For the past few years that I have been keeping the statistics on my purchases, February has typically been a slow month. This was not the case this year however. Perhaps it was the early receipt of my tax refund that prompted me to venture out a few more times. This February was also a great month for some exceptional names in clothing as you will see below. Click the images for a full screen view.
Treasures – The items I consider as treasures may not be what you would see as gems to grab. Generally, there are two criteria I consider that define an item as a treasure. The number one is the price. Is the retail value of the item well above the average? The second benchmark is whether the item is scarce or easy to find in the local department store.
There were two overcoats picked up, both of which are treasures in their own right. One is an ankle length navy, wool and cashmere, Ermenegildo Zegna Su Misura. I was not aware this version was even offered. The other is from Giorgio Armani Emporio made of 80% alpaca and wool. These two have special places to make sure they are treated with the respect they have earned.
I have more suits than any one man should ever need but it is hard to turn down a black pin striped made-to-measure suit just my size with surgeon sleeves (all four buttons work) and a ticket pocket from Samuelsohn. The pants are two inches too long but that can be easily modified in fifteen minutes and is preferred than being two inches too short which is usually the case. A second Samuelsohn jacket made for the same person was located but I was not able to find the matching trousers despite checking several days.
It is rare to find a brand new jacket with the manufacturer’s tags and the sleeve identifier still attached. It is even more rare to find a top of the line jacket within these parameters. I found a brand new Giorgio Armani Le Collezioni jacket, my size, on half-off day that had been on the rack for twenty-one days for my price of $4.99. Now, that was a great deal and is one of these treasures. Some of the other jackets located was one from Boglioli. I had never heard of this brand but the quality was unmistakable. Another was a heavy navy feather suede from Lanvin. I always enjoy finding a great Oxxford Clothes jacket my size as they go with almost everything and fit move easily with you instead of constricting you like so many others do. This $4,800 example is in the Manhattan style and will look good with dark brown or navy pants.
There were a good number of treasures found in the shirt category. A name I am familiar with but have until now not had the pleasure of owning is that of Brunello Cucinelli. This shirt was purchased for $5.24 and retails for a whopping $725. Some of the other brands in the $500 plus class I consider goose bump producing names are those from Brioni (one of my favorites), Dolce & Gabbana, Isaia, and two from Yves Saint Laurent.
Although the personal selection I now have of ties has outgrown all storage places, I still love to find the names of Brioni, Canali, Gucci and Stefano Ricci. These will always have a special place to hang in my house.
It came as quite a surprise that I would come across a beautiful like-new Fender guitar for a very reasonable price. A friend of mine tuned the six strings but said it would sound even better if I were to replace them with a new set. My youngest plays a number of musical instruments and is now wanting to learn how to place this instrument. Boy, will she be surprised! She will be doubly surprised to find that I also located her favorite brand of purse clutch, Burberry.
To top off this last treasure hunt, I was able to find an older watch by Seiko for myself. The bracelet needed a pin to put it together and my favorite jeweler added one for no cost. The watch is a self-winding automatic version 5606 7170T from about 1971. The 23 jeweled workings inside it helps it keep perfect time so far.
Suits – There were two suits picked up this month. The first was a grey pin striped suit from Burberry. Although it is a size too small, I wasn’t about to let it slip away for less than sixteen dollars. The other was the made-to-measure pin striped suit from Samuelsohn with the working surgeon sleeves and extra ticket pocket. This suit fits like it was made for me with only a slight alteration that needs to be made to the length of the pants cuff.
Dress Jackets – Seven dress jackets were added to my collection with names like Boglioli, Burberry’s (silk), Canali Proposta, Coogi, Giorgio Armani Le Collezioni, Lanvin feather suede, a beautiful Oxxford Clothes Manhattan and another Samuelsohn made-to-measure. The brand new Armani still had the tags hanging from the buttons as well as the left sleeve cloth tag with the brand name on it. The price for the $2,895 jacket to me was less than five dollars.
