Despite years of buying bespoke clothing, and therefore steadily fewer if more expensive clothes, I have never lost a taste for the retail fix. There’s nothing like the thrill of making an ever-so-slightly irresponsible purchase, then walking out of the door with the item in your hand, pumped full of adrenaline and guilt.

Sales make this worse, not better. Auctions are terrible. And then there are fiendishly structured auctions that pray precisely on your weakness. At Lodger years ago (hands up who remembers Lodger?) we experimented with sales on Twitter that showed the price of shoes going down and down, until someone finally snapped and bought them.

That only took a day, or more likely a few hours. Nicholas over at Le Noeud Papillon has gone one better, stringing out a reverse or Dutch auction over a couple of weeks. On Saturday his stock had 50% off; on Sunday it was 55%; today it’s gone to 60%. What’s my breaking point for that Arnold grosgrain bow tie? I don’t know, but it seems likely I’m going to find out sometime in the next day or two.

Pictured above: wearing a Noeud Papillon bow in a photo shoot for The Rake. 
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Anonymous

I remember Lodger because I purchased a great pair of boots from them after spending about $150 in return shipping trying to find the right size. What happened to lodger?

Anonymous

Could you elaborate, Simon? Is the shoe collection smaller in scope or has the quality decreased too?

I’m sorry to hear this as I loved the shoe brand and dreamed of owning some one day. Such beautiful, contemporary designs in an industry where sometimes the design of the shoe can be a bit old-fashioned, even though the make is outstanding. They always had a slight twist on classic designs and the price didn’t seem half bad either.

CD

“There’s nothing like the thrill of making an ever-so-slightly irresponsible purchase, then walking out of the door with the item in your hand, pumped full of adrenaline and guilt.”

What a perfect way of describing the retail experience in general! Insofar as clothing is concerned, I seem to have always been extremely lucky with my purchases at such places as Turnbull and Asser, Gucci, Bergdorf Goodman and Barneys in New York. I must admit, however, that I bought two absolutely beautiful Prada ascots a year ago but have only worn them once or twice and felt slightly out of place at gallery opening receptions and elsewhere. New York seems to have become so exceedingly low key to the extent of resonating an obsessive tautology of “less is more.” But am still so pleased to have added them to my modest neckwear collection, if only to stare at them. (Well, at least one of them has become iconic as it was in a Prada ad campaign–if I’m not mistaken, draped over the neck of actor Michael Pitt.)

So, Simon, are you happy with the Noeund Papillon? I assume you are, as it looks great.

CD

Mark

What a great approach to driving sales. Simple, probably low impact on their bottom line and happy customers.

Doug

I remember Lodger! My emerald green suede chukkas remind me. If you know how I could put my hands on the shoe of the month tennis shoes, size 8, I would be eternally grateful. I lament not buying them at the time.

http://www.permanentstyle.com/2010/06/tennis-shoes-at-long-last.html#.UgmVfhZzLw4