03 November 2008


Following my last post, a commenter, initials CG, had this to say:

What I like about what you do is that it requires a certain degree of sartorial knowledge. You learn fit, proportion, color, and all that at a fraction of what it costs idiots like me. It has taken me year, big bucks, and lots of amorous wrecks...live and learn. Wish these blogs were around a decade before.Did you learn the basics before thrifting or was it more of a trial and error experience?
And so this post will give a little more background on where I'm coming from. No pictures, lots of nostalgia.
I grew up in an Italian family in (what used to be) an Italian neighborhood near Boston. I still live there, and wouldn't have it any other way.
In case you hadn't noticed, Italians enjoy getting dressed, for better or worse.
I am the conglomerate of two distinctly different ways of thinking.
My father's father was a tailor. I mean a real, custom clothes tailor. I mean my Dad, in his high school yearbook photo is wearing a custom made tweed jacket, made for him by his father. By extension, my Dad is a clotheshorse, albeit in a more 'funky' way than I.
My mother's father was a concrete worker who wore the same pair of dickies for about 100 years with the same t-shirt and ratty, home made cardigan. I currently live in the apartment that once belonged to him and my grandmother.
In high school, I became obsessed with old movies, and began going out of my way to dress like it was 1939. I amassed a huge collection of short, wide, vintage ties and high waisted, deep pleated pants. I favored double breasted jackets with gigantic lapels...and thrift stores.
My Jesuit high school had a loose dress code: shirts with collars and no blue jeans. I wore a jacket and tie every day, by choice. In junior year I landed a job as cashier at the now deceased Simon's Copley Square, an old family men's shop with a real tailoring staff. (that staff included on John Pisano, a true master. I am privileged to have had him hem my slacks.) By the age of 18, I owned 24 identical white oxford button down shirts.
Then I went through a fairly long phase of punk-rock-ness of one kind or another. To some this may seem odd, but in fact it is also a specific type of dress that requires an enormous amount of attention to detail. Perfect for the obsessive compulsive mentality.
Then I got married and had kids, so back to respectability.
Through it all, I have manged to remain relatively broke. The glory that is the Internet has now allowed me to share my wisdom with you.
Tomorrow I will buy AA batteries, so I can get back to taking pictures of my clothes and stop boring you all with the details.


Phillippa said...

Oh, I don't know. I like the details. :-)
Great Blog!



Anonymous said...

Liberace was only half-Italian:

Liberace, known as "Lee" to his friends and "Walter" to family, was born in West Allis, Wisconsin, a Milwaukee suburb, to Frances Zuchowska, a Polish American, and Salvatore ("Sam") Liberace, an immigrant from Formia, Italy.

Anonymous said...


ps your links to the pics aren't working.