Since 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.
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!
- 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.