Category Archives: Fashion

Fashion is different for each person but there are some common elements that all share. Here are a few.

Buying a jacket, Finding a suit

Whenever I find a beautiful dress jacket (suit jacket) in a thrift store, I find that it is well worth my time to next look for the matching trousers so that I can put together a suit as it may have initially came into the store. Most suit pants I have found do not advertise who made them inside the waist band and are very difficult to identify unless you have the matching suit jacket in hand to immediately compare.

Earlier this week, I found a top of the line Ermenegildo Zegna Trofeo suit jacket, a dark grey with faint blue stripes for less than ten dollars. It was very wrinkled and had been hanging on the rack for four days, judging from the date stamped on the price tag. This was quite an exciting find, especially since it fit me very well.

I was still excited, especially after finding three pair of Brioni dress pants earlier my size in great condition and decided to try my luck in the pants section.  Lucky for me, when I cruise through the pants hanging on the racks, the inside waist band occasionally offers the opportunity to identify the brand mostly by the pattern of the inside comfort band. I quickly recognized the possible Zegna pattern of diagonal lines and pulled the pants out to see if they matched the suit jacket carefully placed inside the buggy. Yep, they matched perfectly and I just created a suit.

Kiton Blanc Blue grey jacketYesterday, on a lark, I decided to hit the nearest Goodwill store to where I live. They typically do not have the higher end brands I look for now but on occasion you may find that rare item. I usually hit the silk ties first as this is the place where you will find the majority of high-end brand names. No luck there. I then move on to the suit jacket and suit rack. It didn’t take long before I found the holy grail of suit jackets, Kiton! Not only was it a beautiful example of the Best of the Best + One but it was brand new, not having been worn due to the shoulder and sleeve cuff tailor tacks (white thread) still in place. What a fantastic find and the price tag was only $9.99. It is fortunate for the buyer that a seldom seen name like Kiton is treated as though it is just another name and not marked up accordingly by the thrift store.

If finding a Kiton suit jacket wasn’t enough, and this was only my second of this brand in five years of searching, I also located a very nice Oxxford Clothes dark brown suit jacket. It is my understanding that Oxxford Clothes is one of the last bespoke tailor companies in the this country that carries a heritage of specialized suits back many years and takes pride as offering some of the best suits you can buy made in the United States. The dark brown with a faint dark red vertical stripe fabric on this jacket offers a warm appearance while slimming the wearer.

Clothes matching for a suitNow, it was off to the next section; the pants. With my recent luck in locating some really fine high-ended clothing, I decided to take the time in the dimly lit area to see if I could locate the matching trousers to these two fantastic finds. I draped the two coats in the buggy with the sleeves hanging along the edge so that I could quickly pull out a pair of pants and place them across the fabric to see if there might be a lucky match. After about twenty minutes, I had both pair of trousers that had been separated back together with their jackets to create two sets of very expensive suits.

The chances of finding the matching pants or jacket to create a suit are usually very good when you can take the time to walk between the isles of wool and slowly compare the fabrics of each. Be sure to walk through the sizes that are both larger and smaller than you normally would as most high-end suits are tailor made to the individual and may not be your exact size. If there isn’t much difference in size, it could be well worth the extra expense to ask a good tailor to make the necessary adjustments to fit you perfectly. Unfortunately, both of these suits are two sizes too small in both the jacket and the trousers so there just isn’t enough material to bring either up to my larger size.

In case you were wondering, I was surprisingly able to find both suits on a late afternoon of the Goodwill half-off Saturday and paid only $4.99 for each jacket and $3.49 for each pair of pants for my total price of $16.96 for the two suits. The Oxxford Clothes retails for $4,575 and the Kiton Blanc Blu has a price tag of $8,995 added together for a retail of $13,570. This is why you can find me in thrift stores every other day or so after work.

 

Note: I will be following up this post with a page showing the various pants waist band identifiers where available.  Hopefully, this will help when you find a great pair of trousers and would like to know who made them.

It’s Halloween Time Again

Logo GoodwillBuyer.com smallOne of the best places to go for finding a costume for Halloween is by far the Goodwill. They hold onto the weird stuff until the September and then make room for isles of the strangest clothing you could ever hope to find. They even put together full costumes for you to pick from and there is certainly some great talent among the workers at each store. I asked one of the more creative employees to give a demonstration. They are always more than eager to assist you with any reasonable request and she certainly didn’t hesitate to put on the wig and horns in this case.
Take a look at the rows of racks of super items to select from. If you already have a costume, check back and you might find an even better one. Happy Halloween Hunting this year!

Found a Bentley

Logo GoodwillBuyer.com smallGoodwill Bentley     You never know what you will see at the local Goodwill stores. In this case, it was a beautiful, blue Bentley Continental GT Convertible just outside the door of my favorite haunt.  No, it was not for sale and even if it was half-off day, I still wouldn’t be able to afford to buy it. I did ask inside if it was donated and they were not able to get it inside through the doors. The manager just rolled her eyes.

This was a photo opportunity I just couldn’t pass up.

 

October 2017 Summary

Logo GoodwillBuyer.com smallOctober was a great month this year for finding some of the high-end brands that I seldom see, even within this metropolitan area. I call myself a brand buyer, that is, I look exclusively for the high-end brand labels when cruising through these oceans of cloth and wool. This month proved to be the worse this year in an attempt to meet the goal of having a triple digit value of the retail value being only sixty-seven times the amount I spent. On the brighter side, many of the items I found were great bargains despite the price paid and were worth picking up to pass along to family and friends.

Treasures – My idea of a treasure has been changing over the past few months as I educate myself to the value of certain items located in the realms of the isles of racks and shelves in the local Goodwill stores. Some of the items that come to mind this month are those that I can give my family they wouldn’t normally be able to choose for themselves.
LV and Burberry     Examples of items that come to mind are the Loro Piana sweater that offers fantastic quality and is so soft. The Burberry crossover purse and clutch my youngest will be so excited to carry. The Louis Vuitton wallet and belt that offer longevity in use and pride of ownership to my other daughter and the artist aluminum easel to show my son’s latest work. These are the items that I consider to be treasures now.
Names like those of the great Italian clothing designers also bring excitement when found represented by Versace, Canali, Armani, Brioni, Dolce & Gabbana, Loro Piana, Borrelli, Bottega Veneta, Gucci, Stefano Ricci, Valentino, and Salvatore Ferragamo. The French names like Hermès, Louis Vuitton, and Lanvin and the Swiss name of Bally and the British fashion house of Burberry denote the highest grade in quality. These are the treasures I like to find to share with those around me who can enjoy them as well.

Versace and CornlianiSuits – Two very nice suits were located from a couple of the higher end quality clothing houses; Corneliani and Versace.  The charcoal Corneliani has a light sheen with faint vertical stripes to slim up the wearer. The solid navy Versace Classic should go with any business or formal get-together. Both are very nice suits made in Italy but both are also a bit too small so they will be looking for a new home very shortly.

Dress Jackets – Dress jackets take up a bit of room but are the best buys at Goodwill in comparison to their suggested retail price averaging right at 212 times what I paid. I selected seven very nice jackets to add to my collection making sure they were from the better known clothing houses of Europe. They are as follows:
The name of Burberrys‘ is synonymous with English quality and the best of Burberry is their Prorsum line. The word Prorsum is Latin for forwards and signified with the Equestrian Knight logo.  When you see a really nice navy jacket of this type for less than five dollars, it’s a no brainer whether you pick it up or not.
Another blue jacket, in this case a lighter shade of blue, came from Canali. The silk and wool blend resists wrinkling and is cooler to wear,  and with a name like Canali, you know you have one of the best on the market. There is something about the way Canali fits in both their jackets, shirts and pants that I find to be more comfortable than any other brand. So when I find this brand in my size, it is a very good day indeed.
Canali, Christian Dior, Cornliani, Burberrys', Z Zegna, Versace and Giorgio Armani     Christian Dior is known for higher-end clothing and when you can find an earlier example of one of their suits, you know you have a great item. I found a navy double-breasted CD jacket with brass buttons for one dollar and it was just my size.  It found its way immediately into my buggy, of course.
Barney’s of New York sells a wide assortment of quality items and Corneliani of Italy created a very nice grey jacket for them. I also found a pair of pants that matches perfectly and now I can add one more suit to the closet.
I prefer to look for clothing made in countries like France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and the good ole USA. It appears that Ermenegildo Zegna is now making one of their lower lines in Mexico and China, the line of Z Zegna. Were it not for the fact that the black jacket fit me perfectly and was on half price for $4.99, I would have passed it up since it has the phrase, “Made in Mexico” on the neck label.
Another somewhat worn, grey jacket was almost passed over until I looked inside the lining for the brand name and saw that it carried the label, Giorgio Armani Le Collezioni. The inside pocket tag showed it was just my size, a difficult size to find of 43 long. The jacket will look great with a pair of jeans and loafers.
A beautiful black jacket from the Versace Collection closes out this selection of dress jackets. Versace is known for its choice of oranges and yellows and wild ties but this jacket is very simple and very well made, what you expect from this design house.

Shirts – Two new fashion houses are represented here due to asking my daughter if I should look into these names even though they are not made in any European country. The first is from 7 for All Mankind. An interesting name but a nice looking shirt that is quite popular these days. The other brand is from True Religion and brings a good price on the secondary market.
shirtsTwo additional shirts were picked out from the Giorgio Armani Collezioni line. One of these is a formal black shirt which will look great with most any occasion and the other is a nice quality blue shirt made in Hong Kong.
Any time I see the name of Brioni, it reminds me of one of the primary reasons I continue to shop the Goodwill stores in this location. Brioni is known for being at the top of their market in quality and the price the clothing sells for reflects this with the time and material they put into their products. The two shirts I found were white tuxedo style, very formal shirts with a retail price of right at a whopping $850 and I was able to shell out only $5.98 for each. One of these shirts will definitely be on my first pick for the next black-tie event I am asked to attend.
The Goodwill regularly places a slightly higher price on certain labels they call Better Quality and one of these is from Burberry. Even at the Goodwill price of ten dollars, the shirt is a great buy and hangs with the best of my other brands for those occasions when you want to look and feel your best.
Charles Tyrwhitt is not a high priced company in comparison but is one of your better buys for new shirts, in my opinion. They look great and feel good when you wear a shirt from this company. If the shirt is located in my size, it automatically walks toward the cash register with me.
Ermenegildo Zegna produces some really nice items with an emphasis on designing for men. They have a wide range of styles and quality of shirts with one of their more expensive being the Su Misura. I was lucky to find one of these my size and the quality is clearly evident. Three other shirts from this company were purchased this month ranging from a polo style to the more streamlined business shirts.
John Varvatos is beginning to show up in the area Goodwill stores with a more formal style in addition to their “cowboy” plaid shirts. One of the stores had a large selection of new shirts from a variety of brands and this brand was among them. I picked out a nice looking white business shirt made in China to see how well it performed.
A friend at work loves to wear polo shirts made by Lacoste. The French company is making their shirts in a variety of countries these days and this solid black piqué polo shirt comes from Peru.
At least once a month, I like to visit the local Neiman Marcus just down the street from where I work to see what brands they carry and the price tag they show as well. One of these brands is from Lorenzini, made in Italy. I have yet to try it on but the quality shows in how the cloth drapes and the attention to reinforcing the seams in certain stress areas.
The company Turnbull & Asser was founded in 1885 in London and is known as being a favorite of Prince Charles, Sir Winston Churchill, Ronald Reagan, George Bush, Charlie Chaplin and even Picasso. The two shirts I picked up for six dollars each are like-new and have a retail price of $365.
The last shirt on this list is from Yves Saint Laurent and, speaking of price, is second only to the Brioni shirts I found carrying a price tag of $550 which I was able to pick up for $6.99. It came as quite a surprise to find that it was made in Taiwan and I will have to look more closely the next time I see this brand as to where it was made.

