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.
Treasures – 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.
Suits – 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 leather 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 for 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 Ralph 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”.
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).
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.
|Ermenegildo Zegna||Traveller μicronsphere||14.39||17.99||2,700.00||Grey||Italy|
|Ralph Lauren||Purple Label||7.98||9.99||450.00||Orange||Italy|
|Ralph Lauren||Purple Label||7.98||9.99||450.00||Orange||Italy|
|Yves Saint Laurent||pour homme||5.24||6.99||525.00||Navy||France|
|Ermenegildo Zegna||Disegno Esclusivo||2.39||2.99||205.00||Brown||Italy|
|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.