The official thrift/discount store bragging thread

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by j, Mar 2, 2005.

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  1. RedRaider

    RedRaider Well-Known Member

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    Also, I wanted to pass along a few tips for those who are new to thrifting. I've been hitting up the local stores pretty regularly the last few weeks and trying to enhance my wardrobe (as funny as that sounds). I have been thrifting for a few years now and have tried to perfect the art. - Be consistent - Good thrift stores will have very regular merch turnover. Don't be wary of hitting up the same store two or three times a week (especially if the store is nearby home or work). Ask when merch is put on the floor and if all merch that is dropped off at the store is put out on the floor or of it is shipped off to other stores/organizations. - Don't buy it. Thrifting for many is about finding great clothing or other items that oneself will use. Unfortunately most thrift stores are not like a department store. Labels, condition of clothing, color and style are all variables that must come together in order to find that treasure. If you're buying for yourself, don't buy a 'fringe' item that you may or may not incorporate into your wardrobe. Yes, you can always get something tailored to fit if it's close, but that suit that retails for $2k isn't worth $10 if it doesn't fit you. Now, if you are a little entrepreneurial and want to pass along a great item to a fellow SFer, pick it up. If not, save your money and try again another day! When to Go. All the time is fine, but I prefer weekdays. The pace is a little slower and there aren't as many people looking for the same type of stuff. I've also noticed some stores will run specials during the week to try to get a few more sales. It all adds up to a better thrifting experience in my opinion. Location is Overrated. For the longest time I would only regularly visit the thrift store closest to my place. Why? I thought the middle/upper class area would mean better clothing and more of it. It was starting to be the same stuff and not a lot of great finds. I recently began to expand my horizon, visiting stores in other parts of town - and what did I find? The other stores, especially downtown (where a lot of people work, but not a lot of people live) are loaded with great stuff. I feel renergized and I've opened my eyes to thrifting at other stores. More stores more merch. Have a Plan. - After you start thrifting, you'll begin to know what's good, what's junk and how to quickly analyze merchandise within seconds. Most of the stuff is what you'd expect to find in a thrift store, but that one item you find is worth looking through all the other items. I find it helpful to look through shirts first (they are the easiest and quickest item to scan), then suits, then pants and then shoes. I feel like this is the best way for me to organize my visits. Everyone will find their own methods. Finally, I love the feel of the hunt to find treasures. Folks get rid of stuff for all sorts of reasons and those who are thrift regularly can find some great items for a fraction of the retail price. No matter if you're looking to expand your wardrobe, collect vintage items or to just find a unique piece, thrifting can be a fun and exciting experience.
     
  2. RedRaider

    RedRaider Well-Known Member

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    No, it's not... avoid avoid avoid.

    It's a functional jacket for me to wear when I don't have a meeting or lunch. I can use it and save wear on my big name jackets and suits. I guess it's all opinion, but I don't mind a label like J&F if it's for everyday wear and it's only $6 for a brand new jacket.
     
  3. Bartlebooth

    Bartlebooth Senior member

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    Good advice, RedRaider. I'm visiting family in a small town about 40 minutes outside of Nashville; I expected to find nothing"”it's smalltown Tennessee, afterall"”but swung by two Goodwills anyway. Both had mint condition Burberry jackets which were, sadly, just a little too big, and one had some (ugly, so unbought) Lanvin and Robert Talbott ties.

    Can't wait to get back to my regular stomping ground on Wednesday, though... I'm dreaming of all the turnover that's happened in the week I've been gone, haha.

    Funnily, I go in the reverse order. Shoes first, since I find it easy to tell quality from shite at a glance, then suits and jackets, since I can usually tell the ones worth checking out at a glance and a touch, then shirts and pants, both of which seem to take the most time for me. I've read several of you guys say you can scan a rack of shirts quickly, but I just don't get it yet. I find pattern and fabric to be the tell-tale signs for shirts, neither of which can readily be evaluated with the few millimeters you can see of a shirt when it's smooshed between a hundred others. Most of the time I have to rely on labels, still. But I'm a newbie.
     
  4. TheWGP

    TheWGP Senior member

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    It's a functional jacket for me to wear when I don't have a meeting or lunch. I can use it and save wear on my big name jackets and suits. I guess it's all opinion, but I don't mind a label like J&F if it's for everyday wear and it's only $6 for a brand new jacket.

    If it's for yourself, I completely agree - especially if you're in a location that is nearly impossible to find higher-end stuff. Nothing wrong with making do. It's just that if you're looking for quality and higher-end stuff... well, it's easy to get misled on what's highend quality/flippable especially if one is new to thrifting and the occasional flip. That's all I meant.
     
  5. RedRaider

    RedRaider Well-Known Member

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    If it's for yourself, I completely agree - especially if you're in a location that is nearly impossible to find higher-end stuff. Nothing wrong with making do. It's just that if you're looking for quality and higher-end stuff... well, it's easy to get misled on what's highend quality/flippable especially if one is new to thrifting and the occasional flip. That's all I meant.

