TKI67

Super Member
Practically thrifting...I bought a camel colored wool and cashmere blend from Suit Depot. Single breasted, comes to mid-calf, nice and warm, unexpectedly well made. It was $139. Made in China. (I don't have a problem with MIC as long the vendor doesn't try to hide it.)
 

delicious_scent

Super Member
delicious scent, I have 3 pair of jeans, all of which started out dark indigo. 2 of them have faded to a lighter shade of indigo, but still fairly dark. Personally, I think that jeans look good with certain sport coats only when they are a darker hue. Light washes don't look quite right to me with sport coats.
Ok, that's what I was thinking. Light washes veer too far into the pure workwear category to me, but I've seen some people pull them off.
I suppose we must each make our own decisions regarding thrifting. I have several reasons I can list in defense of the practice:

First, I am retired and have plenty of time to spend in thrift shops and vintage/antique shops. I don't go there just for the clothes, I go there principally for books -- I am a collector, especially of first editions of modern fiction and other books too. I have found some terrific bargains (maybe only for me, but nevertheless bargains) in first editions that I have obtained cheaply, when buying it from an Antiquarian Bookseller would be far more pricey. I also find movies/DVDs at low prices.

Second, I don't live in a segregated city with rich and poor folks "on either side of the track", so to speak. Here in the middle of Wisconsin, my college town is almost 95% white, fairly middle class with some wealthy people also thrown in. Lots of professors like me. And I am a man of colour after all, a light brown to be exact, an Asian Indian. And a former colonial from Malaya, to boot. I confess to being educated in schools run by the British, but a classical education is actually a boon, not a handicap. If you can quote from the Aeneid and from the Mahabharata, you have indeed arrived, LOL.

Third (and this might assuage your sense of guilt), one can give as well as take. And one must. In 2016 when I moved from one flat to another, I gave away two-thirds of my clothes, close to 22 suits and about 30 sets of sports jackets and dress trousers, plus about a hundred dress shirts, all accumulated because I am too lazy to donate clothes on an annual basis, and always postpone it. I gave it to a great program we have in town that provides suits and such to people who are looking for jobs and have to do interviews and later dress smartly for work, but do not have the clothes for doing so. They were astonished at the number of items, and were ready to give me a sworn affidavit for tax deductions, but I said no, since itemizing would still not get me beyond the threshold for a claim. Another such giveaway is coming up this summer. I will go through all my clothes and happily give away things I don't think I will wear very often, and things that are not special in some way.

Fourth, you are making an impact on the environment, however small, by not buying new clothes from shops. Cotton, wool, leather and other natural fibres which we all prize, extract a huge toll on our environment. One statistic that I often like to cite is this: The amount of water needed to grow enough cotton for a single 100% cotton T shirt is around 700 gallons! When I buy clothes from a thrift shop, I am participating in re-use, which will make a difference, however tiny -- and if more people do this, the impact will be significant. Two weeks ago, I bought a pair of blue-grey flannels from O'Connell's. It was the first piece I had bought brand new in about five or six years. On occasion, I have found a brand new piece, or one in close to mint condition, but again in thrift shops at low prices. I have slowly begun to change my standards regarding how much man-made fibre I will accept in clothes, although artificial fibres and cloth too may have environmental impact.

So, LOL, you should be feeling good, ethically, rather than bad if you thrift! If you contribute your own unwanted clothes to the thrifting cycle, I believe you have earned the right to pick up some thrifted items.
Apparently, I'm full of it. I completely forgot that 2 out of the 3 sports coats I own are bought used! Maybe because they're in such good condition.

As for the ethics, I should clarify. I was only questioning the raiding of nice items at a thrift shop located between poor and rich neighbourhoods. I'm financially stable, so to me it would feel wrong to go and scoop up all the good stuff there.

Otherwise I have 0 issues with the ethics of thrifting in my own life and neighbourhood, and online. As to donating, in the past, I almost fell into the trap of buying crazy fast fashion items and donating them a year later. I learned my lesson on the waste that creates.

I also forgot my tailor runs a similiar "donate suits for people who need them" program. My dad and I have a fair bit of items that get 0 wear that might be useful for others, thanks for the tip.

I'm far more careful on what I buy these days. Everything goes on a "want" list. If I still want it a month later, it's not just retail therapy and I do actually want it!

I read another article recently that changed my perspective even more on buying used.

"Thrifting is often recommended as a way to build a quality wardrobe on a budget. But there’s another reason to shop second-hand: the clothes are often cooler. They have interesting details and a patina that’s hard to achieve if you’re a cubicle farmer like me. "

I am definitely more interested in the shops that have those cool items and curate and do the work for me. So far, the trouble has been actually finding something in my size.

