Incredibly excited about this one. Who doesn’t like designer brands? Although the price tag may not always appeal to us, the quality you get for your money is, generally speaking, worth it. I am an avid brand buyer, not because I want people to know I’m wearing Ralph Lauren or Armani, but because I know what to expect from a label. When you own multiple items from one brand, you start to get a feel for it and know how things will fit before you put them on. You know that even though you wear a size 8 shoe, with this brand you’ll need a size 9. It’s nice having that security, it gives you confidence. I remember when the only place to get these world-famous brands was at their outlet stores or at flagship stores like Harrods; which going into makes you feel the need to dress up for the occasion and act in the most ostentatious of fashions.
Not to take anything away from the mega department stores, they are great, most of the time; I still regularly shop at House of Fraser. BHS obviously got left in the 80’s and have now closed down. The fact Selfridges have a Primark section says it all. Maybe it’s time to try out the smaller companies selling top brands at decent prices, maybe it’s time to try Infinities Menswear.
Let’s see, shall we.
Infinities Menswear As A Company
Founded in 1991, they’ve been around awhile. They built their name by building relationships with big brands and then eventually becoming big enough to retail some labels exclusively. They appear to be a company that has a good turnover of stock which is fantastic since you won’t end up constantly seeing the same dated products every time you visit. I’ve noticed multiple new names and ranges added in the past weeks and on top of that; they ship worldwide for all of you outside the UK.
Infinities sell all types of menswear clothes; smart, smart-casual, casual and sportswear. I’d say they are more geared towards the casual side of a man’s wardrobe but you can find something to suit almost every occasion. Although please note you’re not likely to find any tuxedos.
It is incredibly evident that Infinities have a strong relationship with a variety of big brands known across the world; Polo Ralph Lauren, Adidas, Paul Smith, Lyle & Scott and Stone Island to name but a few. I’d say the two biggest and strongest brands they have are Polo Ralph Lauren and Paul Smith. Not only that but with over 250 Ralph Lauren items and over 150 Adidas items, you’re set for all your casual and sportswear needs.
Judging quality is a difficult one. I count 60 brands on the Infinities website. Could I tell you how they all rank in quality? Probably not. Infinities stock many big names as I’ve mentioned previously like Ralph Lauren whereby quality is established, then they have the huge brands where the quality isn’t so up to scratch, not mentioning any names. The issue of quality concerns will always be there so long as you keep trying new brands but if the price is right and the item is aesthetically pleasing, then trying a new label is worth a go.
Most of the time when I look at a brand or a product I usually always check the price and ask myself; is it worth that much? The answer is usually no. When it comes to buying branded clothing, looking at the price is one of the last things you want to do really. Obviously, you would have a price range in your head, i.e. I would expect a pair of Ralph Lauren socks to be between £5-12 each, any more than that and it’s just not worth it.
The way I see branded clothing is simple; I’m paying more than normal for the privilege of a Ralph Lauren logo on my sock.
Product Review – Ralph Lauren Socks
I was incredibly fortunate to be sent these Ralph Lauren Polo socks to review. I love free things, for some strange reason I actually tend to wear all the stuff I get for free more than the stuff I pay for. Maybe it’s a psychological thing. I go through phases in the year, whereby I’ll wear colourful socks for a few months and then wear nothing but black socks for another few months. Thankfully with the British weather finally picking up and even recording the second hottest day in the last 10 years, I can wear my colourful socks again.
Ralph Lauren as a brand are fantastic, we know that we are basically told to believe that Ralph Lauren equals quality and I’m not about to disagree. Made from Egyptian cotton, these two pairs of socks in Navy & pink are wonderful. I have my reservations about Egyptian cotton as its usually quite thin and thus the elasticity won’t last long. I’ve had these now for two months and worn them many times and surprisingly the elasticity has stayed true. I’m yet to experience that horrible feeling of my sock rolling down my leg and bunching at my ankles.
