pair of jeans.

Haven't worked up the nerve to buy the used underwear at Village. What's up with that?

snuh / June 14, 2007 12:06 PM

salvation army, village discount, and garage sales.
viva la viva la mano de la segundo!

Carrie / June 14, 2007 12:12 PM

I think I'll be heading to *eep* Forever 21 and Old Navy. Cute, cheap stuff that I don't expect to last for too long. But ya know, sometimes, a girl needs a new wardrobe for $100 vs a new shirt for $100.

Skafiend, it's really, really OK that you haven't bought used undies. I could get bashed for this, but I'm always slightly amazed when I see people buying used unds. There's just something about it that just makes me squirm a little.

Carrie / June 14, 2007 12:13 PM

I think I'll be heading to *eep* Forever 21 and Old Navy. Cute, cheap stuff that I don't expect to last for too long. But ya know, sometimes, a girl needs a new wardrobe for $100 vs a new shirt for $100.

Skafiend, it's really, really OK that you haven't bought used undies. I could get bashed for this, but I'm always slightly amazed when I see people buying used unds. There's just something about it that just makes me squirm a little. (and yes, I know that out of necessity people have to buy used)

mary / June 14, 2007 12:20 PM

carrie- i hear ya on the dilemma of forever 21. and its damn hard to hide that bright yellow bag, but well worth it for the cheapness and "trendiness" if you will.

Eric / June 14, 2007 1:10 PM

The only pair of shorts I ever wear got a huge tear on the front of one of the legs, and I considered sewing it. But since I'd've taken forever to get around to actually doing it, I just went to Tarzhay for a replacement pair.

The sale rack in the Marshall Field's (macy's, whatever) designer area sometimes has some cool stuff at prices on the lesser side of stupid.

Aside from Tarzh, the last new purchases I rationalized were a pair of Campers and some jeans from (I'm slightly embarrassed to say) Diesel. I'm trendier than I'd like to admit, but I'm neither the skinny jeans dude nor the pastel-polo-w-upturned-collar guy. Jeans and black t-shirt, thank you.

Christy / June 14, 2007 1:26 PM

Crossroads -- on Clark south of Diversey, or Milwaukee south of North -- is the best any time of year. Crossroads' used clothing is much better quality than the stuff you find at cheap stores and still half the price.

Eamon / June 14, 2007 1:38 PM

Kohl's and Old Navy. Don't you judge me!

annie / June 14, 2007 2:01 PM

Old Navy for t's. Filene's Basement for work stuff and the Gap for everything in between. I'm a very loyal Gap girl. I've been shopping there back when I used to go to the mall...that was a long time ago. I can happily say I haven't been in a mall in about 4 years! I do have problems with shoes though, any suggestions for that?

annie / June 14, 2007 2:04 PM

Old Navy for t's. Filene's for work stuff and the Gap for everything in between. I am a loyal Gap girl. I have problems with shoes though...any suggestions?

annie / June 14, 2007 2:05 PM

Old Navy for t's. Filene's for work stuff and the Gap for everything in between. I am a loyal Gap girl. I have problems with shoes though...any suggestions?

spence / June 14, 2007 2:06 PM

I try hard not to judge people in any way, shape or form, but when I see an upturned collar I automatically check the "DB" box. Anyway, my summer threads consist of various t-shirts and shorts collected over the last 7-8 years. I do my own repairs, although shoddy, I 've got suprising good mileage out of most stuff. I'd say at most I buy 2 or 3 t-shirts or hiking shirts a summer. I don't like to spend too much money on casual clothes. Also, I'll say it: buying used underwear is absolutely disgusting.

jen / June 14, 2007 2:09 PM

i recently got two very cute dresses from the urban outfitters sale (online). and a cheap simple black dress from old navy. and as mentioned by the ladies, 3 shirts and 2 pair of earrings from forever 21 totalling... $60! kaazam!

i've stayed away from H&M for reasons that are obvious to any of my friends... that reason being i have a shitton of clothes from there already. it's closet-cleaning time!

Mo / June 14, 2007 2:13 PM

Annie, I usually get my cheap shoes from target or payless, but if you are willing to pay just a little bit more, check out

You can find any type of shoe possible there, some for reasonable prices, all with free shipping and free returns. Only problem is you can't try them on. I usually buy a few pairs in different sizes and return the rest, since returns are free.

Mo / June 14, 2007 2:17 PM

Also, even if I didn't think wearing used underwear was the grossest idea ever, you can get underwear for so cheap brand new it's hardly worth it. I'll gladly spend $1 more to avoid the ick-factor.

Shasta / June 14, 2007 2:28 PM

the other side of my closet.

kate / June 14, 2007 2:30 PM

Target, H&M, various resale shops. Cheap cheap and cheap.

hellgirl / June 14, 2007 2:31 PM

Lenny & Me, Crossroads Trading and other 2nd hand/vintage shops shops along Milwaukee in Wicker Park. Definitely Salvation Army and the ginormous Village Discount a ways down west of Western on Milwaukee. Payless for shoes.

hellgirl / June 14, 2007 2:31 PM

Lenny & Me, Crossroads Trading and other 2nd hand/vintage shops shops along Milwaukee in Wicker Park. Definitely Salvation Army and the ginormous Village Discount a ways down west of Western on Milwaukee. Payless for shoes.

