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What's Your Favorite Thrift Store Find??

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Fashionslave, Jan 6, 2005.

  1. AlanC

    AlanC Senior member

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    The first rule in thrift shopping is to determine why it's there. Usually it's pretty obvious. I try to look hard for reasons not to buy something, otherwise you'll dribble away dollars on items you'll just have to donate back.

    However, I did find a mint condition Robert Talbott tie ($1)and very lightly used Breuer tie ($1.99) this afternoon while running some errands. But I also tried on a nice suit that turned out to have mildew on the shoulder. Alas.
     
  2. Alexander Kabbaz

    Alexander Kabbaz Senior member

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    Best find ever was a British WWI Civil Defense Coat. Easily a 25-26oz., beautiful dark-navy wool melton. The coat weights about 18 pounds. It is floor length on me (I'm 6'1") and has buttons or hooks from the floor to the insertable chin-piece. The collar, when turned up, fastens closed in front around the nose and the rear comes halfway up my head. Bought in about 1972 at the Canal Street Jean Store (back when they sold only used clothing). Five bucks - but I had to dig through a very, very large carton to find my size.

    One of the absolute best thrift stores on the planet is the Arf thrift shop in Southampton. It is the "in" place for the well-to-do to donate their gently used's. When I say best, that's in comparison to such gems as the Upper East Side's Sloan-Kettering Thrift Shop. Major difference? Sloan-Kettering knows what the clothes are worth and prices accordingly. Not so at Arf.
     
  3. Mike C.

    Mike C. Senior member

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    Wow, you MUST post a pic of this coat. It sounds like quite a collectors piece, and also something that I'd wear.
     
  4. Alexander Kabbaz

    Alexander Kabbaz Senior member

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  5. musiczone

    musiczone Member

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    Several years ago I went to my local thrift store in Phila. looking for vintage clothing and stumbled across a large Persian rug.I paid $10 for it and took it to an Armenian friend for cleaning($20) and identification(Kurdish/Bijar).I had it sold in NYC for $1k, it would have brought more but it had a lot of damage.
     
  6. Etruscan

    Etruscan Senior member

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    Boston
    I'm reminded of another thrift-store item: a waist-length olive-red-and-gold plaid cotton jacket with black knitted shawl collar/placket and brass buttons. Probably from about 1960, and very Kramer-ish. When I bought it in 1985 it was new-old stock, with its original tag ("Atomic Sportswear") attached. It can't have cost more than $10 or 15. I wear it occasionally and it always draws compliments.

    Another good score of similar price, also new-old stock, was a pair of terra-cotta heavy cotton very high-waisted double-pleated trousers, probably from the late '40s. Whenever I wear them I feel like William Holden in Sunset Boulevard. The same day I also found a pair of apparently unworn olive-brown riding breeches or jodhpurs, with suede facings at the inside knees. These are less useful (as I haven't a horse) but they're in the back of the closet somewhere. Perhaps I'll dress up as Cecil B. DeMille next Halloween.
     
  7. Fashionslave

    Fashionslave Senior member

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    Wow. This is like Antiques Roadshow.Keep those stories of treasures coming.Great finds of all sorts- I particularly like the Civil War coat and the Persian Bidjar rug.Near museum pieces.Yea,people think that items are donated solely due to damage or wear.While that certainly may be true,they also are known to simply "clean out" attics,closets,garages,basements regardless of the contents' value.Let's say Uncle Ned passed on,well here's his clothing.There may be a few Huntsman suits in his closet that his heirs don't particularly care or know about nor have any sentimental attachment to.Therefore,some of us on the Style Forum who have an eye the finer things yet do not wish(or are unable) to pay retail,nor care if it has been worn previously are the lucky "recipients."A friend of mine once found a full set(4 or 5 pieces) of Bottega Veneta luggage and paid only 15 bucks.
     
  8. Fashionslave

    Fashionslave Senior member

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    Oops-I meant Civil Defensecoat. Sorry,Alex.
     
  9. Brian SD

    Brian SD Senior member

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    Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche navy sports jacket for $5.
     
  10. Horace

    Horace Senior member

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    This is a rather pathetic one: and it isn't even really a find:

    a beautiful Paul Stuart suit 43R+ (just slightly longer than an R) -- the jacket was perfect. And it fit me perfectly, over a wool v-neck sweater. The trousers, hanging elsewhere, had a large hole in one of the legs. So large infact, that it wouldn't have paid to have them sent to the reweaver.

