20 January 2010

In Season: Winter in January

Sometimes you have to wait six months before your newest thrift find can hit the streets. Other times, you're lucky enough to dig something up you can wear tomorrow, such as:

This is a pretty good, if somewhat un-remarkable old puffy jacket, filled with "water fowl down", as the label tells me. Navy blue, nice fit, should keep me warm in the snow, not bad for $5.99. But wait, it gets better...


Brooks Brothers Brooksgate? I have never, in all my travels, seen a casual snow shoveling jacket from the Brothers, have you?

Did I mention that the sleeves zip off, converting this number into a down vest? C'mon, that's pretty cool.

And as though I didn't have enough big fat tweeds, how can I say no to a thing like this, when it costs only $6.99?

There really is no describing how heavy this thing is. I have overcoats that weigh less. Too bad I don't go shooting those same water fowl that filled the other jacket... in the drizzle...in England...with a flask full of single malt in one pocket...by the lake at the bottom of the hill behind the "main house'...I digress, forgive me.
Here's a close-up shot to give you a better idea of the fabulous piece of cloth from which this jacket was fashioned. Olive green with hints of blue and a screaming orange window pane check. It's almost, almost, got a whiff of Alan Flusser by way of ADG about it, no?

From the Andover Shop. Damn, I really hit it today!

These items were acquired at a new thrift store. They've only been open three weeks. I spied the place yesterday while I was stopped at a red light, so of course I visited today. And NO, I'm not telling. Before you get all up in arms and start crying 'hypocrite', let me explain the thinking behind my steadfast secretiveness.


Nobody told me about this store, or any of my other haunts. I found them myself, through a combination of luck and persistence. You can too.

As unfortunate as it may be for "outsiders", rule #1 of thrift shopping is: You do NOT divulge your sources. Rule #2 of thrift shopping is: you do NOT divulge your sources. Nothing spoils a good hot spot like to many people knowing about it. Sorry. I suppose by extension the argument could be made that by writing this blog I tread perilously close to breaking that very rule. But I do so enjoy writing this, and I think you enjoy reading it. Otherwise you wouldn't, right?


People often marvel at the gems I am able to turn up in these places and call me selfish for not sharing. I put a lot of work into finding this stuff, don't forget. I must have suffered through at least a hundred really lousy jackets before I found this one. I can make people aware that this stuff is out there to be found, but I won't make it too easy. That just wouldn't be fair, would it? If you want it bad enough, feel free to expend as much energy on the search as I do. Besides, how hard is it these days to simply Google "Thrift Store (your city here)"? I found all these sources of mine in the old days, when you literally had to stumble across them, much like I found this new spot yesterday.


So ends the rant. Happy Hunting, and Best of Luck, One and All!

p.s. this kid is awesome! Read it.

34 comments:

bostonhud said...

First, I was jelous of the jacket, being a Bros and all.

But then...Removable sleeves?

Killer. A down jacket and a down vest from Brooks. One piece of clothing from each Brother.

Cyclo2000 said...

In the words of Monty Python
"You lucky, lucky bastard."

McNamara said...

Try not to hurt your hand patting yourself on the back. Get over yourself.

P.S. "the lady doth protest too hard..."

spoozyliciouzz said...

You´re one lucky bastard, Guiseppe!

Yet again another breath-taking catch...i really envy your ability to turn up these gold pieces in a stack of rotten rubbish.

Cheers,
spoozy

www.kleidsam.blogspot.com

C.Sharp said...

Great Andover shop jacket. I am thinking it is one of their famous thornpoofs. They truely are tweed specialists.

Anonymous said...

I am so jealous, we have no decent thrift stores that have these kinds of finds in California (Central Valley) . . . just sweatshirts and khaki pants . . .

James said...

Its like a grouse covert or a trout stream.You get weak and tell a friend, making him swear a blood oath not to tell anyone else. Visit in a week and you can't find a place to park!Thrifting "honey holes" must be guarded.

Baron said...

Keep your secrets. I don't care where you get your garb, I don't enjoy thrifting and I don't dandy-up. However, I do enjoy reading about the pleasure you derive from your pursuits and perhaps, one day, a novel.

Pigtown-Design said...

Agree 100%. But I did just divulge an amazing source for really cheap high-end fabrics, because there's enough for everyone and it's not a thrift store.

David V said...

I love that tweed coat!

ADG is plotting a trip to your house right now.

David V said...

...he's looking for a pair of crepe soled navy Belgiums right now.

Nathan said...

I love reading your blog, and totally understand why you don't reveal your sources. For people who want really great clothes without putting in the work, there is a place where you can get those: retail stores. If you don't want to spend the $$, be ready to put in the time.

_ said...

Leave a little magic in the world. Part of the thrill of thrift shopping is the discovery. You have to actually step away from the computer and go out hunting. To all the people that are upset that you Affordable doesn't give up the sources, it wouldn't be the same if he held your hand. It wouldn't be as special. So, turn off the computer, get in the car and spend some time thumbing through racks of musty clothes. It really is better that way.

David M. said...

You don't have to divulge your sources. Any good man should be able to find his own places.

Anonymous said...

You, sir, have inspired my family and I to reconnect with an old hobby - Thrift Store Hunting.

For years we have dressed ourselves above our station in life by buying the best, at the end of season discount sales. Nothing like buying a quality Oxford shirt for $15, new.

However, after the inspiration from your blog, we went by the Goodwill in the tonier section of Atlanta earlier this week and were amazed at the finds. I bought three excellent silk ties and a pair of real suspenders, all for $4.00. My wife was more than pleased with her off white linen pants from Brooks Brothers for $4.50. The kids love the nursery rhyme book for $0.75.