Winediva / June 14, 2007 4:21 PM

I'm all about shopping for everything at Target. Love it. But for some reason, people who call it "tar-JZAY" really irritate me.

Mindy / June 14, 2007 5:39 PM

the gap, mostly, and if i'm at target and i find something cute (like this past weekend), i'll pick it up.

Geoff / June 14, 2007 6:05 PM

I'll usually take a pair of scissors to my fall wardrobe. I've never had much luck buying shorts.

eric / June 14, 2007 9:07 PM

happy to oblige.

Blagg the Axman / June 14, 2007 9:17 PM

When I find myself in need of fresh leathers, generally I am far afield and find myself compelled to serve as butcher, tanner and seamstress in one. Summer months bring warmer weather, but unfortunately evil never migrates from these lands, and battle dress is prudent at all times. However, I abide by the time-honored tradition of traveling with an unfurnished basement. The warm breezes make occasional chafing more than worth the discomfort when the days are hot.

mike / June 14, 2007 11:55 PM

1 pair of sunglasses and 1 pair of shorts at Target.

Then I make 1 tee-shirt.

angie / June 15, 2007 6:03 AM

I'm all about sundresses from anywhere. I just got some at Target, Macy's, and Anthropologie, which is so expensive I can usually find one or two sale items.

amyc / June 15, 2007 6:20 AM

Blagg's a freeballer -- who knew? I would have suspected he kept his loins well girded.

Tobermory / June 15, 2007 9:06 AM

I usually wear skirts in the summer because I can't seem to find a stylsh pair of shorts with an inseam over 1/2" unless it's those fugly 'work-length' shorts. TJ Maxx and Marshalls have a pretty good selection and I suppliment that if I happen to pass an outlet mall.

fluffy / June 15, 2007 9:10 AM

summer wardrobe? I just have 'clothes' - whatever. goodwill.

paul / June 15, 2007 9:52 AM

It's hard for a guy my age to get clothes.

The Gap has four or five styles of short sleeve shirts that every guy in america is wearing.

I can't dare buy shorts or anything else anymore at A&F at my age, even if I liked paying 120 bucks for fatigue shorts.

So it's Target and K-Mart.

Underwear? Who wears underwear? Everyone should go 'Blagg' in the summer.

billy / June 15, 2007 10:36 AM

my summer wardrobe is my winter wardrobe, minus coats, wool sweaters and boots. i make sure that i wear the nicer t-shirts and i do have a few pairs of summery shoes that couldn't make it through the winter.

winter and summer aren't too different for me, because i follow a few rules i think all guys should.

1. most men should never wear shorts
2. men should never wear sandals
3. shorts and a pair of flipflops (under $20) are ok at the beach (or gym shower) not city streets
4. sleeveless shirts or tanktops (even/especially if you're ripped) make you look pretty dumb

it's better to be a girl in the summer. they can get away with a lot more.

Verdana / June 15, 2007 11:08 AM

Annie, for cheap shoes I hit the new DSW on Roosevelt & Canal. It's a massive store, and not as picked over as the one on Clark/Broadway. (and there's gonna be a massive Whole Foods there soon, too)

And, Tobermory, I agree, what is with those women's "work length" shorts? Those are naaaasty. I hope that trend ends. Now. Please.

I also travel the Target/Old Navy/H&M circuit.

And I got my swimsuit at Land's End 'cause I'm a tub of goo.

Judy / June 15, 2007 11:11 AM

I really dislike clothes shopping. If I feel the need for something 'new', I usually go to Disgraceland up on north Clark. Good used clothes.

Otherwise, I have t-shirts piled up in my closet from years past and just keep wearing what I already have unless it gets torn up or falling apart or too small or the cat pees on it or the foster dog eats it....

Mo / June 15, 2007 11:37 AM

billy, your rules are dead-on, and all of my girlfriends and I agree with them.

I forgot all about swimsuits. I despise shopping for swimsuits, but I get all of mine from Newport News, which surprised even me. I think their clothes are frumpy and dumpy and for middle-aged women, BUT for some reason their swimsuit collection has some really great choices--lots of cool retro looks, some very cute and hip modern styles, and tons and tons of basic styles. They also cover all the range of sizes from very tiny to XXL. And the prices are good.

jen / June 15, 2007 11:50 AM

hey! i got my swimsuit from Lands' End, too (overstocks, baby) and i'm not a pile of goo (what a disturbing image...)
they have some cute stuff, and when the overstocks are $30 for a bikini i know will last more than one summer - hooray!

and nothing wrong with kohl's - they're good for the basics and occasional housewares.

skafiend / June 15, 2007 11:53 AM


Yes! Put an end to this "mandles" craze (men's sandals). WTF? I plan on buying a pair of sandals, but those almost-cover-the-whole-foot Teva deals that barely look like sandals. But those flip-flip things? Ugh. And, no, my opposition has nothing to do with the big black toenail on my right foot as a result of breaking my big toe as a teenager.

