15 July 2010


Reading this blog of mine, one might get the impression that it's all peaches and cream out there in the disorganized and random world of thrift shops.True, the deals are great when you find them, but there is also disappointment, even a certain sadness in it at times. As far as menswear goes, nowhere is this more apparent than in the ubiquitous presence of orphans...the unwanted top halves of once beautiful suits.
The other day I found this jacket. A natural shouldered, undarted, two button cuffed, 3/2 beauty, in a tropical wool with a 3/4 lining, size 40 short, fit me like a glove, for $6.99...
Man, was this a nice piece of cloth. From a few paces off, it read as an icy shade of bluish grey, but closer inspection revealed a beautifully woven glen check, with hints of red.

From the storied and hallowed Chipp...not only that, but a "Golden Chipp". Never one to give up easily on these things, I was sure the pants were somewhere in the store, priced separately. You'd be amazed how often suits get separated in these kinds of shops. So I took the jacket and headed to the pants department hunting for a mate but to no avail.

I know some of you might be thinking that there must be some of way of using this fine piece as a serviceable sports jacket of some kind. Sometimes this is the case. The top half of a tweed suit may only need new buttons to become a sports jacket, maybe a navy jacket gets some brass, but not this one. I considered how it might look with white pants, or charcoal. I considered changing the buttons. Dammit, I thought of everything. But in the end I knew that I'd likely never wear this jacket, because it would always just be half a suit, an orphan.

I know sometimes it may seem like I have a magical and endless stream of fabulous dirt cheap goods flowing through my house, but remember that this blog is as well edited as my wardrobe. In reality, successful thrift shopping has got more to do with a discerning eye and the ability to edit than almost anything else. When you're dealing with stuff this cheap, you have to be especially picky.
After all, no matter how good your intentions may be, you simply can't give a home to every orphan you find.


Thornproof said...

The prevention of orphans is one reason why I love one of my local stores that is run by a bunch of middle-aged women. They do their best to keep suits together and in my shopping there, I have never found a jacket without its pants, where the pants are on the separate rack. While I am sure that it happens, they do a great job keeping suits together.


Young Fogey said...

That's a truly hideous teddy-type bear-like object. I'm offended by its existence.

Anonymous said...

I bought a couple of orphans this past spring, Zegna & Paul Stuart. Thinking that somehow I could make them work...well I can't. Wasted $20.

Jeremy B. said...


Think about it with lime green pants; Damned Dapper (the GTH story) has an excellent photo of the look toward the bottom: http://www.ivy-style.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/gth-story.pdf

I know you like the GTH look, too. I'm in college and pull this off--might be worth a trip back to the store.

ADG said...

This shit is rigged man! Kinda like that show where the guy/a survivalist lives in the wild with only a pocket knife. then he was outed when it was made known that after shooting a segment, he would go and sleep in a posh hotel. You go in those thrift stores and find GOLD every freakin' time. It's rigged...you and Lifetime Network or Learning Channel have some kind of shit going on. Chipp...solid as a damn rock.


Anonymous said...

Funny, I conducted exactly the same search for wayward trousers recently, with no success. But with its slight tweediness and faint red overcheck the jacket makes it on its own. Needs better buttons. However, it would have been a fabulous suit.

Schorsch said...

The worst I've experienced was a beautiful brooks suit, fit me like a glove, 3/2 etc. Had it at the counter when I checked the label on the pants. Stafford! The greys were so very closely matched, I nearly walked out with it.

Michael said...

Thrift stores: Where dreams are achieved and hearts are broken.

Anonymous said...

I think I would have taken that orphan. Nice and simple: put it with black slacks, would have worked great.

But I do understand, and for you half the fun is the SuperKill, not a just a decent kill :)

Really loving this blog, very realistic.