Alpaca Connection, Dolce & Gabbana and Loro PianaSweaters – I always look to the sweater section when in the thrift stores and most of the time these are mixed in with the men’s long sleeve shirts. It is quite a shock to see how much some of these nice winter items bring in retail. I located a strange but large, black sweater with large letters of “D&G Jeans” at the bottom. I knew right of that Dolce & Gabbana had their name on this one and the price of $7.99 was a great price to pay out for a sweater that retails for almost seven hundred dollars.
Another high priced sweater that I found later this month had the much coveted name tag showing Loro Piana. The peach colored half zippered super soft sweater shirt was grabbed for only $5.24 and retails for almost nine hundred dollars. You will not find this name very often in this area and is the first time in almost five years I was able to put my hands on one of their items.  It will make for a very nice Christmas present in a couple of months.
The third sweater I found is a very colorful 100% alpaca item made in Peru from the Peruvian Connection. This company makes all kind of wearable clothing with the sheared fur from these beautiful South American alpaca camelids.

Pants – It has been unusual to find a good pair of pants but I was able to locate nine great examples, eight of these from Italy.
Two pair of pants from Giorgio Armani were located, one was a nice black pair of Collezioni tuxedo that will go great with the Armani tuxedo jacket I found a while back. The other is a tan pair of Le Collezioni with a ridiculous retail price of around $1,200. They are very nice and are certainly top notch, what you would expect from a name like Armani.
The company Britches makes a very wide range of trousers and are well made with some colors that match many of the dress jackets I am able to come across. This pair of brown pants match a Canali jacket I’ve been looking for a pair of pants for.
Speaking of Canali, two pair of these in navy and brown have the quality you expect from the Italian company. I often receive a nice compliment from the ladies when I wear this brand.
Pazoni is another Italian brand that looks nice and wears well. You can generally find a color that works well with some of those special events or just going to town for groceries.
Santorelli is another Italian brand to look for as they offer pants in around the two-hundred-dollar range as well.
My daughter told me that I couldn’t go wrong if I found a nice pair of True Religion Ricky Straight pants so I paid eleven dollars for this three hundred and fifty-dollar pair of black jeans made in China. We’ll see how well they do on eBay.
One other pair of Italian trousers I found comes from Zanella. The tan pair should go well with most of my dress jackets of a similar shade of brown.

Ties – Once again, this category came in with the greatest number of items; twenty-two. These are represented by some of the better quality producers;  Allen Edmonds, Aurelia, Luigi Borelli, Bottega Veneta (2), Brioni, Canali, Christopher Chronis, Ermenegildo Zegna (4), Gianni Versace, Gucci (2), J. Hilburn, Lanvin, Museum Artifacts, Stefano Ricci, Ted Baker, Tufelo Staufluimi and Valentino.
I always welcome the names of Brioni, Canali, Gucci and Stefano Ricci. There were a few new brands I thought I would try out, namely Aurelia, Luigi Borelli, Bottega Veneta, J. Hilburn, and Tufelo Staufluimi. I was aware of the hard to find Bottega Veneta and did not know they made ties and it was a nice surprise to find a tie from Borelli.

Shoes – This month has to be a record in the number of high-end shoes I was able to find. Allen Edmonds was represented by three pair with their styles of Cameron, Clipper and the Wilbert versions. This brand is by far the most comfortable example of shoes I own, is of high quality and the company stands behind their product to the point of even restoring the shoe to like new if it can be done so.
Another surprise was the fact that I was able to find four pair from Bally. These shoes, made in Switzerland, ranged in retail price from $495 to $650 and wear well, look well and are light on your feet.
On a different search, I have a friend that I was able to find a size 17 for him in a shoe from Mezlan. This pair of shoes are quite different in that they are open weave and have a cap toe made from crocodile. The shoes were picked up for only a dollar but show an incredible retail price of $1,295. A fantastic find and they look great, especially for someone who wears a size that is that hard to find.
A new brand for me is that of Santoni. I found a pair of these at a discount store with a retail of over six hundred dollars. This alone caught my attention. A week later I located a used pair at a Goodwill for only eight dollars and found the quality to be superb. The retail of this certain pair was $810. Another great find.
Several matching pair of shoe trees were picked up for the new shoes and were welcome for prolonging the life of these expensive shoes.

Hangers – I have a good number of wooden shirt hangers and am always on the lookout for some nice large maple suit hangers when they can be found, especially those from the company Setwell. I was able to find a good variety of these and others including a much needed Woodlore 40-tie holder to better view my growing collection of colorful silk.

Accessories – Here is where it gets interesting in the variety of items that can be found for not just myself but for family members and friends as well.
     It is always a good day when I can find an item for one of my daughters they will hopefully cherish or at least show a great big smile when they see what I was able to find for them. Burberry came to the rescue in this regard for my youngest when she celebrated a birthday lately. The like-new Burberrys’ crossbody Haymarket purse was just the size she wanted and the patented plaid pattern shows it is from Burberry. Shortly after her birthday, I found, on a half-price day, a very nice Burberry blue label Peyton clutch that will nicely match her purse.
When you have a lot of clothes, you tend to run out of places to hang them. A gold colored clothes stand came to the rescue and is also used to hang wet clothes on the porch to dry.
     My son has shown his talent in the field of art and I was able to find a large aluminum Freedman easel to show his nicer pieces or I might keep it to place a large framed piece of my own artwork. I was also able to find a neat wooden articulated mannequin he can use to pose for drawing figures. His birthday is coming up in a few months so he might find it in his room rather my mine.
Hermes bags     One of the brands that always carries a high price is from Hermès. Anything from them is typically of great quality and usually of a hard to find material. When I saw five cloth drawstring bags for less than a ten-dollar bill, I knew it was a good price as well as being very difficult to locate. The retail price for all five is about three hundred dollars. A ridiculous price for some cloth bags but they have that coveted logo on them.
LV and Burberry     Another name on the same scale is that of Louis Vuitton. There are a lot of fakes of this company’s products but when you find an original for a great price, it is what keeps you scouring the thrift stores for even more. I was lucky when I found not only a ladies long Sarah monogram wallet, like new, but also a man’s Damier 40mm belt. The wallet had a price tag of $79.99 with a retail of $1,000 and the belt was purchased for only $7.98 and retails for $415. Isn’t it nice that Christmas is just around the corner?
Stetson     My grandfather always wore a Stetson hat to cover his head. He believed in having less but what he had was the best. I was able to find not just one but two Stetson hats for those sunny days when the sun is just a bit too bright and hot. One is a black wool felt Bozeman, not an expensive hat but one that was needed. The other is a Stetson Gunfighter 5X straw hat to go with my brown outfits.

As with previous months, the following chart is broken down into different categories with the subtotal for each, the amount paid, tagged amount and the retail price with a link, where available, as to where the retail price was located. I hope this chart becomes a valuable tool for you in making a choice when locating that high-end item you might run across.

Be sure to check out the page of comparison prices for categories such as pants, shirts, shoes, suits, sweaters and ties. This page offers many valuable tools that I find convenient when looking up a name as to whether it is worth purchasing or putting back on the rack.

October 2017

$634.84 $844.18 $42,351.30 66.7x
Item Company Detail Paid Tagged Retail Color Origin
Suits
5,770 Corneliani Vogue 19.97 24.99 2,095.00 Charcoal Italy
Versace Classic 19.97 24.99 3,675.00 Navy Italy
Dress Jackets
11,175 Burberrys’ Prorsum 4.99 9.99 2,195.00 Navy USA
Canali Silk 2-button plaid 7.99 9.99 1,595.00 Blue Italy
Christian Dior Le Connaisseur 1.00 9.99 925.00 Black USA
Corneliani Barney’s New York 4.99 9.99 1,745.00 Grey Italy
Ermenegildo Zegna Z Zegna 4.99 9.99 895.00 Black Mexico
Giorgio Armani Le Collezioni 7.98 9.99 1,595.00 Grey Italy
Versace Collection 7.98 9.99 2,225.00 Black Croatia
Shirts
6,811 7 for All Mankind The Slimmy 4.99 9.99 169.00 Grey China
Armani, Giorgio Collezioni 6.99 6.99 325.00 Black Tunisia
Armani, Giorgio Collezioni 6.73 8.99 295.00 Blue Hong Kong
Brioni Tuxedo 5.98 7.99 850.00 White Italy
Brioni Tuxedo 5.98 7.99 850.00 White Italy
Burberry London 10.39 12.99 325.00 Blue USA
Charles Tyrwhitt Slim fit 6.99 6.99 110.00 Silver England
Ermenegildo Zegna 7.48 9.99 375.00 Blue Romania
Ermenegildo Zegna Polo 5.98 7.99 345.00 Olive Romania
Ermenegildo Zegna Slim fit 5.59 6.99 450.00 Red Italy
Ermenegildo Zegna Su Misura 6.73 8.99 510.00 Purple Turkey
John Varvatos Slim Fit 5.98 7.99 228.00 White China
LaCoste Piqué Polo Shirt 5.98 7.99 99.50 Black Peru
Lorenzini Neiman Marcus 5.24 6.99 295.00 Brown Italy
Rag & Bone Beach shirt 5.24 6.99 225.00 Red China
True Religion Henley 6.73 8.99 79.00 Black India
Turnbull & Asser Turnbuline 5.98 7.99 365.00 Green England
Turnbull & Asser  – 5.98 7.99 365.00 Blue England
Yves Saint Laurent  – 6.99 6.99 550.00 Olive Taiwan
Sweaters
1,839 Dolce & Gabbana D&G Jeans 7.99 7.99 695.00 Black Italy
Loro Piana Roadster half-zip 5.24 6.99 895.00 Peach Italy
The Peruvian Connection Painted Desert Pullover 5.59 6.99 249.00 Black Peru
Pants
4,229 Armani, Giorgio Collezioni tuxedo 5.24 6.99 675.00 Black Italy
Armani, Giorgio Le Collezioni 5.59 6.99 1,195.00 Tan Italy
Britches Torino 6.99 6.99 195.00 Brown Italy
Canali Melange 5.59 6.99 425.00 Navy Italy
Canali Pantalone 5.59 6.99 425.00 Brown Italy
Pazoni Romeo 5.59 6.99 195.00 Navy Italy
Santorelli Romeo 6.99 6.99 225.00 Brown Italy
True Religion Ricky Straight 11.23 14.99 349.00 Black China
Zanella Duncan 3.49 6.99 545.00 Tan Italy
Ties
3,575 Allen Edmonds Neat medallion 3.99 4.99 95.00 Red Germany
Aurelia Milano 2.39 2.99 50.00 Blue Italy
Borrelli, Luigi Napoli 0.99 1.99 315.00 Tan Italy
Bottega Veneta  – 1.99 1.99 190.00 Grey Italy
Bottega Veneta  – 1.99 1.99 190.00 Grey Italy
Brioni Square medallion 3.99 4.99 230.00 Red Italy
Canali 1.49 2.99 280.00 Yellow Italy
Christopher Chronis Australia 1.59 1.99 30.00 Purple Italy
Ermenegildo Zegna Z 1.49 1.99 195.00 Blue Italy
Ermenegildo Zegna Z 1.59 1.99 195.00 Brown Italy
Ermenegildo Zegna Z 3.99 3.99 195.00 Silver Italy
Ermenegildo Zegna 1.99 1.99 195.00 Brown Italy
Gianni Versace  – 1.59 1.99 175.00 Purple Italy
Gucci  – 3.19 3.99 200.00 Orange Italy
Gucci  – 1.99 1.99 200.00 Navy Italy
J. Hilburn  – 1.49 1.99 89.00 Blue Italy
Lanvin Paris 1.59 1.99 165.00 Yellow France
Museum Artifacts Astronomy map 2.99 2.99 34.99 Navy USA
Stefano Ricci 5.25 5.25 275.00 Yellow Italy
Ted Baker London 3.24 6.49 75.53 Purple USA
Tufelo Staufluimi Firenze 2.39 2.99 50.00 Red Italy
Valentino Oliver 2.99 2.99 150.00 Brown Italy
Shoes
5,071 Allen Edmonds Cameron 1.00 8.99 195.00 Black USA
Allen Edmonds Clipper 5.59 6.99 175.00 Brown USA
Allen Edmonds Wilbert 9.73 12.99 295.00 Brown USA
Bally Hardy 6.38 7.99 550.00 Black Switzerland
Bally Hardy 6.38 7.99 550.00 Black Switzerland
Bally Phoenix 11.23 14.99 495.00 Brown Switzerland
Bally Sanaa 655 7.18 8.99 650.00 Black Switzerland
Benedetti shoe tree 1.99 1.99 9.98 Wood USA
Benedetti shoe tree 1.99 1.99 9.98 Wood USA
Mezlan Marina 1.00 12.99 1,295.00 Brown Spain
Nordstrom shoe tree 1.99 1.99 7.99 Wood USA
Nordstrom shoe tree 1.99 1.99 7.99 Wood USA
Santoni Lace up 7.98 9.99 810.00 Black Italy
Songmics shoe tree 1.99 1.99 9.98 Brown USA
Songmics shoe tree 1.99 1.99 9.98 Brown USA
Hangers
193 Natural Suit 0.49 0.99 1.75 Wood/metal USA
Setwell Maple finish suit 1.59 1.99 28.99 Wood/metal USA
Setwell Maple finish suit 0.55 0.69 28.99 Wood/metal USA
Setwell Maple finish suit 1.49 1.99 28.99 Wood/metal USA
Setwell Pants cuff 0.79 0.99 7.50 Wood/metal USA
Setwell Pants cuff 0.55 0.69 7.50 Wood/metal USA
Tom James Suit 0.75 1.00 18.00 Wood/metal USA
Wardrobe Management Suit 0.75 1.00 18.00 Plastic/metal USA
Woodlore 40-tie holder Tie hanger 2.39 2.99 45.53 Wood/metal USA
Accessories
1,785 Buberry Blue label Peyton clutch 17.49 34.99 625.00 Brown England
Burberrys Crossbody Haymarket 35.95 44.99 895.00 Brown Italy
Cambridge Classic socks 0.79 0.99 3.75 Brown Pakistan
Coat Rack clothes stand 1.99 3.99 34.99 Gold China
Freedman aluminum easel 3.74 4.99 185.99 Silver USA
Hermès 3.5″ Drawstring 1.83 1.83 10.00 Brown France
Hermès 4.9″ Drawstring 1.29 1.29 29.99 Orange France
Hermès 4.9″ Drawstring 1.49 1.49 29.99 Orange France
Hermès 8″ Drawstring 1.83 1.83 29.99 Brown France
Hermès 21″ Drawstring 1.83 1.83 199.00 Brown France
Louis Vuitton Damier 40mm belt 7.98 9.99 415.00 White France
Louis Vuitton Sarah Monogram 63.99 79.99 1,000.00 Brown France
Stetson Bozeman 19.96 39.99 78.00 Black USA
Stetson Gunfighter 5X 47.93 59.99 110.00 Tan USA
US Art Supply mannequin 4.79 5.99 24.96 Brown USA
 – mirrored  container 3.74 4.99 18.00 Brown Taiwan