Overcoats – The navy Ermenegildo Zegna Su Misura was evidently made for someone at least six and a half feet tall since the bottom comes to just above my ankles. The name Su Misura means it was especially made for the previous owner. The other overcoat from Armani Emporio is made from the very warm and light grey and black alpaca fibers mixed with twenty percent wool. Worn over a black or dark grey suit fits it very well. Our temperate Winter climate finds our locality as a dumping ground for some very nice high-end overcoats.
Shirts – There were a total of twenty-six additional shirts that made it to my home this month. The names of many of these were hard to find and made the treasure list above. These were as follows: Apple, Giorgio Armani (3), Bagutta, Brioni, Brunello Cucinelli, Burberry (4), Charles Tyrwhitt, Dolce & Gabbana, Ermenegildo Zegna (5), Eton, Isaia, Psycho Bunny (2), Ted Baker, Yves Saint Laurent (2) and one from Zanella.
I was especially pleased to find the Brunello Cucinelli as it was the first I have seen and is of the best quality you can expect to find anywhere. I have a well-dressed friend that says that anything made by Cucinelli is right at the very top of the list in quality. The Brioni, Dolce & Gabbana and Isaia are quite rare as well but show up a bit more often. Any shirt that does not fit properly will find its way to the gift pile or someone else’s home through eBay and Poshmark.
Sweaters – The Luigi Baldo v-neck Argyle sweater is what you would expect to find in the Italian quality mix of silk and cashmere. It’s a beautiful example of a new name on my list to check from here on. The other sweater is for an acquaintance who has had past connections with NAU and will make it way as a birthday gift later on for less than four dollars.
Pants – A good pair of plain colored trousers can really set off a beautiful shirt if the colors match. Some of the best come from Santorelli and I was able to nail two great brown examples from this company. The third pair is a name that is rarely found but snagged immediately when found; Sartori.
Ties – With the great number of ties in my collection, I have become much more selective as to the brands I now look for. Fifteen of these silk ribbons were picked up representing some of the finer brands you can locate anywhere. These included Brioni, Brooks Brothers, Canali (2), Corneliani, Dormeuil (2), Ermenegildo Zegna, Gucci, Hermès, Lanvin, M.C. Escher, Stefano Ricci (2) and Turnbull & Asser. Stefano Ricci has a slogan that they begin in high quality where everyone else stops. Turnbull & Asser are selected by Prince Charles for his shirts and ties. Each week, I pick a specific brand and find five beautiful examples to match the five suits picked out for that work week.
Shoes – Since this item takes up a bit of floor space, I now purchase only those that might fit well my big feet or if the brand could be spruced up to bring in a substantial profit from eBay or Poshmark. A relatively new brand that has grabbed my interest is a comfortable representative from Donald J. Pliner. These shoes are very well suited for a long day at the office and now number more than just this pair on my floor. The other pair of shoes carries my very favorite, Allen Edmonds. This pair is marked as the Rambler but is no longer offered in their stores locally. The size is too small but will make a very nice pair for someone else later on.
Hangers – My curiosity prevails when the Goodwill sticker covers the name beneath on a nice plastic hanger. I have to see who it represents and this time is showed up as Burberry. The twenty-nine-dollar hanger was selected for a half dollar. Two other suit hangers from Setwell and a hanging cedar block rounded out my price of around three and a half dollars for the $107 selection.
Pocket Squares – This category has dried up a bit since the selection doesn’t require but a few of various colors and only the best companies. The exception here was a black silk item from China.
