or Connect
Styleforum › Forums › Men's Style › Classic Menswear › The official thrift/discount store bragging thread
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

The official thrift/discount store bragging thread - Page 3

post #31 of 113274
I picked up my thrift store J Press plaid sport coat from the tailor yesterday. Great hard core Trad. At the thrift shop was a Turnbull & Asser red and blue stripe with fleur de lyse, a Holland & Holland with dogs on it and a vintage Robert Talbott regimental (only 3 1/8" wide.). I'll try to post a pic of all that later. I didn't have a lot of cash on me, so I had to leave a couple of ties and a Brooks casual shirt that I hope to go back for Monday. I also bought half a dozen Bernard Cornwell trade paperbacks from the Richard Sharpe series.
post #32 of 113274
A discount coup today: an Isaia black super 150 db jacket at NM Last Call for $107. And all the buttons were in the pocket. Off to the tailor tomorrow.
post #33 of 113274
Where do you guys find these incredible thrift stores??? The only things I find in thrift stores, even in affluent neighborhoods, are broken down Cole-Hahns (the holes in the soles are free) and logo t-shirts. D***.
post #34 of 113274
Thread Starter 
Like I have said, it's pretty much random. Aside from a couple of shops that only get/sell local donations and are in affluent neighborhoods with no collection service (and the best one of these stores is gone), I find good stuff at all of them, occasionally. There are some ways to up your ratio: -Go during weekdays. The less serious people go on weekends, crowding it up and taking a lot of the good stuff. Luckily, most of them don't know the really good stuff when they see it. -Find out when they put stuff out. Some of them only put out new stuff on certain days or at certain times. Be there at these times. -Find out if they have central distribution or local only, and where they get their stuff from. If it is a chain with central distro, some of them still seem to sort it regionally, while others truly randomize the items. For example, I found bespoke jackets made in Japan that were obviously from the same donation at three different stores in the same chain. So on these ones, concentrate on the ones with lower traffic. If it's random, you want to go to the one that gets picked over the least. If it's local donations only, and in a crappy part of town, don't bother unless it's on your way to something else. -Get into the groove of it. I can't explain this really, but once you get into it seriously, you'll be able to tell whether something is worth looking more closely at within milliseconds. For suits, obviously, you want to flip and open the lapel to check the label. But going one direction down the rack is much faster than the other way. Same with shirts. I can flip through shirts probably 5 per second or something. I recognize almost every label I see now, and only stop when I either see a good one, see none or see a new one. Once filed in my mind, I know that label and don't stop for it again. The best example is sweaters. I just run my fingers through the whole rack and can tell by feel which are wool, cotton, linen, lambswool, alpaca, angora, cashmere (feels almost exactly the same as acrylic, but I'm getting better). Then it is easy to tell which to look at more closely. Shoes, very simple - look at the exterior to see the condition, then the insole for the label. I don't spend a ton of time in any store unless I'm finding great stuff. If I get the feeling that I will find nothing, I speed through it and plan to move on to another one rather than waste my time. Typically I will go directly to the 'my size' sections and see if there is anything I might want for myself, not to sell. If I find great stuff there, I might stick around, or I might end on a high note and head off to the next one. I will always check back, though - I've found great stuff from time to time in stores I felt like I was ready to write off completely. A couple examples from one of those stores - the alligator/croc/? shoes from Alan McAfee ($5), and a Yamaha keytar in the toy section for $17 that I ended up selling on Craigslist for $200. These two finds alone make up for the 12 or so times I've walked out with nothing. Also, and I know this is kind of anal retentive, I optimize my trip through the store to head off someone snatching up something great while I'm busy elsewhere. Shoes first, then coats, suits, shirts, ties, sweaters, electronics, toys (for stuff like the keytar) etc, then finally the case (for cufflinks and such). I have no idea whether this has ever helped me, and probably never will. But if I saw a guy walking off with some perfect RLPL croc loafers right as I got to the end of a long suit rack, I wouldn't be able to forgive myself. Edit: if you are considering buying things not for yourself but to sell, always bring a tailor's tape measure with you. This will prevent the dreaded 43 XL suit syndrome, where you get stuck with something in a weird size that you won't be able to make anything off of, or possibly won't even be able to sell. Also, since tags are so inconsistent, even if you're buying for yourself, get an idea of your size in "hands" in various dimensions on various garments. This is faster than a tape. My hand is 9" almost exactly from thumb to end of pinky. So I can tell almost instantly by measuring from one armpit toward the center what size a jacket really is, or how big a sweater would be on me. This saves a lot of time and grief.
post #35 of 113274
j, thanks for the tips. I've just started making thrift store circuits, but I'm beginning to develop an eye and especially a feel for fabrics. And, like you, my hand is almost exactly 9" from tip of thumb to tip of pinky....but I will start carrying a tailor's tape measure with me.
post #36 of 113274
J, Interesting what you say about going through the racks at thrift stores. I've developed an extra sense for this sort of stuff. I'll just walk past the suits/pants/sweaters with my hand out and can tell from fabrics which ones are decent. Also, with the shirts, I can destroy an entire rack of hundreds of shirts in under five minutes, simply by rapidly flipping through shirts and eyeing the labels. If I come across one shirt with nice fabric and a label I don't instantly recognize, then I might flip back to that to read the label. Otherwise, it's a matter of pure visual recognition of the label design/color.
