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  1. #1
    Sam

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    The OFFICIAL Topman Thread

    Hi guys,

    The Topman thread, I hear you ask? Isn't Topman just a nationwide high street wholesaler to oiks, dregs and those dreadful hipsters? Yes, friend, it's all of this and more.
    Topman is a favourite of many a frugal Fashionbeaner. Not only us, either; what did Gary Barlow, for instance, wear with his Vivienne Westwood jacket and waistcoat number on the first X Factor final? Topman skinny chinos. Needless to say he could very easily have worn Incotex.
    I think Topman speaks to a kind of cheap and easy youthful cool; men and boys of certain frames can simply walk into Topman and pick up a fairly statement piece or a simple basic without much thought, effort or outlay. This is what makes it such a hard addiction to kick; it's cost me time and individuality.
    So here then I'm trying to create a place to bring queries, opinions, tales and acquisitions specifically related to Topman - or, if you're a bit of a hipster yourself, Topshop!
    Perhaps as and if the thread develops we could build a bit of a guide to the brand - its different offshoots, what to avoid (I.E. shoes) and what to lap up (I.E. Harris Tweed), its fits and designs. A compendium of Topman knowledge and advice.
    Alternatively, it could emerge that Topman is widely loathed. I don't think I'd be surprised!
    In any case, let the discussion roll.

    Here, by the way, are some pieces on the site at the minute that I happen to think look quite nice:

    Topman's getting its autumnal colours and heritage styles right this season.

    So, what do you guys think of the shop? Made or making any purchases? Chat about anything and everything, hope the thread kicks off.

    -Sam

  2. #2
    Tone's Avatar

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    I have to say I'm not a fan and never really have been, I live in a city with 20,000 students that all look like they've had the Topman makeover plus I'm in my 30's now so my fashion compass steers me away from such shops.

    The only thing I've ever bought Topman are chinos which are 'OK' I guess but I've since found nicer ones in Burton, better quality/fit and no ugly white buttons.

  3. #3
    Jay's Avatar
    Jay

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tone View Post

    The only thing I've ever bought Topman are chinos which are 'OK' I guess but I've since found nicer ones in Burton, better quality/fit and no ugly white buttons.
    I have three pairs of those (apart from basics like henley's and t-shirts, which I won't buy again because the quality sucks), these are the only things I own from there and I tend to use it only as a very last resort (I couldn't find skinny chinos at the time in the city centre).

    I replaced all the buttons on mine with jeans buttons. They cost about a fiver and bang together with a hammer so no needlework needed. It took about half an hour to do all three pairs, and they look a hundred times better than having those hideous white buttons showing.

    But over all, the quality is terrible. Get fashionable stuff out first, skimp on quality and sell it cheap is the way it works. And clearly it does work, but not for me. I'm getting a little older, appreciate quality and am well aware that investing in well made pieces actually saves you money in the long run rather than buying cheap tat that falls apart after five washes.

  4. #4
    Ivan Condor Aasllani's Avatar

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    I agree with Jay, generally the quality is awful, particularly on footwear and knits. I do like their chinos and coloured jeans; they are ahead of the curve on those particular items and the quality is acceptable.

    I do have a fair amount of the plain tees; they are by no means great quality, but it's an easy and cheap way to get those staple layering pieces, and when they get out of shape they can be replaced with no hassle. Tees are one thing I don't like spending big money on for some reason.

  5. #5

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    I kind of have to agree with the last two post. I too bought some chinos from Topman, but more out of not being able to find the ones I wanted anywhere else. I have more recently bought a couple of pairs from Burtons which I much prefer. The Topman purchase was more of a last resort. They do seem to get stuff out on the market quicker, but once other stores catch up, they offer a better alternative to Topman.

    I have bought t-shirts in the past as basics, but I find these don't last long, and end up out of shape and stretched very quickly, even compared to places like H&M, which also offer cheap basics.

    The only purchase I've made recently that I'm overly happy with is a blue blazer, but that is more that I don't wear one often enough to justify spending more for better quality.

    I do also think the student vibe of Topman makes me feel that at 35 I'm too old for shopping there. It almost feels like I'm regressing back 15 years, to a time when I did used to buy from there. Strangely, I don't feel the same about River Island, which arguably is very similar, if not a bit pricier.

  6. #6
    Nath6644's Avatar

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    Just to stir things up, here's the input of someone who is, god forbid, not only a student but someone who most of you older guys on here would describe as a "god-awful hipster". I have a plug in my left ear, wear skinny jeans paired with big jumpers from vintage shops and own a couple of pairs of vans.
    but before you judge me, I often indulge in more grown up pieces. the more "hipster" aspects of how I dress are a result of personal preference, the music scene i grew up in and an exgirlfriend who demanded that i dress so.

    I think Topman has its pros and cons. The cons include creating a legion of dropcrotch chino, sweatshirt wearing clones. these people go into shops and buy pieces that they don't care if they dont suit them. however, topman provides original and fashionable pieces that many highstreet stores simply do not. try picking up a nice tweed blazer in H and M, or nice faisle for under 50£. and, as highlighted above, its great for basics. stuff like plain slouch neck tees which, although horrible worn the way most highstreet indie kids wear them, are great for layering with blazers and nice jackets.

  7. #7
    William Colman's Avatar

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    I have my eyes on a pair of Grey Herringbone Trousers from Topman but that's about it. I don't mind some of the designs but the vast majority I hate. In in a pinch they help me no end with some cheaper items to cover specific purposes but I just can't get over the issue with the quality, I've never had clothes from there that last or hold their shape or actual meet my (admittedly) high standards for production.

  8. #8
    Sam

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    Utterly unsurprised at the general consensus actually!
    The thread might fall in to disrepair quite quickly, then. As a skinny guy I do find that finding clothes that fit is a blessing. And I agree about the quality to an extent - like I said in the OP I think it varies item by item. That said as a growing lad clothes don't last all that long anyway, so perhaps I'm just not noticing longevity issues yet.

    I really like the design though - particularly the Topman Design collections. Just me? The last one executed most of the major season trends perfectly, and the coming SS12 one looks great, with a nice line in DB tailoring.

  9. #9
    Gerald Tweedface's Avatar

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    I'm in agreement with the distaste towards the proliferation of 'Topmannequins' all over the high street and wherever, but it still has its advantages and I wouldn't dismiss Topman simply for the aforementioned reason. If you want something different, Topman LTD, Design, AAA and the brands they stock are all excellent options.

    The sizing is a major draw for me as well, as few other retailers in the UK stock XS and smaller.

  10. #10
    markjwinter86's Avatar

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    I find that I'm slowly avoiding Topman. I've always been a bit wary of the quality but the awful mass print t shirts and dodgy slogans are more than putting me off.
    Mark J Winter

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