Fading Fast

Connoisseur
A very fortunate and superb find today from a local thrift shop (former St Vinnie's) which will warm the heart of our Trad friend @TKI67: A gorgeous mid-gray, small herringbone flannel suit, precisely in the sack-cut style and fully lined. Three-roll-two button front, undarted, two spaced buttons on each cuff, hook vent in the back, and flat-front trousers with 1-3/4 " cuffs.

The suit was expressly made in the US for the old MacNeil and Moore shop in Milwaukee by E&J Peake. It could have been made by J Press, the lines are so similar.The suit is in pristine condition, it looks hardly worn. The flannel is of medium weight, but has a nice, slightly heavy drape to it, which is perfect for my taste. The best part is that I have wanted a good flannel herringbone suit in a medium grey for a long time now, not having any herringbone suits in my wardrobe.

I will definitely need alterations, however, so the suit will go to my trusted tailor Mr Vang. The trousers need to be taken in a couple of inches at the waist, and the length needs to be shortened by an inch. The jacket needs the sleeves shortened by an inch, and perhaps the sides should be taken in just a tad, an inch on each side, no more, so that its lines will not be ruined. These are all fairly easy alterations for my tailor, and he has done such things for me dozens of times.

I also picked up a beige Travel Smith blazer from the same shop, with tons of pockets, zippered and otherwise. This was just for a lark, since I had seen them advertised in Orvis catalogues for many years, and thought it would be fun to try one out. Besides, the price for the three items of clothing (the two pieces of the suit and the blazer) was simply a single low price (buy any item of clothing, get two free), so my total outlay for the suit and the travel blazer was an astonishing $2.50. I also picked up a beautiful, handmade cotton blanket/throw in lovely fall colors, made in India, for $5.00.

Not a bad day! This has truly been the summer of bargains for me.
That suit sounds incredible. Great find - enjoy it.
 

TKI67

Super Member
A very fortunate and superb find today from a local thrift shop (former St Vinnie's) which will warm the heart of our Trad friend @TKI67: A gorgeous mid-gray, small herringbone flannel suit, precisely in the sack-cut style and fully lined. Three-roll-two button front, undarted, two spaced buttons on each cuff, hook vent in the back, and flat-front trousers with 1-3/4 " cuffs.

The suit was expressly made in the US for the old MacNeil and Moore shop in Milwaukee by E&J Peake. It could have been made by J Press, the lines are so similar.The suit is in pristine condition, it looks hardly worn. The flannel is of medium weight, but has a nice, slightly heavy drape to it, which is perfect for my taste. The best part is that I have wanted a good flannel herringbone suit in a medium grey for a long time now, not having any herringbone suits in my wardrobe.

I will definitely need alterations, however, so the suit will go to my trusted tailor Mr Vang. The trousers need to be taken in a couple of inches at the waist, and the length needs to be shortened by an inch. The jacket needs the sleeves shortened by an inch, and perhaps the sides should be taken in just a tad, an inch on each side, no more, so that its lines will not be ruined. These are all fairly easy alterations for my tailor, and he has done such things for me dozens of times.

I also picked up a beige Travel Smith blazer from the same shop, with tons of pockets, zippered and otherwise. This was just for a lark, since I had seen them advertised in Orvis catalogues for many years, and thought it would be fun to try one out. Besides, the price for the three items of clothing (the two pieces of the suit and the blazer) was simply a single low price (buy any item of clothing, get two free), so my total outlay for the suit and the travel blazer was an astonishing $2.50. I also picked up a beautiful, handmade cotton blanket/throw in lovely fall colors, made in India, for $5.00.

Not a bad day! This has truly been the summer of bargains for me.
I still remember a three piece grey small herringbone sack I got at BB in 1978. I adored that suit. With a blue OCBD, a repp stripe, Alden for BB tassels, and an alligator strap that was the same color as the tassels (#8), I was in my favorite outfit.
 
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drpeter

Senior Member
Your choice of accessories is almost identical to what I was thinking of when I considered how I would dress up this suit -- perhaps a white broadcloth, regimental stripe tie, Florsheim vintage shell wingtips. As for dressing the suit down, I would use a pink OCBD, a wool challis or ancient madder tie, and AE shell loafers.
 