Yes, I was surprised on the environmental impact from natural fibres. I only recently learned that jeans are one of the most toxic goods to the environment. I was solely focused on manmade fibres and microplastics. I found a very nice patchwork coat that had a 50% poly lining, and the exterior contained 2% polyurethane. I realized I'm a hypocrite and was not going to pass that up due to the manmade fibres!

It's a complex issue, but buy less, buy better, and thrift more seem to be the takeaways.

Then there is the current issue of businesses and tailors shuttering for good in these times. I read a good article on the complexities of balancing consumption and supporting people and companies that bring you value.

 

Tweedlover

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
Ok, that's what I was thinking. Light washes veer too far into the pure workwear category to me, but I've seen some people pull them off.

Apparently, I'm full of it. I completely forgot that 2 out of the 3 sports coats I own are bought used! Maybe because they're in such good condition.

As for the ethics, I should clarify. I was only questioning the raiding of nice items at a thrift shop located between poor and rich neighbourhoods. I'm financially stable, so to me it would feel wrong to go and scoop up all the good stuff there.

Otherwise I have 0 issues with the ethics of thrifting in my own life and neighbourhood, and online. As to donating, in the past, I almost fell into the trap of buying crazy fast fashion items and donating them a year later. I learned my lesson on the waste that creates.

I also forgot my tailor runs a similiar "donate suits for people who need them" program. My dad and I have a fair bit of items that get 0 wear that might be useful for others, thanks for the tip.

I'm far more careful on what I buy these days. Everything goes on a "want" list. If I still want it a month later, it's not just retail therapy and I do actually want it!

I read another article recently that changed my perspective even more on buying used.

"Thrifting is often recommended as a way to build a quality wardrobe on a budget. But there’s another reason to shop second-hand: the clothes are often cooler. They have interesting details and a patina that’s hard to achieve if you’re a cubicle farmer like me. "

I am definitely more interested in the shops that have those cool items and curate and do the work for me. So far, the trouble has been actually finding something in my size.

Yes, I was surprised on the environmental impact from natural fibres. I only recently learned that jeans are one of the most toxic goods to the environment. I was solely focused on manmade fibres and microplastics. I found a very nice patchwork coat that had a 50% poly lining, and the exterior contained 2% polyurethane. I realized I'm a hypocrite and was not going to pass that up due to the manmade fibres!

It's a complex issue, but buy less, buy better, and thrift more seem to be the takeaways.

Then there is the current issue of businesses and tailors shuttering for good in these times. I read a good article on the complexities of balancing consumption and supporting people and companies that bring you value.

The only ethical issue I have with thrifting is those folks that swoop in to buy all the good stuff with intent of flipping them-reselling online as opposed to wearing them themselves. Though, if they need the money, it's OK by me.
 

drpeter

Super Member
@delicious_scent : I agree with all your sentiments, and do understand your perspective. Perhaps I should have been gentler. At any rate, don't be too hard on yourself!

As for Boyer, I am a great admirer of his writing and his style, and have learned a lot about clothes and style from his books, all of which I own, and all of them first editions. I also read Permanent Style regularly and contribute comments when appropriate. I liked the piece on the A&S jacket. That is the kind of thing I love -- old items that have grown old with you.

By the way, in a panel discussion on clothes and style, one of the panelists turned to Boyer after Boyer made some comment discounting an opinion of his own, and said: "But you are Bruce Boyer!" And Boyer said: "Well, that is my burden." LOL. He has a nice, self-deprecating sense of humour, and often a witty turn of phrase.
 

never behind

Senior Member
After getting my wardrobe on a solid base, I’ve bought used quite a bit over the past year. I appreciate the environmental issues although I do it because I’m cheap. :)

I have pondered, if we all buy used, what happens to the O’Connell’s and Andover’s of the world? There are so few quality shops left. So I determined to buy something from them each year to do my part to keep them going.
 

drpeter

Super Member
I agree. As and when we can afford to do it, we should buy some items from the Ivy style shops. I really love my recently bought flannel trousers from O'Connell's and plan to buy more each year. In the last decade, I have bought the occasional item from Ben Silver, and I am also planning to buy a few shirts from Mercer & Sons. Striking a balance between new items and thrifted items is the best way to go for me.
 

delicious_scent

Super Member
@delicious_scent : I agree with all your sentiments, and do understand your perspective. Perhaps I should have been gentler. At any rate, don't be too hard on yourself!

As for Boyer, I am a great admirer of his writing and his style, and have learned a lot about clothes and style from his books, all of which I own, and all of them first editions. I also read Permanent Style regularly and contribute comments when appropriate. I liked the piece on the A&S jacket. That is the kind of thing I love -- old items that have grown old with you.

