I believe it would be safe to say that thrift stores have an advantage over many other stores within the category of clothing goods in that they have a number of things going for them. Some of the larger stores like Goodwill have the greatest variety of items to choose from of any other store I can think of. They have everything from literal junk to the more expensive brands you could ever hope for, many times for the same price or not much more. Where else would you find six hundred dollar shirts for six dollars or six thousand dollar jackets for eight? A second advantage is a price that more easily fits your budget, that is if you have one. My problem is that I don’t have an actual budget for this and am suffering from a little-known impulsive behavior better described as Goodwillitis.
This past month of May didn’t come near the goal of finding items averaging with the magical number of 100 times the amount paid and fell short of previous months with the embarrassing number of 68. Part of this was due to the purchase of lesser items nearer their retail price such as a few shirts and ties that looked great but weren’t that expensive. I also found quite a number of cedar shoe trees that cost only six times as much and a less expensive pair of prescription glasses and parfum bag both from Zegna bringing the overall average down quickly. I did, however, make up for some of this with the worthy items of interest following.
Some of the treasures uncovered his past month worth mentioning were a great jacket from one of my favorite brands, Ermenegildo Zegna that cost $7.48, another jacket from a high-end company, Belvest for a few cents more, and a beautiful brown Milano suit from Canali. Other goose bump causing items were the Ralph Lauren Purple Label shirt and Purple Label sweater as well as a hard to find black top quality Valentino sweater. The elusive ties from Hermès (2), Gucci (3), and Versace (3) showed their colorful silk this month as did one each from Dolce & Gabbana and a few new ones to the group; Charvet, Corneliani, Fabergé and Stefano Ricci. Speaking of Gucci, a lady’s Bree GG small canvas purse was plucked out of the jewelry cabinet along with another signature purse.
Three dress suit jackets were found with one being from Belvest with a retail of near three thousand dollars. The other two were from Canali and Ermenegildo Zegna coming in under two thousand apiece for a total of $6,085.
There were some really nice finds with the sixteen shirts made by Burberry (2), Canali, Charles Tyrwhitt (5 new), Ermenegildo Zegna (3), Eton, Fumagali’s, Hugo Boss, Michael Kors and Ralph Lauren. The highlights were those of the Purple Label Ralph Lauren, Zegna and Burberry. The Fumagalli’s white piqué tuxedo shirt included the necessary black studded brass shirt studs as well.
With summer approaching quickly, this is a good time to find cold weather clothing such as sweaters and overcoats. Two pullover sweaters that I could not pass up was another Purple labeled Ralph Lauren retailing for just under a thousand dollars and a Valentino Uomo that lists for right at one thousand five hundred dollars. These represent some of the finest sweaters that I will surely ever see and well worth the relative small price I paid.
Only three pairs of pants were picked up this month with each matching closely to a dress jacket that needed a pair of pants to make the total a suit. These were from Giorgio Armani, Ermenegildo Zegna and Santorelli.
There were twenty-nine neckties snagged worth collecting for a total value of $5,348. These were from Giorgio Armani (3), Breuer (3), Burberry, Charvet, Corneliani, Dolce & Gabbana, Ermenegildo Zegna (5), Fabergé, Giulia Visconti, Gucci (3), Hermès (2), Salvatore Ferragamo (2), Stefano Ricci, Gianni Versace (3) and Yves Saint Laurent. Some of these are new to my collection and are now part of my permanent list to hunt. These are names worth looking for, some more than others but all certainly nice to find hanging for your future selection.
Although I was not able to find any shoes that fit, I did come across a number of nice cedar shoe trees from Allen Edmonds, Nordstrom and the Rochester Shoe Tree Company. Whenever I find anything made of cedar, whether it is in the shape of a quality shoe tree insert or a suit hanger, I generally pick it up. The oil of cedar is a great deterrent in as much as keeping wool-eating moths away. That is an important factor when your inventory is made up mostly of wool. Quite a few clothes hangers made of cedar were quickly picked up before they disappeared into someone else’s buggy.
Hanging near the ties, you can usually find a number of white and/or colored handkerchiefs typically without any label indicating what material they are made of or who made the little squares of fabric. One exception in this case was a thin wool pocket square from my favorite company, Ermenegildo Zegna with a list price of one hundred dollars. Most are usually of cotton or silk so be aware of the difference in quality of these for the same low price. This little gray square will be a welcome addition to the top pocket of any of my Zegna dress jackets and suits.
Only four items made it to the accessories category this time. Gucci showed up with a signature Bree GG Canvas purse. Couldn’t pass it up for less than twelve dollars when it retails for one hundred times as much. The three others were each from Ermenegildo Zegna representing a DOB parfum kit bag, another garment bag making a total now of three and a pair of top quality reading glasses.
All in all, it was a good month considering what was purchased with a total out-of-pocket of just over three hundred dollars to net what would have retailed for about $21,635. Ironically, this is about two-thirds of the usual retail approximation for the amount spent. It just goes to show that it isn’t how much the item is worth in dollars as much as it is how much it is worth having it when you need it.
The following chart is categorized with the subtotals under each section providing links to items of the same or similar description and price. Good luck Goodwilling. It’s a good remedy for Goodwillitis.
|Charles Tyrwhitt||Slim fit||6.48||12.99||110.00||Blue||Eng|
|Charles Tyrwhitt||Slim fit||6.48||12.99||110.00||Pink||Eng|
|Charles Tyrwhitt||Slim fit||6.48||12.99||110.00||White||Eng|
|Charles Tyrwhitt||Slim fit||6.48||12.99||110.00||Blue||Eng|
|Charles Tyrwhitt||Slim fit||6.48||12.99||110.00||Red||Eng|
|Ralph Lauren||Purple Label||3.99||7.99||375.00||Blue||Italy|
|2,490||Ralph Lauren||Purple Label||10.38||12.99||995.00||Black||Italy|
|Dolce & Gabbana||–||2.24||2.99||225.00||Red||Italy|
|Ermenegildo Zegna||Disegno Esclusivo||2.39||2.99||195.00||Yellow||Italy|
|Ermenegildo Zegna||E. Zegna||2.39||2.99||195.00||Blue||Italy|
|Ermenegildo Zegna||Z Zegna||0.79||0.99||195.00||Gray||Italy|
|Salvatore Ferragamo –||1.99||3.99||190.00||Red||Italy|
|Salvatore Ferragamo –||3.19||3.99||190.00||Blue||Italy|
|Yves Saint Laurent||–||1.49||2.99||68.09||Tan||–|
|117||Allen Edmonds||Shoe tree||1.49||2.99||13.48||Cedar||USA|
|Allen Edmonds||Shoe tree||1.49||2.99||13.48||Cedar||USA|
|Rochester Co.||Shoe tree||1.59||1.99||10.00||Cedar||USA|
|94||Natural||Shirt triangle (4)||0.69||0.69||7.00||Wood||–|
|1,317||Gucci||Bree GG Bag||11.98||14.99||1,150.00||Brown||Italy|
|Ermenegildo Zegna||DOB kit||8.00||8.00||27.99||Black||Italy|
|Ermenegildo Zegna||garment bag||13.00||13.00||40.00||Black||Italy|
|Ermenegildo Zegna||VZ 3058 glasses||6.50||6.50||99.00||Bronze||Italy|