We will be back for more, both at the thrift and your blog. I will pour a libation on the ground in your honor this evening, sir!

Toad said...

Fabulous jacket, but watch out for ADG. He'd show up on your door unannounced and shake it out of you.

Rebecca said...

Absolutely keep the secret locales secret...isn't half the fun in the hot pursuit?

Christopher said...

I've been following the blog for almost a year, and I am 100% in support of hiding your "sources." People who don't thrift a lot imagine that there is some magical fishing hole stocked with row upon row of fantastic Brooks and J. Press in perfect shape.

In reality, it seems to me that what matters is not the source, but the persistence to sort through tons of moth eaten coats to find that one good Harris tweed in your size.

To anyone that complains: Stop whining about sources and get out there and start looking!

Love the blog!

tintin said...

Brooksgate was horrible crap and cheaply made. When I worked at BB, we were always getting the stuff returned. It was supposed to be the entry level into Brooks with a slimmer figure. I had three BGate suits. They didn't last more than 5 years.

Now that Andover jacket is another story.

I know of a guy from Chicago who competed in a national BBQ contest. For a couple years he sucked everyone dry for their recipies and tips. After three years he finally came in 1st place. When other's asked him for help and tips he told 'em to get lost.

You'll either nod your head in affirmation with his actions or shake your head and think him a jerk.

Anonymous said...

Shhh, secret squirrel. Gather those acorns. Fantastic. And, YES, I love reading your blog.

JRS said...

Awesome jacket...well done!

Mason said...

I suppose even a Midwesterner making his first visit to Boston in a month couldn't rattle your clandestineness? Curses.

mistermidwester said...

As a fellow thrift store hunter, I totally understand your rules, and wouldn't question them.

It won't keep me from being really jealous of your consistent finds, though.

The tweed is absolutely killer, but the BB down jacket is so wacky that it would be worth having even if one already owned 10 of the things.

Style Artisan said...

As one of my original inspirations to start thrifting, I still bow down to the master.

And I checked out the link to the blog you suggested. He is amazing and gives me hope for our future!

NCJack said...

Yeah, you'd better keep an eye peeled for ADG...in the meantime, don't pay any attention to the guy with the Southern accent who seems to show up where you go...it's just a coincidence...be sure to drive slowly and signal when you turn, safety you know

The Preppy Pauper said...

I won't minimize your thrifting efforts for a moment, I've put in some time myself rummaging for bargains and it does take time. But really Giuseppe, you're in Boston, ground zero of the Ivy League. Even the thrift stores are preppy/trad/ivy league!

trip said...

I really like the collar on that coat/vest. And that is an awesome tweed, even if it wasn't from Andover Shop.

C.Sharp said...

I can not speak to the quality of Brooksgate in the 80's but I do have one Brooksgate suit from before 1976, I believe, and the thing will not die. I am a bit surprised I still fit in it. Since it was for the young and the slim.

The Cordial Churchman said...

I'm with Mason. I think you should have a policy for out-of-town visitors. The midwesterner brings you a single malt, and you take him on a tour of your city's best establishments.

_ said...

To the Preppy Paupers point, I'm in The Great Basin and I've never had a problem finding repp ties, Harris Tweed or BB OCBD in my thrift stores. I don't think you have to be in Boston for this stuff. In fact, I think buying Trad is some of the easiest stuff to find in Thrift stores:

1) Trad style has remained unchanged for years. Timeless is one of the functional aspects of this aesthetic.
2) These clothes are often considered "dress" clothing, so it is usually better cared for by the previous owners and thus survives long enough to make it's way to a thrift store.

David V said...

Got a crow!
My trip today to the local thrift netted me a pair of patent leather opera pumps.
Not one of Ralphie's or any of the English houses, but still, a pair with very little sole wear. Total cost: $4.32.
They were not in the men's section. As I thought, if a pair were to ever turn up they would be put in the woman's shoe section.

Luke said...

Giuseppe,

I've been a long time lurker on your blog and have to admit I'm extremely jealous of your finds but 100% know where you're coming from on your comments. I've scored Brooks, Polo, Chaps OCBDs and Polos, Oscar de la Renta suits, Florsheim and Bass Weejun shoes, and numerous awesome LPs from thrift stores. As a thrifty (read: cheap) college student I know how awesome it is to find great trad deals at low prices at thrift stores.

My motto is, I don't care if someone tells me, "Someone probably died in that shirt" (people *have* said that), but as long as it looks good at a great price I'll continue to shop thrift stores regardless of how much money I make someday!

LJS

Aaron said...

I am guessing its one of the new places in Roslindale/W. Roxbury but hey what do I know, I live in Providence :)

Christopher said...

I agree too the keep the thrift shops a secret, but to be honest I do like to divulge time to time. Like atm I live in VT, but I am from NJ. Up here there are lots of places. Most are crap walmart clothing and the like, with maybe higher end mixed in. Some of my fav places have really high end stuff mostly clothing over 200$ a eshirt and some cheaper stuff. I just recently got an Yves Saint Laurent check shirt new last year 800$ I payed 3$ and my best find was a 8 grand Hicky Freeman suit for 4$. The shop in my town is also a food shelf and I donate a lot to them. Typically you can find Louis Vuitton bags, Brooks Brothers, and even seven for all man kind. Then I am a big vintage person, so i also have my vintage clothing places too. Seeing all you guys with the same passion as me makes me want to take you guys with me next time I go hehe.