Category Archives: News

What started out as a supporting set of articles has become a burden on the website. This will be kept up-to-date as time allows.

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.

July 2016 Summary

Every month is a surprising treasure hunt in that you never know what you will find at your local Goodwill stores even though you have a mental list of what you would like to discover. You need to set your goals high enough so that you aren’t buying items you don’t need or worth reselling. It is much easier to purchase an item than it is to sell it at a substantial profit. The average of items I’ve purchased had a retail of 76 times higher. If I sell on the average of 1/10th the retail price, I’ve made a good profit. That is one goal. Another is to have a monthly purchase totaling 1/100th the retail price. I met that last month at 1/107th the sales price but missed it by a large margin this month due to finding some great brands I couldn’t pass up and locating some hard to find items never seen before. Apologies ahead of time for the bad photographs.

Some of the treasures represented in July may not be what you would consider a prize but have found a good home and better yet, a great item for someone’s birthday. A $2,300 Burberry trench coat made its way last week through the postal system to my sister. I could have bought 121 more at the price I paid for this great item. Last evening, my oldest daughter received a sweater by Rag & Bone, a Louis Vuitton messenger bag, a Kate Spade wallet and two Giorgio Armani silky blouses. She was happy. My younger daughter informed me that I would never find two brands in the Goodwill, both of which I found this month: Lululemon and Vineyard Vines. Other items I consider heart racers were the three Brioni shirts located in an out-of-the-way Goodwill one of which was like new silk of their higher end, the Dolce & Gabanna Martini black shirt located the day after half-off sale, A Classic V2 jacket and a Collection black shirt from Versace and a brand new with tags from Neiman Marcus pair of Ermenegildo Zegna Couture pants.

Two dress jackets were located. The first was a Versace Classic V2 I paid $4.99 for, well worth the price. The other was a dark brown with gold checks summer jacket by Ermenegildo Zegna. I try to wear something totally different every day to work and though no one says anything, I can tell by the long stares they are probably wondering how many suits of clothing I have hanging in my closets.

Burberry trench coat as birthday presentThe unique plaid of Burberry is always a welcome site, especially when it comes to their trench overcoats. There are a number of different models with built-in or zip out linings, with and without belts, shoulder padding, etc. The Burberry I sent my sister should be about her size and looked quite new though I could not find that particular model on their website. Regardless, it should put a big smile on her face when she opens the postal package in a few days.

shirtsShirts are easy to browse through when comparing manufacturer’s tags for the brands I am looking for. I usually prefer the Italians for their workmanship, quality, and slim trim but ventured to some other brands due to their recent history. Of the twenty-two shirts, I located an Armani Exchange dress shirt, Brioni (3), Burberry (2), Canali, Dolce & Gabanna, Ermenegildo Zegna (5), Ike Behar, John Varvatos (2), Michael Kors, Oscar de la Renta, Saks Fifth Avenue and Versace. I also found the two brands my daughter said I would never see of Lululemon (2) and one from Vineyard Vines. She has very good taste in clothing and I will put these on my list of “grab immediately when found”.

The sweaters category was well represented by a very heavy cotton and wool Rag & Bone ladies mixture of black, white and a bit of red thread. After a visit to Neiman Marcus with my daughter a few weeks ago, I was also told I would not find one of these in the thrift store. It’s amazing how big a grin your face can support when you see the label staring you down from the Goodwill rack and you can’t wait to see their expression when you say, “look at what I found today”.

Pants hangers and overcoat sweaterSeven pairs of pants were located with three pairs right in a row on the same rack. Six of these were from Ermenegildo Zegna and the price is always perfect compared to what they cost new. One of these had the Neiman Marcus Last Chance tags marked at $395 and were the upper end of what Ermenegildo Zegna offers as their couture line. The retail price of the $14.97 pants is $780. This was indeed a good find. One of the other Zegna pair of pants was a never before found black shorts. Michael Kors usually shows up with the Better Quality area or is marked accordingly. I picked up a nice pair of these leisure pants that fit perfectly at half the usual price.