 

Key words: Allen Edmonds, Armani, Aurelia, Bally, Benedetti, Borelli, Bottega Veneta, Brioni, Britches, Burberrys, Canali, Charles Tywhitt, Christian Dior, Christopher Chronis, Corneliani, Dolce & Gabbana, Ermenegildo Zegna, Gianni Versace, Giorgio, Gucci, J. Hermes, Hilburn, John Varvatos, LaCoste, Lanvin, Lorenzini, Louis Vuitton, Mezlan, Pazoni, Rag & Bone, Santoni, Santorelli, Setwell, Stefano Ricci, Stetson, Tom James, Ted Baker, True Religion, Tufelo Staufluimi, Turnbull & Asser, Valentino, Yves Saint Laurent, Zanella

September 2017 Summary

This was an especially great month for brand names!  I wasn’t able to meet the triple digit goal this time hitting only 87 times what the retail would have been but this month was the third largest retail grab this year with $53,730.80 and surpassed all but one from last year. The total retail for this year alone has already matched the 2016 total for the entire year and we are only 3/4ths the way through the year.  The spreadsheet follows the list below.

Balenciaga price differenceTreasures – How do you select a treasure when there are so many to choose from? I guess the one item that put the biggest smile on my face, gave me the most goose bumps and got my heart to racing was a ladies silk jacket from the French fashion house of Balenciaga. This was the first time I had seen this name on an item in the Goodwill and had been watching for it for a few weeks when it hung on the rack for $395. Ironically, it hung with the men’s dress coats and not with the women’s.  I found it again a couple of weeks later in the glass case at the front door and asked to look at it because it was just a bundle of dark brown cloth stuck on the lower shelf in the corner. The price had been marked down to $149.99 and the color of purple for that week meant it was half price. Still a bargain but too hefty for my pocket book. I had looked it up previously just out of curiosity and found one similar to it with a retail suggested price going for $2,100.  Just per chance this past weekend, I saw what looked like it again tucked away in the corner of the glass case and asked to see it. Sure enough, a week past the half off week for it’s color meant I could get this $2,100 item for only one dollar. Now, that’s what I call a treasure and if it is my youngest daughter’s size on her upcoming birthday, it’ll put just as big a smile on her face as well.

Before this month, I was able to find only two Ralph Lauren brand of his highest offering in the Purple Label. This month yielded this label in a suit jacket, sweater, shirt and tie in three separate Goodwill stores. The color this month is obviously purple.

Gieves and Hawkes suitSuits – Only one suit was purchased this month but it falls into a category few other companies can boast about. I was able to locate a nice fitting Gieves & Hawkes grey formal suit. The company has been in business since 1771 and has dressed leaders and known patrons such as Winston Churchill, Admiral Lord Nelson, The Duke of Wellington, Charlie Chaplin, Michael Jackson, Mikhail Gorbachev, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush,  Sean Connery and Diana, Princess of Wales. With an address of No. 1 Savile Row, London, you know that it has to be at the top of it’s game.

Suit jackets from Ralph Lauren, Armani, Versace, Ermenegildo Zegna, Oxxford Clothes, Gucci and Dolce & GabbanaDress Jackets – I am trying to cut down on the number of dress jackets I purchase as they are harder to sell but at the same time offer the best buy for the money when you find a high-end quality suit jacket.  This month brought in some exceptional brands as I am sure you will recognize some of the names. Balenciaga silk jacket
The lady’s silk Balenciaga Le Dix was a fantastic bargain I was very fortunate to find and to be at the right place at the right time. This jacket will receive the respect the name demands and will have a special place for the care it deserves.
Another very nice jacket was the cream colored corduroy Dolce & Gabbana sport jacket. This looks great with a dress shirt and khakis. Another was the recent purchase of an Ermenegildo Zegna High Performance silk and wool jacket and a small design hounds-tooth wool jacket from Gucci.  Both of these jackets retail for around $2,800 each.  What is a collection of super suits without the name of Giorgio Armani showing?  A beautiful dark grey silk suit jacket was picked up from this fashion house and fits like an Italian suit jacket should. Two other suit jackets I located well above even this price were from the makers at Oxxford Clothes located in Chicago averaging around $4,000 between the two.  I especially like the blue with the striped dark and light blue silk lining. A 100% cashmere brown coat from Ralph Lauren with the Purple Label found it’s way into my Goodwill buggy and will look great with a pair of dark brown slacks. The final coat was a dark blue from Versace Classic V2 purchased for less than a five dollar bill. Who says you can’t afford to dress in the finest?

Burberrys' trench coatOvercoats – When one thinks of overcoats, you normally think of the cold winter wind of Ontario, Canada or the wet cold of England. I was able to locate a Burberry’s Long Heritage trench coat purchased in England at the Baron of Piccadilly. it turns out to be just my size and will be worn this coming Winter in the style it demands.  The overcoat shows no signs of wear and was a great value at any price.

A wide selection of shirtsShirts – There were 27 very nice shirts selected with some very notable names. It is unbelievable how much the retail price can be for some of these top of the line items of clothing. Here they are listed in alphabetical order. Astor & Black, Borelli, Brioni (3), Burberry (2), Canali (3), Coogi, Corneliani, Ermenegildo Zegna (4), Eton (4), Givenchy, Ike Behar, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Ralph Lauren Purple Label, Tiglio, and Yves Saint Laurent. I was quite surprised to find not just one but three Brioni shirts. These are the one brand I always have the most excitement in finding. I was also quite surprised to find a Ralph Lauren Purple Label shirt my size as well as one by Prada and Louis Vuitton. The black tuxedo Givenchy comes in with the second highest retail price of $685 just behind tan Prada sporting a price of $740.  The two of these shirts were purchased for less than seven dollars each. Needless to say that these shirts do command a second glance from the ladies where I work but are worn only on certain occasions.

Zegna Sport and Ralph Lauren Purple Label silk and cashmereSweaters – When you think of what some of the best sweaters are made of, you normally think of wool or cashmere. Rarely do I ever think of combining silk with cashmere to make the  sweater light and comfortable. The attention to the detail on the Ralph Lauren Purple Label sweater and hand sewn seams are probably what make this sweater worth the retail price of $1,300. I was more than happy to find it for a total of $5.59, more of a price that I could afford and will wear with pride for many years to come. Many thanks to the person who took the time to donate it to the local Goodwill store.
One other sweater worth selecting was from Ermenegildo Zegna, the Zegna Sport with a 1/3rd zipper front. I have always found the quality of Zegna sweaters to be top notch.

Pants from Brioni, Burberry and Ermenegildo Zegna.Pants – It may appear that pants/trousers/slacks are less abundant than most of the other categories listed here. Possibly due to wearing out in the seat, spilling something on them or wearing them more often than the matching suit jacket. Who knows. I was able to locate three great names at some fantastic prices. If you know what the waist band on the inside of a pair of pants looks like from a manufacturer, it helps to identify certain brands. I have found that most suit manufacturers do not place their name inside a matching pair of pants when purchased with a suit jacket. This makes it difficult to identify the brand when separated. I was able to find a nice pair of Brioni slacks for a dollar as no one was able to identify it without the name inside but I recognized the striping that is the trademark of this name. The $695 pants were worth the effort to identify in this case.
Another great brand I look for is from Burberry. They have fantastic cloth for pants and wear nicely all during the day.
Another brand I look for is from Ermenegildo Zegna and located a pair for $5.59 which also retails for $695.

Ties from Brioni, Broletto, Burberrys, Campagnia della seta, Canali, Charvet, Zegna, Givenchy, Gucci, Isaia, Oxxford Crest, Paul Smith, Ralph Lauren, Santorelli and Stefano Ricci.Ties – One of my favorite categories is that of the ties. I located 28 for my cost of $72 which retailed for $5,500 if purchased at one of town’s local Neiman Marcus, Barney’s or Saks Fifth Avenue stores.  Some of the best names are represented here with Oxxford Crest at $295 and Stefano Ricci at $260 coming in at the highest retail prices. The twenty-eight ties that were picked up this month have the names of Brioni (4), Broletto, Burberrys, Campagnia della Seta, Canali, Charvet (3), Ermenegildo Zegna (6), Givenchy, Gucci (2), Isaia, Oxxford Crest, Paul Smith (3), Ralph Lauren Purple Label, Santorelli and Stefano Ricci. Seventeen of these were found in one store at one time. I hate to say it but it looked like either some gentleman with money died or the wife sought revenge and found it. I prefer to think the last idea was what happened.

