This month of June was a very good time to search for some of the better names in clothing and items that interest me specifically. I had set my goal to not spend as much each month but when you hit a number of stores and spend only just over twenty dollars each to take advantage of the twenty percent off coupon, it adds up quickly. This time to the tune of just short of four hundred dollars. The retail comparison came to $32,398.73 giving me a better comparison of 82.7 times what I would have spent if the items were new off the shelf. That is by far the best goal this year but not up to the three-digit range I try to aim for.
Treasures – Just about everything this month could be considered a treasure but here are the highlights that qualify with the goose bump test. There was the pair of $980 Gucci pants I picked up for $1 since it was a ladies pair hanging in the men’s section for 31 days. Then, there were the two Ermenegildo Zegna Su Misura suits I picked up for $17.58 each, just my size of course. Speaking of suits, I also found two Ermenegildo Zegna Trofeo suit coats for $8.79 each and a Zegna High Performance Cool Effect jacket for $11.99. My daughter loved the $1,100 Versace Vela Single-Pocket Backpack I paid just over ten dollars but don’t tell her. Did I mention the $730 Gucci Jordaan horse bit loafers for less than seven dollars or the Versace shirt and Ermenegildo Zegna Couture ***** pants that each list for over $1,200?
Suits – One of the better-quality names in men’s dress suits is that of Ermenegildo Zegna. This company pushes the envelope regarding comfort and fit as well as coming up with technological innovations to appeal to a younger age group with money to spend. I located three suit jackets from this fashion house and, two of which were Su Misura made specifically for someone with my measurements and the third was a “High Performance Cool Effect”. With the newly snatched jackets in my buggy, the next stop was the pants section to find the matching trousers for the three expensive suit coats to make them a complete suit. I only found the trousers for the two Su Misura coats after carefully making three passes through the entire selection, but this was still a great accomplishment. My total cost for the two suits was $35.17 and would have cost new $7,190.
Dress Jackets – As mentioned previously, I located a great Ermenegildo Zegna “High Performance Cool Effect” suit jacket for $11.99. With pants, this suit retails for $3,595. I also located two more Ermenegildo Zegna Trofeo pen striped suit jackets and will visit the store again to see if the matching trousers show up. These suits, made in Switzerland, have a retail price of $3,250 each. I paid $8.79 each. One other brand name that I favor is anything from Burberry. A traditional navy blazer with brass buttons was found with this name for $8.79 as well.
Shirts – A lucky thirteen number of shirts were picked out from the cotton rows of long sleeve shirts. These included the following brands: Burberry London (2), Cody James, Dutch Bros, Ermenegildo Zegna (4), Eton (2), Versace (2) and Vineyard Vines. The two Burberry shirts are for Winter and were a bit small, but the price was right at $5.00 each. The Cody James and Dutch Bros Oregon Moto Club shirt are not in the photograph due to one of my daughters grabbing them too early. Two of the Ermenegildo Zegna’s are dress shirts while the other two are more for sport activities. I love the fit and feel of Eton shirts and they were just my size. The two Versace shirts are not my style but for $15.98 total, the two shirts retail at $2,100 and there is no discussion as to whether they go to the cash register with me or not. My youngest daughter loves Vineyard Vines and this one definitely put a smile on her face. That’s an even better reason.
Pants – On a rare occasion, the employees marking the clothing at Goodwill make mistakes as to whether it should be placed in the men’s or the women’s section. This has proven to be to my advantage more than once. This time, a pair of black silky pants from Gucci were marked as men’s size 38 but were obviously too small even though the European tag indicated this size. This pair of pants hung on the men’s pants rack for thirty-one days qualifying them for the Thursday dollar sale for that color tag. I picked up the viscose boot cut $980.00 pants for one dollar. They fit my youngest daughter perfectly.
When you learn the words that specify the very best within a brand, you know you have hit “gold” and this is one of the reasons I love to visit the Goodwill stores in my area. I find some of this gold from time to time. One such example is that of Ermenegildo Zegna where the prominence of five asterisks (*****) indicate this is their best, their couture. I located a beautiful set of these pants, my size, for $5.59. I was astonished to learn later that this same pair of pants sold at Neiman Marcus for $1,295.00.
