26 March 2013

Another Man's Clothes

People often ask me "doesn't it bother you to wear another man's clothes?", or coarser still "how can you wear a dead guy's things?" The answers are respectively "No", and "with great pleasure".
A while back, I acquired a truly beautiful navy blazer through a trade, and it quickly become a staple and a favorite. Originally found by good friend Zach, it was hand made in New York of very fine cashmere for a man who just so happened to be built exactly like me, with perhaps slightly longer arms. Mere weeks later, the above jacket surfaced. It's the same coat, down to every detail, only this time rendered in a large scale glen check with blue accents, also cashmere. The fit you see here is "as is".Incredible.Once again, found by Zach and acquired through trade.

Ticket pocket and two button cuffs, with side vents...
with not black, but smoke blue buttons to bring out the blue accents in the check. This thing is for real.
Once again, by Virgil Carducci of Fifth Avenue. The name remains a mystery.

So,I guess when such a thing happens, one can only assume that some fellow has died and his things are now being cast away by family members. It's very likely. I can fully understand why many people would find this to be a bit creepy, I get it. But I choose to believe that the kind of man who commissions such garments to be made would be happier to see them in use than be quarantined simply because the original purchaser has passed on. What good can come of that, really? Whoever he was, both he and Virgil put a lot of soul into these jackets, and I'm happy to keep them alive. There really is no need to be morbid about it, is there?
Frankly, I'll be thrilled if his suits start turning up  soon.I bet (hope) they have forward pleats.

p.s. Spring goods trickling in to the Shop. Silk jackets have begun to post today.


Dave T said...

Excellent point.

If the assumption is correct that original owner died and acknowledging that clothes are fairly intimate, it's doubtful he was wearing said piece when it happened. Houses and furniture (yes, that Georgian Revival filled with all those great antiques) have a higher probability being directly associated with a death than any thrifted/handed down clothes ever will.

Anonymous said...

Clearly, a lot of dead men had far better taste than a lot of still-living men.

Roger v.d. Velde said...

What an excellent addition. The fit is superb, as is the pattern.

The other coat label said Madison Ave rather than Fifth Ave, wonder what's going on there?

Anonymous said...

The last few links to your shop seem to have had an extra couple characters (./) on the end of the url, resulting in a bad link. At least, that's what I'm experiencing on my end. No big deal to delete them and go to the correct address, but some might be confused or discouraged.

Young Fogey said...

When my father retired, he downsized his wardrobe considerably. A lot of things went to the thrift store then.

Some men donate clothes that no longer fit, or that they no longer find current (how many 1980s yellow power ties do you see men wear these days?). Thrift store clothes aren't always from dead men.

On the other hand, I have some clothes that I inherited when my grandfather passed on. The thought of wearing that dead man's clothes makes me happy.

Anonymous said...

No matter where it came from, that is one killer jacket. I love the tie/pocket square combo you're rocking with it as well.

Gentlemen_Prefer_Gamera said...

The range of fabrics used in menswear back in the day dwarfs what's available today. I have a closetful of tweed from thrift stores; when I bring a jacket or suit to my tailor for fitting he always shakes his head and tells me "you just don't see this quality anymore."

When I kick the bucket I hope someone else will keep these clothes in play. Better than them ending up in a landfill.

JKG said...

Wow-- what a fantastic fit, G. Great find. Lapels a smidge wide for my taste...but if I found such a garment with such a fit, I think I'd probably overlook that anyway. Two home runs.

"...I choose to believe that the kind of man who commissions such garments to be made would be happier to see them in use than be quarantined simply because the original purchaser has passed on."

Doubtless. Who among us here doesn't delight in clothes? And of those, who thinks they should be buried with us? Great clothing is for display -- and fine pieces like that require a body to model them, one which is preferably upright and ambulating.

Beakywitch said...

Beautiful clothes need to be worn and loved. The soul goes out of them in dark cupboards.

Joe said...

The lapels are a pinch wide, but I think it helps carry the scale of the check. Besides, this lapel width, or wider, will be everywhere in a yearor so.

JKG said...

"Besides, this lapel width, or wider, will be everywhere in a year or so."

From on sale to "on trend." That's the man.