I tend to look after my clothes with regards to following the label in washing advice. Even though I take care, cheap socks always end up bubbling into random cotton bunches and usually within two months look a year old. Although the Ralph Lauren socks certainly don’t look brand new they don’t look a year old either. Take a look at them side by side with a pair of socks I bought for £1 a week after I got the Ralph ones.
Obviously priced at £16 you would expect a difference in quality from the £1 socks but is £8 for a pair of socks really worth it. Well if you love brands and have a spare bit of change, why not? They are light, look fantastic and if you ever do take off your trousers or wear shorts then you can flash that expensive logo.
The Perfect Customer
Infinities menswear is not for everyone, same way brands aren’t for everyone. Not all of us are cash rich and many of us have big commitments so sometimes brands are a little out of reach. I recommend if you fit into that category of NOT cash rich, then I suggest only shopping here during the sales and try your luck at grabbing stuff in your size.
If you are either a massive designer brand wearer or money is not an issue for you then infinities is for you. With massive stock, good prices and exclusives, they have the balance perfect so you probably won’t bump into someone wearing the same thing as you.
Accessories – £50
Whenever we want to buy a certain brand but are not able to quite afford it, we turn to accessories as they’re usually the cheapest. On Infinities buying any accessory will set you back a minimum of £5 for a pair of Egyptian cotton socks from a brand I don’t know. At the top end of the accessories, a Paul Smith leather bag will set you back a comfortable £500. The average accessory will set you back £50, while £60 would get you a Paul Smith leather belt and £30 with Infinities will get you two pairs of Ralph Lauren socks.
I’d say this is fairly expensive for the accessories.
Shirts – £60
Shirts are a part of every man’s wardrobe (or at least should be) and quite possibly one of the most important components of the outfit. I’ve spent many years working in the office without my tie and blazer so how my shirt looked was critical. Infinities without a doubt have many shirts available although the vast majority would not be suitable for office wear. Most are quite casual from casual brands like Lyle & Scott, Paul Smith & Armani. Thankfully for us, they do have a fair number of dress shirts suitable for all office environments. An Armani dress shirt would cost you around £70, while you could get a Ralph Lauren or a Lyle & Scott dress shirt for around £60. I wouldn’t expect you to pick up a designer shirt for less than £50, not a nice one anyways.
£60 is probably around the price I would pay for a designer shirt, most I’ve seen would cost a lot more. Overall, Infinities shirts are priced well.
Suits/Blazers – £200
Infinities are aimed more towards casual clothing than it is office-wear, which is probably why they only stock one full suit and five blazers all from Paul Smith. The PS by Paul Smith mid-fit suit is the only they sell. It’s a single breasted, double vented navy suit with a playful interior lining. It’s truly a wonderful piece of tailoring made from 100% wool and would be the exact suit I’d love to buy. However Paul Smith’s suits are way above my pay grade, priced at £549.95, it’s not for those with small pockets.
The other five blazers they stock are all designed by Paul Smith and are priced between £99 and £335. For me the suit is far too expensive while some of the blazers are decently priced, their stock is far too low.
Office Shoes – £80
I must say I did not expect Infinities to stock any smart shoes, don’t judge a book by its cover right? I suppose seeing the giant that is Bass Weejuns on Infinities is enough to put that assumption to bed. The brands that supply Infinities with their smart shoes are four; Bass Weejuns, Paul Smith, Ralph Lauren & Swims. With about 40 shoes to choose from, all range between £65 and £200, which is about what you would expect. The stock once again isn’t fantastic but you can definitely work with it.
The average cost for a pair of shoes you like in your size would probably be about £80. Not bad but not cheap either.
Trainers – £50
I’m quite into going smart/casual nowadays so trainers are becoming more and more my kind of thing. If like me, your interested in trainers then you can expect to pay roughly the same amount you would anywhere else. Maybe this is me being ignorant but trainers appear to be the same price across most companies/brands. The only time I can tell a difference in cost would be if one has a sale while the other doesn’t.
£50 spent with Infinities will get you a pair of simple & smart Ralph Lauren trainers or a pair of Adidas originals.
