This accidentally fell out of her pocket when I bumped into her. Took me four goes.

Thursday, June 30


Steamed Shirts

The other thing about Rivers is that their online store takes the Steam approach to sales.

That is, its prices are regularly half that of their big-city retail stores (and the same as their country clearance stores).  But they have a constantly changing set of items that can be 75% off the already 50% off, so if you stop by at the right moment, a shirt that retails for $60 could cost $8, but be back to full (that is, half) price the next day.  In fact, a couple of shirts I ordered only two hours ago (along with the shoes) just dropped from $8 to $5...  And the shoes I ordered doubled in price.

(Which really tells you where the money goes in the rag trade, and it ain't on the manufacturing.)

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Unknown Territory

I buy most of my clothes at Rivers, a well-known Australian purveyor of, well, clothes.  They used to be a very good, very Australian company with reliably high-quality products, but over the past few years they've been trending towards being a clearing house for job lots from China (or India or Pakistan), about half of which are designed by colour-blind orangutans on acid.
This is supposedly a real shirt.

Fortunately, the other half still aren't.

And while it's become somewhat hit-and-miss, I can usually count on buying new clothing and footwear at their big country clearance stores whenever I head down to Melbourne to visit my family.

Except that that hasn't happened for nearly two years (due to fires and explosions at my day job that coincided with every opportunity to visit) and the shoes I bought from them last time turned out to be complete crap, with leather lining but synthetic "uppers" that fell apart very quickly.  So I've been wearing my last remaining old, good pair of shoes from them, which are over three years old now and starting to fall apart too.

And looking in the window of the shoe store near my house, a decent pair of shoes in a style I like goes for $200 these days.  Back at the time of the dot-com bubble I paid nearly that much, but back at the time of the dot-com bubble I was a paper multi-millionaire.  These days I'm decidedly not.

Anyways, I was poking around Rivers' online store looking for some cheap warm clothes to keep me warm cheaply, when I discovered something: The store doesn't actually show you everything they have in stock.

It has two different failure modes - one in which the bottom of the page is messed up, with a long list of product descriptions all mashed together but no pictures or links, and one where it just stops.  In the latter case, there's no indication at all that the list is incomplete.

It was only when I tried the search function that I discovered that they have quite a lot of discontinued lines still in stock, including real leather shoes in my size, in styles and colours I like, at 50% to 75% off - from prices that were already pretty good.  Some of them have been gone from their brick-and-mortar stores for four years or more.  The styles and sizes available are a complete grab bag, just what's left unsold, but for $15 I'm not going to make a fuss.

I ordered 6 different pairs.  First time I've ever ordered shoes online, but I figure that even if only half of them fit comfortably I've still done well.

I also bought three pairs of Bad Pants (factory seconds) to wear around the house because (a) $5 and (b) they call them Bad Pants.

* I'm tempted to buy this (link is gone already; amazingly bright scarlet shirt) even though it's not in stock in my size, just to blind people.

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