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Nordstrom Rack vs. the Off-Pricers

The year’s most hotly anticipated department store opens May 11, and we got first look at the goods. How the Rack stacks up against the overstock competition.


Now: $99.97
Was: $465
Century 21 and Loehmann’s can lay claim to D&G dresses, but they’re all from several seasons ago. This office-ready D&G wool dress was just in stores during the winter.

Now: $49.97
Was: $135
Unlike at Daffy’s and Loehmann’s, you don’t have to paw through a pile of generic American brands to find a Hickey Freeman dress shirt. There are hundreds of them.

Now: $299.90
Was: $575
A recent Loehmann’s trip yielded a fine pair of BCBG platforms. Still, the breadth of Nordstrom’s stock—Burberry, Vera Wang, suede Bruno Maglis—is unmatched.

Now: $129.97
Was: $395
Every-dude jackets from London Fog and Theory are easily found at Filene’s and Daffy’s. Here you get the A-list: a cotton-canvas jacket from John Varvatos.

Now: $219.97
Was: $428
All the rivals (in particular, Century 21) carry statement bags; it’s rare to stumble across one as memorable as this Marc by Marc Jacobs tote.

Now: $69.97
Was: $210
Filene’s has sleeveless tops from Free People, and Loehmann’s stocks Marc by Marc, but this look-at-me top by See by Chloé is a still-current standout.

Now: $159.97
Was: $395
Discounted biker jackets can too easily go from Village Cool to Village People. This Michael Michael Kors women’s bomber is a well-priced investment.

Now: $124.97
Was: $395
Though flirty frocks are a staple of the discount chains, it’s hard to argue with an of-the-moment Milly dress from last season.

Now: $139.90
Was: $395
Florsheims are reliable but unimaginative—and found everywhere. These sleek Bally cap-toes are fit for a veritable fashion hound.

Now: $29.97 Was: $76
Knit basics abound, yet they’re usually workwear basics—not cool layerables like this razor-thin Splendid sweater.

Where Nordstrom Rack Doesn’t Quite Measure Up:
Men’s Suits and Ties
While the Rack is a ferocious competitor pretty much across the board, Century 21 remains the store to beat for discounted designer suits and ties. The chain’s financial-district flagship (22 Cortlandt St., nr. Church St.; 212-227-9092) is loaded with high-end Italian designers like Lanvin, Emilio Pucci, and Brioni. At left, a Versace Collection suit for $499.97 (was $1,180) and a Versace tie for $59.97 (was $120).

Nordstrom Rack, 60 E. 14th St., nr. Fourth Ave.; 212-220-2080


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