Ties and shoesThis is the worst month thus far for the number of ties or perhaps I am beginning to just get “picky” as to what I pick up. Of the five pair of ties, I found one each from Giorgio Armani, Ermenegildo Zegna, Lanvin, Lugari and Gianni Versace. I still have a hard time distinguishing the better brands without looking at the tags and took a chance on the Lugari. The best price I could find on a new one was only $23 while the better end was the Versace at more than ten times that amount at $275.

In the shoes category, there was only one item located but was a good brand; Allen Edmonds. The Maxfield version is one I do not have and was just my size for a great price of $6.48.

The accessories type is kind of a miscellaneous one and thus yields some of the more surprising items you didn’t realize you had to have until you see it in the store. During a half-off-Saturday, I found two really nice leather belts from Bally, one made of ostrich. One other item staring me in the face the same day was a folding knife in its original metal box from Winchester. Couldn’t pass up a nice pocket knife for less than a ten dollar bill.

Last minute purchasesSome of my last minute purchases this month were notable in that I was able to find some first of their kind, for me at least. These were a pair of Zegna shorts, a white Lululemon Athletica shirt, the Vinyard Vines that fits perfectly, a polyester Zegna shirt, a beautiful purple Burberry long sleeve and the Zegna ~Soft~ summer weight jacket.

The 48 items I purchased this month totaled within two dollars what I spent last month but was worth less than half the retail value. Something to keep in mind next month when shooting for the magic number of one hundred times the value if purchased at retail. Hope you performed better than I this past month. Goodwill hunting!

July 2016

$262 $393 $17,572 67.1x
Item Company Detail Paid Tagged Retail Color Origin
Dress Jackets
2,390 Ermenegildo Zegna Soft 7.98 9.99 1,295.00 Brown Italy
Versace Classic V2 4.99 9.99 1,095.00 Gray Italy
Overcoats
2,295 Burberry Trench Coat 18.72 24.99 2,295.00 Black England
Shirts
7,339 Armani, Giorgio A|X 2.99 5.99 89.50 White India
Brioni  – 4.79 5.99 880.00 Yellow Italy
Brioni 2.99 5.99 625.00 Blue Italy
Brioni  – 2.99 5.99 625.00 Tan Italy
Burberry London 5.98 7.99 425.00 Tan England
Burberry London 14.37 17.99 395.00 Purple USA
Canali  – 2.99 5.99 345.00 Gray Italy
Dolce & Gabanna Martini 7.48 14.99 375.00 Black Italy
Ermenegildo Zegna Sport 0.01 5.99 245.00 Black Italy
Ermenegildo Zegna Z 4.79 5.99 295.00 Black Italy
Ermenegildo Zegna Z 2.99 5.99 245.00 Black Italy
Ermenegildo Zegna Z 4.79 5.99 395.00 Red Spain
Ermenegildo Zegna  – 4.49 5.99 395.00 Blue Italy
Ike Behar Neiman Marcus 2.99 5.99 225.00 White Canada
John Varvatos Slim fit 4.79 5.99 268.00 Green Indonesia
John Varvatos  – 4.79 5.99 148.00 Blue China
Lululemon Athletica 6.48 12.99 108.00 White Canada
Lululemon Athletica 10.38 12.99 108.00 Black Canada
Michael Kors  – 3.99 4.99 49.50 White China
Oscar de la Renta  – 4.79 5.99 90.00 Yellow  –
Saks Fifth Avenue  – 4.79 5.99 168.00 Tan Hong Kong
Versace Collection 7.98 9.99 750.00 Brown Romania
Vineyard Vines Tucker Shirt 2.99 5.99 89.50 Blue USA
Sweaters
395 Rag & Bone Neiman Marcus 2.99 5.99 395.00 Grey China
Pants
3,040 Ermenegildo Zegna Couture 14.97 19.97 780.00 Tan Portugal
Ermenegildo Zegna Sport 7.98 7.98 125.00 Black Hong Kong
Ermenegildo Zegna Z 5.59 6.99 475.00 Navy Italy
Ermenegildo Zegna Z 5.59 6.99 445.00 Black Italy
Ermenegildo Zegna Z 5.59 6.99 395.00 Black Italy
Ermenegildo Zegna Z 5.59 6.99 695.00 Gray Switzerland
Michael Kors  – 7.48 14.99 125.00 Tan China
Ties
883 Armani, Giorgio Giorgio Armani 5.99 5.99 225.00 Silver Italy
Ermenegildo Zegna Z 1.49 2.99 195.00 Red Italy
Lanvin  – 1.99 3.99 165.00 Green France
Lugari  – 7.99 7.99 22.95 White Italy
Versace, Gianni  – 3.99 7.99 275.00 Gray Italy
Shoes
275 Allen Edmonds Maxfield 6.48 12.99 275.00 Black USA
Accessories
955 Bally Astoria 1.99 3.99 350.00 Brown Italy
Bally Ostrich 1.99 3.99 350.00 Brown Italy
Display Fixture 4-way  rack 14.37 17.99 99.78 Chrome USA
InterDesign  hanger Tie hanger 0.49 0.99 8.99 Chrome  –
Setwell Suit hanger 0.49 0.99 60.00 Natural USA
Setwell Suit hanger 0.34 0.69 20.00 Natural USA
Setwell Pants cuff 0.34 0.69 7.50 Wood/metal USA
Whitmor  Hanger Tie hanger 0.99 1.99 13.99 Chrome
Winchester 2004 Edition 9.98 19.99 45.00 Brown USA