Infinities are just like many other sites, they are essentially a broker for big brands. I suppose they have may have been part of the first few companies that started selling other companies products but with the internet boom, there are now thousands of websites selling big branded items. The question then arises; what makes them different?
The three main areas that would influence my decision to purchase from one brand as opposed to another would be price, stock & exclusivity.
We’ve all been on websites where items are so cheap they are basically free, and you’re thinking ‘OMG Armani Suit for £10!!’ then you check and it’s out of stock. You also get those websites that have wonderful products, with free delivery and hundreds in stock but when you compare the price to House of Fraser, it’s £50 more expensive.One thing that makes companies stand out, other than price is exclusivity. If a man’s not bothered about the price for whatever reason then sometimes he can turn to wanting exclusive items others don’t have.
We need balance and I wanted to see if Infinities has that balance.
Price, Stock & Exclusivity Comparison
Adidas Originals Los Angeles Trainers
I first had a look at some new in trainers, I picked a personal favourite of mine; Adidas Originals Los Angeles Trainer Black. Priced at £74.95, I was fairly certain I’d be able to beat that price. I did manage to beat the £75 price tag by £10 on five or six different websites however none had the trainers in every size. The maximum number of sizes available on any one of the other sites was two (size 6 and size 13.) Infinities, however, had in stock all sizes from 6 to 12. These trainers are a classic example of what I mentioned earlier, most websites have super cheap prices and no stock – fantastic. Interestingly enough Infinities let me order fifteen pairs of these in size 8 so they clearly have stock. In terms of exclusivity the fact that most websites had these in stock themselves for seemly quite a while, I can assume that Infinities are a bit late to the party in that sense so I’d have to mark them down in terms of exclusivity.
Price Score – 7/10
Stock Score – 10/10
Exclusivity Score – 6/10
Polo Ralph Lauren T-Shirt Grey
Next up was the Polo Ralph Lauren Classic Crew Neck T-Shirt Grey Heather priced at £44.95. We all know and love Ralph Lauren and as such I expect Infinities to be off the mark on this one since the Ralph Lauren market is so competitive. I managed to find over ten suppliers selling this t-shirt with only three stocking it in every size, even Ralph Lauren’s own website was out of stock of XXL. Of the three that had every size in stock, all were priced at £45, same as Infinities.
Price Score – 8/10
Stock Score – 10/10
Exclusivity Score – 7/10
PS By Paul Smith Brushed Oxford Shirt Sky Blue
Lastly comes the Paul Smith Oxford Shirt. I wanted to pick something that I thought could be quite unique and I picked well. I searched the web and only found one other company selling it, which is a good sign. Oddly I couldn’t even find it on the Paul Smith website. Priced at £114.95 on Infinities it’s 5 pence cheaper than the other website it’s sold on.
Price Score – 8/10
Stock Score – 10/10
Exclusivity Score – 10/10
I do like a good blog, hence why I got into blogging in the first place. I’m addicted to fashion and football blogs and in the last few weeks I’ve attempted to keep up with Infinities blog. Most of it isn’t really to my taste since it’s them promoting their new products rather than useful reads. Which to be fair to them, they are a store and how else would customers know about their new collections if they didn’t promote them. There are some decent reads on how to re-wax your jacket or how to roll up your sleeves however most are look-books.
I always recommend if you like a brand/company to sign up to their newsletter and Infinities newsletter seems to be pretty decent so far. It’s important to know when there’s going to be a new sale so that you can get hold of the discounted items first before the good stuff sells out.
As a cheeky side benefit, Infinities will you 10% off your first order just for signing up. Not bad by my standards.
At first working out what Infinities’s game plan was confusing. I wasn’t sure if they were trying to be like House of Fraser or another version of ASOS. I find that they are pretty much neither or maybe a blend of the two. I suppose I’m still not sure what exactly they are but then again do they need to be anything? Is it possible they can just be themselves? I would say time will tell but they been around for more than twenty years so maybe time has already spoken and maybe you should give them a go.