As with many thrift stores, Goodwill offers many items of great quality for the same price as those items of greater inferiority. Knowing brands of selectable items of varying value becomes important when choosing something you wish to add to your wardrobe that will not only last a long time but also look good on you. Sharing my monthly educational venture is just part of the fun of putting these treasure hunts together. Bringing the family into the mix of the hunt makes it all the more fun when they find something of even greater value to them and you get to share their excitement.
The month of August is typically an especially great month and this month was no exception. Though I fell short of the magical three-digit retail goal, I was able to squeak out 91 times what I paid but I also increased the total amount of the now three thousand items purchased the past three and half years to 77 times of what it would have cost if purchased at retail. The total retail value hit a definite record of over sixty thousand dollars. That comes to an overall average spent per item of $4.33 vs $331.85 per item if purchased at full retail. Those numbers make for a better relative comparison you can see.
There were indeed a few treasures. A very nice Ermenegildo Zegna 15milmil15 dress coat was located for $7.98. It’s hard to believe the cloud soft coat is made from 100% wool but the 15-micron width fiber makes for the ultimate smooth and feather light coat. Another coat worth mentioning was the Oxxford Clothes tuxedo made from this country’s finest tailors. Two pairs of hard to find Italian pants were located that fit into this category. They are the silky smooth Brioni dress pants and the Yves Saint Laurent black iconic Le smoking trouser in black grain de poudre textured wool. Both are, of course, just my size. I also located two ties worth mentioning; a silver French Charvet and a fancy Stefano Ricci, both of which retail for well over $200 each.
Now, for the real treasure. I located an older watch that I knew would be worth the price paid and it was just this piece that allowed me to meet my ultimate goal of this entire project. More on that later. The watch is an Audemars Piguet chronograph automatic tourbillon perpetual. It is certainly worth the price paid. It pays to know what brand to look for even if it only fits on your wrist. Although I did not find it at a Goodwill store, it did come as a used item. Now, to make sure it isn’t a well made fake.
There were a number of suits found but only two were purchased. The first was a very nice medium grey Canali with matching pants that didn’t look as though they had been worn at all. Canali is a great buy with the finest quality at a decent price. This suit retails for about $2,100. The other was purchased due to the name and the price. A black formal Giorgio Armani Collezioni suit walked out the door with me for only $8.48 total.
Three overcoat/jackets were found toward the last of the month. The first was on half-off day and well worth the $24.95 paid for a suede leather Giorgio Armani jacket with button-out wool liner. The jacket sells for more than a hundred times that much. The other two were Ermenegildo Zegna with one being a brown EZ cotton/linen jacket and the other a navy button-up wind jacket. Both of the quality you expect from Zegna.
Only eighteen shirts were purchased this past month with the bulk being four from Giorgio Armani, four from Ermenegildo Zegna and three from Canali. The others were from Burberry, Charles Tyrwhitt, Dolce & Gabbana, Gitman Brothers and John Varvatos. My daughter located two she liked from anvil and Human. Her taste in clothing and mine are quite different.
Two sweaters were found at a wide range in price from each other. The Armani Exchange (A|X) sells for $90 while the Ermenegildo Zegna is listed at almost $800.
Five pairs of pants made the list this month. Brioni is always a welcome name to find on the rack. This pair of yellow are silky smooth like you would expect from one of the best brands in the world. Two pairs of Zegna pants were located; one pair of brown dress pants that match a coat recently located and another pair of cashmere and cotton blend (Cashco) corduroy. Zanella offers a great variety of quality pants at affordable pricing ($395) but this pair is their best with the additional name of Platinum edging the price up to $495. The real surprise was the top of the line Yves Saint Laurent black dress pants located online for $890. I paid full price at the Goodwill for these at $6.99.
I don’t look good in shorts but my daughter found three pairs she couldn’t part with. The two pair from Nike FitDry sell for about $30 and the Adidas Climalite sells for $32.
Now, we get down to one of my favorite sections; ties. Only eleven this month but they are really nice and hard to find – Bally, Canali (3), Charvet, Fellini, Fendi, Gieves & Hawkes, Santorelli, Stefano Ricci and Valentino.
