The month of October is typically when you think of ghouls and goblins due to the end of the month supporting one of the nation’s favorite holidays; Halloween. I usually do not celebrate this event but did find the perfect shirt for the occasion, a black Versace t-shirt with a rather large pronounced medusa in the center. I’ll see if I can scare some of the younger kids in the neighborhood with “ole snake head”.
There were quite a few really nice treasures located this month even though it wasn’t an especially busy one. As with this past July, I found a really nice Burberry trench coat but had to pay a bit more for this one. It was half price and I still paid more for this item than any other I have ever purchased from any Goodwill. It was complete with the zip out wool lining but surprisingly did not have any indication of a belt ever having been included with the coat. It does have the preferred logo of Burberrys’ indicating it is of the era before 1999. Sven Raphael Schneider of the Gentleman’s Gazette provides a good history of this and other trench coats at GentlemansGazette.com/trench-coat-guide and recommends this series. Another treasure was a medium gray Brioni Roma gentleman’s jacket while in the same category, a seldom seen shiny black Isaia Stewart G was quickly added to the list. Speaking of black, I quickly recognized the label of a shirt that someone had hidden the Friday before half-off Saturday. This was a black t-shirt from Versace with a raised relief medusa head over silver and white lines to emphasize the snakes. The $4.79 I paid for this shirt netted a $795 Halloween costume. The last treasure literally fell at my feet in locating a black pair of dress shoes from Prada. The size was too small for myself but I couldn’t pass up a nice pair of these name brand for only $6.38.
This month was also a little different than last in that I finally found a suit my size, a beautiful, gray pinstripe suit from Givenchy for less than $16. Ironically, another customer had found the pants separately priced which had been hung with the jacket. It is a recent, two-button medium gray that goes with practically any shirt and tie and “fits to a t”.
The dress jackets purchased were from some of the finest names that I currently search for. These included a gray double-breasted Brioni Roma picked up for little more than eleven dollars. The label had been clipped out but the gold lining with the embossed name made it obvious it was from this high-end house of tailors. This is definitely one of the more expensive in my increasing collection. Another two of three Ermenegildo Zegna jackets were the Su Misura (made to measure) while the third was a fine example of Zegna cashmere. To top off the list, a much sought after name that I have learned to look for in top quality of gentleman’s suits is that of Isaia. The silky black jacket fit nicely and will go well with a pair of black, shiny Ermenegildo Zegna pants to match. A late addition to the collection is a like new Dolce & Gabbana black striped jacket. It will be hard to match the stripe but should look good with either dark charcoal or black pants.
Two overcoats were added this month and placed in the buggy for different motives. The first was the Burberrys’ trench coat (see the first photo above) which I will grab at almost any price offered in the Goodwill stores. These overcoats wear well and are meant to last through rough weather as well as rough wear. They look great and this black version will go well with anything I put on as long as the weather is cold and damp. The other overcoat is a calf length, black, made of thick, 100% cashmere (see immediately above). Couldn’t pass up either for the price offered on each.
The eleven shirts purchased represent some of the finest clothing houses in Europe as well as here in the U.S. These were from Giorgio Armani, Barney’s of New York, Brioni (2), Canali, Ermenegildo Zegna (2), Neiman Marcus, Gianni Versace and Yves Saint Laurent (2). Three of the shirts represent the best that money can buy as a tuxedo and command a responding retail price to prove it.
Only two pairs of pants were snagged this month with both being from Ermenegildo Zegna. One pair was a brown informal set and the other was a more formal gray for special occasions. Both are too small but for the price of less than a five dollar bill, each was too hard to pass up.
As usual, the ties brought in the largest number of items (18) in a category due in part to their less expensive price and also because many men in this area no longer find the occasion to wear a tie. These included a hard to find Armani black label, a coveted gray Charvet Place Vendôme, a silver Dolce & Gabbana, two Ermenegildo Zegna, two from Gucci, a red Salvatore Ferragamo, three Stefano Ricci and six Gianni Versace. Turned out to be quite an interesting selection from the Italians and French. I had never seen Stephano Ricci before but after finding that the brand has a retail price of $275, you know it will be sought out more enthusiastically.
Only one pair of shoes was picked up but these were at a fantastic price for being a high-end example; Prada. The black lace-ups have super soft leather and the quality is evident when you hold them in your hand and feel the soft leather. The price paid was only $6.38. I was genuinely surprised that they sat on the shoe rack for four days without anyone else taking them to the checkout.
I am always on the lookout for good quality wooden clothes hangers and found a few for a great price. Large, maple coat and suit hangers are always put to good use and should outlast the clothes that hang on them. I also found a really nice suit hanger from Ralph Lauren and a good pants cuff hanger from Setwell is always welcome.