But you're wrong on the tank top thing. It's only dumb if you're super buff and you purposely by them a size smaller than you should to accentuate that.

Funny-but-true fashion tips in Esquire this month:
1. It is 16 percent more difficult to respect a man once you've seen his toes.
2. Shorts: never below the knee and never higher than halfway up your thigh. Unless your name is Debbie.
3. Before buying a pair of white jeans, try not doing it.
4. Men who pop their polo-shirt collars are three times more likely to cheat on their taxes and get away with it.

holden / June 15, 2007 11:58 AM

No shorts or flip-flops for men unless they're at the beach?!?!'s called summer. I'll be damned if I'm gonna be rockin' jeans and shoes in 100 degree heat, sorry to offend Mo and Billy.

Village Discount, Salvation Army, Goodwill. (last visit I got two short sleeve dress shirts for $0.75). GAP sale rack. New running shoes from Sheel's.

billy / June 15, 2007 12:13 PM

when the temp reaches the upper 90's, 100+ i wear lighter weight pants, roll the cuffs up to mid-shin and wear a pair of canvas shoes with no socks. you beat the heat without looking like you've given up.

additional rules:
5. never, ever ever wear cargo shorts (or pants, for that matter)
6. sports logos are for sports uniforms
7. novelty t's are rarely ever novel
8. it's uncommon for a dress shirt to look good untucked

*note: great personal style and self-confidence can make many of these rules obsolete (except sports logos for example)

Nuxrs / June 15, 2007 12:16 PM

Men shouldn't wear shorts? Soooo, walking around drenched in flopsweat is better than seeing some bony leg?


skafiend / June 15, 2007 12:57 PM

Ah, Billy, you were doing so well...

Sports logos are only for sport uniforms? No, a sports logo on a t-shirt is fine. What burns my omlette is people wearing actual uniforms tops. What are you, nine? Do you think Lou Pinella or Ozzie is going to see you in the stands and say, hey, what are you doing up there? Get down her and get in the dugout! No, sports t-shirts I can handle. Actual jerseys with some other guys name on the back is for Little Leaguers. Any grown man wearing this should be hit in the testicles with a Bobby Jenks fastball.

And NEVER the full uniform... this means YOU, Ronnie Woo Woo!

leah / June 15, 2007 1:03 PM

YES! YES! YES! Men in sandals, specifically flip flops--there's something immensely cheesetastic about it.

Wearing canvas shoes vs. flip flops is not making the difference between getting heat exhaustion or not. I promise you.

taJ / June 15, 2007 2:17 PM

everywhere and nowhere.
dept stores, sales, thrift, clothes exhanges...

Kevin / June 15, 2007 5:04 PM

I just quit my crappy ass job today and I am fucking thrilled about it!!!

Oh, um, I like the Gap.

Kevin / June 15, 2007 5:10 PM

Also, I love shorts, and flip flops. And I saw Neil Young wearing shorts that hit below the knees.

Basically, I feel that fashion rules in general should go screw.

But I'm totally not bothered by them, because I quit my crappy ass job today.

Leelah / June 15, 2007 8:55 PM

Women's shirts are so bad this season that I decided to wear only t-shirts. Currently, my wardrobe is from Interpol, Ted Leo and Threadless....

Olive / June 16, 2007 12:08 AM

I think those rules are sort of inane, because it really depends on how you pull off the look, what kind of shorts they are, what kinds of flip flops, how nice his legs cute he is to begin with...

I actually think flip flops on guys look sort of sexy.

Also - not tucking in button down shirts? What about every guy I see walking around in Lincoln Park, after clubbing or going out -all white shirts not tucked in paired with jeans? They look pretty good to me.

I like the sale rack at Banana Republic - sometimes. Gap was pretty good to me today.

peanut / June 16, 2007 2:19 PM

Many gay guys successfully rock the sandals (especially mules), but this is not recommended for straight men. Not because straight men have no style, but because this particular style looks so, you know, gay.

Years ago I swore off the Gap/Old Navy/Target/etc due to the fact that the vast majority of their clothing is made overseas by undoubtedly underpaid workers. Now I feel too old to go rooting around picked-over secondhand stores, so this standard like so many others has gone lax.

V / June 16, 2007 4:16 PM

I import all my spring/summer wardrobe from the finest of Parisian boutiques. I then supplement my purchases with accessories accumulated on my jetsetting excursions to locales such as Namibia, Sydney, Marrakech, and Tibet. I am quite fond of my goatskin leggings for this season which were handsewn for me by a monk in the Himalayas last month.

Brandy / June 16, 2007 7:41 PM

My wardrobe was fading so I just got a load of tanks at Old Navy and t's at Target and Avenue. Now I've got some bright colors to go with the hand printed, drawn and embellished skirts I'm sewing.

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