Hangers: it would be nice to find buggy full of cedar hangers but only one such item was picked up this month and it was a great find! I located a plastic suit hanger with the name Ermenegildo Zegna in raised gold letters. I paid fifty-two cents for a $75 hanger. That’s a lot of money for a piece of plastic.
I can safely say that I have too many pairs of shoes and am having a problem putting them in safe places where they won’t get scratched or collect dust. It is usually when you don’t need something that you find it and vice-versa. A fellow worker is way over six feet tall and wears size 16 shoes. I located a very nice pair of Allen Edmonds Nashua in his size and swapped the pair for my share of the weekly pizza cost for a while. Another pair of black Allen Edmonds Strand cap-toe Oxfords are waiting to have a nice coat of wax applied before wearing to work next week. Two additional pair of shoes in brand new condition were found: a pair of black Bally New Sauges and a pair of Freeman brown loafers. My daughter picked out a pair of Chaco sandals and a pair of Birkenstock Betula. That made her day as well.
The accessories category is always interesting and although there were only a few items purchased here, they are quite unique. Though I paid too much for the cologne, a 125ml bottle of men’s Dolce & Gabbana Pour Homme should help me through the days at work for a while. Two belts of high demand made it into the buggy; a Vineyard Vines blue and white belt and a brown leather high-end Yves Saint Laurent should look good in a birthday package soon.
Last minute additions included a very nice Burberry black trench coat with zip out lining with the usual brown plaid inside. Another
Ermenegildo Zegna jacket was picked up as well. This one is made for summer and comes with patch pockets for those informal times when you just want to look good. A Brioni shirt was quickly picked even though it is too small. Couldn ‘t pass up the price of only $7.18 for this top quality shirt. A white turtleneck Givenchy sweater caught my eye when I saw the definitive logo showing through the other items on the rack. A brand new pair of Allen Edmonds black loafers were found for a little more than a ten dollar bill. My daughter will appreciate the 2008 Burberry bear located with tags still attached. Looks brand new and a birthday is coming up soon. Two leather belts were located; one black Tulliani and another from Calcaterra that has the words “Genuine Alligator” stamped on the inside next to the name and belt size. It’s always exciting when you find a watch box with the double G logo indicating Gucci. This box though was sans the watch but did have all of the multicolored circles you place around a woman’s watch to match an outfit. Last, but not least, was a bag of six old Indian arrowheads of various sizes and color, a spear point and a flint knife for a total price of $4.79.
Here are the seventy-seven items purchased this month listed in similar fashion as before.
|Armani, Giorgio||Le Collezioni||4.99||9.99||2,895.00||Grey||Italy|
|6,615||Armani, Giorgio||Giorgio Armani||24.95||49.99||2,625.00||Brown||Italy|
|Ermenegildo Zegna||EZ cotton/linen||4.99||9.99||1,995.00||Brown||Italy|
|Ermenegildo Zegna||Field jacket||15.97||19.99||1,995.00||Navy||Italy|
|Dolce & Gabanna||–||4.79||5.99||475.00||Brown||Italy|
|John Varvatos||–||4.79||5.99||278.00||Brown||Hong Kong|
|1,085||Armani, Giorgio||A|X||4.49||5.99||90.00||Brown||Hong Kong|
|Ermenegildo Zegna||5-pocket corduroy||5.59||6.99||485.00||Black||Turkey|
|Yves Saint Laurent||–||6.99||6.99||890.00||Black||Italy|
|Zanella||Platinum – Bennett||5.59||6.99||495.00||Navy||Italy|
|Gieves & Hawkes||–||3.74||4.99||126.00||Purple||Italy|
|Valentino||DIS. N. 68100||1.99||3.99||150.00||Red||Italy|
|75||Ermenegildo Zegna||Suit coat||0.52||0.69||75.00||Black||–|
|Allen Edmonds||Strand Oxfords||7.98||9.99||395.00||Black||USA|
|Birkenstock||Betula 38 50 245 L7 M5||6.38||7.99||135.00||Black||Germany|
|Audemars Piguet||Tourbillon Chronograph||130.00||130.00||8,000.00||Silver||Switzerland|
|Burberry||2008 Teddy bear||7.98||9.99||29.99||Brown||China|
|Dolce & Gabbana||Pour Homme 125ml||18.72||24.99||86.00||Gold||Italy|
|Yves Saint Laurent||belt||2.39||2.99||375.00||Black||Italy|