02 May 2012

The Homebody

An old Sero shirt from an old store in Swampscott, Massachusetts...
...an old regimental stripe bow tie by Rivetz of Boston...

...and an old suit from The Andover Shop. 100% real 1960s American traditional clothing, picked up 50 years hence at Boston area thrift shops. Good as new.

All of these things were made, sold and stayed in the same twenty mile radius all this time. For a guy who is raising his children in the house where he was raised, where his mother has lived since his grandparents bought the place in 1965, when these clothes were new, that's kind of heart-warming.

And all you young guys thought you made up this "buy local, buy green" stuff....


A said...

not to pitpick, but the Judd shirt was probably produced in New Haven, still better than Shenzhen.

Pigtown*Design said...

i don't know whether i am more impressed by that, or by when i see something from a shop in london or paris in my little thrift shop. close to home or far away?

james at 10engines said...

hell yeah.

Giuseppe said...

True enough, A. Sero shirts were made in Connecticut. Still, you get the idea.

Thanks for presenting the other side of the coin. Finding handmade clothes from Italy is just as much of a thrill, for a completely different set of reasons.

Think of this as my version of a 10Engines "barn score"

Johnny said...

This has nothing to do with your post (except that I also bought these in the city where I live), but I thought you'd enjoy the story, a sort of marriage of your blog and Will's:

I bought this exact Cappelli tie that Will is wearing here:


and this exact 100% cashmere Drake's tie that Will sells in his store for $140:


both in like-new condition at the same thrift store the other day for 45 cents each.

Roger v.d. Velde said...

Some fellow on another blog pontificated that all this stuff - like the above - exists in this condition in thrift shops because quite a number of rich fellows bought a good deal of it at the time and let some of it sit in their wardrobes over decades. Maybe they just moved with the downward fashions or perhaps died.

Whatever the story it's sad to know that a time will come when these goods will dwindle in availability. There's the odd lucky 'new-old-stock' haul to be had from time to time. Most of the clothes had little or no use first time around, but the second (or third) will eventually bring them to a natural end.

Sometimes I feel like a curator; I'm loathe to wear some things lest they wear out and some won't be found again without laying out some hard cash.

Johnny said...


That's my view too. I probably have 400-500 ties; I have so many that I sometimes forget what all I have. (But it has taken me over 15 years to acquire that many, and more than 90% of them were purchased at thrift stores for $1.00 each or less.) Yet I keep buying more, in no small part because ties generally last forever and take up little space, and I don't know how much longer they'll be available. I would guess that most of the ones I find in thrifts now are from the 1980s, which was near the end of the era when suits and ties were still worn routinely for business. Since business casual has been the norm for nearly a generation now, and the tie industry shows that sales of ties have fallen precipitously over the past 10 years, who knows how many ties will be available in thrifts in 10-20 years? I figure I better keep stocking up while I can, especially when I can do it for $1.00 or less each.

Young Fogey said...


Sadly, ties do not last forever. They are surprisingly susceptible to wear at the tip. I have taken home more than a few great finds, only to discover that one of the corners at the tip has suffered friction wear.

Ties also suffer from runs (i.e.. pulled threads), not to mention staining. Some men consider ties uncleanable and therefore ruined if soiled.

All the more reason to stock up on quality finds.

Pigtown*Design said...

As for ties, I work at a children's charity, and we wanted to teach our boys how to tie a tie. But the number that we needed and their cost was out of our price range (very low). So I put out a call to donors via e-mail and we received more than 700 ties.

So many of the men who sent them said that they'd been collecting ties for ages, but didn't wear them anymore. They were happy to send them to our boys.

All of our boys could choose which ties they wanted and then they all learned to tie several knots. Then they put on a little demonstration for everyone... precision tie tying.