05 October 2008

Secrets of Thrifting

Anyone who has read this blog knows that I am a devotee of thrift shopping for quality goods. So far I've featured a lot of my best finds. But hats not to say that thrift shopping is as easy as walking into a place, grabbing a nice suit and walking out the door with a smile on your face. In order to shop this way, you have to be willing to strike out 9 times out of 10. (pardon the baseball metaphor, but we're in the 11th inning of game 3 of the ALDS Red Sox/ Angels series).

Thrift stores are often flooded with suit jackets missing their pants. I attribute this to the fact that most guys take off their jacket the minute they reach the office, then carry it to the car and take it home with them, hence wearing out the pants while the jacket stays fresh. Eventually the pants go in the trash and the jacket gets donated(and purchased by some poor fellow who doesn't realize what an egregious affront to all things holy it is to wear a suit jacket as if it were a sport coat.)

For example, this:

vintage Hart Schaffner & Marx 3/2 Price of Wales plaid

and this:

grey flannel 3/2 from the Harvard Coop

Both jackets fit like a glove, neither had pants with them. Completely infuriating!

Which brings me to an insider menswear thrift secret:

If I find the jacket of a good suit without the pants, I take it to the pants rack and look for the match. I struck out today, but it's a trick that's worked in the past. The moral of the story is: don't give up so easily.


Anonymous said...

Thrifting takes dedication. It comes in waves sometimes. I got a brooks bros wool jacket (like a golf jacket) and a harris tweed sportcoat three trips ago, then nothing, nothing, nothing...

Giuseppe said...

I know what you mean, Matt. You can always tell when all of one guys stuff has shown up. Suddenly they have a dozen shirts from the smae maker in the same size...usually not the one you wer after.

It does indeed take dedication, but for me thats half the fun. And when you do find a really great peice it's all the more gratifying.