Shoes - Bally, Johnston & Murphy, Salvatore Ferragamo, Allen Edmonds and GucciShoes – It’s hard to pass up a great pair of shoes made from one of the best fashion houses. I’m talking about Bally from Switzerland, Johnston & Murphy from the US, the Italian Salvatore Ferragamo Studio, Gucci from Italy and another great US made brand from Allen Edmonds.
I just happened to be speaking with one of the Goodwill staff in one of my favorite stores and he said he was in charge of the shoe department. He knew I was looking for top end shoes and suggested that I come with him and see what he had in the ladies section. He pulled out two bright yellow platform shoes which immediately garnered the attention of one of the ladies standing nearby. She quickly asked if she could look at them and the Goodwill gentleman who had them in hand said she could if I decided not to buy them. I decided to buy them and she expressed a very sour face in return. My oldest daughter tried them on later that day and immediately claimed them even though they appeared to be a bit too tight. She didn’t care, they were GUCCI! Nothing  else needed to be said and I knew better than to argue with her.

Suit hangers, I've already made use of four of them.Hangers – When I find large wooden suit hangers made of maple for less than a dollar each, it’s a good shopping day. I found nine such hangers and didn’t mind paying 79 cents apiece for these great additions for properly hanging the best of my suits. There are some very good articles on why you should hang your clothing on hangers made for that certain type of suit, pants, shirt or tie. Plastic is cheap but wood is typically a better choice for a variety of reasons.
Check out these two great references for additional information:  Why to Buy Better Hangers by Men’s Journal and The Best Hangers by SweetHome.com.

Accessories – This is another area for great monthly surprises and this month was certainly no exception. Even though I didn’t find this first certain item at a Goodwill, I was in need of another leather watch strap for my high-end gentleman’s watch by Audemars Piguet and located a $650 item with that name for only one dollar and a quarter. My other watch band broke from sweat and needed replacing. What a great price!
Another great item I was looking for was a set of headphones from Bose and I couldn’t pass up this set for $14.99.
Chanel silk scarfI couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw a dark blue and gold scarf and concluded that it would be worth the $6.38 I would have to pay even if it were not an original. My suspensions came true when I validated the authenticity from a knowledgeable friend that I had found a genuine Chanel scarf. The chance I took paid off for this $450 item.  The hard part of this now will be to decide who to give it to as a present this Christmas.
One other item not found at a Goodwill but worth mentioning was a certain belt I’ve been wanting for the past few years but wasn’t able to afford one. In The Footsteps of Jesus, Hermes belt, suspenders and war metalThis was an Hermès silver “H” with a reversible black and brown belt. My total cost was $34.55 for a ridiculously priced $1,095 item to hold up your pants. The belt came new, wrapped in plastic, inside a fancy cotton bag, in a  recognizable orange Hermès box.
Another item I will enjoy and use for reference is a National Geographic leather bound book, “In The Footsteps of Jesus”. This is a great resource showing what was going on at the time of Christ. Scala fedora hat
I also found a much needed hat from Scala, their Classico, Zoot Fedora. My daughter took one look and said I looked ridiculous in it so I guess it will have to find another head to sit upon.
A nice set of British black silk suspenders will also help Hermès hold up my pants when the time permits.  These will fit the bill when an occassion presents itself to reside beneath one of my formal tuxedos.
Finally, I found a nice little box with a war metal presented to a soldier as the Army Achievement award and it’s accompanying ribbons. It brings back stories I heard of my predecessors war stories during WW II.

As with previous months, the following chart is broken down into different categories with the subtotal for each, the amount paid, tagged amount and the retail price with a link, where available, as to where the price was located. I hope this chart becomes a valuable tool for you in making a choice when locating that high-end item you might run across.

September 2017

$616.56 $934.92 $53,730.80 87.1x
Item Company Detail Paid Tagged Retail Color Origin
Suits – 1
1,224 Gieves & Hawkes  – 19.97 24.99 1,224.23 Charcoal USA
Dress Jackets – 9
11,740 Balenciaga Le Dix 1.00 149.99 2,000.00 Brown France
Dolce & Gabbana  – 7.98 9.99 2,000.00 Tan Italy
Ermenegildo Zegna High Performance 9.99 9.99 2,795.00 Black Italy
Giorgio Armani Le Collezioni 7.98 9.99 2,195.00 Grey Italy
Gucci  – 7.98 9.99 2,750.00 Grey Italy
Oxxford Clothes Kepp’s Men’s Shop 7.98 9.99 3,595.00 Navy USA
Oxxford Clothes Nordstrom 4.99 9.99 4,575.00 Charcoal USA
Ralph Lauren Purple Label 15.97 19.99 2,495.00 Brown England
Versace Classic V2 4.99 9.99 1,550.00 Navy Spain
Overcoats – 1
1,895 Burberrys’ Kensington 47.99 59.99 1,895.00 Tan England
Shirts – 27
10,913 Astor & Black  – 5.59 6.99 275.00 Purple London
Borrelli Neiman Marcus 14.37 17.99 333.33 Blue Italy
Brioni Neiman Marcus 3.49 6.99 550.00 Blue Italy
Brioni Neiman Marcus 22.46 29.99 595.00 Purple Italy
Brioni  – 6.99 6.99 550.00 White Italy
Burberry Brit 6.99 6.99 350.00 Grey Peru
Burberry London 5.59 6.99 265.00 Yellow USA
Canali exclusive 11.98 14.99 295.00 Blue Italy
Canali  – 11.98 14.99 295.00 Blue Italy
Canali  – 5.59 6.99 395.00 Brown Italy
Coogi Hunt Club 6.99 6.99 110.00 Blue China
Corneliani ID 5.59 6.99 295.00 Navy Italy
Ermenegildo Zegna Pinstripe 5.59 6.99 450.00 Brown Italy
Ermenegildo Zegna Z 5.59 6.99 450.00 Blue Turkey
Ermenegildo Zegna Z Zegna 5.59 6.99 895.00 Brown Italy
Ermenegildo Zegna 6.38 7.99 450.00 Blue Italy
Eton Contemporary-Fit 5.59 6.99 275.00 Grey Estonia
Eton  – 5.59 6.99 245.00 Yellow Romania
Eton Contemporary-Fit 5.59 6.99 255.00 Red Estonia
Eton Contemporary-Fit 5.59 6.99 275.00 Grey Estonia
Givenchy Slim Fit 6.48 12.99 685.00 Black France
Ike Behar New York 5.59 6.99 265.00 Tan USA
Louis Vuitton Uniformes 6.99 6.99 350.00 Black Portugal
Prada  – 6.99 6.99 740.00 Tan Italy
Ralph Lauren Purple Label 7.18 8.99 450.00 Blue Italy
Tiglio Doppio Ritorto 5.59 6.99 250.00 Blue Italy
Yves Saint Laurent pour homme 6.99 6.99 570.00 Brown France
Sweaters – 2
2,290 Ermenegildo Zegna Zegna Sport 5.59 6.99 995.00 Blue China
Ralph Lauren Purple Label 5.59 6.99 1,295.00 Tan Italy
Pants – 3
1,840 Brioni  – 1.00 6.99 695.00 Navy Italy
Burberry London 11.98 14.99 450.00 Black USA
Ermenegildo Zegna Z Soft 5.59 6.99 695.00 Black Portugal
Ties – 28
5,499 Brioni  – 3.74 4.99 230.00 Red Italy
Brioni  – 2.99 3.99 230.00 Green Italy
Brioni  – 2.99 3.99 230.00 Tan Italy
Brioni  – 2.99 3.99 230.00 Orange Italy
Broletto  – 2.24 2.99 24.97 Black USA
Burberrys  – 4.99 4.99 190.00 Red USA
Campagnia della Seta 1.49 1.99 34.00 Charcoal Italy
Canali  – 2.99 3.99 280.00 Brown Italy
Charvet Place Vendôme 2.49 4.99 245.00 Blue France
Charvet Place Vendôme 1.99 3.99 245.00 Blue France
Charvet Place Vendôme 1.99 3.99 245.00 Red France
Ermenegildo Zegna Disegno Esclusivo 2.24 2.99 195.00 Grey Italy
Ermenegildo Zegna Z 2.24 2.99 195.00 Blue Italy
Ermenegildo Zegna Z 2.24 2.99 195.00 Green Italy
Ermenegildo Zegna 2.39 2.99 205.00 Silver Italy
Ermenegildo Zegna 2.99 3.99 195.00 Orange Italy
Ermenegildo Zegna 1.49 1.99 195.00 Red USA
Givenchy Monsieur 3.19 3.99 190.00 Black USA
Gucci  – 1.59 1.99 200.00 Blue Italy
Gucci  – 3.74 4.99 200.00 Blue Italy
Isaia Napoli 2.99 3.99 225.00 Pink Italy
Oxxford Crest  – 1.49 1.99 295.00 Green USA
Paul Smith  – 3.74 4.99 125.00 Charcoal Italy
Paul Smith  – 2.99 3.99 125.00 Pink Italy
Paul Smith  – 1.59 1.99 125.00 Navy Italy
Ralph Lauren Purple Label 3.99 4.99 235.00 Grey England
Santorelli  – 1.99 1.99 155.00 Blue Italy
Stefano Ricci Luxury Collection 2.24 2.99 260.00 Blue France
Shoes – 8
3,560 Allen Edmonds Hastings 10.38 12.99 395.00 Brown USA
Allen Edmonds Heyden 7.98 9.99 295.00 Brown USA
Allen Edmonds Wilbert 10.38 12.99 295.00 Brown USA
Bally Brignant 4.99 9.99 595.00 Black Italy
Bally Suver 7.98 9.99 550.00 Black Switzerland
Gucci Platform espadrille 31.95 39.99 695.00 Yellow Italy
Johnston & Murphy XC4 Stanton Moc Venetian 7.46 14.99 159.00 Black China
Nordstrom Shoe tree 1.59 1.99 7.99 Wood USA
Nordstrom Shoe tree 0.01 1.99 7.99 Wood USA
Salvatore Ferragamo loafers 19.97 24.99 560.00 Black Italy
Hangers – 9
40 Natural Suit x 9 0.79 0.99 39.60 Natural USA
Accessories – 8
2,515 Audemars Piguet watch strap 1.25 1.25 650.00 Black Switzerland
Bose TriPort headphones 14.99 14.99 169.95 Silver Germany
Chanel chain scarf 6.38 7.99 450.00 Navy France
Hermès H black/carmel 34.55 34.55 1,095.00 Black France
In The Footsteps of Jesus National Graphics 1.49 2.99 40.00 Navy USA
Scala Classico Zoot Fedora 6.99 6.99 46.00 Grey USA
US military Army Achievement Metal 6.38 7.99 40.00 Blue USA
 – silk suspenders 1.59 1.99 23.75 Black England

Knowing your brands, as to which command a greater return on your investment, is good business sense. A good example of this was the silk women’s jack by Balenciaga. Become familiar with the brands that sell well or have a long lasting international respect and when you find them in good condition, they may bring you an excellent net satisfaction. Until next month, good luck with your Goodwill hunting.

 

July 2017 Summary

Due to some last minute shopping this month, some very good items were located and of course, at some very good prices. A total of 61 items were purchased which is twelve more than last year’s number. A little over three hundred and fifty dollars was spent but netted just over sixty three thousand dollars if purchased at retail prices. This month ranked as the second best collection resulting a bit more than 174 times the value retail. The following items support the reason for this.

