Summer Classics – eBay and Thrifting

Summer Classics

A Madras plaid tie makes a sharp addition to the summer wardrobe.  The one I’m wearing is from Ralph Lauren.  I bought it last spring for $6.99 at Unique Thrift Store in Riverdale, NY.  The retail price of the tie was about $67.99.  Patches, our border collie, decided to do a walk on in this photograph.

Breakdown on the rest of the clothes, a combination of eBay bidding and thrift store purchases:

eBay

  • Brooks Brothers blue blazer:  3-button, undarted, sack cut with natural shoulders for $76.00 vs. $598.00 retail.  This is the only blazer design I’ve ever worn, and it took several weeks of eBay monitoring to find one at the right price.  I would have preferred a J. Press blazer, but people don’t part with them that often.  This blazer is in perfect condition with no signs of wear.  The lining looks brand new.
  • Ralph Lauren buckle back khakis: 100% cotton, plain front with 1 and 3/4 inch cuffs for $19.99 vs. $125.00 retail.  Buckle back khakis were worn for a brief period in the 1950s, if I recall correctly.

Thift 

  • Brooks Brothers pinpoint button down:  100% cotton, traditional fit for $8.99 vs. $87.50 retail at The Nearly New Shop in Greenville, SC.
  • Bass Weejuns in Logan Burgandy for $5.99 vs. $109.00 retail.  Purchased at The Salvation Army in Greenville, SC.
  • Dockers surcingle belt:  navy, braided cotton for $4.99 at Unique Thrift Store in Riverdale, NY.  I am unsure of the retail price for the belt, but I’d guess about $24.99.

The pocket square was a gift from my grandfather (priceless).  

Brooks Brothers Blazer - Retail

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Thrifted Ralph Lauren Madras Plaid Tie – $6.99

I always check the tie rack of any thrift store because there will inevitably be a gem lurking among the horrid polyester designs.    Yesterday, I found a perfectly good 100% cotton madras plaid tie by Ralph Lauren.  It was priced at $6.99.  One man’s last season tie, is another man’s treasure.  But I’m not sure whether I will actually wear this one.  I really don’t like logos on my ties – just a personal preference – so it may go up on eBay.

In one store, I found a slew of fine 100% silk Brooks Brothers rep ties for .99 cents each.  There was no sign of wear on any of the ties – you always have to check the section of a tie where it is  knotted (where friction occurs) to see if the material is worn.  You should also check the tip of the tie, where it is pulled through the knot, for signs of wear.

I wanted to compare the price of my thrifted tie vs. the Ralph Lauren retail price. There were no madras ties on the main website, but I did find an example on Lauren’s Rugby site.  The asking price was $69.50.  So my savings through trifting = $62.51.  Ties are usually priced low in thrift stores, and the asking price vs. retail creates a huge savings opportunity.