 

Top 10 Clothing Brands

In order to determine an accurate order for a listing of the Top 10 Clothing Brands and to make it easier to read, I decided to use some of the industry’s own critics to establish a good, overall listing of the top brands. I selected eleven lists with a varying number between nine to fourteen companies each and came up with an overall top ten clothing brands. A description of how this was achieved follows.

1. Prada
2. Gucci
3. Chanel
4. Dior
5. Louis Vuitton
6. Armani
7. Dolce & Gabbana
8. Burberry
9. Versace
10. Fendi
11. Hermès
12. Oscar del la Renta
13. Guess
14. Valentino
15. Marc Jacobs
16. Ralph Lauren
17. Coach
18. Cartier
19. Yves Saint Laurent
20. Ermenegildo Zegna

Every one of these companies, and more, is competing for your money and it is always good to know when to pick up a brand in the Goodwill and have that knowledge that it is worth buying due to the name being well known for not just it’s expense but more importantly for the quality. Here is a set of links of organizations that gave their impressions in no special order as to the top brands recognized around the world. As you can see, the same names occur in some of the lists but may be in different order. Learn these brands and take a closer look at whether you believe it would be worth your while to take to the cashier when you are ready to check out.

(A) I ran across this list of the Top 10 Most Expensive Clothing Brands and was surprised as to some of the names provided. This article can be found on wonderslist.com and in short is represented in more detail as to how they were chosen but here are the top ten suggested in the order represented from the top to the number ten:

1) Gucci, 2) Chanel, 3) Prada, 4) Dolce and Gabbana, 5) Armani, 6) Marc Jacobs, 7) Dior, 8) Guess, 9) Versace, and 10) Valentino.

(B) ABCNewsPoint had a similar top ten and most of the same are represented here as well in different ordering:

1) Gucci, 2) Chanel, 3)  Dolce and Gabbana, 4) Prada, 5) Armani, 6) Versace, 7) Dior, 8) Valentino, 9) Guess, and 10) Fendi.

ABCNewsPoint also ranks the top ten most expensive mens suits in the world for 2015:

1) Stuart Hughes Diamond Edition, 2) Alexander Amosu Bespoke, 3)  William Westmancott Ultimate Bespoke, 4) Kiton K-5, 5) Desmond Merrion, 6) Brioni Vanquish II, 7) World Wool Record Challenge Cup, 8) William Fioravanti, 9) Ermenegildo Zegna, and 10) Brooks Brothers.