    It would've been my first truly grand suit purchase from a Salvation Army.
     
  11. fareau

    fareau Senior member

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    Just picked up a blue pinstripe Oxxford suit for $10 (marked down from $40) and a casual navy Oxxord blazer for $13. The garments are in practically new condition. I am in a state of disbelief...
     
  12. misterbowles

    misterbowles Senior member

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    Location:
    Burlington, VT
    I've had amazing luck at thrift stores in my area (Burlington, VT). The best finds have come from the Salvation Army and a few church thrift shops. Some examples: a Louis Boston Luigi Borelli dress shirt and a Lorenzini dress shirt, both handmade in Italy and in like-new condition (the nicest shirts I own, actually - the hand stitching is really amazing), both $2 each; a Nazareno Gabrielli DB suit, $11; a Vestimenta tan 2-button super 120s suit, $8; two Hardy Amies made in England 2-button suits, $9 each; a number of Hickey-Freeman, Southwick, Brooks Brothers, and Burberry suits for less than ten bucks each; and lots of sports jackets (Gieves & Hawkes, Oxxford, Filo A'Mano, Fioravanti, Faconnable,  etc.) for around six bucks each. All are in excellent condition; I'm guess I'm just the right size (46R) for the area.
     
  13. A Harris

    A Harris Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I'm going to tweak the question a bit - considering that 5-6 years ago about 95% of my clothing was from thrift stores, I was really amazed to find almost nothing left these days:

    In current "rotation"

    Perkins custom French blue cutaway collar shirt with a unique white check (love this shirt.) - $3

    Vintage Robert Talbott tie - brown/blue/yellow stripes (one of my favorites) - $2

    "St Georges Milano" solid navy cashmere tie - $3

    Audrey Buckner tie - unique yellow/blue/red, sort of a plaid - $5

    Zanella chocolate brown/rust flannel slacks - $5

    Abboud worsted slacks in an amazing shade of tan - $7

    4 linen SB w/lapel Brenda Kett odd vests - $8 for all 4

    and a very cool chocolate brown silk polo shirt - $3

    White linen slacks from "Bachrach" (not as bad as they sound)

    In the back of the closet for days where the weather is really foul:

    ET Wright brn cap toes w/rubber sole - $20 (they were new)
    Polo/Corneliani SB 2btn flannel blazer - $8
    Bullock & Jones grey flannels - $7
    Mondo light olive cavalry twill trousers - $6
    Slates flat front dark grey worsted slacks - $4
    Nordstrom house brand white dress shirt - $1.50
    Ascot Chang shirt - blue with red stripe - $5
    Mickey Spatz green flannels - $7
    Cool tie from "Pavone" (don't recommend this brand generally) - $7
    Tom James "Ventura" tie - their top-of-the-line - $5
    Lanvin Paris bottle green shantung tie - $3

    Besides a few more ties/shirts in storage I think, that's it.. That means two things - I wasted a LOT of money buying clothes in thrift stores just cause they were cheap, also that I've found a lot of high-end stuff in thirft stores but none that fit well enough to keep (sold all that stuff for a tidy profit.)
     
  14. shoreman1782

    shoreman1782 Senior member

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    Now that's a list...

    Mine? H&K striped shirt, black/red/blue thin stripe on white. Collar is small (it's pretty vintage) and not stiff enough to stand up to most ties, but it's excellent w/jeans, and in great shape.

    Runners up:
    Cambridge U hoody
    Ties - 3 BB Repps, several Polos, a Robert Talbott
    Lots of tshirts...

    I found the thrifting was pretty good in suburban Philly, though the choices tend to be sensible... Down the Easten Shore of MD, there were great, flashier castoffs from overdressed country lawyers and weekenders on the Gold Coast... I got nothing so far from Baltimore and DC.
     
  15. AlanC

    AlanC Senior member

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    And, bingo. [​IMG] Consignment, not thrift, but picked up my first Oxxford suit yesterday for $20. It's a three button "Onwentsia" model (do we know anything about those?), charcoal with mini-stripes, tropical weight, "Super Worsted" as per tag. It needs a little alteration (sleeves shortened, pants lengthened, etc.) but I must say I'm pretty pleased.
     

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