Nyc thrift shop finds

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by dah328, Oct 19, 2004.

  1. dah328

    dah328 Senior member

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    I visited several thrifts shops in NYC on the upper east and upper west sides this past weekend.  I tried once before several months ago and was underwhelmed by what I found.  This time, I came away with a couple items that looked interesting.  

    First of all, these places were really crowded on Saturday afternoon.  Many were older women, but there were a fair number of guys picking through sport coats and suits, most of whom had little to no sense for quality or proper fit.  The stores on the UES had more in the way of men's suits and jackets, but their prices, on average, were considerably higher.  For example, a middle of the road suit from Brooks Brothers with little apparent wear was priced at $150.  That's closer to resale shop prices than thrift shop prices.  Prices on the UWS were lower, but the selection was generally poorer.

    I found a navy, double-vented SB Paul Stuart sport coat in a lightweight 110's that fit me perfectly across the shoulders.  It's also the shortest RTW jacket (length-wise) I've seen which just means I won't need to have it shortened.  It feels like a light fused construction, but for $30, I don't think I can go too wrong.

    In another store, I found a 3-piece custom-made suit by Otto Perl tailors.  It's a medium brown with a subtle glen plaid texture.  It feels like it has a fully-canvassed front and it has working sleeve buttons.  I'm planning to use the jacket to knock around in with jeans which is good because the trousers didn't come close to fitting me.  Not a bad deal for $25.

    Of course, when it came time to have alterations done, the bill got a little higher.  I went to Wilfred's on 23rd and Broadway because Raphael is currently "too busy" for alteration work and Wilfred's has done pretty good work for me in the past.  The total bill was just over $300 for the following work:

    - shorten the sleeves of the navy jacket
    - take in navy jacket along back seams

    - shorten sleeves of brown jacket from the shoulder
    - take in brown jacket along back seams
    - shorten skirt of brown jacket

    - lengthen the hem on an unrelated pair of trousers
    - take in waist on same pair of trousers

    It seems like a bit less of a bargain once the alterations are figured in.

    dan
     
  2. christian

    christian Senior member

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    Dan,

    Is there a limit to what alterations they can do? Obviously, you're not going to find something that fits you perfectly while thrifting but are there things you look for that tell that with enough alterations, it will be fine. Same with sizes. Is there a limit to how many size changes for a suit before it cannot be saved?
     
  3. dah328

    dah328 Senior member

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    Generally speaking, I think it's harder to lengthen to a jacket than shorten it. Lengthening implies available extra material which is not always the case.

    dan
     
  4. sirgarnetwolseley

    sirgarnetwolseley Senior member

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    So what thrift shops did you find these goods in? I only ask because I'll be heading to New York shortly and would like to visit a couple good thrift shops.
     
  5. bigbadbuff

    bigbadbuff Senior member

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    yes, we need to know names/addresses.. We'll keep it on the styleforum so the selection isn't destroyed.
     
  6. dah328

    dah328 Senior member

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    I wouldn't call either of them great thrift shops, but if you're in the area, it wouldn't hurt to stop in.  I found the Paul Stuart jacket at a Sloan-Kettering benefit thrift shop (1440 3rd Ave @ 81st).  They had a rack of men's suits and sport coats in reasonable condition, but I wasn't stumbling over Kitons and Brionis.

    I found the custom suit at Goodwill (217 W. 79th near Amsterdam).  They just had a mass of unsorted suits in generally poorer condition that was difficult to evaluate.  The prices were lower, though.

    Let me know if you find anything interesting.  I'm interested to know if I overlooked any quality pieces.

    Regards,

    dan
     
  7. Brian SD

    Brian SD Moderator

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    To be honest, those prices seem somewhat expensive. They appear to be more like second-hand / vintage stores than they do thrift shops. The thrift shops that I go to around here are so cheap, it's guilt-inducing. I found a YSL coat (and cut denotes a Hedi Slimane design, though I'm not 100% certain) in a thrift store in San Diego, the cost? $5.
     
  8. 1Dgaf

    1Dgaf Senior member

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    Why don't people do their own alterations? Wouldn't it be worth practicing on extremely cheap used clothes to learn how to do so?
     
  9. dah328

    dah328 Senior member

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    For the same reason people don't learn to change the oil in their own cars -- the perceived difficulty and/or inconvenience of the task outweighs the cost of having it done.  I would be willing to learn some of the more simple alterations if someone were to teach me, but muddling through the learning process on my own does not appeal to me.

    dan
     

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