Ralph Lauren Purple Label logoTreasures – A good number of treasures were found. Ralph Lauren showed up with a Purple Label suit including the extra ticket pocket, just my size as well as a Burberry navy colored window pane style suit, both for less than a twenty dollar bill. The real treasures were the two suit jackets from Brioni, one of which was made of the rare Escorial wool. Other great suit jackets were from Oxxford Clothes (4), Isaia and Lubiam. These retailed from four thousand to over eight thousand dollars each. Some very nice shirts were located from Yves Saint Laurent, Versace, Armani Collezioni and Ermenegildo Zegna. Two pair of Ermenegildo Zegna Trofeo pants were picked up made of the finest wool they offer. Brioni and Salvatore Ferragamo came in with some beautiful ties and some really nice shoes were purchased with the names of Bally, Prada and Salvatore Ferragamo.

Ralph Lauren Purple Label and Buberry London suitsSuits – The last store I checked this month yielded the two suits. It is quite rare, even in this area of the country, that you would find anything Ralph Lauren with a Purple Label but hanging on the rack was a very nice, grey, pin stripped suit with the additional ticket pocket. I was amazed how well it fit. Another suit right behind it was from Burberry with its supple, navy colored window pane cloth. Two gentlemen had been sharing a conversation with me previously and were curious as to my sudden excitement upon discovering the suits. Their expressions peaked when I showed them how much each suit cost by looking them up on their smart phones. They obviously had no idea you could pay that much for a suit.

Jackets 2Oxxford, Brioni and Isaia jacketsJackets – There were a total of ten suit jackets located this month. They were from Giorgio Armani Emporio, Brioni Aurelio Escorial, Brioni Nomentano, Ermenegildo Zegna, Isaia Stewart, Lubiam made of Zegna Trofeo cloth, Oxxford Clothes Manhattan, two black Oxxford Clothes Renaissance and an Oxxford Clothes houndstooth Laurent. Three of the four Oxxford Clothes suit jackets, two Brioni jackets from Neiman Marcus and the Isaia were found at the same time in one store. I have to wonder what other jackets might have been there earlier that caught someone else’s eye. It turns out that the next day is the half-off Saturday and I know there has to be one or more people who didn’t want to spend the thirteen to fifteen dollars but would part with half of that for a top of the line suit jacket.  One of the Brioni jackets is a very expensive selection made of some of the finest wool and commands a price to reflect that. As a side note, I was genuinely surprised to find that Ermenegildo Zegna is making some of their line of Z suits and other clothing in the country of Mexico. I’ll have to check further into this as to what prompted them to make this choice.

ShirtsShirts – The one item of men’s clothing that makes a clear statement of color, quality and fit is a shirt. Twenty-two shirts were purchased with the names of Armani (2), Burberry (3), Canali (2), Carlo Pacini, Ermenegildo Zegna (5), Eton (2), Ike Behar, Lanvin, Psycho Bunny, Rag & Bone, Versace, Vineyard Vines and Yves Saint Laurent.

Psycho Bunny and Rag & Bone sweaters.Sweater – Three sweaters caught my eye and they were each a very nice, shade of grey offering. You might hesitate with a name like Psycho Bunny or Rag & Bone but they do make a great piece of clothing. I’m a bit more selective of the name Christian Dior these days as I find most of their items available in the Goodwill are made more and more outside the European continent. I prefer those made in France or Italy for their known history of quality.

Pants 1Pants 2Pants – This category made a surprising hit this month over past collections for some reason. The pickings were especially good and I was able to find not only the brands I liked, but also the size and length that fit my tall frame. These were from the manufacturers of 7 for all Mankind, Burberrys’, Ermenegildo Zegna Trofeo (2), Pazoni and Santorelli. The Zegna Trofeo were especially nice in that they are made from the finest wool you can find on this planet. That’s what the people at Zegna say anyway and they can’t be too far wrong by ow soft it feels and its resistance to wrinkling.

tiesTies – With the great number of ties I now have; it was time to back off any more purchases of these unless they were from some of the more desirable high-end French and Italian companies. Some great examples representing these were from Brioni, Christian Dior, Ermenegildo Zegna, Eton, Massimo Bizzocchi (Kiton) and of course, Salvatore Ferragamo.

Bally, Ferragamo and Prada shoesShoes – Three great names are represented by looking inside at the soles of these shoes: Bally, Prada and Salvatore Ferragamo. Finding a great pair of shoes is like putting on a good pair of tires on your car. They need to be dependable in all kinds of weather and super comfortable all day long. These fit the bill perfectly.

Clothing hangersHangers – As always, a good set of maple or cedar clothing hangers works well for preserving your best clothing. Setwell is the name I look for and I was able to find some good examples this month. In addition to these, there was a very nice tie hanger that I’ve been needing to make the daily selection easier by seeing the ties hanging instead of lying in a bundle under the others.

Allen Edmonds, Dolce & Gabbana and SetwellAccessories – I have a good number of Allen Edmonds shoes but having a wide selection of belts from these people works great when trying to match the color of your shoes to your belt. I located one such belt and snatched it up for the low price of $6.38. A different item in this category was from Dolce & Gabbana. This was a clam shell container for a pair of glasses but has many other uses in my line of work such as keeping the cell phone cable properly wrapped up and protected as well as a good container for my prize ink pens. I’ve collected coins since I was knee high and when I find a good quality collectors book to place my coins in to preserve them I automatically pick it up. On a rare occasion it may even have a few coins in it. I don’t have many old silver dollars but it’s nice to have a place to put them when I do find one. One other last minute purchase was a very nice maple, free standing clothes valet I picked up for a little more than a five dollar bill. I have found that it saves time when I prepare my clothes on the weekend for the following business week and have a place to hang each item on the five valets I now own for the upcoming work days.

This was indeed one of my best months in the four plus years I’ve been recording these transactions. As with previous months, the following chart is broken down into different categories with the subtotal for each, the amount paid, tagged amount and the retail price with a link, where available, as to where the price was located. I hope this chart becomes a valuable tool for you in making a choice when locating that high-end item you might run across.

July 2017

$363.47 $503.78 $63,338.93 174.3x
Item Company Detail Paid Tagged Retail Color Origin
Suits
3,890 Burberry  – 12.47 24.99 1,395.00 Navy USA
Ralph Lauren Purple Label 19.97 24.99 2,495.00 Grey USA
Jackets
46,375 Armani, Giorgio Emporio 7.98 9.99 1,595.00 Black Italy
Brioni Aurelio Escorial 7.98 12.99 8,450.00 Black Italy
Brioni Nomentano 0.01 14.99 5,395.00 Black Italy
Ermenegildo Zegna Z 7.98 9.99 2,995.00 Grey Mexico
Isaia Stewart A. 2094 7.98 9.99 3,995.00 Brown Italy
Lubiam Zegna Trofeo 7.98 9.99 4,895.00 Black Italy
Oxxford Clothes Manhattan II N2 0.01 17.99 4,825.00 Black USA
Oxxford Clothes Renaissance 11.98 14.99 4,825.00 Black USA
Oxxford Clothes Renaissance 0.01 17.99 4,575.00 Black USA
Oxxford Clothes Laurent 7.48 9.99 4,825.00 Brown USA
Shirts
4,345 Armani, Giorgio A|X 6.99 6.99 70.00 White Hong Kong
Armani, Giorgio Collezioni 5.59 6.99 545.00 Grey Italy
Burberry London 12.99 12.99 195.00 Yellow Great Britian
Burberry London 6.39 7.99 350.00 Brown USA
Burberrys  – 9.99 9.99 325.00 Grey USA
Canali  – 5.59 6.99 295.00 Blue Italy
Canali  – 5.59 6.99 295.00 Cream Italy
Carlo Pacini  – 5.99 6.99 19.99 White Korea
Ermenegildo Zegna Z 5.59 6.99 450.00 Cream Turkey
Ermenegildo Zegna Z 5.59 6.99 450.00 Cream Italy
Ermenegildo Zegna  – 5.59 6.99 450.00 Blue Turkey
Ermenegildo Zegna  – 6.99 6.99 450.00 Peach Italy
Ermenegildo Zegna  – 6.39 7.99 450.00 Cream Turkey
Eton Ganghester 5.99 6.99 275.00 Grey Sweden
Eton  – 5.59 6.99 275.00 Grey Sweden
Ike Behar  – 5.99 6.99 265.00 Red Peru
Lanvin  – 5.99 6.99 361.06 Grey France
Psycho Bunny v-neck 5.99 6.99 95.00 Grey Peru
Rag & Bone New York 7.98 9.99 325.00 Grey China
Versace Collection 5.59 6.99 425.00 Purple Tunisia
Vineyard Vines  – 5.99 6.99 78.00 Blue China
Yves Saint Laurent  – 6.99 6.99 525.00 Purple France
Sweaters
285 Christian Dior 5.59 6.99 285.00 Grey USA
Pants
2,364 7 for all Mankind Austyn 10.38 12.99 189.00 Black USA
Burberrys’  – 5.59 6.99 395.00 Black USA
Ermenegildo Zegna Trofeo trousers 5.24 6.99 695.00 Brown Portugal
Ermenegildo Zegna Trofeo trousers 5.24 6.99 695.00 Black Portugal
Pazoni Como 2 5.24 6.99 195.00 Black Italy
Santorelli Luxury Serge / Romeo 6.99 6.99 195.00 Tan Italy
Ties
1,256 Brioni Roma 0.79 0.99 230.00 Blue Italy
Chanel 1.99 1.99 189.00 Navy Italy
Christian Dior Cravates 1.99 1.99 197.00 Brown France
Ermenegildo Zegna Z 1.59 1.99 205.00 Brown Italy
Eton  – 0.79 0.99 145.00 Grey England
Massimo Bizzocchi Louis, Boston. 0.79 0.99 99.00 Silver USA
Salvatore Ferragamo  – 1.59 1.99 190.00 Red Italy
Shoes
1,805 Bally Suver 5.59 6.99 550.00 Black Italy
Prada Newac Sneaker 39.94 49.99 595.00 Black Italy
Salvatore Ferragamo Gancio Bit Loafer 6.38 7.99 660.00 Black Italy
Hangers
245 Kenneth Cole Clothing valet 5.24 6.99 99.00 Maple USA
Setwell maple suit 0.99 0.99 28.99 Maple USA
Setwell maple suit 0.99 0.99 28.99 Maple USA
Setwell maple suit 0.99 0.99 28.99 Maple USA
Setwell maple suit 0.99 0.99 28.99 Maple USA
Setwell pants cuff 0.55 0.69 7.50 Natural USA
Setwell pants cuff 0.55 0.69 7.50 Natural USA
Natural for ties 0.79 0.99 14.99  –  –
Accessories
150 Allen Edmonds belt 6.38 7.99 105.00 Brown USA
Dansco Silver dollar book 1.49 2.99 35.95 Brown USA
Dolce & Gabbana glasses holder 1.59 2.99 8.99 Black Italy

Knowing your brands, as to which command a greater return on your investment, is good business sense. Become familiar with the brands that sell well or have 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.

 

June 2017 Summary

The month of June this year had a similar number of purchases (53) as that of last year’s June (58). But the retail value of this year’s items of $40,142 increased by twelve thousand dollars over that of last year at $27,916.  Purchased retail was a close second to the record which has run me right at 154 times a much. The fifty-three items were purchased as compared to only thirty-six last month and had a retail value worth seventeen thousand dollars more than May. Once again, there were no overcoats, shoes or pocket squares located. These increases were attributed to the purchase of higher end items.

Treasures – Once you’ve been bitten, and it doesn’t take long, the treasures you didn’t know existed begin to take over your focus even before you walk through the doors of thrift stores. Some of the lucky finds this month were an Ermenegildo Zegna Trofeo suit and a Zegna Trofeo jacket. The word trofeo in Italian literally means trophy so you can imagine what it means to find one of these seldom seen suits or jackets made from some of the finest merino wool on the planet.

