+ 1 to the garbage bag storage technique. Unfortunately I'm confined to a 100 sq ft room and a fraternity house boiler room for the majority of my finds.
Just got back from a trip to London, and figured I would briefly detail my experiences (as some seem to be hesitant to thrift in over saturated cities like NYC and London). Had a few other events on the agenda outside of thrifting
, but managed to get to about 15 stores and Portobello market. Unsurprisingly, I had the best luck around Chelsea and Kensington. Without blowing anyone's spots (though I'm fairly certain that's impossible in London), Oxfam has upwards of 20 stores in the immediate area. Prices are NOT American thrift prices. There is also little to no uniformity in pricing, even within the same chain. The entire tie stock of one Oxfam was marked upwards of 15, while another 10 minutes away priced all ties at 4 pounds.
That said, I've never seen the sheer volume of quantity before. An entire Oxfam in Kensington was filled with Ascot Chang. Upwards of 20 shirts easily, with the rest comprised of Eton, Etro and a few CT and lesser names. Most were beaten to shit, including a pair of mismarked Rockett and Jones shoes (clearly not all employees are well versed in quality brands). I stopped by a consignment shop on the way to Portobello filled with Loro Piana, RLPL, Ferragamo, etc. They even had a giant Polo bear sweater for the Loheads. Everything was priced at or above market value (ie 40 pounds per shirt, around 100 per shoes). I had some great success at Portobello despite the crowds - tons of Barbour at reasonable prices (60 pounds for mint pieces), but too financially constrained at present. Picked up the Huntsman tie along with the Incos and Detto's at an Oxfam there.
Spark Notes: London is a great city to thrift in if you follow the basic rules - hit a lot of stores, particularly in wealthy areas as I don't believe the larger chains use a central distribution center, and presumably hit them on a regular basis. None of this is particularly revealing, so I assume I won't get railed for exposing thrift "secrets."
, Drake's for Huntsman linen/wool/silk unavailable
and TM Lewin (don't get much love here, but construction is quality and the pattern is great) unavailable
Casual Incos - 32, sky slim model available
Unworn TF glasses unavailable
Harrod's tassels in my size! Haven't cleaned them up yet. AS, yeah? Found them in a box of busted heels in the corner of a thrift. My cheapest pick up at 3 pounds.Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
For you cycling enthusiasts, deadstock Detto's. Not campy, but big fan of the aesthetic. Size 42 available
And finally, my favorite pick up. Found this in a store filled with quality but highly priced items. I thought, 3 roll 2, ticket pocket, double vented, side adjusters. Fulfills all the details of the current. idealized SF suit. Checked out the tag - Feb 2011. GB isn't Savile Row but plenty of handwork. About a 40L availableWarning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Picked up some CT and TM shirts and Uniqlo jeans for myself. For slim guys, TM Lewin fully fitted is the best RTW fit I've found, particularly if you like a semi spread collar.
Also, without being that guy, I would substantially reward any of you keeping your eye out for small (14.5/15 by 32/33), beat up (fraying, missing buttons, etc) Gitman Bros OCBDs. I know most guys pass, but I'm a big fan of their fit.Edited by Nell - 8/13/12 at 6:47am