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drpeter

Senior Member
Some very nice finds in the last couple of days from thrift shops:

A USA-made pair of Sebago Docksides, full brown leather, soft and broken in, sturdy rubber soles which do not seem to be worn down at all. These American-made Docksides are now rarer than hen's teeth, from what I have read on this forum. Manufacture became outsourced to the Eastern countries in the early 2000s after the company was sold to Wolverine Corp.

A UK-made pair of Clarks Unstructured, a line of Clarks shoes I had never heard of. It is brown leather, a blucher style, and also nicely broken in, but, like the Docksides, this pair does not show much wear in the rubber soles. I've been wary of Chinese Clarks ever since the soles on one pair I bought came apart from the uppers two weeks after purchase. We'll see how these old shoes fare.

My "secret" joy with shoes I acquire: Cleaning them inside throughly with isopropyl alcohol, cleaning the soles with water or a damp cloth and an old toothbrush, then brushing off dirt or dust, wiping down if needed, putting on a good coat of polish, and taking the excess off with a fine horsehair brush after about ten minutes. The last step is to buff them with the regulation old T-shirt, and a bit of water sprinkled on to enhance the shine. They invariably look beautiful, with the patina emerging in a nice way. A great satisfaction!

I also picked up two or three sport coats, US, Canadian and Italian makes. Nothing hugely remarkable, but nice, serviceable tweeds and worsteds.
 
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drpeter

Senior Member
Two very nice overcoats, one at Goodwill, the other at a local antique shop.

The Goodwill find is a single breasted overcoat in small houndstooth pattern (olive, cream and black), three buttons and handwarmer pockets, detachable, zippered plush/velour lining. It seems to be made of a hard finish worsted wool and looks like it has never been worn. Since there is no fabric content label, it may or may not have some polyester in it. I'll have to try it out on a rainy day to see how waterproof it is. The manufacturers label says Richman Brothers. It fits me very nicely over a sweater or sports jacket. Cost: A very reasonable $9.99 plus tax.

The Antique Shop find is a USAF Staff Sergeant's double-breasted blue wool overcoat which reaches below the knees. (It is very much like a US Navy officer's bridge coat). Big collar and lapels, thick wool, two flap pockets at the hip level, a snug fit over a sweater in the chest and waist, but a slighly flaring skirt or quarters below the hips. Two identical patches on the sleeves just below the shoulders -- sergeant's stripes with a star in the middle. Cost: $50 plus tax.

Tag Details on the USAF coat:

28 OZ BLUE-85

SPEC. MIL-0-33118 (USAF)

FED. STX. NO. 8405-163-9682

STYLECRAFT CLOTHES NC

CONT. NO. QM(CTM) 11349-C-62

SIZE 37R 100% WOOL

I also saw a dark khaki US Army Air Force trench coat, thick wool again and double-breasted, and was going to pick that up initially. I was more attracted to the Air Force coat, but I might still go back and re-consider.

I found an image on the net that looks exactly like the USAF coat I bought, so I have posted that picture below:

1602970402912.png
 
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drpeter

Senior Member
I did a bit of research on Richman Brothers, a clothes manufacturing company which was based in Cleveland, OH. As I described above, the first of the two overcoats I picked up, the one from Goodwill, was made by them.

It was a very reputable company with a management that was sensitive to the needs of its workers and provided generous benefits and no-interest loans to them. Here is some information with a number of lovely photographs:

https://abandonedonline.net/location/richman-brothers-company/
 

eagle2250

Connoisseur/Curmudgeon Emeritus - Moderator
Two very nice overcoats, one at Goodwill, the other at a local antique shop.

The Goodwill find is a single breasted overcoat in small houndstooth pattern (olive, cream and black), three buttons and handwarmer pockets, detachable, zippered plush/velour lining. It seems to be made of a hard finish worsted wool and looks like it has never been worn. Since there is no fabric content label, it may or may not have some polyester in it. I'll have to try it out on a rainy day to see how waterproof it is. The manufacturers label says Richman Brothers. It fits me very nicely over a sweater or sports jacket. Cost: A very reasonable $9.99 plus tax.

The Antique Shop find is a USAF Staff Sergeant's double-breasted blue wool overcoat which reaches below the knees. (It is very much like a US Navy officer's bridge coat). Big collar and lapels, thick wool, two flap pockets at the hip level, a snug fit over a sweater in the chest and waist, but a slighly flaring skirt or quarters below the hips. Two identical patches on the sleeves just below the shoulders -- sergeant's stripes with a star in the middle. Cost: $50 plus tax.