With two daughters, it is always fun to pick up something they say I will never see at a thrift store. One such item was a Coco Chanel black and white clutch. The price tag was $24.99 so I was skeptical at first because of the low price but then I saw the holographic verification and quality you don’t usually see in knock offs. Someone will have a surprise birthday gift.

Dolce & Gabbana, for its unusually different graphics, is toward the high end in quality and well worth keeping an eye out for when cruising through the racks of clothing. I found two shirts and a pair of brand new, unhemmed dress pants with their name on them. Versace is another name that falls into that category and I was able to find another two shirts as well as a very nice dress jacket. The final shirt with a name that is quite exclusive and very hard to locate used is that of the Ermenegildo Zegna Napoli Couture XXX. Not only is it expensive but seldom seen in any thrift store.

A big surprise came when I saw a Burberry patterned poncho lying in a buggy in the middle of the isle. The unwritten rule in shopping is to never take an item out of someone else’s buggy so I kept an eye on this for a little while. After twenty minutes or so, no one claimed the prize so it made its way into my own keeping. I could not believe the price on the item of $2.99 and even more surprised when I found one very much like it on the Burberry web site listing it for $850. My parents are hard to buy for nowadays so this should make for a nice winter covering for my mother when watching her favorite television programs.

2 suits by Ermenegildo ZegnaSuits – Whenever I find a good example of a suit by Ermenegildo Zegna, I pick it up, whether it is my size or not. You can imagine my excitement of seeing another entire suit with the name of Trofeo inside on the chest pocket. Zegna Trofeo is a worsted fabric made of prestige Australian Superfine merino wool with long fibers. This same suit sells at the Neiman Marcus store down the street tagged for $3,395. A second suit was also picked up from Ermenegildo Zegna, a very nice navy colored outfit that will go great for those special occasions.

Dress Jackets - Ermenegildo Zegna (2), Burberry's (2), Canali and VersaceDress Jackets – A total of six jackets were picked up this past month. These included names like Burberry’s (2), Canali, Ermenegildo Zegna (2) and Versace. I was quite fortunate to find the Zegna Trofeo (yes, another one) jacket, a beautiful, solid black that will be easy to match with a pair of black dress slacks. I always like to find the name of Canali as it generally fits very quite close to my measurements and wears very well. The Burberry’s is also a favorite name to locate as the quality is what you would expect to find from this British brand. The least expensive of this half dozen jackets comes in with the Versace. Nonetheless, the name denotes an Italian fit with the quality you expect from this clothing house. The grey Bloomingdale Burberry’s jacket was purchased for only one dollar since it had the colored tag for that week. That was the best dollar I spent this entire month!

ShirtsShirts – The shirt category once again took the greatest number of items with nineteen being pulled from the racks. This is a low number in comparison to the past months but represents some high quality names. Representing this group were Giorgio Armani,  Burberry (2), Canali (2), Dolce & Gabbana (2), Ermenegildo Zegna (9), Eton and Versace (2). A very good collection of high end clothing houses were well represented here.

Giorgio Armani Le Collezioni sweaterSweater – One sweater was located that grabbed my attention. With this being the middle of the summer season, you would not expect to find very many cold weather items. When you do, they are usually due to closet cleaning realizing they are not needed for this area of the country. A very nice, grey Giorgio Armani Le Collezioni with zipper will make someone back home a nice winter item to consider before heading out for the cold evening.

Dolce & Gabbana dress pants - newPants – One pair of pants that I could not resist and sent the chills up and down my arms was this brand new pair of Dolce & Gabbana dress slacks. These had never been hemmed and had just gone on the half-price sale due to it being Friday when the color of the tags updates their status. The initial price of $19.99 was a bit high but when reduced to half of that were certainly worth grabbing. The size of the 32 waist is definitely too small for my closet but will make for a great surprise for a cousin that it will fit perfectly for that upcoming birthday.

Ties - Brioni, Canali, Charles Trywhitt, Zegna, Faconnable, Faberge, Larson and ValentinoTies – Now that I have way too many examples of the bright colored silk strands, the company name dictates more which items of this category make their way into the buggy. One exception to this was a tie to acknowledge the upcoming celebration of the national past time of football and my favorite team; Alabama. There were only eleven items for this category and they are: Brioni, Canali, Charles Tyrwhitt (2), Ermenegildo Zegna (3), Fabergé, Façonnable, Larson and Valentino. You can’t go wrong with anything from Brioni or Canali and these automatically make it to my collection and are first picks when looking to match a shirt and suit. The two Charles Tyrwhitt are black silk bow ties of which you never know when you will need to pull them from the rack for that “black tie” event. The Fabergé is quite colorful and beautiful and surprisingly, not that expensive but neither is it easy to find. I have held off buying any from Façonnable but this certain example from them was quite nice.

Wooden hangersHangers – A well-made clothing hanger is well worth the few cents I usually find them listed for and they certainly are picked up quickly by other bargain hunters who know their value. The nine suit hangers made of thick wood and the cedar shirt hanger were well received. One item to check on these is to make sure the pants clips are strong enough to hold the cuffs of your trousers lest they let go and drop the pants to the bottom of the closet. These usually have springs that loosen over time.

Burberry blanketAccessories – This category is always where the surprise items can be found. This month proved out to be no exception. A large Burberry Haymarket check plaid blanket poncho grabbed my attention quickly and had to be verified that it didn’t belong to another customer in the store. The extremely low price of $2.99 generated a lot of unanswered questions but only Coach beltafter it made it through the cashier and on to my car. I was also surprised to find a Coach leather belt for such a low price in the same store at the same time. The $150 belt was marked at $6.99, appeared to be in great shape and was just my size. Another good find. The last item was found in a seldom checked Goodwill store generally out of my routine hunting Chanel purse, coin purse and authentication documentsground. The black and white quilted Coco Chanel clutch purse had just been placed into the jewelry cabinet when I asked if I could look more closely at it. After finding the authenticating documentation within an inside pocket, I told the clerk to place my name on it and I would pay for it after looking through the store a little longer. The price marked was at $24.99 and though I was not able to find that identical clutch on the Chanel.com website to find the retail value, the quality was unmistakable and though it may be a few years old it doesn’t appear to have been mistreated and looks new.

It is well worth putting aside your modesty to take a closer look at the buried items inside the jewelry cabinet. Be sure to take along a small but bright flashlight for these close inspections. You never know what you might find but you certainly will not find it if you don’t take the time to look for it! It was a good month even though I didn’t spend near as much but was able to find some great items and that is only part of the fun of searching through the miles of cotton, polyester, leather and wool known as the Goodwill stores.

As with previous months, the following chart is broken down into different categories with the subtotal for each, the amount paid, tagged amount and the retail price with a link, where available, as to where the price was located. I hope this chart becomes a valuable tool for you in making a choice when locating the high-end item you might run across.

June 2017

$259.97 $363.87 $40,142.45 154.4x
Item Company Detail Paid Tagged Retail Color Origin
Suits (2)
6,390 Ermenegildo Zegna Trofeo 18.72 24.99 3,395.00 Tan Italy
Ermenegildo Zegna Z 18.72 24.99 2,995.00 Navy Italy
Dress Jackets   (6)
13,905 Burberry’s  – 7.98 9.99 1,595.00 Brown USA
Burberry’s Bloomingdale’s 1.00 9.99 1,550.00 Grey USA
Canali  – 7.48 9.99 1,595.00 Brown Italy
Ermenegildo Zegna Z 7.48 9.99 2,995.00 Grey Italy
Ermenegildo Zegna Trofeo 7.48 9.99 4,895.00 Black Italy
Versace Collection 7.98 9.99 1,275.00 Brown Croatia
Shirts (19)
8,505 Armani, Giorgio 1.00 9.99 295.00 Brown Italy
Burberry London 11.98 14.99 350.00 Tan USA
Burberry’s Oxford 5.59 6.99 275.00 Blue USA
Canali Sportswear 3.99 4.99 475.00 Black Italy
Canali  – 7.18 8.99 295.00 Blue Italy
Dolce & Gabanna  – 5.59 6.99 675.00 Blue Italy
Dolce & Gabanna  – 9.98 19.99 545.00 Brown Italy
Ermenegildo Zegna Napoli Couture 5.59 6.99 495.00 Tan Italy
Ermenegildo Zegna Sport Techmerino 5.59 6.99 695.00 Navy Italy
Ermenegildo Zegna Sport Techmerino 5.59 6.99 695.00 Navy Italy
Ermenegildo Zegna Z 3.49 6.99 450.00 Cream Italy
Ermenegildo Zegna Z 5.24 6.99 395.00 Cream Italy
Ermenegildo Zegna Z 5.24 6.99 450.00 Cream Italy
Ermenegildo Zegna Z 5.59 6.99 450.00 Blue Italy
Ermenegildo Zegna Z 5.59 6.99 450.00 Golden rod Italy
Ermenegildo Zegna  – 6.99 6.99 450.00 Brown Italy
Eton Signature twill 5.59 6.99 245.00 Grey Sweden
Versace Collection 5.59 6.99 425.00 White Italy
Versace Jeans Couture 5.59 6.99 395.00 Orange Italy
Sweaters (1)
1,695 Armani, Giorgio Le Collezioni 5.59 6.99 1,695.00 Grey Italy
Pants (1)
1,145 Dolce & Gabbana  – 9.99 19.99 1,145.00 Black Italy
Ties (11)
1,527 Brioni Roma 3.99 3.99 230.00 Red Italy
Canali  – 1.59 1.99 230.00 Brown Italy
Charles Tyrwhitt barathea self-tie 1.59 1.99 49.00 Black USA
Charles Tyrwhitt barathea self-tie 1.59 1.99 49.00 Black USA
Ermenegildo Zegna Disegno Esclusivo 1.59 1.99 205.00 Brown Italy
Ermenegildo Zegna Disegno Esclusivo 1.59 1.99 205.00 Brown Italy
Ermenegildo Zegna Disegno Esclusivo 1.59 1.99 205.00 Brown Italy
Fabergé des. N. 133 1.59 1.99 49.00 Green USA
Façonnable  – 2.39 2.99 115.00 Navy Italy
Larson Univ Alabama 2.99 2.99 39.95 Red China
Valentino 1.59 1.99 150.00 Black Italy
Hangers (10)
76 Retro Suit hanger 0.74 0.99 9.00 Maple Taiwan
Retro Suit hanger 0.74 0.99 9.00 Maple Taiwan
Retro Suit hanger 0.74 0.99 9.00 Maple Taiwan
Retro Suit hanger 0.74 0.99 9.00 Maple Taiwan
Retro Suit hanger 0.74 0.99 9.00 Maple Taiwan
Retro Suit hanger 0.74 0.99 9.00 Maple Taiwan
Retro Suit hanger 0.74 0.99 9.00 Maple Taiwan
Retro Suit hanger 0.74 0.99 9.00 Maple Taiwan
Natural Suit 0.55 0.69 1.75 Maple USA
Natural Shirt 0.55 0.69 1.75 Cedar USA
Accessories (3)
6,900 Burberry Poncho 2.24 2.99 850.00 Black USA
Coach Belt 5.24 6.99 150.00 Brown Costa Rica
Chanel Clutch 19.97 24.99 5,900.00 Black Italy

Knowing your brands, as to which command a greater return on your investment, is good business sense. Become familiar with the brands that sell well or have 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.

 

May 2017 Summary

This month of May, I decided to limit my shopping to fewer items until I can get rid of enough previous purchases to be able to see the floor and have more than one place to sit down. In the four years that I have been keeping up this investment inventory, this is the least number of items purchased in a month; 36. This was very close to the average value if purchased retail of 88 times as much. One third of the number of items were purchased but almost half the value of last months came to $22,767. Once again, there were no overcoats located, and this time no shoes or pocket squares either.

