29 July 2014


"Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel"
-Samuel Johnson, 7 April 1775

Samuel Johnson, famous English political crank and literary critic of the 18th century, said this in a speech denouncing the independence of what was then known as "The Colonies".

"Second last refuge of a scoundrel, being photographed with your children."

-Anonymous, 13 July 2014, in response to a photo of me with my children

"Penultimate refuge of a scoundrel, 'Drobe; I believe you are better than this..."
-"Redcoat", 29 July 2014, in response to a lighthearted installment of my infrequent "Thrifty Kids" series, in which I feature the thrift shop style of my children.

Um, better than what now? Really, I'd like to know.
Looks like Queen Mum herself is something of a scoundrel then. Not only is she photographed with her children, but in her bed clothes no less. Bet she loves her country too.
Even our man Charles is not immune. Thanks, "Redcoat". You really made your point. Johnson would be proud I'm sure, especially since you misquoted him. 

We will return to our usual shallow yammering tomorrow...I promise.

p.s. I was born in '76

28 July 2014

Thrifty Kids, part 5

Last night, we decided to dine out at our favorite local Italian ristorante. The food there is honest and good, the atmosphere comfortable and homey, not the least bit what you might call "fancy". But the kids think it is, and they both insist on dressing in kind. On this particular occasion, The Girl knocks it out of the park in a classic yet current glamour/preppy look perfect for a Summer evening.
A fitted ladies white oxford button down by Polo Ralph Lauren tones down nicely with a slap bracelet  featuring Rainbow Dash of My Little Pony fame.
A floral print skirt in bright colors on a dark ground adds just the right feminine preppy touch, dressing things up just so while staying comfortable.
Plastic Cinderella pumps from Target remind us that she is, in fact, a five year old girl. These cheap shoes cost more than the rest of the outfit combined.

Well dressed people learn young, as do cheapskates. Give your kids a healthy sense of occasion, but don't let them develop a habit of extravagance. That money is better spent on food and wine anyway.

26 July 2014

Thank You

Just over a year ago, I handed over the first rent check on this little empty room. A few weeks later, I had done my best to dress it up, unlocked the door, and the brick-and-mortar Affordable Wardrobe "secret shop" was born.
I'm still here, and the place is constantly bursting at the seems with an ever changing flow of wonderful old clothes. I've seen a lot of great stuff in that time, learned a lot, and made many new friends. I'd like to thank each one of you who contributed to my Indiegogo campaign, visited the shop, consigned with me, read this blog, or supported AAW in any way. It's been a lot of work and a real labor of love, but it would be nothing without my customers and readers.

To help celebrate, everything in the Shop, both online and in person, is 20% off through midnight Monday 28 July. Use discount code ANNIVERSARY2014 at checkout.

22 July 2014

When in Rome...

"The idea that I would have to drape myself in a toga every morning, and to have this drapery hanging around me throughout the day-the entire day, please!-in the same folds, this uncomforting thought is enough to drive me to suicide. I like to walk, walk, walk and when on a whim , I decide to run after a streetcar racing by, the thing would surely become independent.. The Romans never walked. They just lounged around. And should I wrap myself in a towel after a bath, it is certain to be located somewhere else within five minutes. I just don't have the nerves for that kind of aggravation."

-Adolf Loos "Praise for the Present", 1908, from "Why a Man Should Be Well Dressed"
Wow. And I'll bet some of you thought I was a curmudgeon. This guy is on another plane...100 years ago.

21 July 2014

The Prodigal Son

I've written before about the perseverance involved in successful thrift shopping. Often, suits will be separated into their constituent parts and priced individually, but a pro-level thrift shopper (cheapskate) knows how to find the orphaned components and attempt to reunite them with their missing family. Not long ago, I brought together a three piece suit, from three different racks. Many other times I managed to put coat and trousers back together. Once, I completed a suit by finding the two pieces more than a week apart from one another. But the suit above marks a new level of thrift serendipity, even for a seasoned and perhaps even jaded cheapskate such as your humble author.

Last weekend, a regular consigner brought in the jacket pictured above, with the caveat that he knows I don't want orphaned suit coats, but this one is from Brooks Brothers, and maybe this one could exist as an odd jacket. My initial reaction was to answer with a resounding "no", but then he showed me the coat. Almost immediately, something occurred to me. I went to the trousers in my shop, and brought out a pair in the matching cloth, also Brooks Brothers, and in a waist size and inseam consistent with the size of the coat. Thing is, I've had these trousers in my possession for nearly two years. A new one, even for me.

Divine intervention? A prodigal son returns.

p.s. This suit, plus a number of other great new items, now available in the Shop. Check it out.

18 July 2014

The Real Thing

If the endless barrage of images from Pitti Uomo has you confused about why the world in general considers Italian men to be well dressed, check out "La Grande Bellezza". It's a beautiful, lavish movie that manages to be both melancholy and humorous at once. It shows you the "good life" and gets you  jealous of it while being more than happy that you are not living it. On a shallow level, the main character, Jep Gambardella, wears some of the most beautiful clothes I've ever seen. It's true Italian style, and it has nothing to do with short, tight pants, unbuckled monk straps, or ties knotted with the rear blade too long.

12 July 2014

Preppy with a Twist

...or something. The kids and I dressed for a "cook out" at a friends house. Being able to wear a bow tie with shorts is a positive side effect of the "neo-prep" revival. I'll take it.