Tag Details on the USAF coat:

28 OZ BLUE-85

SPEC. MIL-0-33118 (USAF)

FED. STX. NO. 8405-163-9682

STYLECRAFT CLOTHES NC

CONT. NO. QM(CTM) 11349-C-62

SIZE 37R 100% WOOL

I also saw a dark khaki US Army Air Force trench coat, thick wool again and double-breasted, and was going to pick that up initially. I was more attracted to the Air Force coat, but I might still go back and re-consider.

I found an image on the net that looks exactly like the USAF coat I bought, so I have posted that picture below:

View attachment 50258
Looking at your coat purchase just induced a brief wave of homesickness passing through me. A great looking Great Coat! Thanks for sharing it with us. ;)
 

drpeter

Senior Member
Looking at your coat purchase just induced a brief wave of homesickness passing through me. A great looking Great Coat! Thanks for sharing it with us. ;)
Thank you, Eagle! I know you had been in the US Air Force for many years. So I understand and respect that sense of connection and the attendant nostalgia. It's a lovely coat, and I feel honoured to have found it. I suspect you have been able to keep your dress blues and other uniforms as mementos, if not for wearing on special occasions?

I love the Air Force blue colour, and have several service issue trousers in that colour picked up from outlets and online sites. I love the way they fit, flat front, higher waist, and straight lines.
 
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lynnbart

Starting Member
Recently stumbled upon a great thrift store in Santa Fe. Purchased 2 Polo gingham button down shirts that definitely have an 80’s heft to them. Both in great shape! Will visit every time back in the area.
 

eagle2250

Connoisseur/Curmudgeon Emeritus - Moderator
Thank you, Eagle! I know you had been in the US Air Force for many years. So I understand and respect that sense of connection and the attendant nostalgia. It's a lovely coat, and I feel honoured to have found it. I suspect you have been able to keep your dress blues and other uniforms as mementos, if not for wearing on special occasions?

I love the Air Force blue colour, and have several service issue trousers in that colour picked up from outlets and online sites. I love the way they fit, flat front, higher waist, and straight lines.
My friend, as you suggested, I do have my old uniforms stored carefully in my closet(s), but candor demands that I also admit that to don any of those uniforms for a special occasion, I would first have to drop a fair amount of weight or walk around looking like 5 pounds stuffed into a 3 pound sack ...not a good look, for sure! Enjoy that "new" coat of yours.

PS: The required weight loss is in progress. :(
 

drpeter

Senior Member
I wish you success in your weight loss attempts. I'm glad to hear the uniforms are still with you.
I will certainly enjoy the coat, I think it will look great and be very warm in our arctic winter climate here in the tundra.
 
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eagle2250

Connoisseur/Curmudgeon Emeritus - Moderator
I wanted Eagle especially to see this beautiful suit that Simon Crompton discusses in his blog. It is made up from Air Force Blue flannel ( he is referring to RAF blue, naturally, since he is in London, but it is very close to USAF blue). Enjoy!

https://www.permanentstyle.com/2016/02/air-force-raf-blue-flannel-suit-whitcomb-shaftesbury.html
Thank you for sharing that very interesting read with us. I certainly cannot argue with the authors conclusion that the hue, Air Force blue is not as versatile as a suit color as are navy and various shades of gray, but I did have a navy blazer, with buttons harvested from one of my old uniform blouses, made years back. I thought it was pretty neat, but the novelty wore away pretty quickly! LOL. ;)
 

drpeter

Senior Member
If it comes to beauty versus versatility, I think I can now afford to choose the former over the latter. If I were starting out in life and had a limited budget for clothes, I would probably not be able to do so. Maybe one of these days, I will find some AF Blue cloth and have it made up.

It's confession time. I do have a deep dark secret -- a small collection of military uniform jackets, mostly to appreciate rather than wear myself. I am a little reluctant to wear them with the same care-free attitude with which most peope wear an M-65 or other field jackets, since I am not in any of the service branches.

I have a US Marines jacket (the standard dressy blue one with red piping worn with white trousers), and also one of those officers' coats with the most beautiful bronze/ brownish green khaki cloth, and lovely black buttons with the Marine emblem on them. I have the dark olive US Army officer's coat as well. These coats are the kind with four buttons in front, meant to be worn over a shirt and tie. They are all very lovely.

