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

Advertisements

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

L.L. Bean Field Coat for $24.99

Location:  Unique Thrift Store, 218 W. 231st Street, Riverdale, NY.  Finding an L.L. Bean field coat in a thrift store today was a first for me.  Its saddle color and distinctive green corduroy collar and cuffs stood out among all of the other coats I had been perusing on the rack.  This is the sort of coat you wear while hunting with your golden retriever.

This coat was a large/tall men’s version with a 100% cotton shell and a 100% cotton plaid lining.  It was marked at $24.99.  With Monday being a sale day, I could have gotten 25% off and walked away with this item for $18.75.  (Retail = $99.00.  The savings would have been $80.25).  However, I already own a Bean field coat, which has held up well for years now.  Moreover, the size was not quite right.  A large large would have been fine, but the tall part of the size would have made it a bit too long for me.  I’m a regular.

It is worth noting that this is an older field coat (perhaps 10 years old or more, I’d estimate).  The label shows that it was made in Freeport, Maine, which is where Bean is located and where all of their goods were made until they were outsourced overseas.  I think most of the field coats are now made in Thailand.

The following is the summary of the Bean field coat from the company’s website:

Often Imitated—Never Duplicated®

Our Original Field Coat has set the standard for quality and craftsmanship since 1924. Originally designed for hunting, it’s built to withstand the briars and branches of the thick Maine woods. Made of best-grade two-ply 10 oz. cotton canvas, washed to feel broken-in and treated to repel moisture and stains.

Underarm gussets and bi-swing shoulders let you move and reach with ease. Sewn-in lining: cotton in body, nylon in sleeves. Five pockets with enough room to carry a day’s essentials. Collar and cuffs are 100% cotton 16-whale corduroy. Imported. Machine wash and dry.

Fit  Large back length 33″. Fits over a midweight sweater.

Bean does make another version of this coat for winter that includes a detachable PrimaLoft liner.  The price point is a good bit higher at $149.00 to $159.00.

Bass Weejuns & Allen Edmonds Desert Boots

At Unique Thrift Store in Riverdale, NY on a sale day, I spotted a pair of classic tan Bass Weejun penny loafers that were actually my size (11 Medium).  Their condition seemed very good, and I bought them at the sale price of $15.00.  That was 25% off the regular price of $19.99, which I considered a bit high.

On the G.H. Bass website, the shoe that was most similar to this one was the Logan Tan Loafer at $99.00.  My savings was in the range of $84.00.  I’m very picky about shoes and tend not to buy mine at a thrift store unless they’re in really good shape, as these were.  It appears that someone had put inserts of some kind in the back of these along the heel, and the remnants can bee seen.  Easy enough to remove!  I’ll need to put a shoe tree in these Weejuns to help them keep their shape.

There was a pair of Allen Edmund desert boots for $9.99, but they were the wrong size at 12 D.  At any rate, I already have a pair of Clark’s desert boots, which are among the most comfortable that I own.

The only major flaw in these boots that I could find was a spot (stain of some kind) visible on the top of the left shoe.  You can see it in this image.  These Allen Edmonds will be a great find for the right person.  If you were to buy them new at retail, you’d pay between $200 to $300.

Nautical Flag Belt and Ribbon Belt

I found a really great nautical flag belt for just $4.99 at  Unique Thift Store in Riverdale, NY.  The belt was hand made by Leather Man Ltd. of  Essex, CT.  The materials, stitching and overall workmanship are first rate.  Similar motif belts at  J. Press retail for $45.00.  It’s probably worth noting that I also found a square ring ribbon belt on the same trip for $4.99 (below).  Compare that price with the $39.00 J.Press asks for its ribbon belts.  There was no label on it, but I liked the colors.  I could wear it next summer with khaki shorts and a navy or white Lacoste.  I also scored several great shetland wool sweaters and cardigans, which I’ll post about soon.

Belts can get really expensive – especially ones done in needlepoint.  Although this next belt wasn’t a thift store find, I paid close to a thrift store price.  It’s a blue Vineyard Vines needlepoint belt with fish hook and lime wedge motifs that I picked up at a sidewalk sale last August in Westport, CT.  The cost:  $19.00 (compare that with the retail average of $150.00).  Not Bad.  Just up the street at Brooks Brothers, I picked up a 3-button  tweed sport coat (windowpane pattern) for $98.00.  The regular price was $300.00.  Keep an eye out for sidewalk sales.  You can do really well there.


100% Lambswool Tartan Plaid Scarf by Locharron

Looking ahead to cooler weather, I’ve been trying to find good deals on wool sweaters and scarves.  After weeding out all of the synthetics at Unique Thrift Store, I found a 100% lambswool tartan plaid scarf made in Scotland by Locharron.  It was a steal at $2.99.  I also picked up a 100% wool maroon sweater vest  by Brooks Brothers for $9.99.

Now that we’re on the topic of things tartan, I’m including a YouTube clip of “Droppin’ Like Flies” by The Real McKenzies, a Vancouver based punk rock band whose members have Scottish roots.  This song is an ode to the first generation of punk rockers.  Time is catching up with them.