By the way, in a panel discussion on clothes and style, one of the panelists turned to Boyer after Boyer made some comment discounting an opinion of his own, and said: "But you are Bruce Boyer!" And Boyer said: "Well, that is my burden." LOL. He has a nice, self-deprecating sense of humour, and often a witty turn of phrase.
No worries mate! Will do on not being hard on myself.

Ahh I see, I was wondering if the Dr. Peter I see on the comments of PS was the same one. That answers that.

I know nothing about Boyer's books, can you tell us more? I've been wary of style books, as I've heard they're often sparse on either pictures or writing, or they're full of adverts.

I definitely hope to be as cool as Boyer when I'm that old.
 

drpeter

Super Member
Yes, I am the same Dr Peter! I'm glad you are reading Simon Crompton's blog. I think his posts are almost uniformly excellent, and he responds with care and gentleness to the comments and questions his readers raise.

Here is a Boyer Bibliography. It is pretty complete as far as I know. He also has numerous articles in various magazines like Town and Country and Cigar Aficionado. One can find many of these archived online on the appropriate websites. Ben Silver also carried brief comments of his on their website,on some of the classic items they sold.
  • Elegance: A Guide to Quality in Menswear (Norton, 1985)[4]
  • Eminently Suitable (Norton, 1990)
  • Fred Astaire Style (Assouline, 2004)
  • Rebel Style (Assouline, 2006)[5]
  • Gary Cooper – Enduring Style (PowerHouse Books, 2011)
  • True Style: The History & Principles of Classic Menswear (Basic Books, 2015)
The first two books and the last book are about various aspects of men's clothing and style. Boyer goes into the sociology of clothes, and the reference list one can compile from his chapters in these books are, to my mind, an education in themselves. In fact, I have made it a point to buy as many of these referenced works as I could find, some of them rare and difficult to obtain, but worth the effort. As a book and stamp collector, I enjoy the hunt! Mr Boyer's writing style is also very congenial to my own approach to the discursive essay.

I would love the opportunity to spend a few hours in Mr Boyer's library. As an academic scientist and a book collector of modern firsts in fiction and dozens of other topics, and as a writer of fiction and poetry myself, I am simply taken by a good library, on almost any topic, whether on men's clothes, philosophy or erotica (I have books in all these areas, of course plus scientific books, and my library has around 6000 volumes).

The last book contains somewhat shorter articles, but the most invaluable section in the book, to me is the outstanding bibilography of must-read books about the topics he discusses.. He is a scholar of clothing and comportment, a fitting descendant perhaps of Baldassare Castiglione (who wrote The Book of the Courtier) -- although Mr Boyer may not agree with my characterization.

The middle three are about specific people or styles and are somewhat different. They are also worth taking a look at, and they are slimmer books.

I hope this introduction helps. Mr Boyer is the single most valuable source of information I have personally found on the subject of men's clothing and style.
 

delicious_scent

Super Member
Yes, I am the same Dr Peter! I'm glad you are reading Simon Crompton's blog. I think his posts are almost uniformly excellent, and he responds with care and gentleness to the comments and questions his readers raise.

Here is a Boyer Bibliography. It is pretty complete as far as I know. He also has numerous articles in various magazines like Town and Country and Cigar Aficionado. One can find many of these archived online on the appropriate websites. Ben Silver also carried brief comments of his on their website,on some of the classic items they sold.
  • Elegance: A Guide to Quality in Menswear (Norton, 1985)[4]
  • Eminently Suitable (Norton, 1990)
  • Fred Astaire Style (Assouline, 2004)
  • Rebel Style (Assouline, 2006)[5]
  • Gary Cooper – Enduring Style (PowerHouse Books, 2011)
  • True Style: The History & Principles of Classic Menswear (Basic Books, 2015)
The first two books and the last book are about various aspects of men's clothing and style. Boyer goes into the sociology of clothes, and the reference list one can compile from his chapters in these books are, to my mind, an education in themselves. In fact, I have made it a point to buy as many of these referenced works as I could find, some of them rare and difficult to obtain, but worth the effort. As a book and stamp collector, I enjoy the hunt! Mr Boyer's writing style is also very congenial to my own approach to the discursive essay.

I would love the opportunity to spend a few hours in Mr Boyer's library. As an academic scientist and a book collector of modern firsts in fiction and dozens of other topics, and as a writer of fiction and poetry myself, I am simply taken by a good library, on almost any topic, whether on men's clothes, philosophy or erotica (I have books in all these areas, of course plus scientific books, and my library has around 6000 volumes).

The last book contains somewhat shorter articles, but the most invaluable section in the book, to me is the outstanding bibilography of must-read books about the topics he discusses.. He is a scholar of clothing and comportment, a fitting descendant perhaps of Baldassare Castiglione (who wrote The Book of the Courtier) -- although Mr Boyer may not agree with my characterization.

