24 November 2009

Pop Up Flea: Voice of Dissent, part II

Just for laughs:
Wool shirt by Chippewa, $5.49, down vest by Lands End, $12.50, wool/shearling hunting hat by Woolrich, $3.99, jeans by Levi's, $30 (at Sear's, where they also sell tools), L.L.Bean "Original Maine Hunting Shoes", $12.99, rugged no-name belt, $1.99, Lands End canvas tote...I forget, it's old...

Let me begin by saying how absolutely overwhelmed I am by the response to the last post. Guess I was just sayin' what you all were thinkin'. 50 comments...a new AAW record!

My special thanks are extended to "Joe", for disagreeing with all the disagree-ers. That's what discussion is all about. To date, the only comments I have rejected were the inevitable spam. Note that our Mr. Williams, in his own self-congratulatory post on the Pop Up Flea, published only six comments, one of them his own, in which he basically states that any comment that disagrees with his aesthetic and/or opinion will not be considered for publication. "Pat me on the back or get out".He did not, however, hesitate to list all the press his fiasco received, sans yours truly, or any other writer/blogger/journalist who dared call him out. Such an attitude is neither democratic, American, or professional, in any sort of journalistic sense.

And people wonder why Boston has always hated New York. It's got very little to do with Babe Ruth and Derek Jeter in the long run.

Let us speak no more of it. I don't want my blog to become the argumentative, negative "bitch-fest" that some others have fallen prey to.

p.s. ACL is now officially off the blog-roll. He's as bad as ASW, as far as I can tell...maybe worse.

p.p.s I think a ban on the terms "Heritage Americana" and "Well Curated" is in order...at least temporarily.


aaron said...

I wouldn't have expected Michael Williams to publish criticism of his ventures on his own site. ACL is turning into another big ol' brand, and I can't really begrudge Williams for wanting to keep it nice and shiny while he can.

Having said that, however, I've really enjoyed your last couple posts regarding that alleged flea market. It's nice to see some common sense being applied to the *ahem* workwear trend. My grandfather would rightfully smack me if I spent a grand to copy his old factory floor look.

Unknown said...

Question: do you keep a written inventory of your wardrobe and the price you paid for each item, or do you have the world's best memory?

Just wondering. Personally, I think it would be awesome if you kept a written inventory. Although, it might speak to a pretty serious case of OCD.

Anonymous said...

Just read the responses to the previous post. I won't parrot what's already been said, but I do believe a fault line has formed in the trad blogsphere: Trad/Thrift vs. Trad/Hipster??

Enzo AGC said...

I pulled ACL from my blogroll yesterday...

James said...

I admire that you made your statement and moved on.I believe that's called being an adult.
Have you ever seen two tone (in this case black with brown)weejuns?
I just got a pair on ebay, can't wait to get them!

Armilyn and David said...

I agree with Aaron's first paragraph about ACL and the site becoming more of a brand. I take things with a grain of salt when I visit ACL and other related sites by (mostly) New York bloggers, as I have come to realize that they all work in the fashion industry and thus their blogs are as much promotional/networking vehicles as they are personal journals. I'm fine with it most of the time, as they are providing me with free entertainment. But I always keep this site on my daily blog jog so my heart can recover after seeing beautiful but ultimately unaffordable things (and that's all they are-things) on other sites.


Anonymous said...

One thing I don't understand. It is my understanding that all of the garments are made in the USA.

Do you think this is how much shirts would cost if they were made in the US?

Don't be too tough on them - they really are kids and need a good taste of the real world. Just look how small the sizes are.

I live and work in Manhattan and nobody really dresses like that. (Raw denim and work shirts....)

You see alot of the No Iron Dockers with that awful North Face Fleece. All over the place. People tend to wear New Balance sneakers. Back Packs are very popular too not 400.00 canvas bags. Here you have to walk alot walking around with Red-Wings is a pain. Even the people that really need to wear work boots normally take them off and have different shoes they wear on the train.