Ties – Neck wear ties are a great place to locate some of the high-end names for a couple of dollars that others have spent more than a couple hundred in some cases. Some of my favorite names were located this month were: Brioni, Burberrys, Giorgio Armani, Hermès (2), Luciano Barbera (2), Salvatore Ferragamo, and Vineyard Vines (2). The ties are beautiful and work great with adding a contrasting splash of color to a black, blue or brown suit.
Shoes – There were one pair of shoes and five pair of Western boots located this month along with some very nice cedar shoe trees. The boots were in a variety of sizes but well worth the price, especially with my twenty percent discount when spending twenty dollars or more. The brand of boots were Ariat, Code West Mignon snip toe, Justin 3133, Lucchese men’s 1883 Pull-On, and Lucchese men’s Shane round toe. A total of $70.46 was spent on boots retailing for $1,285.84. I was especially proud to have found two of the Lucchese brand, the most expensive and best that Boot Barn locally carries./p>
The Florsheim cedar shoe trees were picked out for the next set of shoes I was hoping I could restore to a better presentation. Having a good pair or shoe trees or boot trees that fit your footwear ensures the longevity of your leather coverings.
Now, as to the pair of shoes I found, the $6.99 Goodwill sticker didn’t do the brand justice. The brass horse-bit addition to the leather loafers indicated a possible high-end shoe but not necessarily. There are a lot of want-a-bees out there and it is quite rare to see the “real thing”. The first clue were the last few letters inside the shoe …CCI. Just two more letters and I knew these rough shoes had the best shoe leather the Italians are best known for. This was one of those “both arm chill bump moments” when I came to a quick realization that these $730 Gucci shoes were the real thing and at 1/104th the cost. A bit of leather conditioner, shoe polish and a lot of elbow grease would have these shoes looking much better. The photograph shows a contrast between the left shoe I worked on and the other showing the original condition I found both in on the bottom shelf of the Goodwill shoe rack. Now, it’s time to get to work on the right shoe. The Italians don’t work on just the outer layer of the leather but the entire skin and here is the proof.
Pocket Square – You meet all kind of people at any Goodwill store and some can be quite informative. One such gentleman was clearly running down the row of dress pants feeling inside all the pockets for money or whatever might be left worth putting in his own pocket. He said he had found a twenty dollar bill some time earlier. When I got home one evening, I pulled a suit coat out of the Goodwill bag and hung it up with the pants in the bathroom ready to steam it but decided to check the pockets first. Lo and behold, I pulled out a beautiful silk pocket square I was unaware that was taking up that space in the coat front pocket (see the tie photograph). The name of the designer was on the corner of the pocket square and was one I was unfamiliar with, Edward Arman. It turns out that this free piece of beautiful silk has a retail price of $80. What a lucky find. Check the pockets!
There it was, straddled across a suit coat with the words Burberry blazoned across the mid-section of the cloth belt. Not a place I would expect to find another expensive British belt, but I grabbed this one for a total of two dollars.
With the volume of wool clothing I have, there is always room for another piece of cedar furniture to protect my investment from moths. In this case, the Footfitter shoeshine box fit the bill for $2.50. Inside was a Valentine Garemi horsehair brush, like new, for another $1.50.
I have an original ink line drawing I wanted to place in a frame behind glass before something happened to it and located a very nice frame with an interesting watercolor painting inside. I didn’t expect to purchase an original by Gail E Walter so it is off to the Goodwill again to find another frame.
I have run out of space to safely show any more M.I. Hummel figurines I have but it is difficult to pass over a great buy when it jumps out at you. The grand kids don’t care too much for grandmother’s collection of the German porcelain statues of children but when you can locate a rare example for a few dollars, it’s a no brainer. I located three nice examples of some of the older pieces: HUM-62 Happy Pastime (TMK-1 & 2), HUM-82 School Boy (TMK-2) and HUM-20 Prayer Before Battle (TMK-2). There were relatively few of the older figurines produced with the first two trademarks and these are highly sought after by those who collect these figurines. I also found a 1976 Catalog and Price List for these. Check out my sister site with much more information at MIHummel.org.
