Yesterday, I had a chance to visit my parents in the suburbs after being out there for work-related business. Before heading to dinner, I did some thrifting at a few local shops that have been in my childhood neighborhood for as long as I can remember.
One quick thrifting tip: Go to church-run stores. Churchgoers seem to wear suits more often and keep them in good shape by the time they’re donated. Also, the prices are a lot cheaper than the for-profit stores and the selection is less picked over like your Salvation Army or Goodwill stores.
Here’s what I snagged:
Johnston & Murphy tassel black leather loafers: $12 — Notice the logo, the stamp saying the shoe’s “made in the U.S.A.” and the relatively unworn leather sole and heel pad. Quite a steal. I don’t believe J&M still makes their shoes in stateside anymore and given some quick googling, StyleForum doesn’t think much of their current construction and quality. These are a bit older and probably have somewhat nicer construction, but comparing them to Allen Edmonds, they’re obviously not superb. Still, I needed a pair of black loafers to beat the crap out of, so they’ll fit the bill.
Vintage Hartmann Leather tweed garment bag: $4 — Given that I travel quite a bit for my job in the spring and when I do travel I have to bring suits and sportcoats, it was about time for me to get a garment bag instead of taking the suits out by the hangers into my car. The tweed is really heavy duty and I’m happy about the quality. Considering that Hartmann’s current garment bags run a few hundred bucks (for nylon, no less), I’m considering this a steal.
Vintage American Tourister leather duffle bag: $3 — Enough room to pack a few days worth of clothes and durable enough to last a while. I’d been looking for a leather daybag so I wouldn’t have to keep using my backpack from college. American Tourister doesn’t even make leather bags anymore, which is a shame if you notice how prevalent they used to be on vintage sites like Etsy, where they run around $40 or higher.
Medium-weight wool double-breasted navy blazer: $2.50 — This was my steal of the day. It’s going to need the sides tailored, but it’s a wonderful find for the price. The inside label says “Lee Wright Collection,” which I’d never heard of before. A quick search turns up this obituary in The New York Times from 1988, where he died at age 39:
Mr. Wright was best known for his popularly priced line of European-style clothing — definite but unexaggerated shoulders, slightly wider lapels and a long lean line — sold through J. C. Penney stores since 1982. He won the Coty Award in 1979 and the Cutty Sark Award for outstanding menswear design in 1981.
”I design for men of responsibility, sensibility and a clear insight into their own individuality,” Mr. Wright said at the Coty ceremony. ”I am that man and, as a designer, I like to believe he’s my audience.”