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December 2016 Summary

Merry Christmas this month and I hope you received nice gifts from those who have found the perfect items for you at the local Goodwill and other thrift stores. This month has always been a very busy one and as indicative of the following chart, there was not near enough time to do the usual shopping and the number of purchases certainly reflected this.

“One man’s treasure is another man’s garbage” and I was fortunate to find some really nice garbage this month. To top the list, in my opinion, one of the number one items I search for is a Burberry trench coat, preferably one dated before the year 2000. I paid a bit for the one I found but it was just my size and in perfect condition. Another jewel located brought to mind what one of my daughters might like to have but both turned it down. This was a dressy, black, Ralph Lauren Collection purple label ladies jacket. For what I paid and what it retails for, I thought for sure one of them would be excited about this find. The name Brioni is at the top of my list and a great pair of brown dress pants were found for 152nd their retail price. One other jewel worth mentioning came in late as an Ermenegildo Zegna 15MilMil15 gray suit. The perfect suit to wear to any special occasion.

3 suits & one cashmere jacket
3 suits & one cashmere jacket

On the last few days this month, I was able to locate three very nice suits. Saying very nice is an understatement. A very traditional Burberry London gray pen striped, a splendid example of solid gray Ermenegildo Zegna in 15MilMil15 cloth no less, and another Ermenegildo Zegna in medium brown High Performance topped out these three. Lucky for me, all three were just my size.

Ralph Lauren Purple label
Ralph Lauren Purple label

The category of dress jackets was well represented with five examples, that of the ladies black from the best of Ralph Lauren and a very soft Ermenegildo Zegna cashmere gray jacket.  Three other late arrivals were from Giorgio Armani Collezioni and one of my favorites; Oxxford Clothes. Although I didn’t find the exact item online for the Ralph Lauren for a good price comparison, I was able to find one similar in the Purple Label Collection that looked very much like Oxxford and Armani make a good selection.what I had just found. You can imagine my surprise to find that even though I paid a little more than usual few dollars, it listed for 225 times as much if purchased retail. Nice find! Now, if only to find a young lady who would like to receive it.

‘Burberrys’ Westminster trench coat

A banner day was had when I was able to find this “like new” Burberrys’ Westminster trench coat for the overcoats category. It was located in a store out of the usual path but at times a great source of the finer goods. The newer trench coats, since 2000, have removed the letter “s” from the name Burberrys and now sport one of the three; Brit, London or Prorsum suffixes. As mentioned in the previous October summary, Sven Raphael Schneider of the Gentleman’s Gazette has a preference for the earlier coats. I will say that I have to agree from my own personal taste. This overcoat is a great looking one and just my size. The price I paid was quite a bit more than usual but still well worth the price.

Armani, Canali & Zegna
Armani, Canali & Zegna

Three shirts from three different Italian houses were purchased. These were from some of my very favorites; Giorgio Armani, Canali and Ermenegildo Zegna. I have noticed lately that I am much more selective about which brand of shirts I purchase now that I have a good selection to choose from.

Armani sweater
Giorgio Armani sweater

Speaking of Giorgio Armani, a beautiful sweater found its way into my buggy as a potential Christmas present. I was looking for something similar for a relative and this fit the bill superbly. I know my cousin will like it and he lives in an area where he can put it to immediate use this season. What a great reason for shopping Goodwill!

Brioni dress slacks
Brioni dress slacks

Only one pair of pants were purchased this month. At the top of my list of clothing houses is the brand Brioni. This company uses the finest Italian fabrics, hand-stitches just about everything by hand and always the name automatically sends chills up and down my spine when I spot it on any clothing hanging from a rack. I was able to locate a medium brown set of Brioni dress pants and yes, the chill bumps stayed a little longer than usual. This pair of pants were picked up for less than six dollars but the list price for a new pair at Neiman Marcus shows up at $850. Another good find!

December tiesThe number of ties usually outnumbers any other category and without exception, such was the case this month. Only eight of these colorful items were located that I thought needed to go home with me but represented some great names nonetheless. These included Burberrys’, Coach, Ermenegildo Zegna (5) and Gucci. You may have noticed that one of the Zegna ties has woven in high relief designs  and also has still attached the Ermenegildo Zegna price tag showing a discounted amount of $130. A few of the late purchases made this a total of ten ties and was well worth the couple of dollars and some change. Another was a dark green from Coach while the other two were from Hermès and Ermenegildo Zegna couture. You can see one of the late entries immediately below.

When you have more hangers than you have space to hang your better clothing, it’s time to quit buying. This is easy to say but hard to enforce when you find beautiful, broad maple suit hangers you know you will later wish you had bought if you don’t do so when you find them.  I’ve noticed a trend of the expensive wooden hangers showing up less frequently and seeing more of the skinny plastic, white hangers. Wool jackets and sweaters need a broader shoulder support so as to not damage the clothing and the maple hangers provide this. When I can purchase three twenty-dollar well-made suit hangers for less than a dollar each, it’s worth the purchase.