(C) TheRichest.com has a list of fourteen of the most expensive clothing companies in the world:

1) Oscar De La Renta, 2) Louis Vuitton, 3) Prada, 4) Chanel, 5) Dior, 6) Gucci, 7) Dolce & Gabbana, 8) Armani, 9) Burberry, 10) Versace, 11) Ralph Lauren, 12) Hermès, 13) Fendi and 14) Marc Jacobs.

TheRichest.com also ranks the ten most expensive men’s suits in the world:

1) Stuart Hughes Diamond Edition, 2) Alexander Amosu Vanquish II Bespoke, 3)  Drmeuil Vanquish II, 4) Zoot Suit, 5) William Westmancott Ultiimate Bespoke, 6) Kiton K-50, 7) Desmond Merrion Supreme Bespoke, 8) Brioni Vanquish II, 9) World Wood Record Challenge, and 10) Ermenegildo Zegna Bespoke.

(D) Another website, MostLuxuriousList.com has a similar arrangement of some of the same companies:

1) Oscar del la Renta, 2) Louis Vuitton, 3) Prada, 4) Chanel, 5) Dior, 6) Gucci, 7) Armani, 8) Burberry, 9) Versace, and 10) Fendi.

(E) Luxxory.com has a very similar list as above of nine of the most expensive clothing brands:

1) Oscar del la Renta, 2) Louis Vuitton, 3) Prada, 4) Chanel, 5) Dior, 6) Gucci, 7) Dolce & Gabbana, 8) Armani and 9) Burberry.

(F) Another site, Top101News.com has the top 10 World class clothing brands in 2016:

1) Gucci, 2) Chanel, 3) Prada, 4) Dolce and Gabbana, 5) Armani, 6) Marc Jacobs, 7) Dior, 8) Guess, 9) Burberry and 10) Valentino.

(G) Top10For.com has eleven most luxurious clothing brands for 2015:

1) Prada, 2) Gucci, 3) Louis Vuitton, 4) Burberry, 5) Dolce and Gabbana, 6) Chanel, 7) Dior, 8) Versace, 9) Hermès, 10) Fendi and 11) Armani.

(H) Top10For.com also has a list of the top ten most successful fashion brands:

1) Gucci, 2) Prada, 3) Chanel, 4) Fendi, 5) Coach, 6) Cartier, 7) Louis Vuitton, 8) Hermès, 9) Rolex and 10) Burberry.

(I) Amazing Beautiful World has a list of the 12 Most Expensive Clothing Brands of 2013:

1) Gucci, 2) Chanel, 3) Dolce and Gabbana, 4) Prada, 5) Armani, 6) Versace, 7) Dior, 8) Valentino, 9) Yves Saint Laurent, 10) Guess, 11) Fendi and 12) Louis Vuitton.

(J) ListAKA has a page with the Top 10 Best Luxury Clothing Brands in the World as listed:

1) Louis Vuitton, 2) Chanel, 3) Prada, 4) Dior, 5) Hermès, 6) Burberry, 7) Gucci, 8) Versace, 9) Armani, 10) Dolce & Gabbana

(K) ListOvative has a list of the Top 12 Best Luxury Clothing Brands in the World as follows:

1) Louis Vuitton, 2) Hermès, 3) Gucci, 4) Prada, 5) Chanel, 6) Burberry, 7) Fendi, 8) Dior, 9) Dolce and Gabbana, 10) Armani, 11) Versace, 12) Ralph Lauren.


I took twenty of the companies offered and assigned a reverse score for each based on their placement. For example, if the company came in first place, it was assigned a number 20 while second place came in with a score of 19 and so forth. More lists will be added as they are located and the scores/rank adjusted accordingly. These numbers were tallied for each ranking and the results are shown below with the company indicating the higher scores toward the  top. Prada came in first followed quite closely by Gucci and Chanel. For some, the score was separated by only a few numbers so this example cannot be considered statistically significant in any way but rather be taken as just a list of the lists compiled to make it easier to compare for this period of time.