3 Ermenegildo Zegna Trofeo suitsTreasures – Some real treasures showed up in a few surprising places. I was able to find three Ermenegildo Zegna Trofeo suits on the rack together but could only afford one of them at this time. These three expensive suits were certainly worth a photo opportunity. The suits sell at Neiman Marcus for right at $3,400 each. Another very special item was a practically new, ladies Salvatore Ferragamo leather jacket. Another Italian name, Brioni, showed up on the last day of hunting with a beautiful French cuffed shirt. At the end of the work week, I decided to hit the road and see what I could find at a seldom visited Goodwill. There I found two shirts from Ralph Lauren but it was late in the evening and my eyes were tired. I asked a gentleman and his wife nearby if the color of the label appeared to be purple. The gentleman said it definitely was and if I was going to put the shirts back to let him have them. I held onto them seeing his extreme eagerness. The name of Brioni once again showed up as a tie retrieved from a hidden rack of ties. Two additional ties from the highly sought after company of Stefano Ricci were also located. A final treasure was two brand new Ermenegildo Zegna leather belts, one black, the other brown with a special latching system.

Brown Ermenegildo Zegna Trofeo suitSuits – Ermenegildo Zegna has as one of their best fabrics the name Trofeo which is about a Super 130 or 17 micron in width and 250 grams, a very expensive wool fabric. Zegna sponsors a wool competition in Australia, and under the terms of the contest, the sheep farmers have to promise to sell their wool to Zegna if they win. The winning wool gets a trophy and forms (at least some) of the raw material for Zegna Trofeo fabrics. Of the three suits available at the time, I chose the brown since I already have a number of grey suits and I liked the pattern.

Dress Jackets – There were five high-end dress jackets picked out of the many available on the racks. A beautiful brown Burberry London of great quality was found. Three Ermenegildo Zegna jackets from different cuts, a ~Soft~, Traveller μicronsphere and a Z. The last jacket was a ladies fine Italian Zegna Z Jacketleather made by Salvatore Ferragamo. The Italians certainly know their methods of creating a buttery soft fabric that will last for generations if taken proper care of. Can’t wait to see which of my daughters will offer the best reason they “need” this jacket.

Shirts – Twelve shirts were selected with some of these being really nice selections. An Armani A|X blue shirt with snap buttons will make a nice birthday present for my father soon as he likes this better than button-up shirts. The Brioni shirt retails Shirts and sweatersfor more than 110 times as much as I paid in Neiman Marcus and is one of my favorites but is a scarce name to find. Four Ermenegildo Zegna shirts were pulled off the racks. Two shirts from Eton were snapped up, one being a very formal bow-tie tuxedo only shirt, the other a very soft grey Contemporary-Fit. Two Shirts Brioni and ZegnaRalph Lauren Purple Label orange striped shirts were found for a very good price. They look brand new but I am not too sure about the color. Vera Wang showed up with a nice white striped shirt and the final was a quite expensive Yves Saint Laurent pour homme navy shirt.

Sweaters – Zanella is well known as being a quality shirt and pants clothier but not as well-known for its sweaters. I found this to be true when searching the Internet about their sweaters but the name definitely spells quality. (See the shirts above for the photo.)

Pants – I also shop an auction website sponsored by Goodwill; ShopGoodwill.com. There, I found a pair of pants from J. Ferrar but my interest was far more centered on the two brand new leather belts with the name of Ermenegildo Zegna on the inside of them and on the metal buckles. I won this auction, being the only person to bid on the “pants”.

Brioni, Charles Wain, Zegna, Trussardi and Stefano Ricci.Ties – Only nine ties were found this month. A beautiful blue one from Brioni is always a welcome name whether it is a tie, shirt or a pair of pants. I purchased another really nice example from Charles Wain as a speculation for a name I was not familiar with. Though it comes from China, it will look great with any grey suit in my closet. Four Ermenegildo Zegna ties were located, one a couture with the five *s. A real prize was the two Stefano Ricci ties purchased for less than four dollars each. These luxury ties begin at $250 and some go for as much as $2,000. Stefano Ricci is a great name to remember and they make a beautiful tie as well. The last was a very nice brown, good quality example from Trussardi.

Hangers – It is funny how you will find certain items in bulk and then you don’t see them again for a long time. Good quality, thick maple hangers are an example of this. The name of Setwell is a great quality name to watch for when looking for well-made clothes hangers of various types. These pants cuff hangers hold the pants very well and seldom let a pair fall to the floor as do some of the other less expensive brands. (See pants above for the hanger photo).

Kate Spade and Ermenegildo Zegna.Accessories – My oldest daughter has taught me a few things about ladies fashion such as what she likes in purses, coats, etc. One of her favorite names is Kate Spade. I was able to locate a very nice purse with this name on it and authenticated it to make sure it didn’t come from China or Mexico as a knock-off. Though this brand is not as expensive as some of the better known Italian leatheriers, it is certainly well made and worth the twenty dollar bill they were asking for it after my discount. The prize of this category, however comes from the auction I won from ShopGoodwill.com when I was able to bid on a pair of black pants and the photo showed two leather belts from Ermenegildo Zegna. I paid the beginning price of $8.98 as the only bidder and received the pair of pants and two brand new black and brown belts that have a list for $495.00 each on the Zegna.com website.

It was a good month, even though I didn’t spend near as much, but was able to find some great items and that is only part of the fun of searching through the miles of cotton, polyester, leather and wool known as the Goodwill stores. You never know what treasure lies beneath the folds of fabric lining the clothes racks or sitting pretty upon a shelf.

As with previous months, the following chart is broken down into different categories with the subtotal for each, the amount paid, tagged amount and the retail price with a link, where available, as to where the price was located. I hope this chart becomes a valuable tool for you in making a choice when locating the high-end item you might run across.

May 2017

$266 $330 $22,767 85.6x
Item Company Detail Paid Tagged Retail Color Origin
Suits
3,395 Ermenegildo Zegna Trofeo 18.72 24.99 3,395.00 Tan Italy
Dress Jackets
11,775 Burberrry London 7.98 9.99 1,795.00 Brown USA
Ermenegildo Zegna ~Soft~ 9.99 9.99 2,895.00 Brown Switzerland
Ermenegildo Zegna Traveller μicronsphere 14.39 17.99 2,700.00 Grey Italy
Ermenegildo Zegna Z 7.48 9.99 1,395.00 Grey Spain
Salvatore Ferragamo  – 63.91 79.99 2,990.00 Brown Italy
Shirts
4,368 Armani, Giorgio A|X 5.59 6.99 98.00 Blue China
Brioni Tonal Micro-stripe 5.24 6.99 575.00 Peach Italy
Ermenegildo Zegna  – 5.24 6.99 375.00 Blue Turkey
Ermenegildo Zegna Z 5.59 6.99 450.00 Tan Italy
Ermenegildo Zegna Z 5.24 6.99 395.00 Tan Italy
Ermenegildo Zegna Z 6.99 6.99 450.00 Blue Turkey
Eton Contemporary-Fit 5.59 6.99 255.00 Grey Romania
Eton Royal 5.59 6.99 275.00 White England
Ralph Lauren Purple Label 7.98 9.99 450.00 Orange Italy
Ralph Lauren Purple Label 7.98 9.99 450.00 Orange Italy
Vera Wang Black 5.59 6.99 70.00 White Indonesia
Yves Saint Laurent pour homme 5.24 6.99 525.00 Navy France
Sweaters
98 Zanella  – 3.49 6.99 48.95 Black Italy
Zanella  – 3.49 6.99 48.95 Blue Italy
Pants
45 J. Ferrar  – 6.68 6.68 44.99 Black China
Ties
1,768 Brioni  – 1.59 1.99 230.00 Blue Italy
Charles Wain  – 0.99 1.99 25.00 Grey China
Ermenegildo Zegna Disegno Esclusivo 2.39 2.99 205.00 Brown Italy
Ermenegildo Zegna  – 1.99 2.49 205.00 Orange Italy
Ermenegildo Zegna  – 2.39 2.99 205.00 Brown Italy
Ermenegildo Zegna ***** 2.99 2.99 205.00 Gold Italy
Stefano Ricci  – 3.99 3.99 250.00 Brown Italy
Stefano Ricci  – 3.99 3.99 250.00 Brown Italy
Trussardi  – 1.99 1.99 193.00 Brown Italy
Hangers
30 Setwell Pants cuff 0.55 0.69 7.50 Maple USA
Setwell Pants cuff 0.55 0.69 7.50 Maple USA
Setwell Pants cuff 0.55 0.69 7.50 Maple USA
Setwell Pants cuff 0.55 0.69 7.50 Maple USA
Accessories
1,288 Kate Spade Cameron street maise 19.97 24.99 298.00 Tan Italy
Ermenegildo Zegna Pelle Tessuta belt 6.68 6.68 495.00 Brown Italy
Ermenegildo Zegna Pelle Tessuta belt 6.68 6.68 495.00 Black Italy

Knowing your brands, as to which command a greater return on your investment, is good business sense. Become familiar with the brands that sell well or have 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.

 

April 2017 Summary

April is the month for tornadoes in my area and it felt like I was creating one running through all the Goodwill stores locally. Two large goals were met this month: hitting the three-digit mark of having the items worth more than 100 times what I paid and having the total reach over $50,000 if purchased at their retail value. Of course, it wouldn’t have hit that last mark had I not found right at ninety items. Surprisingly, there were no pants or overcoats located to add to this list this month. The following is what I was able to locate and purchase this past April.

Aquascutum, Burberry's and Sartoria Castangia jacketsTreasures – Every now and then you run across a name you haven’t heard of but the quality is clearly apparent. Such was the case of a Castangia Sartoria jacket with its beautiful hand stitching, surgeon sleeves and a great Italian fit. I had never heard of this brand but a quick search on my cell phone while standing in the aisle said to put it immediately in the basket and enjoy it later. L-R: Lubium Loro Piana, Oxxford, Versace, Zegna x2Another great jacket, but a name I am well acquainted with is that of Oxxford Clothes. The $4,600 Gibbons two-button jacket landed in my basket for only $5.59. A number of tuxedo shirts from Armani and Jos. A Bank were picked up for those special occasions as well as a very nice Brioni plaid shirt. As sweaters go, you can’t do much better than those from Brioni, Ralph Lauren Purple Label and Carolina Herrera. These three make any trip well worth the while. The names of Bvlgari, Stefano Ricci and Oxxford Clothes represented special pickups in the neck tie section. Salvatore Ferragamo is always a welcome name to locate when cruising through the shoe rack looking inside each and every shoe for that reclusive brand. Finding a Louis Vuitton purse always begs the question as to whether it is the real thing or a very good fake. Kiton shoe bagsThis one that I purchased for $14 appears to be the real thing and should make for a great birthday present for one of my daughters in the near future. It’s always good to plan ahead for special events like these and have an item worthy of this celebration without spending a fortune. Another fantastic but relatively scarce name is that of Kiton. They make the very best clothing, shoes, belts … everything. I picked up two pair (4) of Kiton shoe bag covers for a total of $10. Anything with that name located on it shows that it lives up to its slogan of the “Best of the best plus one”.

Burberry London and Givenchy Monsieur suitsSuits – One of my favorite names in suits, well everything else they make as well, is Burberry. When you can find a very nice navy Burberry London suit that is just your size for less than twelve dollars, it makes its way to the buggy, post haste. The same goes for a brown Givenchy Monsieur suit. Prices at the Goodwill stores in my area have recently been marked down for suits from the usual $19.99 to $14.99 and with my 20% discount coupon, each was purchased for $11.97. A good investment for those days when you want to present your best and go from navy (power) to brown (trust) while looking professional.

