$500 Momento from Italy

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by scatterbrain, Jul 5, 2014.

What's the best use of $500?

  1. 3 ties

    4 vote(s)
    44.4%
  2. 1-2 cuts of cloth

    1 vote(s)
    11.1%
  3. 1 pair of shoes

    4 vote(s)
    44.4%
  1. scatterbrain

    scatterbrain Senior member

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    I will be travelling to Italy soon, and would like to bring back something as a momento. I would have loved to have a suit made, but that's way beyond my budget right now, so that will have to wait for another time.

    Within this price range, I was thinking
    a) a few nice ties,
    b) a unique cloth or two that I could have made into jackets or a suit a few months after I get back, or
    c) one good pair of shoes.

    If I go for cloth, which mill(s) should I visit? At this point I was considering VBC, E. Thomas, and Loro Piana. Will the mills even sell directly to someone who walks in off the street? Also, I'm not a fabric conneseur. I can't determine if a fabric will make a good garment by feeling a tiny swatch, so I would basically be relying on the mill's name to ensure quality.

    Whatever I buy, I will be wearing it only occassionally, and I would hope to keep it for a long time. I would like it to be of high enough quality that I won't consider it to be cheap crap in a few years, as my sartorial standards increase.

    What would you buy with $500, for something quintessentially Italian? Do any of you know of brands of shoes or ties that can only be bought in Italy that offer excellent bang for the buck?
     


  2. CunningSmeagol

    CunningSmeagol Senior member

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    Depends on the city, how old you are, and whether you have kids.
     


  3. scatterbrain

    scatterbrain Senior member

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    Cities: Rome, Sorrento, Florence, Venice, Cinque Terre.

    No kids.
     


  4. jedwards

    jedwards Senior member

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    Bit confused....

    The mills for Italian fabric factories are all in the Biella region of Italy. Zegna factory, situated there, has a walk in shop. VBC, same area of Italy, most likely does too.

    But you are not going to get cloth in a standard zegna or loro piana shop in Italy.

    I Wouldn't recommend buying cloth if you know nothing about tailoring. That is something to be done only when you have had several suits made for yourself and know what's what.

    Just get yourself a few nice ties, marinella etc, as it sounds like you are fairly new to all this.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2014


  5. scatterbrain

    scatterbrain Senior member

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    Good points. I am willing to go out of the way to pick something up, but not that far out of the way. I was concerned that buying cloth without knowing what I'm doing could be a poor choice.
     


  6. hirschlederne

    hirschlederne Senior member

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    Buying cloth is a good idea but I would use that as a fallback if you can't find shoes that fit. :)
     


  7. GusW

    GusW Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I find the collection of scarves to be very good in Italy, certainly more interesting or expressive than most US retailers. I find that to be an enjoyable memento.

    I also seem to find unique cuff links.
     


  8. poorsod

    poorsod Senior member

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    Last year I found a really nice Montecristi hat in Salerno. Keep your options open and look around a lot you might find something you otherwise did not expect.
     


  9. GusW

    GusW Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Good advice.

    You never really know what you might see that "strikes your fancy". Keeping an open mind is a good way to go. Otherwise you can become fixated on finding a certain item and disappointed if you don't locate it. Better to enjoy yourself and pick something that makes a connection.
     


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