The middle three are about specific people or styles and are somewhat different. They are also worth taking a look at, and they are slimmer books.

I hope this introduction helps. Mr Boyer is the single most valuable source of information I have personally found on the subject of men's clothing and style.
Simon is a great resource. I used to think his information was only useful for people buying expensive bespoke, but it works for everyone.

I have this article bookmarked.


I laughed at the erotica bit. 8000 volumes sounds like a legitimate library, do you have any pictures of all of these?

I'm a person dressed by the internet age, do you still think these books would be useful to me? Some of them seem strictly aimed at suit wear, which I feel like I've already a good grasp on.

The rebel style one seems different in that aspect. Not familiar with Baldassare Castiglione.
 

drpeter

Super Member
I was wondering what your laugh icon was about! Erotica is worth collecting and enjoying, and there are some very interesting books under that category. And my library has 6000 books, not 8000. I doubt if many more will fit into my flat.

I don't have pictures of my books. That would be a strange thing to do, taking pictures of my books. I am also not a reflexive photographer, I don't take pictures of all the things I come into contact with, as people do these days, especially with their phone cameras. I don't really see the need. You might say I'm old-fashioned about this, but after all, I am old.

I am not sure what being "dressed by the internet age" means, so I suppose you'll have to decide for yourself whether Boyer's books will be useful. But I think what he has to say in these books is worth considering even if you don't need information about some of the specific things he discusses, or even if you have a good grasp on suit wear. There is a history to clothes (as there is with everything else), and that history is useful when it comes to understanding where our present-day styles come from. Even the second book, Eminently Suitable, has material on things other than suits. But you can look through them in a public library or a bookshop, and decide for yourself whether these books are worth your time.

Castiglione's book is actually about how a courtier should behave, in both dress and comportment. It was written in the 16th century, but it still commands interest among people who care about style. I suppose you'll have to read about it -- there are websites and a wiki -- and decide for yourself. The idea of sprezzatura that you might come across in discussions of style (the art of dressing with seeming nonchalance which is nevertheless carefully cultivated) was first proposed by Castiglione. And it still provokes interest and discussion. You might think of his book as a kind of companion volume, perhaps, to Niccolo Machiavelli's The Prince. I trust you are familiar with that work because it is especially good advice for those pursuing their lives in the internet age. Particularly in our times when a return to autocratic and authoritarian rule seems to be all the rage all over the world!
 
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delicious_scent

Super Member
I was wondering what your laugh icon was about! Erotica is worth collecting and enjoying, and there are some very interesting books under that category. And my library has 6000 books, not 8000. I doubt if many more will fit into my flat.

I don't have pictures of my books. That would be a strange thing to do, taking pictures of my books. I am also not a reflexive photographer, I don't take pictures of all the things I come into contact with, as people do these days, especially with their phone cameras. I don't really see the need. You might say I'm old-fashioned about this, but after all, I am old.

I am not sure what being "dressed by the internet age" means, so I suppose you'll have to decide for yourself whether Boyer's books will be useful. But I think what he has to say in these books is worth considering even if you don't need information about some of the specific things he discusses, or even if you have a good grasp on suit wear. There is a history to clothes (as there is with everything else), and that history is useful when it comes to understanding where our present-day styles come from. Even the second book, Eminently Suitable, has material on things other than suits. But you can look through them in a public library or a bookshop, and decide for yourself whether these books are worth your time.

Castiglione's book is actually about how a courtier should behave, in both dress and comportment. It was written in the 16th century, but it still commands interest among people who care about style. I suppose you'll have to read about it -- there are websites and a wiki -- and decide for yourself. The idea of sprezzatura that you might come across in discussions of style ( the art of dressing with seeming nonchalance which is nevertheless carefully cultivated) was first proposed by Castiglione. And it still provokes interest and discussion. You might think of his book as a kind of companion volume, perhaps, to Niccolo Machiavelli's The Prince. I trust you are familiar with that work because it is especially good advice for those pursuing their lives in the internet age. Particularly in our times when a return to autocratic and authoritarian rule seems to be all the rage all over the world!
Ah, might be a generational difference. I like taking pictures of anything I like. The enormity of a personal collection spanning 6000 books is something I've never seen before.

Dressed by the "internet age" in the sense that Instagram, Styleforum, AAAC, and style blogs such as Permanent Style, DieWorkwear, PutThisOn are what helped to create my wardrobe. The history aspect of those books does sound fascinating. I have been interested on how we got to where we are today for clothing.

Only familiar with The Prince on a surface level and its influence, never actually read the book. Michael Anton used to post quite a bit on Styleforum regarding suits. He was fond of Machiavelli, and ended up becoming a part of the Trump administration at one point.
 
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