Successfully navigating the world of thrift stores is not for the faint of heart, or lazy. To do it well requires perseverance, patience, creativity, vision and a little bit of luck. Usually, luck has the least to do with it, other times it's everything. To wit:
You also have to know the rules, and when to break them. A lot of suit jackets turn up "orphaned" at these places, forever estranged from their matching trousers. Many times this means game over, as in the case of pinstripes or glen checks, even solid greys and navys. These jackets will always look like the truncated half of a suit that they are. Stay away from these, no matter how nice. They will never look right without their pants. Summer clothes, such as the pincord jacket in the photo, are a different animal.
And what an unusual pincord this is. Pincord is sort of like seersucker's kid brother, featuring pencil thin stripes that appear as a solid color from a distance, most often found in cotton or cotton/poly blends. The most common color for these is oxford blue/white, with tan/white coming in second. This one here is really tan, but has a wonderfully distinct pink cast to it. Only the pants are missing. No matter, because pincord, along with seersucker and khaki or olive poplin, actually fake it well as sports jackets, best paired with white duck trousers or tropical worsted in charcoal grey. The orphaned trousers of these same suits exist well alone, too, with navy blazers or just a tennis shirt.
This isn't to say that all hope of a suit is lost. Frequently, as I've written before, the pants can be found separated from the jacket in another part of the store. Whenever I find a really great suit coat missing the pants, I take it with me to the pants rack to find a mate. This works maybe 25% of the time, generously speaking, but when it does it's worth it.Such was not the case with this number, but I nabbed it anyway as a nice Summer jacket. If only you could see the ones I throw back, it would break your heart.
A full ten days later, at the same shop, the pants turn up. This almost never happens, but it speaks to the importance of perseverance. You can't expect to hit big in these places by only dropping by occasionally. You have to be relentless, and visit often, and not be discouraged if you strike out, a lot. In other words, you have to be kind of nuts, driven by a certain madness to devote yourself to this. Being a cheapskate isn't a hobby after all, it's a lifestyle choice, or an addiction if you'd rather.
Or you can use the internet and pay a small premium to let crackpots like me do all the time consuming dirty work for you. (Cripes, Giuseppe, talk about a shameless plug).
This suit does not fit me, by the way, and will available in The Shop soon. Meanwhile, other new goods have been added recently. Check it.