Christian Dior handkerchiefs
Christian Dior handkerchiefs

In the accessories category, another wooden entry I always look for are a good set of quality cedar shoe trees, especially when you can find both left and right matching items. I am amazed how much some companies charge for identical wooden inserts just because they have their name on them. In their defense, there are some parts of a cedar tree that work better and last longer than other parts so when I find a name brand set for less than a five-dollar bill, it automatically goes in the buggy. Cigar humidor for papers and photographsBelieve it or not, I do not smoke but do have a nice collection of cigar humidors. The reason for this is since I have some very old photographs and genealogical papers that date quite a while back, what better place to keep these valuable documents than a portable humidor? I want to make sure these items are around long after I’ve passed on.

Belts from Allen Edmond
Belts from Allen Edmond

One other item I couldn’t resist was a brand new set of two monogrammed Christian Dior handkerchiefs (see photo above) with my last name monogram.  The $40 set was purchased for a little more than a dollar. A more recent purchase was a nice find with three Allen Edmond belts just my size. I always like seeing this name whether it is inside a set of shoes or on the inside of a belt. The name reflects great quality and a professional appearance.

This was a good month for some eagerly sought after items. Though I only purchased twenty-four pieces, and the three-digit retail target didn’t come close, the high quality was what I ended up with and that is always a better target to shoot for. This month’s total purchase of $275 netted me close to twenty-nine thousand dollars if purchased at the retail price.   That comes to 104.4 times as much as I spent. The break-out chart below shows details of these amounts.  Hope you have a very merry Christmas. I know my relatives will and isn’t this what it is all about?

December

$291.52 $375.14 $28,851 99x
Item Company Detail Paid Tagged Retail Color Origin
Suits
8,585 Burberry London 14.97 19.99 1,995 Gray USA
Ermenegildo Zegna 15MilMil15 14.97 19.99 3,595 Gray Italy
Ermenegildo Zegna High Performance 14.97 19.99 2,995 Brown Italy
Dress Jackets
12,950 Armani, Giorgio Le Collezioni 7.99 9.99 1,295 Gray Italy
Armani, Giorgio Le Collezioni 7.99 9.99 1,295 Gray Italy
Ermenegildo Zegna Cashmere 9.73 12.99 2,690 Black USA
Oxxford Clothes Super 130’s 7.99 9.99 4,575 Navy USA
Ralph Lauren Purple Label 11.98 14.99 3,095 Gray Switzerland
Overcoats
1,895 Burberrys’ The Westminster 79.89 99.99 1,895 Brown USA
Shirts
1,260 Armani, Giorgio Giorgio Armani 4.79 5.99 345 Gray Italy
Armani, Giorgio Giorgio Armani 2.99 5.99 345 Brown Italy
Canali  – 4.79 5.99 295 Gray Italy
Ermenegildo Zegna Z 5.99 5.99 345 Blue Italy
Sweaters
595 Armani, Giorgio Giorgio Armani 13.47 17.99 595 Grey Italy
Pants
850 Brioni Flat Front 5.59 6.99 850 Brown Italy
Ties
2,210 Burberrys London 1.59 1.99 190 Brown Italy
Coach  – 6.38 7.99 125 Blue USA
Coach  – 3.99 7.99 125 Green Italy
Ermenegildo Zegna Couture collection 4.99 4.99 195 Red Italy
Ermenegildo Zegna Couture collection 1.49 2.99 205 Red Italy
Ermenegildo Zegna Disegno Esclusivo 1.59 1.99 205 Red Italy
Ermenegildo Zegna Z 3.99 3.99 195 Orange Italy
Ermenegildo Zegna Z 2.24 2.99 205 Blue Italy
Ermenegildo Zegna  – 5.98 7.99 385 Orange Italy
Gucci  – 3.74 4.99 200 Black Italy
Hermès 7110 OA 1.99 3.99 180 Red France
Hangers
58 Natural Suit hanger 0.79 0.99 20 Maple USA
Nevco Esquire Suit hanger 0.99 0.99 20 Maple USA
Richards 12 tie Tie hanger 0.99 0.99 18 Maple USA
Accessories
448 Allen Edmonds belt 39590 6.38 7.99 98 Walnut USA
Allen Edmonds belt 32117 6.38 7.99 98 Brown USA
Allen Edmonds belt 39590 7.98 9.99 98 Walnut USA
Christian Dior Handkerchief 1.19 1.49 40 White Malaysia
Dillard’s shoe tree 2.39 2.99 10 Cedar USA
Dillard’s shoe tree 2.39 2.99 10 Cedar USA
Tuscany cigar humidor 15.97 19.99 94 Red USA

My hope is that these months of purchases will show you what you can find if you are in the right place at the right time and know the brands that suit your tastes whether it be for yourself, family, friends or to simply sell for a profit. The treasures you find may also be someone else’s idea of a treasure. Here is to encouraging you to have a profitable new year and will be able to look back on what you have learned and enjoyed the trip through the Goodwill stores finding great values and meeting fascinating people of all types. Merry Christmas.

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