Then again I hardly go into Brooklyn.

Anonymous said...

Kudos to Giuseppe for speaking common sense.

These are the clothes that my friends and I in the hinterlands wore in high school and college during the mid-'70s, and wear still today. Once in a great while since, dedicated followers of fashion have discovered these old clothes in their search for the next new thing. They champion the "authenticity" of the common man's garb, no less so when it is a new copy costing many more times than the real thing. However, authenticity, like character, cannot be be bought. The fashionable, the hipsters, by definition always will be uncool.

Memphis88 said...

Thank goodness for you and Enzo! I had grown pretty tired of the schtick over at ACL and my visits have become fewer and fewer. When I saw him comment about deleting dissenting opinions, I decided that would be the last time I visited ACL.

Anonymous said...

For some reason I think of all these blogs as punk bands. We all kind of stay true to our beliefs but when one of us "sells out" ahem ACL. We turn on them.

Y'know I probably would've tried to tell everyone to give ACL another chance but after meeting him and talking to him. He's a grade A douche bag.

C said...

I still wish I could have gone. I couldn't have afforded anything anyways, I can't even afford the thrift store anymore, but it would have been cool to see anyways.

Too bad about MW though, thought he would have been a good guy.

And I still think comment moderation of any kind is incredibly silly.

Unknown said...

Thanks, Guiseppe, for pointing out Joe's comment on your last post. He made some really good points. Quality is expensive. The originals that have inspired the current "heritage garment" trend weren't cheap either. The difficulty is ascertaining the difference between "quality" and "trendy."

As far as the obsession with workwear goes, I don't see a notable difference between obsessing over selvedge denim versus obsessing over cars, watches or whatever else. A rolex is obscenely expensive, considering I can buy a watch I like the look of better that works pretty well for $100 or even less. But then, I'm not a watch connoisseur. "Narrow loom" "Japanese" "selvedge" "blahblahblah" denim may not be a priority to you or me, or even honestly a reasonable measurement of comparative quality (speaking as one who sews quite a bit), but then it's not my hobby. So I don't begrudge the PUF people their hobby.

One problem I have with the PUF is terming it a "flea." If J.Crew shows up, it ain't much of a flea market. It's a cute name, but I think it's semantic abuse that impoverishes the language and culture, much like ASW would have a (justified, as far as I'm concerned) bitch-fest over made-to-measure referred to as "bespoke." A flea market is something specific, something wonderful, but by undermining the meaning of the term, we undermine a generation's ability to appreciate the actual event.

But then, maybe I'm picking nits. I'm mostly just thinking aloud.

Anywho, my biggest problem is Williams' behavior. That nonsense he posted in his comments and on StyleForum is just silly and unprofessional. By responding like that, he only polarizes people and galvanizes those that already don't like him. A better response would've been "sorry you didn't like it. Glad you came anyway, I hope you can make it next year and find something for you!"

All that silliness out of the way, thanks for speaking your mind, speaking it well, appreciating other people's arguments and moving on. Looking forward to what you come up with when winter gets here!

tintin said...

Too bad. I can understand having some high expectations and being shocked by the prices as well as the Mark McNairy look alike contest but this is getting personal. And that's a shame.

Please do me a favor and delete my blog as well. The Boston - NY comment was really the last thing I needed to hear.

Anonymous said...

I think it's funny that this stuff is high fashion anyway. I would really only wear that sort of thing hunting or slogging through a forest.

Most of it is ego I think, most youngsters want to be apart of something. They want to say they shop at rogues, not a thrift shop. I'll bet you even if they did find something at a thrift store they wouldn't acknowledge it.

Also, where do these kids get all this money to buy $200 shirts and $600 boots? Are they all rich trust-funders trying to look not-rich?

Having a life apart from fashion (unless you work in the industry), I think is what separates the men from the boys here. The boy shops for trends and friends, the man shops for value and classic style.