Accessories – My interest in watches has grown lately and I took a chance on a nice looking representative reflecting the name Audemars Piguet. The AP Royal Oak turned out to be a fake but nonetheless, it keeps good time with a replaced battery. I’m ashamed to wear it but it was worth the chance that it might be the real thing for this price paid. My research will have to dig deeper when the impulse has to be suppressed in favor of common sense. One other watch that made up for the mistake was a find in the jewelry case at a local Goodwill of an older pristine Seiko automatic made in 1971. The watch had just been added to the case that day and after looking it over for a few seconds and having the second hand begin to move due to the working pendulum, it made its way to the cashier for less than seven dollars. I wear the silver colored watch with black, grey or blue suits every other day to keep it running without having to reset it. A brand new Eventronic watch repair kit was located so that I could learn the basics of watch and bracelet repair.
My daughters will appreciate the Burberry Haymarket clutch and colorful Vera Bradley wallet. Luckily, each has their separate favorite of each of these two brands.
Other items in this category were the Christian Dior cuff links and matching shirt studs, a pair of Hestra peccary gloves, two pair of socks, a Shoe Gear shoe shine polish kit, a Resistol brown Cisco cowboy hat and a pair of silver Versace medusa cuff links in the original box.
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.
|Giorgio Armani||Le Collezioni||4.99||9.99||2,895.00||Green||Italy|
|Oxxford Clothes||Manhattan D1||7.48||9.99||4,825.00||Blue||USA|
|Ermenegildo Zegna||Su Misura||9.99||9.99||3,795.00||Black||Switzerland|
|Armani, Giorgio||Le Collezioni||7.98||9.99||345.00||Brown||Italy|
|Armani, Giorgio||Le Collezioni||5.24||6.99||295.00||Grey||Italy|
|Brunello Cucinelli||Basic Fit||5.24||6.99||725.00||Blue||Italy|
|Charles Tyrwhitt||Extra slim||7.48||9.99||110.00||Pink||Malaysia|
|Dolce & Gabanna||Slim||9.99||9.99||675.00||Black||China|
|Ted Baker||London||7.18||8.99||165.00||Grey||Hong Kong|
|Yves Saint Laurent||–||5.59||6.99||531.00||White||Taiwan|
|Yves Saint Laurent||–||5.59||6.99||725.00||White||Malaysia|
|M. C. Escher||Two fish||1.59||1.99||62.03||Blue||Italy|
|Stefano Ricci||Luxury Collection||5.99||5.99||275.00||Black||Italy|
|Turnbull & Asser||–||2.99||2.99||190.00||Blue||England|
|Donald J. Pliner||Loafer||6.48||12.99||295.00||Brown||Italy|
|15||no name||plain silk||0.52||0.69||15.00||Black||China|
|3,746||Audemars Piguet||Royal Oak watch||83.44||83.44||100.00||Gold||Switzerland|
|Christian Dior||Cuff links||0.01||1.99||83.00||Silver||China|
|Eventronic||watch repair kit||23.73||23.73||50.31||Black||China|
|Fender||guitar DG 8S NAT||63.91||79.99||274.99||Brown||USA|
|Seiko||5606 7170T watch||6.99||6.99||1,590.00||Silver||Japan|
|Shoe Gear||shoe polish kit||3.19||3.99||14.88||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 a good net satisfaction. Good luck with your Goodwill hunting.
Key words: Allen Edmonds, Apple, Audemars Piguet, Bagutta, Boglioli, Brioni, Brooks Brothers, Brunello Cucinelli, Burberry, Burberry’s, Canali, Christian Dior, Coogi, Corneliani, Charles Tyrwhitt, Dolce & Gabanna, Donald J. Pliner, Dormeuil, Ermenegildo Zegna, Eton, Eventronic, fender, Gildan, Giorgio Armani, Gucci, Hermès, Hester, Isaia, Lanvin, Luigi Baldo, M. C. Escher, Mephisto, Oxxford Clothes, Psycho Bunny, Resistol, Samuelsohn, Santorelli, Sartori, Seiko, Setwell, Shoe Gear, Stefano Ricci, Ted Baker, Turnbull & Asser, Vera Bradley, Versace, Yves Saint Laurent, Zanella