post #37 of 113274
Okay, as promised here are the recent tie acquisitions. From left, Zegna, Robert Talbott, Robert Talbott, Turnbull & Asser, Holland & Holland, Breuer. The color is uneven on the H&H in the picture, but that's a lighting thing. A couple of them need to be steamed. In fact the Talbott on the left was purchased for $1 in a Tampa thrift store primarily as a steaming experiment. I did like the tie, but it was a crumpled, wrinkled mess. I wanted to see if steaming would get it out. Amazingly it did. I've become quite a fan of the vintage Robert Talbott regimentals. They're very narrow (3 1/8"-3 1/2"). They also aren't lined at all where the tie begins to form the point. The Breuer was purchased today at a consignment store for $6 rather than a thrift store (the rest I paid no more than $2/each). I now have three Breuers (the other two from thrift stores) and really like them. They have very well made conservative designs. I will dub them the French Drake's.
post #38 of 113274
interesting that the T&A stripe goes the other way from the rest. i seem to remember reading something somewhere about rep stripe directions, but i can't remember the details. --- this past weekend, in honor of this thread, i made it back to my thrift store in san francisco and picked up 5 shirts, 1 polo, and 2 sportcoats. 2 of the shirts don't fit, but i mainly got them to harvest the buttons. one of the shirts that does fit is a pretty great striped shirt from a SF shop called 'Button Down' - if any of you know about it, tell me some details. the shirt is well-made, single-needle, very crisp collar and cuffs, MOP buttons, and a neat little tiny detail at the end of the sleeve placket, kindof like a tack stitch to reinforce the end of the 'slit'. The other shirts that fit are from Nordstrom (2-ply broadcloth) and Burberry's, a grey glen-plaid (i think?). the polo is yet another Brooks Bros 'golden fleece', bringing my total from that line to 4. red, green, blue, and now grey. i love that flying-pig logo. the jackets: one from 'Planteen & Krogh', nothing special, but the other is from Givenchy 'Monsieur' and it's pretty neat. no major scores though. i saw several interesting items not my size, while i was there: one H&K shirt (looking pretty worn at the edges), an Alan Flusser shirt in a nice plaid or check, a few Ermenegildo Zegna shirts, several YSL shirts and a few Diors. In jackets i saw several Hickey-Freemans, a Dormeuil in a lovely blue plaid, and actually a few jackets with working buttonholes and some double vents. /andrew - got his fix
post #39 of 113274
Quote:
Interesting that the T&A stripe goes the other way from the rest. I seem to remember reading something somewhere about rep stripe directions, but I can't remember the details.
English stripes: top right to bottom left, same direction as one would properly button a double-breasted jacket. American stripes: reversed, top left to bottom right. IIRC, Flusser mentions this in Dressing the Man (2004) and provides more historical detail. Cheers.
post #40 of 113274
Inspired by the successes of others, I went to my local Goodwill... Nothing good in the suits section, but I found a few good ties: a Brioni, a Robert Talbott Studio, and an extra-long Hickey Freeman, all for $2 each. Since I am still new at this, can someone tell me which level Robert Talbott Studio ties are at? I can tell they are pretty well-constructed, and they are not 7 or 4 folds, but I am rather curious whether it's the lowest of the Robert Talbotts or somewhere in the middle. As for the longer Hickey Freeman tie, I noticed that there's no interlining in the tips of the tie (only the slik can be felt with the hand), and is only present in the middle. Is this one of the accepted ways of construction? Or is it simply that they used a regular length interlining for a extra-long tie, leaving the empty spaces? Thanks for the help, and for the inspiration.
post #41 of 113274
Quote:
Inspired by the successes of others, I went to my local Goodwill... Nothing good in the suits section, but I found a few good ties: a Brioni, a Robert Talbott Studio, and an extra-long Hickey Freeman, all for $2 each.   Since I am still new at this, can someone tell me which level Robert Talbott Studio ties are at?  I can tell they are pretty well-constructed, and they are not 7 or 4 folds, but I am rather curious whether it's the lowest of the Robert Talbotts or somewhere in the middle.  As for the longer Hickey Freeman tie, I noticed that there's no interlining in the tips of the tie (only the slik can be felt with the hand), and is only present in the middle.  Is this one of the accepted ways of construction?  Or is it simply that they used a regular length interlining for a extra-long tie, leaving the empty spaces?   Thanks for the help, and for the inspiration.
From my experience the Talbott Studio ties tend to be more adventurously designed. Some of them, IMO, are downright ugly. Others are more tolerable, although I will say most of the Talbott lines have an issue with "aggressive" designs. The quality of the silk and construction of the tie are always high with Talbott. As for the lining on the Hickey, note what I said in my post above about the vintage Robert Talbott regimentals. They, too, did not have lining in the point of the tie. Modern Talbotts do in my experience. I've not seen enough HF ties to say with certainty, but it's likely the HF you have is older (not necessarily a bad thing). I wouldn't consider it a problem. Congratulations on the ties.
post #42 of 113274
Quote:
one of the shirts that does fit is a pretty great striped shirt from a SF shop called 'Button Down' - if any of you know about it, tell me some details. the shirt is well-made, single-needle, very crisp collar and cuffs, MOP buttons, and a neat little tiny detail at the end of the sleeve placket, kindof like a tack stitch to reinforce the end of the 'slit'.
Flusser mentions this store in Style and the Man which I do not have with me right now.
post #43 of 113274
I believe Button Down has at least some of its store label shirts made by Borrelli. Andrew Harris was selling some a month or two ago. They had the tell-tale Borrelli touches, such as clearly hand-attached (sewn) collar.
post #44 of 113274
Thread Starter 
This topic is on page 3?. Slackers. Picked up a black Southwick 6-on-1 DB camel or cashmere jacket with non-metal buttons, in 44r the other day. $12 IIRC.
post #45 of 113274
Got three pairs of Brooks Bros flat-front wool trousers in my exact size for $3 each today; not much else of note, though...
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Classic Menswear
Styleforum › Forums › Men's Style › Classic Menswear › The official thrift/discount store bragging thread