The preppy pauper brings up a point about the clash between hipster trad vs. thrift trad. We can all agree it is good to see a resurgence of good style and dressing your best, but I don't think they see it like that. The hipster trad is ever fading, new years being new styles and trends they will undoubtedly follow.

Instead, I think it's the difference between financial conservatism and corporate consumerism. I'm willing to bet that even if we all made millions a year, us thrifters would still spend our money wisely. We know where or how we can get that jacket (or at least the look) in the window without paying the $1000 price tag.

In fact, regardless of money, I like thrifting a lot more anyway. I find the coolest things that won't ever appear in any store ever again. For the hipsters, it's "I see it, I want it", for the thrifter it's more of an adventure, you go in with an open mind and you see what's in store for you. Plus we save money and know how to survive hardships intact, if the hipster kid's gold card ever got denied he'd probably die of being unfashionable.

I'm rambling now, so I'll just leave it at that.

Great post.

Pitboss12 said...

Another good post. It's refreshing to see a blog that has not fallen for the groupthink that has taken over much of the blogosphere.

Stifling voices of dissent is un-American, especially on a blog that professes a love of all things American.

Dan (dmvarley at gmail.com) said...

Hi David,

I don't intend to get into a debate regarding your overall post, but just wanted to point out one small detail.

For the most part, the guys at the Pop Up Flea (I've attended twice) are NYC professionals ranging in ages from the mid 20's to 40's. There certainly are the folks who work in industry or PR, but it attracts a pretty diverse crowd who hear about through word of mouth or in more mainstream pubs like NY Mag.

Say what you will about the merits of spending major coin on a shirt, but for the people at the PUF, including myself, it's our money.

I just thought talking about hipster trust-fund kids was painting with a pretty broad brush.

Thanks for taking this under advisement.

Anonymous said...

It's absurd to argue over taste. It's even more absurd to argue over values and then pat yourself on the back for holding the higher ground.

Everyone should take a step back and remember you have the free will to determine if you want to attend events, buy clothing, read blogs, listen to music, wear pants, eat ice cream, etc etc etc.

If you don't like certain things, don't go, wear, eat, or support.

Anonymous said...

Mr. G.,

I admire your fortitude and honesty. One constructive criticism I have for you is that you often act like everyone should and could thrift their clothes like you do. Clearly someone has to purchase the nice stuff new so that you can pick it up for a steal later.

As to ACL, my real problem with him is that he is a totally commercial site masquerading as a personal blog. I learned this long ago when I posted some thoughts on one of his featured designers. It was not even derogatory, but he posted it and then deleted it after he decided that the comments should all be ultra positive. Psynchophants only. I am willing to bet he gets paid by many of the "great finds" he features. Unfortunately, Mr. Mort plays that game also. If you do not post glowing praise, you get deleted.

Thanks for keeping it real.

Giuseppe said...

Anon. 12:09,

I definitely hear you about the fact that everyone can't be a thrift shopper. I'm lucky to have a knack for it, but it's not all roses. You gotta look at a lot of junk and deal with a lot of crazy people to pull it off. Obviously, I only feature the fruits of my labor here. I try to write this blog as a means to inform guys that you can look nice and be broke...that a lack of funds nedn't relegate you to sweatpants and free t-shirts. I appreciate your comment, constructive criticism is always helpful.

As for ACL, it's clearly a business and not a blog. I have no problem with that, it's the attempt to hide this fact and the assumption that your readers are stupid enough not to see through it that gets me.

Disaffected Prep,

You bring up some good points and I'm glad to have them heard.Its great that so many people clocked in on this one. I only wish we had more folks present the other side of it in an adult way, as you just did.

Unknown said...

Hey Giuseppe,

Nice post of some quality thift finds. I wish I had your thrifting knack!

Personally, I struggle with the potential successes of thrifting and my spotty experience. But practice makes perfect. Thanks for the good posts.


Gregorius Mercator said...

