17 March 2010


With the Top Shelf Flea Market fast approaching here's a little teaser for you: a few new ties I picked up today that I'll be offering for sale in May:
It's a fairly special occasion for me to happen across even one of these vintage embroidered go-to-hell ties, but four in one day? Unheard-of.

Here are some close-ups, from good to better to best, in my opinion.
A true New England classic, the red lobster motif on hunter green ground,

A true goofball New England classic, smiling whales, possibly drunk, on a maroon ground,
Now we get a bit esoteric. A navy tie with a pattern of gentlemen gentry on horseback, alternating with highly detailed embroidered hounds,

Stand back for the winner,
British "Red Coats",

versus the Minutemen of Massachusetts. Hands off, and stop drooling. I think I have to keep this one.

From all the right kind of long gone legendary places:
"The Coop", i.e. the Harvard Co-operative Society. Once known for it's men's department and formidable collection of jazz and classical records, as well as its magnificent bookstore. The Coop is now owned by Barnes and Noble, and mostly sells sweatshop made made Harvard souvenirs to the parents of the new money savages who of late have infiltrated its hallowed halls.

The Crimson Shop, another long gone Harvard stalwart. I find it hard to even conceive of a time when a college campus had a network of satellite stores selling this stuff. When did the admittedly ambiguous age of 21 shift from leaning more toward adulthood than childhood?
Rivetz of Boston. I can't find a damn thing on the web about this place, but I remember when I worked at Simon's the older guys were known to hold Rivetz in especially high regard. Like "He shops at Rivetz" meant "he knows his stuff. Tread lightly." And of course, what does the original owner of these ties buy as a souvenir of his vacation? A Lobster necktie that smacks of coastal New England, of course.

Stop by the the Top Shelf Flea in May. I've also got all the suits, jackets, pants, shirts and shoes to compliment these ties. Plus, I'll be listening to jazz records on a plastic portable and drinking beer, ready for a good conversation.

p.s. there's this new blog called Styleite. In recent article on best menswear blogs, I was christened the godfather of the hipster thrift shoppers. While most of the hipsters I know tend to wear excessively tight jeans and dress like lumberjacks, with the occasional ironic reference to ugly bygone fashions of the early 1990s, I'm gonna go ahead and take that as a compliment. As old as I feel most of the time, maybe I am actually still kinda young. Thanks, Styleite.


Charles G. said...

I'll throw you a bottle of Campari for the lobster tie. See you in May.

Have you seen the "Harvard Square" photo/coffee table book? Great storefront shots of a long gone ivy store called the Oxford Shop.

Anonymous said...

Lucky to have been at college before the invasion of the barbarians.

spoozyliciouzz said...

Would love and cherish them all, just like they deserve it.

Unknown said...

"...new money savages..."? Hilarious. Reminds me of that nice turn of phrase, "the Wasilla hillbillies looting Nieman...".

Anonymous said...

Here's a necktie label from "The Oxford Shop" mentioned by Charles G.:


The Red Velvet Shoe said...

Great ties, and congrats on the award! (That's a great site, btw)

Some Assembly Required said...

This style of tie is not my thing to wear, but I can still appreciate the whimsy of these. I worked at the Coop for almost a year in the mid-80s, when they still sold good men's clothing (and were generally closed on Sundays).

Being local, I'll definitely be hitting the Flea, and I'm looking forward to meeting you.

Scott Alexander said...

I just read the Styleite article and found much of it rather foolish. However, I can certainly agree that you've taken a leading role in the thrift-blogger movement, or whatever you choose to call it. You've been a great inspiration to many of the newer bloggers, including me. Thanks again for the inspiration, G! And I'm glad to hear the Top Shelf Flea is coming along well.

mistermidwester said...

If you keep tempting me with sweet items that are going to be at the flea market, I'll be tempted to schedule a vacation to Boston around it. Dang.

Oh, and this vintage embroidered tie from the heartland waves a hoofed foot to your vintage embroidered ties from the coast.

Jake said...

That last tie is absolutely fantastic. I'm resisting the temptation to shout 'front rank, FIRE!'...
I know these sort of ties aren't to everyone's taste, but I think they are interesting and remain well on the right side of 'novelty' by virtue of being both discrete and obviously beautifully made.

lagunie said...

Giuseppe, first thank you for a wonderful blog. I check you daily and enjoy following your adventures. I live in Laguna Beach and I love one of the neckties above. Anyway I can purchase one since I can't attend your flea market? Thank you. Mike

Anonymous said...

The Coop is not owned by Barnes and Noble; the book sales are vaguely supplied by B&N but they have no ownership share. It remains, well, a cooperative, which still pays a rebate to its thousands of members every year. I'm sorry if you're bitter that you're ineligible to join, but there's no need to attack what may be a tattered institution, but still a laudable one.

Giuseppe said...

It's got huge Barnes and Noble banners on the outside of the building.

Membership, or lack thereof, ain't got nothing to do with it. The Coop is a hollow name these days, the place being less than a shell of what it was.

I don't doubt that they stiil pay dividend to their members, but
I have a hard time thinking of a place as an institution when it becomes a chain bookstore.

Besides,Harvard book sotre is right down the street. Much better shopping and a killer used book section in the basement.

Anonymous said...

Like it said, it's not a chain bookstore. It is run by a corporation of Harvard and MIT professors, alumni, and students, who are elected by the members. B&N supplies the books. It's as much of a chain bookstore as a local sub shop that has a Boars Head sign in it.

On a more positive note, Rivetz of Boston is a very good company and still based in Boston. They make a lot of the Harvard ties still, which you could find at the Coop if you weren't such a prig. They also used to make my school tie; for better or for worse, it's now made by Vineyard vines.

Giuseppe said...


Name calling is for children.

Young Fogey said...

Wow, anonymous, stop acting like such a jerk!

If you had actually read this blog, you'd know that G has no issues with Harvard or the Coop per se; he has issues with quality. He laments the decline in men's sartorial sense and the attendant loss of quality menswear and menswear stores.

Either come out of the sandbox and grow up, or stay there and eat whatever "kitty candies" you may find.

tintin said...

I think Chipp made a Prig tie.

Anyway, since I was in the 60th Regiment Afoot and you were not...You should mail me that red coat tie rikki tick.


Red coat one is great.I'd love to find one of Ban Tarleton cos hes my favourite history figure