Canali dress jacketsDress Jackets – Sixteen dress jackets were picked up this month. I was trying to cut back since they take up a lot of room but check out this list of jackets and you will understand why it made it to sixteen. Aquascutum double breasted, Burberry’s (3), Giorgio Armani, Canali (4 in cashmere, silk, super 120’s), Castangia Sartoria, Ermenegildo Zegna (2), Lubiam Loro Piana tuxedo, Oxxford Clothes Gibbons, Versace double breasted, and Yves Saint Laurent. Great names for some great quality jackets! (See also photographs above)

April shirt purchaseShirts – Twenty-eight shirts were picked up. Shirts are easy to cruise through with their tags sitting up next to the neck of the hanger just begging to be seen. Here is what I was able to locate. Again, I am trying to limit my selection but some of these just jumped into my buggy wanting to go home with me. Tuxedo shirtsGiorgio Armani (3, Collezioni tuxedo), Bogosse, Brioni, Burberry, Canali, Dolce & Gabbana, Ermenegildo Zegna (7), Eton, Façonnable, Harry & Sons, I Love Ugly, Ike Behar, John Nordstrom, Jos. A Bank (tuxedo), Lorenzini, Psycho Bunny, Rag & Bone, Versace, Yves Saint Laurent pour homme, and Zumo.

Sweater April purchaseSweaters – I have experienced a new awakening about the retail price some sweaters go for on the high end scale of clothing. The Brioni I located has a retail in Neiman Marcus of almost two thousand dollars and the Ralph Lauren Purple Label is right behind it at more than twelve hundred. Wow! Each of these was purchased for only $4.99. Others located worth grabbing were from Giorgio Armani A|X, Carolina Herrera, I Levrieri (2) and a grey Lyle & Scott merino.

April tie purhaseTies – Once again, the number of ties fell behind the number of shirts this month with only thirteen picked out of the hanging racks. A name I didn’t expect to find was that of Bvlgari. The tie is in the upper region of pricing coming in at $245 just above Canali at $230 but quite a bit less than the Oxxford Clothes tie I found that sells for $295. Other ties located were from English Laundry, Ermenegildo Zegna Couture, Ermenegildo Zegna Disegno Esclusivo, Fendi, Salvatore Ferragamo, Stefano Ricci and Valentino.

April shoe purchaseShoes – My son needed some good quality shoes that were slip resistant so I located two of the Ecco brand in his shoe size and this met his requirement. Two other shoe brands worth having in my closet are the Salvatore Ferragamo wing-tip tassel loafers and the To Boot New York Calhern. The other items found in this category are the shoe trees from FootJoy, Men’s Wearhouse and Rumson Whitehouse Hardy New York.

Setwell hangersHangers – I was surprised at the high price some of these maple suit hangers retail for. Setwell is one of the best brands to look for and has a retail price of more than $57 each but are well worth the price I paid of $1.19 per item. Suits last much longer when well supported by the wide, smooth maple from this company of hangers. I was lucky to come across seven which had been put out on the floor that same day.

Pocket Square – It was an unusual month for locating good pocket squares. I found a brown plaid pocket square with the quickly recognizable Burberry Equestrian Knight and a beautiful Dominie plain white. Two others of notable quality but no name on their tags were from Japan and China.

Louis Vuitton purseAccessories – This is another category, always with interesting surprises. Here they are in order: Budweiser select cigar humidor (great for storing photographs), Drake’s silk suspenders, Hanes socks, Kiton Munich shoe bag covers (2 sets), Louis Vuitton Alma PM monogram cloth purse, Lucien Piccard 11567-01 Adamello Chronograph new in the box, full bottle of Ralph Lauren Romance Eau de Parfum, and a US Mint set of 2003 quarters.Lucien Piccard watch

As with previous months, the following chart is broken down into different categories with the subtotal for each, the amount paid, tagged amount and the retail price with a link, where available, as to where the price was located. I hope this chart becomes a valuable tool for you in making a choice when locating the high-end item you might run across.

April 2017

$508.64 $664.14 $51,987.85 102.2x
Item Company Detail Paid Tagged Retail Color Origin
Suits
3,590 Burberry London 11.98 14.99 1,995.00 Navy USA
Givenchy Monsieur 11.98 14.99 1,595.00 Brown USA
Dress Jackets
28,155 Aquascutum Dbl breasted blazer 1.00 9.99 405.00 Brown Canada
Armani, Giorgio CG1216 7.98 9.99 610.00 Grey Italy
Burberry’s Jacobson’s 7.98 9.99 1,995.00 Grey USA
Burberry’s Saks Fifth Avenue 7.48 9.99 1,550.00 Brown USA
Burberry’s  – 7.98 9.99 1,550.00 Navy USA
Canali 100% cashmere 4.99 9.99 1,595.00 Grey Italy
Canali Proposta 9.99 9.99 1,295.00 Tan Italy
Canali Silk & cashmere 4.99 9.99 2,695.00 Tan Italy
Canali Super 120’s 5.59 6.99 1,895.00 Navy Italy
Castangia Sartoria 7.98 9.99 1,500.00 Navy Italy
Ermenegildo Zegna ~Soft~ 4.99 9.99 2,495.00 Gold Italy
Ermenegildo Zegna ~Soft~ 7.48 9.99 2,495.00 Grey Switzerland
Lubiam Loro Piana tuxedo 5.59 6.99 750.00 Black Italy
Oxxford Clothes Gibbons 2Btn Notch 5.59 6.99 4,575.00 Gray USA
Versace Dbl breasted Classic 4.99 9.99 599.99 Navy Italy
Yves Saint Laurent  – 9.99 9.99 2,150.00 Green France
Shirts
9,400 Armani, Giorgio Collezioni 2.49 4.99 295.00 Purple Tunisia
Armani, Giorgio Collezioni tuxedo 7.98 9.99 545.00 White Italy
Armani, Giorgio Collezioni tuxedo 11.99 14.99 545.00 White Italy
Bogosse Pierre 32 3.74 4.99 185.00 Green Turkey
Brioni Plaid cotton sport 5.59 6.99 625.00 Blue Italy
Burberry Golf 5.59 6.99 325.00 Grey Italy
Canali  – 4.99 4.99 275.00 Blue Italy
Dolce & Gabanna Gold 10.38 12.99 358.00 Grey Italy
Ermenegildo Zegna Z 14.99 14.99 495.00 Blue Italy
Ermenegildo Zegna Z 4.99 4.99 495.00 Blue Italy
Ermenegildo Zegna Z 3.99 4.99 450.00 Tan Italy
Ermenegildo Zegna  – 6.38 7.99 495.00 Green Italy
Ermenegildo Zegna  – 7.98 7.99 495.00 Pink Italy
Ermenegildo Zegna  – 4.99 4.99 495.00 Cream Turkey
Ermenegildo Zegna  – 3.99 4.99 395.00 Brown Turkey
Eton Slim 3.99 4.99 245.00 White Romania
Façonnable  – 2.49 4.99 165.00 Blue Hong Kong
Harry & Sons  – 5.59 6.99 107.00 Peach Italy
I Love Ugly Hi Stranger 3.99 4.99 105.00 Green China
Ike Behar Neiman Marcus 3.99 4.99 265.00 White Canada
John Nordstrom Canclini 3.99 4.99 99.50 Blue China
Jos. A Bank tuxedo 2.49 4.99 99.50 White Hong Kong
Lorenzini Neiman Marcus 4.49 5.99 158.00 Yellow Italy
Psycho Bunny v-neck 5.24 6.99 95.00 Grey Peru
Rag & Bone Beach button 4.99 4.99 250.00 Tan China
Versace Jeans Couture 3.99 4.99 375.00 Blue Italy
Yves Saint Laurent pour homme 5.24 6.99 890.00 Grey Malaysia
Zumo Long Black Iggy 6.38 7.99 73.20 Black India
Sweaters
4,121 Armani, Giorgio A|X 7.98 9.99 150.00 Grey China
Brioni  – 4.99 5.99 1,815.00 Grey Italy
Carolina Herrera CH HC 2.49 4.99 95.00 Black China
I Levrieri  – 3.99 4.99 134.49 Blue Italy
I Levrieri polo 2.49 4.99 472.00 Grey Italy
Lyle & Scott V-nect 2.49 4.99 160.00 Grey India
Ralph Lauren Purple Label 4.99 5.99 1,295.00 Yellow Italy
Ties
2,660 Bvlgari  – 2.39 2.99 245.00 Orange Italy
Canali  – 2.39 2.99 230.00 Orange Italy
English Laundry By Roffe 1.59 1.99 70.00 Brown England
Ermenegildo Zegna ***** 1.59 1.99 205.00 Gold Italy
Ermenegildo Zegna Disegno Esclusivo 3.19 3.99 205.00 Brown Italy
Ermenegildo Zegna Disegno Esclusivo 3.19 3.99 205.00 Red Italy
Ermenegildo Zegna Disegno Esclusivo 2.39 2.99 205.00 Brown Italy
Ermenegildo Zegna  – 1.99 1.99 205.00 Red Italy
Fendi Cravatte 1.59 1.99 295.00 Brown Italy
Oxxford Clothes  – 1.99 1.99 295.00 Navy USA
Salvatore Ferragamo  – 3.99 4.99 190.00 Red Italy
Stefano Ricci Maus & Hoffman 4.00 4.00 250.00 Grey Italy
Valentino Cravatte 1.00 4.99 155.00 Brown Italy
Shoes
436 Ecco Holton’ Venetian 14.37 17.99 179.95 Brown China
Ecco Johannesburg GTX 5.99 5.99 170.00 Black Indonesia
FootJoy Antique shoe tree 0.49 0.99 19.30 Brown USA
FootJoy Antique shoe tree 0.49 0.99 19.30 Brown USA
Hugo Boss RS Pattern socks 1.59 1.99 17.00 Black Italy
Men’s Wearhouse Cedar shoe tree 0.99 0.99 10.00 Cedar USA
Men’s Wearhouse Cedar shoe tree 0.99 0.99 10.00 Cedar USA
Rumson Whitehouse Hardy Shoe tree 0.79 0.99 5.00 Wood USA
Rumson Whitehouse Hardy Shoe tree 0.79 0.99 5.00 Wood USA
Salvatore Ferragamo wing-tip tassel loafer 13.47 17.99 695.00 Black Italy
To Boot New York Calhern 9.98 19.99 398.00 Brown USA
Hangers
203 Setwell Maple suit (7) 1.19 1.49 202.93 Maple USA
Pocket Square
205  – Silk 0.99 0.99 15.00 Bronze China
 – Silk 1.99 1.99 15.00 White Japan
Burberry plaid 0.79 0.99 90.00 Brown Italy
Dominie plain 0.79 0.99 85.00 White USA
Accessories
2,125 Alfani Bow tie 0.01 0.01 55.00 Black China
Budweiser Select humidor 5.59 5.99 78.00 Black USA
Drake’s Silk suspenders 1.59 1.99 75.00 Black England
Hanes socks 0.79 0.99 2.83 Black USA
Kiton Munich shoe bag cover 9.75 9.75 39.95 Black Italy
Kiton Munich shoe bag cover 9.75 9.75 39.95 Black Italy
Louis Vuitton Alma PM monogram 14.37 17.99 1,500.00 Brown France
Lucien Piccard 11567-01 Chronograph 37.44 49.99 224.99 Black Switzerland
Ralph Lauren Romance Eau de Parfum 19.97 24.99 94.00 Clear USA
United States Mint 2003 Quarter Mint 7.49 9.99 2.99 Silver USA
Black shirt studs 0.01 0.01 12.00 Black China

Knowing your brands, as to which command a greater return on your investment, is good business sense. Become familiar with the brands that sell well or have long lasting international respect and when you find them in good condition, they will bring you surprisingly great net satisfaction. Good luck with your Goodwill hunting.