This was a very good month for finding some very special items you would not expect to find in any thrift store. Sometimes, it is hard to pass over a seldom seen treasure at any price but especially for the discount prices you can find at any Goodwill store. Read in the following paragraph some of the gems I was able to locate and you will see what I mean.
Treasures – The name of the luxury design house Stefano Ricci should be on your list of names to watch for. The company slogan is that they begin where others leave off and their products show the quality and expense they put into their merchandise. I found a brand new, with tags, hoodie with this name on it and found that it was well worth the $51 paid since it lists for $4,270. Check out their website or eBay for other fantastic items to catch your eye.
It cannot go without saying that the name of Brioni is at the top of my list of names to realistically look for and even this name is not as prevalent as I would like. I was able to locate a grey double breasted top of the line dress jacket as well as a new pair of black corduroy pants with this label prominently showing. This company really knows how to dress you so that others will show you the utmost respect when properly outfitted in their name.
The single name I long most to find in dress shirts is that of Kiton. There are many blogs on the subject of the finest shirts that come from this design house and the general consensus is that these are the best. I was able to locate a beautiful blue striped shirt, only my second to find with this name so that made it ever the more special.
One other name that I never thought I would locate was that of Alexander McQueen. There it was, a simple, white, very wrinkled shirt with the easily recognized logo inside waiting to be grabbed. Amazingly, the shirt had been hanging on the rack for eleven days without anyone recognizing the nature of its scarcity. This was the first item in five years I had ever seen from this company.
There were many more treasures, too numerous to mention here, so I will comment on them in the following categories in greater detail.
Dress Jackets – There was only one jacket taken home this month and it was a great find. The double breasted, grey with metal buttons showing the stylized B of Brioni was located on a rack in the nearest Goodwill to my house. It is just my size and now I need to make sure I have a pair of trousers to properly match the shade of grey and design in the jacket.
Shirts – There were sixteen shirts that I picked out of the waves of rows of cotton lining the racks within the many Goodwill stores I visited the past four weeks. Four of these shirts need further explanation. I have never seen an Alexander McQueen label in the five plus years while visitin the front door of the local Goodwill stores but this was definitely one that put the goose bumps on my arm for sure. The shirt is a plain white cotton dress shirt but has the collar logo as well as an embroidered logo near the belt line.
Another favorite name to search for is that of Dolce & Gabbana. This blue striped shirt is soft to the touch and exhibits quality you would expect from the Italian firm.
The third name, Kiton, is my most sought after brand and makes this item only the second that now resides in my closet. You almost need a magnifying glass to see the thread and the hand sewn button holes are a work of art. My cost for this like new shirt was only $7.33 but the retail at Neiman Marcus is $895. This is definitely a shirt to wear only on those very special occasions.
The last name to command respect among the shirts collected is Luciano Barbera. The plaid cotton shirt comes from a company that excels in beautiful Italian fabric craftsmanship and I am always glad to see the brand available for the picking though seldom seen. This makes my third shirt with this brand.
The remaining shirts I was able to select were from Alan Flusser, Ariat, Giorgio Armani, Burberry Brit, Burberry London (3), Charles Tyrwhitt (2), LaCoste, Ralph Lauren and Sartorial.
Sweaters – Although I am not a huge fan of the Coach brand, their quality and ability to know what people are interested in is quite evident. I found a rather large and heavy but well-made roll collar sweater in the shirt rack recently and after looking it over decided to grab it anyway. Well worth the twenty dollars I spent on it especially since it lists for right around $550 retail.
The second sweater type article of clothing certainly did bring about a lot of excitement. The brand is Stefano Ricci and this hoodie was brand new with tags attached. I located it on the ShopGoodwill.com website, Goodwill’s auction site much like that of eBay. I came in second place with a bid of $51 and thought I had lost the article. It turns out that the winner must have defaulted or used an unethical means of picking up the win and the hoodie showed up in my selection to be paid for a few days later. I gladly plunked down the “winning bid” amount for the new with tags (NWT) elusive article of clothing that lists for an amazing $4,270.
Pants – It is not often that I find a brand new pair of black trousers with the name of Brioni on them, much less a pair of higher end corduroy with a tag of $725. These were on the pants rack on the Saturday, half-off day available for $12.50. More amazing was the fact that they had been placed on the floor a full twelve days earlier.
Ties – Always a good number in this category, the fourteen ties had a couple of notable names to describe. The name of Stefano Ricci is one of the primary brands I look forward to seeing with all of the neck ties hanging just beneath the wall of baseball hats. This makes quite a contrast between the type of customer looking for a $300 dress tie versus the typical dude needing another baseball cap.
The Hermès company is well known and some of their ties actually sell used for more than what they were purchased for new. This says a lot about the company and how well their products are received by those that know the name associated with quality and hard to find items. One such tie, of the three I found, actually was new and had the tag still attached.