    Very much agree. Didn't mean to misinterpret your post. Flipping a J&F jacket will land you in the red, if you're lucky. [​IMG]

    I thrift almost exclusively for myself and my needs and you're correct, I live in an area where quality used high-end items are at a premium, thus a brand new functional J&F jacket is a good, not great find.

    Now my two vintage Brooks Brothers ties I found last week are great @ $1.75/piece.
     
  6. EBTX66

    EBTX66 Senior member

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    Well, I couldn't stand it any longer. I had a friend pick that Adrian Jules custom suit jacket up for me. The thing is mint. Tons of handwork. Loads of pick stitching. If I by some miracle find the pants and then find out that someone already bought the jacket, I'd be kicking myself for a long time...

    I completely understand. I have a couple of jackets that were simply too nice to leave behind. You just never know what will happen. I got lucky with that Kuhlman you sold me and that Oxxford I found.


    Maybe I'm still a newbie but I keep buying
    things that have to
    be tailored later. Am
    I the only one in this boat?... On another note, I bought a Ralph Lauren suit that looks awesome on me but I just
    noticed the pants are double pleated!! Can I un-pleat these? My tailor said he cannot...


    I am almost at the point where I have my "wearable" closet and my "needs tailoring" closet. The only good thing about having a backlog is that over time you will start finding things that are higher quality/and or fit better and you can swap them out with things in that "needs tailoring" line-up before you spend money on the lesser items.

    The pleat thing is a mystery to me. I know it can be done but apparently it is a major undertaking. However, one eBay store in Europe that I bought something from listed that as an available service in their tailoring options and it was cheaper than a pant re-cut or major coat work. Perhaps they have more men's tailors available because of immigration from Eastern Europe? Who knows.


    Found an awesome dark brown windowpane Brioni jacket today - two button, side vents, surgeon cuffs, in perfect condition and not dated at all..., What are your thoughts on the use of the jacket as a SC?

    You're going to get very stronly held opinions on both sides of this. As for me, I found a Belvest that is the same style and condition and I've worn it as a sportcoat several times and gotten very positive feedback. 98% of people out there do not know the difference but most people can tell when something is well made and fits in a flattering way. Go for it! If it really bugs you then swapping out the buttons might go a long way towards making it look like a sportcoat.

    PS - Don't ask that same question out in the general forum unless you want to get hammered. [​IMG]
     
  7. catside

    catside Senior member

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    ...
    Funnily, I go in the reverse order. Shoes first, since I find it easy to tell quality from shite at a glance, then suits and jackets, since I can usually tell the ones worth checking out at a glance and a touch, then shirts and pants, both of which seem to take the most time for me. I've read several of you guys say you can scan a rack of shirts quickly, but I just don't get it yet. I find pattern and fabric to be the tell-tale signs for shirts, neither of which can readily be evaluated with the few millimeters you can see of a shirt when it's smooshed between a hundred others. Most of the time I have to rely on labels, still. But I'm a newbie.


    This is my order, too, unless I am looking for something specific. Shoes and ties first. I think it makes sense.
     
  8. TheWGP

    TheWGP Senior member

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    One stop this morning... glad I did. Charvet tie - second I've ever found, and it's actually narrow - a keeper! Brioni Sportswear shirt - size L, going to try it on. NWT NOS LL Bean hunting pants... only suspender buttons, huge thick wool - had to get them, size 30 so someone is likely to want them, though I might have to break down and deal with feebay to reach the Japanese buyers. Passes included some actually very nice Armani le collezioni ties that probably would have sold on ebay but there were just enough slight damages to make it dicey, and the last thing I want is crap from some ebay seller. Genuine blues though... the Brioni sportswear was in the "men's shirts - betters" section. [​IMG] This chain has yet to yield any suits/jackets better than BB with the exception of one oxxford sc - but they've started pricing all their suits crazily... anything Ralph Lauren - including Chaps, and of course green label, is priced at 49.99! I'd hate to see what they would price something like a Brioni or other high-end suit... but for that to happen one would have to exist in Columbus, and I'm not convinced anything "higher" than Canali/Zegna/Oxxford exists here! [​IMG] EDIT! The Brioni fits well enough to keep it! I guess the sportswear line is cut larger - woot! Also, here's a photo of today's score. Looked at the Charvet up close, and it's actually a very loose weave, with little circles on it that are more solid that aid in a herringbone effect. Definitely the most interesting Charvet I've seen, texturally. [​IMG]
     
  9. 83glt

    83glt Senior member

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    I haven't been reporting lately because my run of good luck came to a screeching halt once I left town for the holidays. I didn't find any clothing items, only good LP's for my collection, which was good enough I suppose. One LP was quite rare though, a promotional copy of the psychedelic metal band Haystacks Balboa's only album. It's quite rare and I've seen it listed on UK ebay for around $150. Not sure if that's a true value, but I bet it's worth more than the $0.50 I paid for it.

    Since being back, it's been more of the same: a few clothing items and more records, but nothing to write home about. I did pass on a nice ETRO trench/raincoat that was too large, and a couple of vintage Battistoni ties from the 60's, but that's all I'd found lately.