 Rank  Company Score A B C D E F G H I J K
1 Prada 198 18 17 18 18 18 18 20 19 17 18 17
2 Gucci 196 20 20 15 15 15 20 19 20 20 14 18
3 Chanel 195 19 19 17 17 17 19 15 18 19 19 16
4 Dior 148 14 14 16 16 16 14 14 14 17 13
5 Louis Vuitton 138 19 19 19 18 14 9 20 20
6 Armani 137 16 16 13 14 13 16 10 16 12 11
7 Dolce & Gabbana
137 17 18 14 14 17 16 18 11 12
8 Burberry 107 12 13 12 12 17 11 15 15
9 Versace 101 12 15 11 12 13 15 13 10
10 Fendi 82 11 8 11 11 17 10 14
11 Hermès 69 9 12 13 16 19
12 Oscar del la Renta
60 20 20 20
13 Guess 49 13 12 13 11
14 Valentino 48 11 13 11 13
15 Marc Jacobs 37 15 7 15
16 Ralph Lauren 19 10 9
17 Coach 16 16
18 Cartier 15 15
19 Yves Saint Laurent 12 12
20 Ermenegildo Zegna 0

(A) Top 10 Most Expensive Clothing Brands
(B) ABCNewsPoint
(C) TheRichest.com
(D) MostLuxuriousList.com
(E) Luxxory.com
(F) Top100News.com
(G & H) Top10For.com
(I) Amazing Beautiful World
(J) ListAKA
(K) ListOvative

 

 

July 2015 Summary

July 2015 haulJuly was a very good month as in the name brands I was able to find and the variety of items on the racks and shelves. I am learning to discern more between what name brands to put in the cart and which ones to leave for others. I was able to find some of my favorites as usual such as Ermenegildo Zegna, Giorgio Armani, Burberry and of course Brioni. There were a few surprises in finding the Versace shirt and glasses, the two expensive Oxxford coats, one with surgeon sleeves, and the Zegna linen jacket that was much more expensive the I would have thought purchased for one dollar! Here is what I found for $328.55 valued at $34,288. That’s a record for me of 104 times as much as I spent if purchased new as a comparison. My goal was to have a month where the value was at least one hundred times as much letting me know that my eye was finding the finer quality/expensive items. It’s nice to have goals you can meet. June was rated at 103 times as much, May was 80 times and the preceding April was 67 times a much. The rate is definitely increasing. I’ll let you know how the statistics show up for August. How are your stats looking?

