Online clothes shopping inventory levels
May 11, 2020 3:20 PM   Subscribe

I just got a new job, and when I’m allowed to go back into the office, the dress code is going to be more conservative than my last company’s. Between that and general wear and tear, I’ve been looking to buy some new clothes. But most places I’ve looked online have been out of stock on a lot of items, and low inventory on the rest. Is this a temporary aspect of the quarantine? Or do I need to start shopping at new stores?

I’m generally looking for things like button-down shirts and khaki pants, maybe some polo shirts. My go-to stores are places J. Crew, Gap, (their factory outlets), Old Navy, Eddie Bauer, L. L. Bean, REI, etc. Obviously some of those are in pretty bad shape financially, but Gap has been circling the drain for years, and others like L. L. Bean are more stable. What they all have in common is that they’re really low on inventory, to the point of being sold out of seemingly every item in my size. I’ve noticed this on Amazon too.

It makes sense - a lot of clothing is manufactured overseas, and shipments are probably either delayed or deferred right now. Old Navy has been out of stock on some things for a while, but I guess that could be attributable to supply chain disruption going back to the beginning of the year. And stateside warehouse are probably not at full capacity now, either.

My question is, when can I expect to be able to buy some clothes again? They’re going to restock at some point, right? (Well, maybe not J. Crew...) And in the meantime, do you know of any similar stores for casual guys’ clothes with good inventory levels? For reference, I’m an XL shirt and a 38x32 or 38x34 pant, and tend to dress pretty conservatively (no crazy colors or patterns).
posted by kevinbelt to Shopping (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I can't speak to the timing of when normal shopping might resume, but as a potentially helpful data point, Trunk Club keeps sending me emails trying to get me place an order, and I know they offer their services for men as well. So you might have some luck there.

If you're okay with secondhand, ThredUp sells for both men and women, and a friend of mine recently ordered from them and got their stuff in a few days.
posted by bunderful at 3:28 PM on May 11, 2020 [2 favorites]

Try Nordstrom and Nordstrom It seems as there are a ton of sales going on and excess inventory.
posted by tipsyBumblebee at 3:53 PM on May 11, 2020

Seconding ThredUp. Also Poshmark.
posted by Jess the Mess at 5:22 PM on May 11, 2020

I've actually been buying some guys' clothes at Nordstrom Rack online recently, and they've had most of what I was interested in. It used to be that they didn't have their full stock up online, but that's changed in the past couple years and now everything tends to show up for ordering.
posted by kitten kaboodle at 5:26 PM on May 11, 2020

I just ordered several similar items from JC Penney, with little trouble.
posted by NotLost at 6:25 PM on May 11, 2020 is a decent curator of basic men's style with regular sales roundups. they generally mention sizing when it's spotty and cover all the retailers you list plus quite a few more that you may (or may not) be familiar with.
posted by lescour at 7:30 PM on May 11, 2020

But most places I’ve looked online have been out of stock on a lot of items

I'm genuinely a little confused on this - where are you looking online? men's shirts, button down XL = 308 choices

L.L. Bean men's pants, 38 waist, 34 inseam = 32 styles (and while some colors may be out I'm having no trouble adding a lot of the standard khaki & navy pants to the shopping cart.)

Banana Republic Men's button down dress shirts = 145 items, basically 3 styles in various colors; again, I'm not really seeing XL's out of stock in most colors when I add to shopping cart.

I feel like you're either looking at retailer websites ( or or etc.) and/or your searches are defaulting to "in stock in stores"? Yeah, retailers might be low on inventory (physically and on the web), but I suspect the manufacturers/brands still have a lot available in their own warehouses/web systems.

(I got to this because I discovered a little while ago that some things (like rubbing alcohol or toilet paper) are NOT available online at retailer sites right now, but are definitely in stock in local branches of these stores, so I figured something similar might be going on here and started poking around, and . . . yeah, AFAICT direct from the brands is the best way to go right now.)

Also, while Zappos tends to be highly variable in available sizes even in normal times, they carry such a wide range of brands that you should have some options.
posted by soundguy99 at 8:13 PM on May 11, 2020

I'd avoid Thredup unless you have time and $$ to deal with returns. In my experience condition descriptions are all over the map in terms of accuracy and friends have gotten clothing that was clearly altered.
posted by oneear at 10:04 PM on May 11, 2020 [3 favorites]

I agree with avoiding ThredUp for the reasons oneear mentions. I was FedUp when I had to have eBay step in and force them to refund me for my return.
posted by jgirl at 8:59 AM on May 12, 2020

« Older How did you develop good money sense?   |   Documented SARS-CoV-2 smear transmission? Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments