I've recently been making the rounds of Boston's venerable old men's shops in a desperate search for part time employment. I've hit them all: J.Press, Andover Shop, and most recently Brooks Brothers. No dice yet. But that is not the sob story.
Ever since I was a teenager, I have made a habit of filling my closet with clothing from these three brands, as well as others on the same level, and I have been fortunate to come by a lot of great items. I've been even more fortunate to have paid some kind of bargain price every time.
Truth is, I have never, repeat never, actually purchased anything in any of these places. Sure I've gone in and looked around. I've politely declined sales help with the usual "No thanks, just looking". I have never been the first owner of any of my better clothes. I have never put on a brand new suit, had it fitted, and come back a week later to pick it up. Truthfully, though I often wear such clothing by choice, I haven't been required to on any kind of regular basis for at least 15 years.
As I read the accounts of others regarding places like these, it makes me pine even more for some kind of "good old days" that I am too young to have experienced. One by one, as these places lose their identity and sell their souls to sweatshops and marketing, I wonder if I will ever be fortunate enough to experience them first hand, or am I doomed to a lifetime of sartorial archeology.
" World's smallest violin" and all that...