Kudos on the amazing blog. You've inspired me to hit the local thrift shops. It's been a while and I've only ever been a few times. While I certainly don't anticipate the quality and depth you might have in the Boston area, I've been able to find the occasional diamond in the rough in Central PA the few times I've gone looking.

I'll definitely be checking back frequently. Thanks for fighting the good fight and giving proof that you don't need a ridiculous bank roll to do it!

David M. said...

I feel if you have someone on your blog roll, you should be on his/hers. He's never put you on his, ACL's removal is overdue.

p.s. Rozzie is in the house!

peter robinson said...

mr williams is an arse, you can not mention anything on this comment section that might hinder his parasite pr machine.

Clay said...

I try to write this blog as a means to inform guys that you can look nice and be broke...

You f*&4ing hypocrite. You state the above but have yet to specifically name ONE thrift store in the entire greater Boston area? Do you think everyone is the same size as you? You can do whatever the hell you want on your own blog, but don't pretend you're in this for anyone but yourself.

Giuseppe said...


Everyone knows the first rule of succesful thrift shopping is not to give away your sources. No one ever told me where this stuff was. It took a lot of legwork and perseverance on my part.

Of course I write this blog for myself. Isn't that what a blog is? A sort of vanity publication? I don't lie about that. But alot of others out there seem to be checking in to see what I have to say, and I write for them too.

Really, I'm sorry if you're upset by this, but I fail to see the hypocrisy.

mmasales said...

Hi Mr.G,

I feel almost ashamed of not having stumbled upon you're blog along time ago. You have some really great and inspiring post. Thrift shopping and second hand has been apart of my family for a long time now, and I've learned to adopt this lifestyle. I really enjoy the hunt and the adventure. Thanks for inspiring.

Clifford said...

Let's not make this a Boston versus New York thing please because as a native New Yorker, True York and not a transplant in Brooklyn. I wholeheartedly agree with your statements concerning the Pop Up Flea and the current state of overpriced Americana.

I too wonder why this turned into high fashion. I went this route style-wise because I didn't want to spend $$$ on my wardrobe.


Unknown said...


Your bulls-eye points require little corroboration and have already fatally punctured the sad sartorial fad of "field and stream" couture...but a recent outing of mine underscores the fact.
A couple weeks back I was in a certain Brooklyn boutique that specializes in beautiful worsted wear, all the tweedy pieces undoubtedly cutting and ludicrously pricey. I was thumbing the garments, eyebrow raised, when a willowy fellow opened the door with a jingle, hair as shiny as his lips, and got up like some dainty avenue trapper he fluted a triumphant, "Bonjour!!" The man's never crossed mud save over a gallant's cape, let alone experienced the raw out-of-doors. His striding across the floor, all rigged for ruggedness, work wear and boots, belted and layered against a 19th century Nor'easter -- and our immediate exit.

- Sabatino T.

Anonymous said...

Hey no hating on NY! I was born and raised here and agree with you brother. Real New Yorkers get it, not the transplants from Iowa or the burbs who think they're cool because they can read GQ and spend a ton of money at JCrew.

Young Fogey said...


You're acting like a jerk. Calm down or go away--we don't need that kind of attitude around here, or anywhere else, for that matter.

Besides, if you don't understand what Giuseppe does for his readers, even without revealing his sources, then you have eyes that do not see.

Russell Sprouts said...

You all are a bunch of whiny fucking girls. Don't like it, don't buy it. Move on.

Giuseppe said...


Those in favor of the workwear trend are fairly well represented on the internet. We're just voicing an opinion here.

Young Fogey said...


Let's not feed the trolls, especially not ones who can't even express themselves without resorting to profanity.

Hill City Josh said...

Love this outfit...

The punk rocker turning Trad enthusiast from Ohio...

Anonymous said...

I just love your weblog! Very nice post! Still you can do many things to improve it.

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now. Keep it up!
And according to this article, I totally agree with your opinion, but only this time! :)