01 August 2012

Worth Every Penny : Newton Street Vintage

Zach of Newton Street Vintage and I make a pretty good team when it comes to putting together a 10x10 pseudo shop under a tent in a parking lot.
Evidence of this fact can be found in the fact that the two of us can't work together without either one taking home some piece of the other guys stash. Sometimes we buy, sometimes we trade, but we never walk away from one another empty handed. This outing proved no different, as I found myself making room for what may be the best cold weather suit I've owned yet:
Trad/Ivy/Preppy authentic, well-curated vintage heritage Americana, or whatever the semantics police would have us call it now, is played in spades in this old charcoal pinstripe suit. Natural, nearly un-padded shoulders, no darts, 3/2 roll...all the details, all rendered in the kind of thick but soft sturdy cloth that barely exists anymore in the world of ready made clothing.
The extra high third buttonhole, right in line with the breast pocket, age this one solidly in the late 1950s/ early 1960s. The stripes are not-quite-white. That's a huge bonus for me. I rarely wear black shoes, and will likely never wear this business suit in a business setting, so those tan stripes ought to work nicely with my near fetishistic collection of brown shoes, most especially cordovan longwings and tassel loafers.

Despite the weight of the cloth, the coat is "skeleton lined" only at the shoulders. The more I learn about clothing, the less I appreciate a fully lined jacket.

A note on button holes: the best of the old jackets had four button holes, evenly spaced. Don't forget that the coveted "3/2 roll" is a derivative of the old tunic cut military uniforms, not just a fashion detail. Note also how the buttons are sewn on a full half inch from the edge of the coat.  This is a sturdy garment meant to last a long time, not a fashionable thing meant to work for a year or two. Likely 60 years old, I just got it, and intend to see at least ten Winters use from it. No doubt I will.

The previous owner had the pants let out...all the way out...so much so that some extremely talented tailor in the alterations department built this gusset in the back from scrap cloth rescued from elsewhere in the suit. I'll have them taken in, but it's almost a shame to destroy that gusset.

From, as you may by now have guessed, the High Holy Brothers, back when the Brothers were all High and Holy.

As I stated at the start, I got this one in trade, for a bottle green blazer by J. Press, a vintage tweed jacket, and a pair of tan gabardine slacks with side tabs and forward pleats by Ralph Lauren Purple Label. Fair enough. Had I paid the $125 it was priced, it still would have been worth every penny.  Think of the kind of junk you would have to settle for on sale at Marshall's for that price.
Vintage clothing, whether found for pennies at a thrift shop or bought at a fair price from a well respected seller, is usually worth every penny.

3 comments:

NCJack said...

I, too, appreciate the skeleton lining. When I started paying attention to clothes, around 1962 or so, a "fully lined" coat was suspect: either the cloth wasn't good enough to drape on it's own, or they were trying to cover up sloppy workmanship on the seams.

This one's a real keeper. Hope to see you at another flea.

Roger v.d. Velde said...

Could you perhaps show a photo of the entire partial lining and inner finishing of the suit? I'd be interested to see the finishing on the inside where the pockets are.

Ulrich von Boffke said...

Gorgeous! Wear it in good health.

Best Regards,

Ulrich von B.