drpeter

Super Member
Thank you, Eagle. I use the same basic principle I employ in collecting clothes as I do in collecting first editions and stamps: Information is power. And knowledge, inter alia, leads to savings in money. Knowing about the things you are acquiring is critical and with books and stamps, there are many sources I use, including societies, books and journals on collecting, etc.

One of my biggest sources of information is right here, the AAAC. All of the wonderful members of these forums have contributed immensely to my knowledge, including yourself! And I am deeply grateful for this help. It's also such a pleasure to browse in the forums. It is usually the first thing I do after checking my email each morning.

And then I buckle down and write without interruption for a few hours.
 
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Dandan

New Member
It doesn’t rain but it pours.

I had the amazing fortune to find these Alden cap-toe parajumpers in shell cordovan color 8 for €35 about a week ago. They were made for Ed Meier, a German shoemaker.

I had the Topys and toe taps put on and the edges sanded to the natural leather colour. The front tip of the sole was a bit worn, so the cobbler filled it in with leather before putting on the Topys. I waxed the edges and have ordered shoelaces and shoe trees for them, and then I’ll give them to a close friend as a gift.

When I saw them, I again had two thoughts:

1. I’m so excited to give these to my friend.
2. I want to tell Ask Andy (again)!




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drpeter

Super Member
They are absolutely lovely! And it will be a very thoughtful gift for your friend. I hope he appreciates the high quality of Alden Color 8s, and enjoys wearing them. A once-in-a-long-while bargain.
 
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Dandan

New Member
Thank you, drpeter. Truth be told, he doesn't know much about good-quality clothes, but I have his measurements and whenever I find something that I think would be very nice for him I get it, so over time he's acquiring a good wardrobe.
 

drpeter

Super Member
You are a bit like me! Over the years, I have shopped for others, especially girlfriends who are happy with my taste and my choices for their wardrobe. For me, good clothes and shoes are just that -- whether worn by men or by women.

Two things that have continued to surprise me: The high price and low quality of women's clothes, pretty much across the board. One of my ladies, Kristen the Redhead, was a banker (and a classic SWMBO who ran her bank with an iron fist in a velvet glove) back in the days when bankers still wore suits to work (now they all wear jeans or khakis, LOL). And for women, suits with skirts and pants were both common.

We went suit shopping for her in Appleton and Milwaukee, and I was surprised to find that almost every suit we looked at was made mostly of polyester and was priced in the hundreds of dollars! I said to her that this was outrageous, and she simply laughed and said, welcome to the world of women's clothes. I am sure there are exceptions -- in fact, we had to work hard and pay a lot to get her two or three wool suits, conservative in cut, colour and pattern.

I still remember a 100% wool skirt I found for her in Fall colours -- a rich material in a houndstooth check pattern, with cream, olive green, gold , hints of blue and orange -- that all her friends admired. Of course, then they all asked her if they could take me shopping with them, LOL. After this expedition, I kept her measurements handy in my wallet, and would often pick something up -- shirts, pants, a sweater, a skirt -- when I shopped for my own clothes.

So yes, I love the thrill of finding something good for a friend, and it's very rewarding to see the look of surprise and pleasure on their faces when you find something lovely and elegant for them to wear.
 

Dandan

New Member
Thanks again, drpeter. It is indeed rewarding to get someone something you're pretty sure they'll like.

This friend is the only one for whom I relatively regularly buy clothes, as I generally get it right in terms of fit and style. I have bought clothes for two women, my closest friend and my partner, but I haven't had the same luck with them, so now if I see something I think would suit them I ask them first if they like it. So far, they've never said yes. It probably doesn't help that most of the things I've found are men's clothes in their size.
 

katch

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
It doesn’t rain but it pours.

I had the amazing fortune to find these Alden cap-toe parajumpers in shell cordovan color 8 for €35 about a week ago. They were made for Ed Meier, a German shoemaker.

I had the Topys and toe taps put on and the edges sanded to the natural leather colour. The front tip of the sole was a bit worn, so the cobbler filled it in with leather before putting on the Topys. I waxed the edges and have ordered shoelaces and shoe trees for them, and then I’ll give them to a close friend as a gift.

When I saw them, I again had two thoughts:

1. I’m so excited to give these to my friend.
2. I want to tell Ask Andy (again)!




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It's pouring alright!. Those are absolute beauties!!
 

drpeter

Super Member
LOL, Dandan, I think you have to try hard to get in touch with your inner feminine essence when shopping for the wiser gender! To look at the converse side of things, women who have shopped for me (Xmas, birthdays, etc.) have rarely bought me clothes I like. Piles of sweaters that finally go to Goodwill.

Two things I like a lot are opera and jazz. One thing I am partial to in clothing: bowties. In all of my seventy years, no woman has ever given me an opera/jazz LP or CD. Only one woman has given me a bowtie -- and that was a lovely one, in a colour and pattern that told me immediately that she had secretly studied my bowtie collection, LOL. I was floored. One time is good enough.
 

drpeter

Super Member
A handful of ties from Goodwill, seven in all, with four in wool -- two from Scotland, two from Resilio (I think, US). The others are silk ties with neat patterns. Each cost $2.00

A pair of Bass Weejuns and another pair of Florsheim penny loafers, both in burgundy, richly patina'd, but not overly worn. Cost $7 and $10, respectively. Both pairs are solidly made, with nice stacked leather heels with a rubber layer outermost. Best of all, these fit me perfectly, and will be great for everyday casual wear.