Fourteen ties and some really nice ones not usually seen were available this month. I was able to locate the following: Burberry London (2), Ermenegildo Zegna, Fendi Cravatte (3), Hermès (3), Ralph Marlin & Co., Stefano Ricci, Gianni Versace (2), and Vitale Barberis Canonico.
Shoes – My older daughter drew my interest toward that of cowboy boots, the real thing and not those that imitate. I’m learning which names to look for as to the better quality and price. I was able to find a couple, one of which was my size and one her size. The Dan Post Nogales waterproof ($185) fits me well and didn’t have to be broken in on my feet and a pair of Tony Lama lizard skin that sell for $420 were just right for her.
I also found my first pair of Ermenegildo Zegna shoes to add to my collection selling for $595 but were too small. I just happened to be talking with a customer that I had been looking for that name in shoes but in the past five years had never seen a pair. He pulled out one from the shelve and said, “You mean one like this one?” Incredible!
Two additional pair of patent leather shoes were found with the name of Prada on them were hard to pass up, especially with my price of $5.24. Both of these had a retail price of $620.
Another name that is hard to pass up comes from the Italian leather specialist of Salvatore Ferragamo. One pair of brown Derbys, my size, that sell for $795 were picked up for less than ten dollars and another pair of ladies, like new with a bow on the top, were grabbed for right at thirty dollars. They have a retail of $650. This was indeed another good month for finding high quality shoes.
Accessories – My youngest daughter will be graduating in a couple of months and will be needing some very nice items as a gift to celebrate this once in a life occasion. I was able to find favorite brand of hers in a beautiful dark green leather purse with a bow on it from Kate Spade. I hope it will look great with the Ferragamo shoes with a matching bow she will also receive.
My oldest daughter let me in on a secret that one of the best names in cowboy hats, besides Stetson of course, comes from Resistol. This one wasn’t expensive but I know with this name that it will look great for a long time.
Lastly, an old hobby of mine is locating and purchasing some of the oldest M. I. Hummel figurines I can come across. This month includes a couple of eleven-inch Apple Tree Boy and Girl, numbers 141 and 142, a perfect Stormy Weather, number 71 and a Band Leader, number 129. I’m running out of room to house this collection that started in the late seventies but each figurines is in a protective environment away from dust and direct light.
The following chart is a breakdown of the forty-nine items purchased during the month of February, 2019. My total expenditure was my record high at $813.69 and the full retail would have cost me only thirty-seen times as much, right at $30,351.15.
|Charles Tyrwhitt||Slim Fit||3.99||4.99||110.00||White||England|
|Charles Tyrwhitt||Slim Fit||3.99||4.99||110.00||Grey||England|
|Dolce & Gabbana||Slim Fit||16.88||16.88||445.00||Blue||Italy|
|LaCoste||Modern fit||7.49||9.99||89.50||Blue||Hong Kong|
|Ralph Lauren||Polo||7.33||7.33||79.50||Blue||Sri Lanka|
|Ermenegildo Zegna||Disegno esclusivo||2.24||2.99||205.00||Grey||Italy|
|Ralph Marlin & Co.||Harley Davidson||2.24||2.99||34.99||Tan||USA|
|Vitale Barberis Canonico||1.50||2.99||100.00||Gold||Italy|
|3,885||Dan Post||Nogales waterproof||15.99||19.99||184.95||Brown||USA|
|Prada||Patent leather loafer||5.24||6.99||620.00||Black||Italy|
|Prada||Patent leather loafer||37.49||49.99||620.00||Black||Italy|
|Salvatore Ferragamo||Vara Bow Pump||29.99||39.99||650.00||Black||Italy|
|Tony Lama||Lizard boots||15.99||19.99||419.95||Brown||USA|
|5,426||Hummel||Apple Tree Boy – 142||160.00||160.00||1,600.00||Tan||Germany|
|Hummel||Apple Tree Girl – 141||160.00||160.00||1,600.00||Tan||Germany|
|Hummel||Band Leader – 129||20.50||20.50||500.00||Tan||Germany|
|Hummel||Stormy Weather – 71||54.50||54.50||1,350.00||Tan||Germany|
|Kate Spade||Crossbody bow||18.74||24.99||298.00||Green||China|
|Resistol||Western cowboy hat||15.99||19.99||74.00||Brown||USA|
Knowing your brands in each category of interest, as to which will command a greater return on your investment, is good business sense. Become familiar with the products that sell well or have a long lasting international respect and when you find them in good condition, they will bring you a good net satisfaction. Good luck with your Goodwill hunting.
Key words: Alan Flusser, Alexander McQueen, Ariat, Armani, Brioni, Burberry, Canali, Charles Tyrwhitt, Coach, Dan Post, Dolce & Gabbana, Ermenegildo Zegna, Fendi, Hermès, M. I. Hummel, Kate Spade, Kiton, LaCoste, Luciano Barbera, Prada, Ralph Lauren, Ralph Martin & Co., Resistol, Salvatore Ferragamo, Sartorial, Stefano Ricci, Tony Lama, Gianni Versace, Vitale Barberis Canonico.