Basics Apparel has a business model that's a lot more difficult than it sounds. Anyone can throw together a pile of underwear, some v-neck and Oxford shirts (see, I just created a store model), but only the stores that do basics well stick around because the store stock is curated by the most anal of aesthetes (Anal Aesthetes could be a great name for the store model above - also, porn).
Basics Apparel is the new kid on the block, having opened up shop on Manning, favoring it over the bank breaking real estate of College St. The idea of "off the beaten path" anything usually holds a bit of cache, which helps garner the attention of early adopters. It is for this reason that it makes sense that Basics Apparel has seen steady traffic since it opened in October.
Owner Blake Stavro Pearce jokes and says, "we finally have a sign" which is funny considering the former occupants of his Manning space were dentists. It is my understanding that some people don't like going to the dentist, but good word of mouth, well-considered stock and enthusiastic staff bring the bodies - cavities, or not.
As of now, Basics Apparel carries three brands, which is unusual for a retailer that isn't carrying its own house label, but BA is new and it is growing. Blake has taken items that he knows people love, from his running inventory of Levi's 501s, 511s and 514s (all, $75) to high and low top Converse shoes. Rounding the store out is an assortment of t-shirts and hoodies from Alternative Apparel, but Blake says that coming soon are options from Cheap Monday and Gant - shoppers will be able to find new and old classics alike, helping them level out the wardrobe they thought had everything).
As for meeting the needs of its client base, Basics Apparel will be open until 11pm on weekends as the weather gets warm in the summer months. Until then, savvy shoppers should look at Basics Apparel's mostly unisex offerings and stock up on those pieces they know they'll always need. Pretty soon, summer will be here and a v-neck will come in handy to accompany that Big Chill cone (it's just down the street).
Photos by Dennis Marciniak