    But yesterday, my luck returned. It must have been collectibles day, because I found two boxes of mint baseball cards from the early 80's through early 90's, each box was priced $4.99. I haven't had a chance to go through them all yet, but so far I've found a Derek Jeter rookie card that has sold on ebay recently for as much as $300, though many sell for around $100. I've seen literally dozens of cards of the likes of Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Jose Canseco, Mark McGwire from various years that will sell for $5 to $50, plus a Nolan Ryan card that has gone for $50. There are a bunch of collector sets too that I haven't even looked at. So for $7.50 (it was 25% off Monday) I very conservatively found $500 worth of baseball cards.

    But that's not all. I had a lot of time yesterday, so I made sure I picked this store over top to bottom. It's kind of far so I only get out there a handful of times a year, but I've always found really interesting items there.

    In addition to the cards, while walking through the toy section I caught a glimpse of what turned out to be a vintage Barbie doll case - dated 1968. I know that people collect that shit, so I grabbed it and opened it up to find 3 vintage Barbie (and friends) dolls. One is a Ken doll from 1969/70, one is a Barbie from 1967, and one is a friend doll from 1968. Plus there are about 30 different outfits and accessories. Briefly checking on ebay I found that the outfits average in value around $30 a piece, and the dolls themselves, very conservatively, are worth about $75-$100 a piece (I saw one on ebay just like the friend doll sell for $250). All that for $7.50 with the 25% discount as the box was marked $9.99. I could be sitting on $1000+ of vintage Barbie items. [​IMG]

    But that's not all. I also found about 30 pieces of vintage doll house furniture made in Germany and England. I'd say it looks like it's from the 50's or 60's. I haven't had time to check the value based on the maker's marks, but I know that this stuff is collectible and surely worth more than the $15 I paid.

    But that's not all. I also found a signed artistic photograph (by the photographer) of Boris Becker. There is a hand-written inscription on the back of the frame. I haven't found any information on the photographer, but there is a gallery tag that has the value listed as $255. I paid $5.25.

    And for good measure I found an Oxxford tuxedo shirt and a NWOT Mariano Rubinacci for Bergdorf Goodman dress shirt.

    It just goes to show that it pays to take your time, and it pays to be lucky. Most of the collectibles above were priced and put out yesterday, probably within an hour or less prior to my arriving. So had I gone today instead, most if not all of it would be gone, and I be grumbling about yet another failed excursion ....
     
  10. EBTX66

    EBTX66 Senior member

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    Is anybody who has experience on eBay available to answer a question? Please PM me if so. Thanks.
     
  11. k4lnamja

    k4lnamja Senior member

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    Question about antiques/collectibles

    I see women always lined up at the jewelry cases. How do you look for "valuable" items?

    Also, with regards to antiques and collectibles, the same question applies to this. I found 2 GW next to a very affluent neighborhood here so I checked it out yesterday. I didn't find anything but I saw they had a lot of antique type of things.

    Thanks

    Cheers
     
  12. EBTX66

    EBTX66 Senior member

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    Sorry - double post.
     
  13. Ace_Face

    Ace_Face Senior member

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    Good (Not great) finds for me today!

    Found a Brunello Cucinelli button up shirt, Size 54! Pale Yellow. Found an Etro Dress Shirt, Size 42. A White Sulka Dress Shirt, Size 17.5.

    Found a bunch of ties! My favorites are... 2 Brioni's, Canali, Etro, Robert Talbott Carmel, and an Hermes!

    I can't believe I found a Brunello Cucinelli Shirt! It was my first one! [​IMG]


    Someone needs an expectations adjustment. $1,500+ worth of fine men's clothing for probably less than $50? This is only good, not great?
     
  14. SnarlPatrick

    SnarlPatrick Senior member

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    Spent most of the day thrifting today. My haul:

    Zegna Suede Shoes - 15
    Allen Edmonds Yale Suedes - New - 30
    DSquared Semibrogue Wingtips - 20
    Burberry Shorts - 8
    Giorgio Armani Tie - 3
    Cremieux 7-Fold
    Ted Baker Trousers - 7.5
    Gucci Dress Shirt - 7.5
    Thomas Pink Shirt - 3
    Etro Shirt - 3
    Zegna Shirt - 3
    Boss Shirt - 3
    Boss Shirt - 3
    Brioni Shirt - 7
    Borelli Shirt - 7
    Pendleton Silk Shirt 2.5
    New Gucci Shirt - 5
    New Gucci Shirt - 5
    Canali Shirt -5
    Erreghe Belt - 4
     
  15. amadar

    amadar Senior member

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    First Kiton today - Blue striped fc dress shirt in my size!!! Also found what looks like an unworn silk Brioni sportshirt, incredibly luxurious, unfortunately a size S so will be going on the b/s.

    Also picked up 2 mint and what appear to be recent 3 roll 2 Oxxford SC's......They fit everywhere except the sleeves, which are about 1 inch too short, with working buttonholes [​IMG] I picked them up anyway as I know they won't be difficult to pass on to someone here, but I really want to keep them for myself. From what I've read re: surgeons cuffs I take it that they are unalterable....is this an absolute truth? Would like to hear any feedback anyone has on this.

    Regardless, I'm not complaining as I now have found my first Kiton......o happy day.
     
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