July 2015 Take

$328.55 $492.69 $34,287.96
Company Description Paid Tagged Retail Color Origin
Suits
$1,995 Burberry’s London 13.57 16.98 1,995.00 Brown, dark USA
Dress Coats
$21,860 Armani, Giorgio Collezioni 4.99 9.99 1,195.00 Black Italy
Armani, Giorgio Collezioni 19.96 39.99 995.00 Green Italy
Armani, Giorgio Le Collezioni 7.98 9.99 1,195.00 Brown Italy
Armani, Giorgio Le Collezioni 63.91 79.99 875.00 Brown Italy
Armani, Giorgio MANI 7.98 9.99 1,225.00 Black Italy
Armani, Giorgio MANI 7.98 9.99 1,225.00 Black Italy
Arnold Brant 60497 AB17 0.00 9.99 500.00 White Italy
Burberry London 7.98 9.99 2,195.00 Brown USA
Christian Dior Le Connaisseur 1.00 19.99 925.00 Black USA
Ermenegildo Zegna Soft 1.00 9.99 2,795.00 Tan Switzerland
Hickey-Freeman Boardroom 1.00 9.99 600.00 Black USA
Oxxford Clothes 45 Onwetnsia Crown Cashmr 7.98 9.99 3,620.00 Gray USA
Oxxford Crest Cashmere 7.98 9.99 4,515.00 Brown USA
Shirts
$6,256 Armani, Giorgio A|X 7.98 9.99 98.00 White China
Armani, Giorgio A|X 10.38 12.99 98.00 Black Hong Kong
Armani, Giorgio Classico 2.99 5.99 235.00 Brown Italy
Armani, Giorgio Collezioni 6.38 7.99 245.00 Plum Tunisia
Armani, Giorgio Emporio 6.38 7.99 325.00 White Peru
Armani, Giorgio Le Collezioni 4.79 5.99 295.00 Gray Italy
Brioni Neiman Marcus 5.99 5.99 645.00 Blue Italy
Canali Sportswear 4.79 5.99 295.00 White Italy
Ermenegildo Zegna Z 4.79 5.99 445.00 Blue Spain
Ermenegildo Zegna Z 4.79 5.99 445.00 Blue Italy
Ermenegildo Zegna Z 4.49 5.99 510.00 White Italy
Ermenegildo Zegna Z 7.18 8.99 445.00 Green Spain
Ermenegildo Zegna Z 4.79 5.99 385.00 Silver Turkey
Ermenegildo Zegna Z 5.99 5.99 475.00 Brown Italy
Ermenegildo Zegna Z City 4.79 5.99 445.00 Brown Italy
Hugo Boss Slim fit 5.59 6.99 175.00 Black Italy
Versace Classic V2 11.98 14.98 695.00 Gray Italy
Sweaters
$909 Armani, Giorgio A|X 4.79 5.99 400.00 Black Hong Kong
Armani, Giorgio Armani Jeans 3.19 3.99 385.00 Tan Hong Kong
Aston Martin 2.99 5.99 123.99 Green England
Pants
$3,455 Armani, Giorgio Le Collezioni 7.98 9.99 375.00 Gray Italy
Armani, Giorgio Le Collezioni 7.98 9.99 375.00 Tan Italy
Brioni Sport 5.59 6.99 900.00 Brown Italy
Burberry’s suit pants 7.98 9.99 475.00 Black England
Ermenegildo Zegna Z 3.49 6.99 565.00 Beige Portugal
Ermenegildo Zegna Z 10.38 12.99 565.00 Beige Italy
Zanetti Zegna 120’s 1.00 6.99 200.00 Gray Italy
Ties
$860 Armani, Giorgio Cravatte 3.99 4.99 150.00 Black Italy
Armani, Giorgio Giorgio Armani 1.19 1.49 150.00 Tan Italy
Ermenegildo Zegna Z 2.39 2.99 205.00 Yellow Italy
Lanvin Paris 1.00 3.99 165.00 Tan France
Turnbull & Asser Neiman Marcus 1.49 2.99 190.00 Blue England
Shoes
$599 Salvatore Ferragamo loafers 4.79 5.99 599.00 Black Italy
Accessories
$349 Fieldcrest Royal Velvet 0.55 0.69 2.00 White USA
Polycycle Solutions 5 gallon water container 4.99 4.99 26.98 Blue USA
Samsonite Suit case 3.99 4.99 69.99 Black USA
Versace Glasses & case 4.99 9.99 250.00 Black Italy

 

Surprise! Free money.

Thought that would grab your attention.

It actually happened and I don’t know which Goodwill it came from.

I was preparing to take a trip across the country to visit with my parents for Thanksgiving and needed a larger bag to carry my clothing and computer in but it had to be small enough to use as carry-on baggage. Due to having purchased at least a dozen computer bags in perfect condition from the Goodwills over the past year, I picked out one from my collection that “fit the bill”. Taking into consideration that the TSA would be looking through my luggage and might find something I didn’t know existed in the bag, I dug around the compartments an sure enough I found a piece of paper. The paper was actually a money envelope from a bank and I tossed it aside as garbage. As I threw it, I noticed that it felt a bit stiff for the small size it was. This required further investigation to see if there was anything of value within. Sure enough, as you would guess it my first thoughts were that it might be a 5 or even a$100 found 20 dollar bill inside and needed to be withdrawn. That was not the case, though. Turns out it was a crisp, never been used one hundred dollar bill. There was no name or anything to allow me to be honest and return it to the owner and I had no clue as to which Goodwill I bought the bag from. The money was now mine. As it turned out, this was just the amount I needed to make my monthly rent and was quickly put to good use.

