20 March 2009

First Day of Spring (past, present, future)

Spring has finally arrived. Eastern Massachusetts responded with a bright sunny day, balmy with temperatures in the high 30's. One of those days when you look out the window and think "what a gorgeous day!" Then you go outside and spend the day trying to convince yourself that it's not cold, when in fact you're almost freezing.

Mrs. G and I decided to celebrate by taking the children on a thrifting excursion, something we haven't done much lately. As I've mentioned before, thrift shopping takes a sharp eye and dedication. The ability to see the past, present and future in perspective is also helpful. For example:
The Past

Think about the past, and remember that it is bound to repeat itself. We may all be itching for the cotton duck pants and madras right about now, but that's no reason not to sift through all the tweed jackets. Winter will happen again. In fact, it's the perfect time for buying tweed. Nobody wants to think about it and the selection is yours for the picking. This half lined 3/2 sack jacket, made of this luxurious soft fabric:
cost all of $7.99. That's less than what it cost in the 60's, when it was new. From one of America's long gone small men's shops. Anyone have a good story about a place called Ed Michtom's?

The Present

Being an American, I value instant gratification. Shopping is no fun if you don't get something you can use right away. As luck would have it, this old pair of Sebago Campsides for $7.99 are the perfect shoe for Spring. So comfortable, casual but smart, great with argyles, khakis and striped ties. Best of all, the magic words: made in USA. Even the venerable L.L.Bean blucher mocs can't make that claim anymore.

The Future

One day it will be Summer. In Massachusetts this means that no end of nautically themed clothing is too much. This neck tie embroidered with anchors and ships wheels may be more than a little silly, but with a white shirt, a pair of Nantucket reds , no socks, and topsiders, you're set. True, I don't own a yacht, but that doesn't mean that a little of the old sprezzatura, and my inner Thurston Howell, can't pull this off.

The point? If you go into a thrift store looking for something particular, forget it. Be persistent, look through everything, and snatch the good stuff, regardless of the current season. It's the only way to navigate these places successfully. Take the broad view. In the long run, you'll be glad you did.


Old School said...

Ed Michtom's Clothing Store:


Andrew M. said...

The problem for me is waiting to try out those summer shirts and shorts that I bought in January. But spring will come, eventually. I continue to be envious of your fancy Boston thrift stores.

The Cordial Churchman said...

Makes me want to take the boys and make a round to the Charlotte thrifts. Like I did last Saturday.

Great tie. That reminds me that I've been meaning to ask you: do you avoid polyester at all costs at the thrift when looking for ties? It seems like some of the coolest patterns are 50% or more polyester when I'm thrifting. What's your rule?

Anonymous said...

Tutta la famigilia? Compresi la principessa?

ms. mindless said...

cool tie. who cares about not owning a yacht? i say go for it. most of the people bopping about in topsiders have never even been on a boat. who cares? (anyone who does care about that fact is probably a jerk anyway) the tie is great. rock it.

Pitboss12 said...

Funny you should post on this topic. I've been scooping up sweaters for the past few days despite the recent string of 70+ degree weather this past week.

Cool tie.

Giuseppe said...

Cordial Churchman,

Polyester is the Devil's own fiber! But as with all things that are the Devil's own, we human's tend to stray from the righteous path every now and again. Thank Haeven for forgiveness.

Lesli Larson said...

Love those Sebago Campsides. Do you know the vintage? Seems like on Russell Moc Co. makes anything like that these days...

Giuseppe said...


My guess is nineties vintage, but that's only a guess. Fortunately, whoever had them before seems to have taken great care of them. So comfortable!