The little blue cotton pocket square I picked up for thirty-four cents looks like it came from Hermès with the typical horse regalia but is definitely not of the quality you would expect from this company. From a distance, you may not know the difference.
Only three items found their way into the accessories category this month. One was a small Louis Vuitton Monogram Mini Papillon Pochette bag that made a great gift for my youngest daughter just in time for her special birthday this month. The price was right and as luck would have it, the pochette was definitely the real thing. Isn’t it amazing how the Goodwill has just the perfect treasure at just the right time? The second item was a black Sak’s Fifth avenue suit garment bag to help keep the moths and dust away from those expensive suits recently purchased. The last item found was an American Girl doll, Kit, in the box but without the usual clothing. The hair had been cut to a shorter length but my other daughter fell in love with it just the same and added the little blond to her collection of twenty or more other American Girl dolls well displayed in her bedroom.
The 50 items purchased this month would have had a retail price right at 104 times as much using the Internet as a shopping guide. This was another triple-digit target I was shooting for and the resulting items were certainly worth the effort. Not only is it a thrill in finding treasures of such high caliber for an affordable price but you meet some interesting people along the way. See the article I wrote on shoplifting about the interesting people I ran into this month.
Update – (27-29 Oct) Shortly after work yesterday, I checked a couple of stores that had not been visited in about a month and it was a great time to look through their items. The tie racks yielded the most but a shirt turned out to be quite another surprise. The four ties ($12.96) and shirt ($4.79) cost a total of $17.75 but the retail for the five items came to a retail sum of right at $1,810. The two beautiful faille ties from Gucci were located on their website with a retail of $200 each. The Dolce & Gabbana cravatte was priced at $235 but the real find was a beautiful, black label Giorgio Armani Classico A Milano Borgonuovo 21 priced around $325. The shirt is a velvety gray Yves Saint Laurent pour homme with the front buttons hidden behind a strip of the cloth. I was not able to find this exact shirt on the YSL website but found one of lesser grade very similar. The shirt retails for about $850. Two of the ties need a little attention to some details but the other items appear to be right out of Neiman Marcus or Barney’s. With a little extra time that evening, I hit another Goodwill. Found two beautiful Stefano Ricci ties, a black with gray and dark red striped Dolce & Gabbana jacket, like new and of course had to pick up a maple suit hanger to hang the jacket on. On the very last hunt of the month, I had a quick conversation with a couple of gentlemen behind me in the checkout line about finding a Stefano Ricci tie and how it retailed for close to one hundred times the marked price of $2.99. As I was ready to check out, one of the gentlemen told the cashier to put my tie on his tab. You never know when it is a good time to share your good fortune with others. The table below has been updated accordingly with the latest purchases.
A special thank you to all of the people who donate these high-end items enabling those of us who can not otherwise afford such nice things. Many of these are like-new and help with our professional careers more than you would believe. Thank you!
See also, the article on shoplifting that went on during one of this month’s visits.
The following chart shows the purchases for the month of October as well as links to where I found the retail price or one similar to it. Happy hunting! This was a most definitely a good month. Hope yours was as well.
|Dolce & Gabbana||–||19.99||24.99||1,600.00||Black||Italy|
|Ermenegildo Zegna||Su Misura||7.98||9.99||2,495.00||Brown||Switzerland|
|Ermenegildo Zegna||Su Misura||7.98||9.99||2,495.00||Blue||Switzerland|
|2,225||Burberry||Chelsea Long Heritage||74.85||149.99||1,895.00||Black||England|
|Barney’s New York||tuxedo||6.38||7.99||285.00||Black||Italy|
|Neiman Marcus||twill||4.79||5.99||225.00||White||Hong Kong|
|Yves Saint Laurent||–||4.79||5.99||570.00||Black||Malaysia|
|Yves Saint Laurent||pour homme||4.79||5.99||850.00||Gray||Macao|
|Dolce & Gabbana||Cravatte||2.99||2.99||235.00||Silver||Italy|
|Ermenegildo Zegna||Disegno Esclusivo||1.49||2.99||195.00||Brown||Italy|
|Salvatore Ferragamo –||2.24||2.99||190.00||Red||Italy|
|98||Maple coat hanger||–||0.79||0.99||20.00||Natural||USA|
|Maple suit hanger||–||0.79||0.99||20.00||Natural||USA|
|Ralph Lauren||Suit hanger||0.01||0.99||15.21||Wood/metal||USA|
|Louis Vuitton||Monogram Papillon Pochette||15.97||19.99||295.00||Brown||France|
|Saks Fifth Avenue||garment travel bag||3.99||3.99||16.65||Black||Taiwan|