I now rank among the many fortunate enough to find a nice surprise that surpassed the amount paid for the item purchased at a local Goodwill store. Moral of this story . . you may not know it but “you’ve got it in the bag.” Goodwill is full of surprises in more ways than one.

Selling Gucci, Versace, Armani

It’s time to make room in my closet for items that actually fit and don’t look like I’m wading through a puddle with pants too short or shirts that won’t stay tucked in because they are too large. There isn’t room for any more pants to hang and some of my Zegna shirts are too short in the sleeve to fit properly so it’s time to spring clean. Check out the newly added Selling page for more details if you have room in your closet for any of these.

Cost vs retail value to date

I wanted to share with you some of the items I have found that I can wear, what I paid and what they retail for. It is quite amazing. Your finds will vary depending upon the donations made in your area. I live in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area and there are some great benefactors to whom I have benefited.  I never thought I would be wearing to work name brand clothing like Armani, Versace, Bill Blass, or Ermengildo Zegna much less trying to pronounce some of their names. Following is a table of some of the items I’ve purchased, what their retail value is and a brief description. Every other Saturday is half off day where all the tagged items are marked down half the price. My favorite is Thursday Dollar Day where a certain color tag is one dollar regardless of what it is. I have purchased many a fine Italian jacket for one dollar and had a few tailored to fit me just perfect. Mentioning it here gives me goose bumps just telling you about this offering. You will see a few items I paid a dollar for worth much more than I could pay otherwise. Many of these have links to web pages where you can validate the prices demanded of the new items. For a little less than $100, I have over $5,500 worth of clothing if purchased new directly from the vendor.

Amount Paid

Retail Value 

  Short Description

19.99

1,395.00

  Suit – Emporio Armani, 2 button charcoal made in Italy

9.99

750.00

  Overcoat – Ralph Lauren Black Label double-breasted cashmere & wool made in Macedonia

9.99

652.30

  Shirt – Christian Dior, white made in Hong Kong

7.99

445.00

  Shirt – Ermenegildo Zegna Classic Fit Dress Shirt

4.99

390.00

  Pants – Armani Collezioni, brown 94% wool, 6% cachemire made in Italy

9.99

259.00

  Coat – Ermengildo Zegna by Coppley made in Canada

7.99

250.00

  Shirt – Barneys New York, blue micro Gingham made in Italy

4.49

245.00

  Shirt – Ike Behar for Neiman Marcus, blue

7.99

200.00

  Sweater – Armani Collezioni, navy color made in Romania

3.49

215.00

  Pants – Compagnia della Lana, black 100% wool made in Italy

7.48

195.00

  Pants – Boss Hugo Boss, Jeffrey US flat front pinpoint wool

1.00

195.00

  Pants – Pazoni, black flat front wool trousers made in Italy

1.49

140.89

  Tie – Christian Dior, brown with diagonal lines, made in Paris

1.00

140.89

  Tie – Christian Dior, Monsieur, dark blue with many symbols made in USA

1.99

96.69

  Tie – Valentino, black with large ovals made in Italy
$ 99.86
$5,569.77
  – Totals for comparison

 

It continually amazes me that someone would pay the amount asked for some of these items and how much difference there is on Thursdays when I can pick up some of the items for just a dollar, no tax. Depending on where you live, the Goodwill stores will have different offerings due to the donations in their respective areas. Here, in the Phoenix area, they distribute to all the Goodwill stores a somewhat equal portion of what is donated irregardless of the location whether it is Scottsdale to the north or Chandler to the south.  Why, last Wednesday I found two pair of pants with the name Armani on them. They were still there probably because they needed a little care with a needle and piece of thread. Something I’ve learned to work with due to the step-by-step lessons from Antonio Centeno’s website, The Art of Manliness.  Look for more on his wealth of information in later posts!