And now I have my USAF sergeant's overcoat! I may probably go back and get that other one, the Army Air Force coat -- it's got to be old, I think the AAF was during WWII, and I am not sure how long it continued. The USAF was established in 1947, if I am not mistaken.
 

drpeter

Senior Member
Today while thrifting I found an Eddie Bauer hunting jacket, made in Western Germany, with thick heavy loden wool, dark green in colour. In lovely condition, the jacket appears to be barely worn. It is fully lined, has a shoulder gun patch (made of the same material but lightly quilted), two large lower pockets with big flaps and loops for cartridges inside the pockets, a half belt in the back and zippers on the sides in the lower half that open into a game pocket in the back (I have a Barbour (Beaufort ?) with this feature).

I had wanted a loden jacket or coat for some time. I do have a Tyrolean loden sports jacket in a lighter weight, so this new jacket will complement it nicely.

A good find with a total outlay of $24.99 plus tax.

LATE EDIT:

I found the exact hunting jacket, here on Etsy, considered super rare, with a few pictures. The label is identical to the one on the jacket I picked up yesterday:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/248014...how_sold_out_detail=1&ref=nla_listing_details
 
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drpeter

Senior Member
The loden hunting jacket I described above is slightly longer in the sleeves, perhaps by an inch-and-a-half or so. It's easy enough to shorten -- it is a plain sleeve hem, no buttons, fold-backs etc. I am wondering if I should simply leave it as such. For winter wear, over a thick sweater, and with gloves, they will be added warmth, and will not interfere with the hands in any way.
 

drpeter

Senior Member
Some time ago, I had picked up a very nice blue flannel blazer ( from Lands' End's Charter Collection days in the eighties). It is US-made, and very well-crafted, the only problem being that the shoulders were a bit too broad. So I checked with my wonderful tailor (and brother), Mr Vang, who had narrowed shoulders on a Harris tweed jacket some years ago for me, and he took it, said "No problem" (he's a man of few words) and did the job once again.

This is a truly skilled alteration and not an easy task. Well, I picked it up this afternoon, and it looks perfect! It now fits very nicely. I had been a bit concerned about sleeve length too, and had thought I could use slightly shorter sleeves for this blazer. And Mr Vang had assured me, that the sleeves would get shortened a little as a matter of course, as a result of narrowing the shoulders.

Everything works very nicely now, the jacket feels comfortable, and the lines and drape are just fine. I looked inside the jacket at the scye where the lining of the jacket meets the lining of the sleeves -- it is hard to tell that the whole thing was taken apart and resewn. Of course, as usual, Mr Vang tried to undercharge me (it's that brother thing, you see), but I insisted on a bonus, so we are both very happy.

I left a pair of flat-front suit trousers (from my Trad mid-grey herringbone suit acquired recently) to be taken in at the waist and shortened in length, with lovely 1-3/4" cuffs. I haven't decided whether I should bother with alterations to the jacket of this suit. It is slightly loose in the waist, and perhaps could be taken in half an inch at the sleeves, but it looks pretty good as is, so I might try it out once the trousers come back. With a sweater vest underneath, it should be a perfect fit.

Along with the blazer, I had also left three pairs of trousers with Mr Vang, for hemming and cuffing. He wanted to charge me $45 for the three trousers and the "re-shouldered" blazer, all told! This is why I insist on bonuses for him.

I am truly fortunate to have a great tailor, and a splendid friend, in this little college town of mine.
 
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drpeter

Senior Member
Just picked up my grey herringbone sack suit trousers, taken in at the waist and shortened in length with 1-3/4" cuffs. It's a perfect fit now. I think Mr Vang worked to take in material both in the back seam and in the side seam, so the hip pockets have been stable and not crawled towards the middle, LOL.

So I tried the suit on with the altered trousers and the unaltered jacket. I wore a pale blue OCBD shirt, a maroon Brooks Brothers foulard, and a pair of burgundy Allen Edmonds penny loafers to see how the ensemble looked. Apart from the fact that the jacket is slightly loose, everything looks splendid. I'm going to wear this suit on a couple of occasions ( those may be a little time coming! ) and see how I feel about the jacket. If needed, an inch on the sides can be taken in comfortably without the line of the jacket being altered. We shall see.

This beautiful suit cost me so little ($2.50 original price for the suit plus another jacket, and $20 for the trouser alterations). It's one of many reasons why I love thrifting.
 
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