Thrifted Summer Clothes

Thrifted Summer Clothes

At The Nearly New Shop in Greenville, SC last week, I found a very comfortable Madras plaid short sleeve button down shirt from Gant.  I combined that with a pair of Merona all cotton plain front khaki shorts that I bought last spring at Unique Thrift Store in Riverdale, NY.  The Bass Weejuns were a recent find as well at the Salvation Army Thrift Store in Greenville.  The leather leather belt is about 10 years old, and I don’t remember where I got it.

Price Breakdown

Gant Madras Shirt            $8.00

Merona Khaki Shorts       $5.99

Bass Weejuns                  $5.99

___________________________

Total Cost                      $19.98

Thrifted Brooks Brothers Poplin Suit

Poplin SuitSince the move to South Carolina last summer, I’ve had a chance to scout thrift stores in my area and have found some really good ones.  But the Brooks Brothers olive poplin suit I’m wearing above is one that I bought while still in New York City.  It’s from Unique Thrift Store in Riverdale, a short walk from where we lived at the edge of Van Cortlandt Park and 242nd Street.  We were so far north in the city that the Westchester County line was only a half mile away.  Riverdale was a great place to go thrift shopping.

The Brooks Brothers suit was a nice find at $15.00 and in perfect condition, showing no signs of wear.  But I’m picky about suits.  This has a 2-button front, and I like 3/2 roll.  It also has darts, and I prefer suits without them.  However, I couldn’t pass up this find.  A poplin suit is wonderful for summer, and the fit was correct (44 regular).  The the sleeves were precisely the right length, allowing 1/4 inch of cuffs to show, and the only alteration necessary was to have the collar lowered in the back, taking out a slight ridge that showed when standing still.

As for the suit pants, they are exactly what I prefer:  plain front with cuffs and the slightest of breaks.  The bottom of the pants just touches the top of my loafers.  These cuffs are 1 and 1/4 inch, which I wear most often.  But some of my pants have the more traditional 1 and 3/4 inch cuffs.  The suit pants needed no alterations at all.  This is the sort of find that is the best when thrifting.  Having to have several alterations done for a single suit can quickly become expensive.

The closest comparable suit to this one on the Brooks Brothers website is the sage colored Madison Fit Poplin Suit for $498.00.  The cut is a good bit different.  This one appears to be tapered on the sides, while mine is roomy and more of a sack suit cut.

Sage Poplin

The other thrifted items I’m wearing are a pair of tassel Bass Weejuns with a beefroll from the Salvation Army ($5.99) in nearly new condition and a silk rep tie from Christian Pelini also from the Salvation Army (.50 cents).

My button down is a 100% cotton oxford cloth traditional fit model from Brooks Brothers.  It came from the flagship Madison Avenue store and was a birthday gift from my wife last spring.  However, she did use her 30% corporate discount card to buy it ($55.65).  My cordovan leather belt is from the men’s department at Sears ($19.99).  We’re penny pinchers to the end!

SAVINGS BREAKDOWN

  • Brooks Brothers suit ($498.00 retail vs. $15.00 Thrifted) = $483.00
  • Bass Weejuns w/Tassel ($109.00 retail vs. $5.99 Thrifted) = $103.01
  • Brooks Brothers OCBD ($79.50 retail vs. $55.65 discount) = $23.85

TOTAL SAVINGS = $609.86

Note:  Christian Pelini no longer appears to be a retail brand and is considered a vintage tie.  So I don’t have any information on the savings for that item.

Poplin Close Up

Layering For Cooler Weather

We’ve been having some cooler fall weather lately in New York City.  Today it was overcast and actually a bit chilly in the late afternoon when I went out to run a few errands.  I didn’t want to wear a coat.  So I  just threw a lightweight down vest on top of my shirt and sweater, turning the shirt cuffs back over the sweater and pushing the sleeves up a bit.

The total cost of all three items was less than $20.00:  goose down vest from L.L. Bean ($7.99), 100% lambswool v-neck sweater from Cullen, a brand I’ve never heard of before ($4.99) and 100% oxford cloth button down from Gap ($2.99).  While Gap is not an overly preppy company, their button down was very well-made, and the price made it impossible not to buy.  I got everything at Unique thrift store (which I post about prolifically) in my neighborhood.

The preppy look never really changes.  Of course, there have been some trendy tweaks recently by Tommy Hilfiger and Thom Browne among others.  Their “preppy updates” were intended to gain traction with a younger consumer base after hipsters began raiding vintage shops and thrift stores, looking to make an ironic statement.  It was not long before big names in the hip hop world began sporting the look.  All of this doesn’t phase me.  I simply like the classic, timeless preppy style I’ve always known – which is well-made clothes without gee gaws or doo dads.  The way I dress hasn’t changed in any important way since college, aside from the addition of more suits or cap toe dress shoes.

 

Halloween Window Display at Angel Street – NYC

Angel Street in Greenwich Village has great holiday window displays, and they’re clearly ready for Halloween.  It is not your typical thrift shop. You’re just as likely to spot an Eames chair or some other mid-20th century piece of furniture as you are a Burberry sport coat or Brooks Brothers oxford cloth button down.  There always seems to be some surprise.  I once found a perfectly fitting gray chalk stripe Savile Row suit (Gieves & Hawkes) for $50.00.  What are the odds on that?

The New Yorker has dubbed Angel Street “a bargain hunter’s dream.”   All proceeds from sales benefit innovative programs for individuals and families affected by substance abuse, HIV/AIDS and mental illness.

Angel Street is located at 118 W. 17th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues.  The annual Village Halloween Parade, one of the most festive and well-attended in the nation, will be held on October 31st  this year.  It assembles at Spring Street to the south and progresses up Seventh Avenue to W. 17th, where it ends.

Nearly All Thrift Store Combination

Thrifting starts to get interesting once you’ve assembled the backbone of your wardrobe.  Then you can begin trying different combinations of jackets, ties, shirts and pants – all with comfort, functionality, season and overall style in mind.  Certain pieces will be interchangeable and will work well with many other items.

I found a combination that I really like, and nearly all of it is from thrift store purchases:  tweed sport coat is a 3-button model from Brooks Brothers ($19.00), wool/cashmere sweater from Brooks Brothers ($9.99), button down from Land’s End ($5.00) and the khakis (not shown) are J. Crew ($8.00).  The only item that was not a thrift store purchase was the bow tie.  It’s from J. Press, but I got it on sale for $37.00 (regular $55.00).  Sometimes you need to get just the right item in a retail store, and virtually no amount of thrift store expeditions will produce it.  That was the case with the pattern on the bow tie, which brings all the colors and patterns together in a sharp and very preppy combination.  Total cost:  $78.99 (or the price of ONE Brooks Brothers button down oxford cloth shirt at retail).  Think about that!

Angel Street Thrift Shop – NYC

Angel Street Thrift Stop on 118 W. 17th Street in New York City is a gem.  They sell a wide range of vintage items, home furnishings and clothes.  During the past year, I’ve found Brooks Brothers button down shirts, J. Crew Sweaters, Haspel and J. Press sport coats and (on one really fortunate day) a perfectly fitting Savile Row suit for $50.00.  This store is well worth your time if you’re in the city, and the prices are good.