With so many neck ties and many of these with a retail price over $200, it is good to find the perfect wooden box to store the better examples in and the red wooden wine bottle latched box was just the ticket. This makes the second such find and a welcome find for those very special, hard to come by, very expensive pieces of colorful silk. I tend to favor some of those made in Italy and France like Zilli, Brioni, Stefano Ricci, Hermès, etc. and was looking for the perfect place to safely store these high-end names.
Pampered Chef hit the mark again this month as it has in the past few months. The stoneware pizza pan makes the perfect pizza that much better, especially when it can be picked up for less than a five dollar bill.
My youngest was looking for a black backpack and I found a fantastic example of what she was looking for. She starts college this year and will be in style with the black Prada Vela single-pocket backpack. I asked the lady behind the better-quality counter if I could look at it and quickly told her to put my name on it for purchase when I finished cruising the rest of the store. Just as I was leaving her counter, another lady came running over asking if it was still available. She shook her head and pointed at me. I didn’t feel the least bit guilty. It had my name on it and would soon have my daughter’s back holding it full of books. The $1,100 item was purchased for $10.39.
The following chart shows how much was paid for each item, the tagged price before my discount and a link to the retail price of that article or one similar to it if I could not find the exact item. Use this as an aid in looking up the prices you may find on a similar item.
|7,190||Ermenegildo Zegna||Su Misura||17.58||21.98||3,595.00||Black||Switzerland|
|Ermenegildo Zegna||Su Misura||17.58||21.98||3,595.00||Navy||Switzerland|
|Ermenegildo Zegna||High Performance Cool||11.99||14.99||3,595.00||Black||Spain|
|Cody James||Regular Fit||7.99||9.99||44.00||Blue||China|
|Dutch Bros||Oregon Moto club||3.49||3.49||24.95||Grey||China|
|Gucci||Viscose boot cut pant||1.00||12.99||980.00||Black||Italy|
|Vineyard Vines||Expect Miracles Foundation||1.49||1.99||85.00||Green||USA|
|Code West||Mignon Snip toe||15.00||29.99||169.95||Brown||USA|
|Lucchese||Mens 1883 Pull-On 13″||12.50||24.99||495.99||Brown||USA|
|Lucchese||Men’s Shane Round toe||19.99||24.99||355.00||Black||USA|
|1,011||Burberry||Vintage check leather belt||2.00||3.99||320.00||Tan||Italy|
|Footfitter||Cedar shoe shine box||2.50||4.99||47.00||Tan||USA|
|Gail E Walter||watercolor and frame||7.99||9.99||119.00||Tan||USA|
|Hummel||HUM 20 Prayer Before Battle||16.95||16.95||200.00||Tan||Germany|
|Hummel||HUM 62 Happy Pastime||46.68||46.68||325.00||Tan||Germany|
|Hummel||HUM 82 2/0 School Boy||15.98||15.98||175.00||Tan||Germany|
|Hummel 1976 catalog||Catalog and price list||6.99||6.99||7.50||Tan||Germany|
|No name||12″ latched box with lid||4.99||4.99||12.00||Red||China|
|Pampered Chef||Large Round Stone Pizza #1371||4.99||4.99||35.00||Tan||USA|
|Prada||Vela Single-Pocket Backpack||10.39||12.99||1,100.00||Black||China|
|socks||Plain grey socks||0.99||0.99||0.99||Grey||China|
|Valentine Garemi||horse hair brush||1.50||2.99||18.00||Black||Germany|
This was indeed one of my nicer months of finding some great surprises in among the ocean of other items unselfishly given for others to make use of. It reminds me of going with my grandparents to look for Indian arrow heads on the shores of the great rivers when I was just knee high. You find the best examples when you least expect it and it is great fun to share with others much like yourself. Thank you for reading and good luck with your own search. I hope these posts help you in finding that little gem just waiting to be pulled out from the rest.
Key Words: Ariat, Brioni, Burberry, Code West, Cody James, Dutch Bros, Edward Arman, Ermenegildo Zegna, Eton, Florsheim, Footfitter, Gail E Walter, Giorgio Armani, Gucci, Hermès, Justin, Lucchese, Luciano Barbera, M.I. Hummel, Pampered Chef, Prada, Salvatore Ferragamo, Valentine Garemi, Versace, Vineyard Vines, Zilli