Burgundy penny loafers, in my view, are just terrific with well-pressed khakis, and if one wants to be a bit formal, a navy blue blazer and OCBD. One really can't have too many of these shoes. Or OCBDs or khakis, or blue blazers...LOL
 

drpeter

Super Member
Recent finds:

A lovely, soft 100% cashmere tailored sportcoat in a medium-sized Prince of Wales check with red overpanes, made for the old MacNeil and Moore shop (Milwaukee and Madison) by E&J Peake. The cut is conservative, and the jacket is fully lined, with a single vent, but with a two-button closure and darts. The lapels are on the wider side, but not excessively. I like having a mix of lapel widths in sports jackets and suit coats. I like a mix of widths in ties as well. I had picked up another sportcoat a few months ago with the same label from the same shop, again from thrifting. Their standards are very high judging by cut and fit, and the quality of the cloth. A perfect fit for me. Cost $9.00.

A clutch of ties, mostly silk, solids, reps, neats, etc., including a couple of notable cotton-linen Madras ties, one in a very beautiful, summery Stewart check. These ties were $2.00 apiece.

Lastly, the small community thrift shop in town was having a clearance sale with all items at low prices. I found a sports jacket, light grey 100% tropical worsted wool by Pierre Cardin, with four buttons (a bit unusual) and a navy blue travel blazer, likely a wool/poly blend but unspecified, by Penney's, for the startling price of --- wait for it --- 25 cents each! That is the absolute lowest price I have ever paid for a sports jacket or blazer in my life. At that price, a four-button "experimental" jacket and a run-around blazer, are certainly worth having, LOL.
 
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Fading Fast

Connoisseur
⇧ Your finds sound incredible.

I wonder if these prices don't, sadly, reflect the collapse in traditional attire as, even in thrift stores, fewer and fewer are buying suits, ties, sport coats, dress shirts, etc.

It's a shame, but I bet it's part of the story.
 

drpeter

Super Member
⇧ Your finds sound incredible.

I wonder if these prices don't, sadly, reflect the collapse in traditional attire as, even in thrift stores, fewer and fewer are buying suits, ties, sport coats, dress shirts, etc.

It's a shame, but I bet it's part of the story.
You're absolutely right. I think I have been able to get wonderful jackets and suits at bargain prices because very few people are keen on buying them. This is why many of them go from $9 or so initially, down to $2 at clearance in Goodwill shops. The same is true with ties. Suits are rarely picked up.

Many of these clothes are finely made, and often tailored for old men's shops or are from good makers like HSM or Hickey Freeman. Many are new with tags, so it is almost like buying new at a shop. So a suit or sportcoat that would have set you back a few hundred dollars can now be yours for a few dollars.
 

drpeter

Super Member
I have a whole slew of penny loafers -- they get worn the most. A&E, Vintage and Modern Bass Weejuns, Florsheims new and old, Bostonians, old J&Ms. Most of mine are burgundy, brown or tan. I do have a few that are black. An English Grenson penny loafer with tan scotch grain leather is one of my recent acquisitions, brand new not thrifted.
 

drpeter

Super Member
Recent acquisitions from Goodwill: Six Brooks Brothers shirts, button down broadcloth with small stripes or checks, made in Malaysia, looking almost new. Clearance prices at $2 per shirt.

Three fine leather belts from the small community thrift shop, at $1 per belt.
 
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⇧ Your finds sound incredible.

I wonder if these prices don't, sadly, reflect the collapse in traditional attire as, even in thrift stores, fewer and fewer are buying suits, ties, sport coats, dress shirts, etc.

It's a shame, but I bet it's part of the story.
As we strive to reach herd immunity, more and more people will start returning to their offices and business attire. Then, in terms of desirable dress clothing at thrift stores, we will revert to a sellers market (demand exceeding supply). Not only will people be needing to update their wardrobes, many will find that their existing wardrobes no longer fit on their over-indulged frames.
 

Fading Fast

Connoisseur
As we strive to reach herd immunity, more and more people will start returning to their offices and business attire. Then, in terms of desirable dress clothing at thrift stores, we will revert to a sellers market (demand exceeding supply). Not only will people be needing to update their wardrobes, many will find that their existing wardrobes no longer fit on their over-indulged frames.
I hope you are correct. To be sure, as we return to offices, some demand for "work" clothes will increase. But I still think Covid has accelerated the trend away from traditional-work attire that was already in place.

Over the next few decades, as more Baby Boomers pass, the oldest is 75, the thrift stores will probably see a regular inflow of traditional suits, sport coats, ties, etc., but I doubt the demand will be there to absorb all of it.
 

Tweedlover

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
I hope you are correct. To be sure, as we return to offices, some demand for "work" clothes will increase. But I still think Covid has accelerated the trend away from traditional-work attire that was already in place.

Over the next few decades, as more Baby Boomers pass, the oldest is 75, the thrift stores will probably see a regular inflow of traditional suits, sport coats, ties, etc., but I doubt the demand will be there to absorb all of it.
For some years now locally have seen few folks wear jackets and ties.
 
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