Singing the Thrift Store Blues

Bostonian Crown Windsor Tassels

I recently came across a shoe that on the second-hand market that I have been pining over for a long time. This shoe is none other than the cordovan tassel loafer. The only problem was one that all of my thrifters, Ebay scourers, and other experts of the second-hand/vintage clothing markets can relate. Will they fit?
Tassel LoafersCrown WindsorsThis specific pair of tassels are Crown Windsors made by Bostonian. These tassels are not from the current iteration of Bostonian, but rather from an era when their quality was on par with Allen Edmonds and Alden. This specific pair was being advertised as having not been worn outside, but after taking a close look at the sellers pics I believed them to be new old stock (NOS). The quality, condition, and price (when compared with a new a pair) made them very very attractive to me.

My first move was to do some due diligence. I contacted a man of many tassels that I know and sought his counsel. He could not provide me with any fit information in regard to vintage Bostonian tassels, but he did have other pairs of vintage Bostonians and sent me what info he had. I did some more research on the web and in the end I felt the odds were in my favor. I pulled the trigger.
Genuine Shell CordovanBostonian Crown WindsorWhen the shoes arrived they were in spectacular condition. I now fully believe that they have never been worn before at all, inside or outside. I was enamored, but the moment of truth was here. Try on time. They fit a tad big, but I was still hopeful that after a full day of breaking them in that they would work for me. I was wrong. They slipped all day and were even painful. I was and still am crushed.

This sad story is one that I know many of you have experienced. It is also why I am weary of the second-hand/vintage market. While I can certainly get my money back out of them it involves me reselling them which in my opinion is a form of torture. Moving forward I will be purchasing less and less from this market as I can afford it, but for now I will just sing you my thrift store blues.

More Tie Talk: Lands’ End

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I have been critical of Lands’ End in the past primarily because of issues related to consistency (The Land Ends Ahead), but they do some things well and one of those things is ties. Outside of thrift stores Lands’ End is always one of the first places that I suggest to a young trad looking to build a tie collection. They have very fair prices, a 30% off sale is always just around the corner, and their selection consists of regimental stripes, neats, knits, emblematics, as well all other trad staples.

This fall’s lineup is no different. In addition to their standard selection of wide stripes Lands’ End is offering a great Lord Taveners regimental stripe that I passed up at J.Press (3 stripes of Equality), an emblematic pheasant tie in deep olive, and a very attractive flower neat in wool. Whether you are trying to cover the basics or just looking to add a something new to the collection Lands’ End is worth a visit.
Lord Taveners TiesPheasant TieRoyal Marines TieWool Kissing Stripe TieWool Flower Neat tie

The Lowering of the Madras Flag

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As Labor Day has passes many men are partaking in the ritual of putting away their white bucks and seersucker. One man has his own end of summer ceremony. On Memorial Day he (,and now his son) hoist the Madras flag and on Labor Day the flag is lowered. Yesterday the flag lowered.
Madras Flag
Madras Flag Down

Ending Summer

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It’s Labor Day weekend, the kids are back in school, and inevitably focus is shifting from madras to Shetland as summer is beginning to fade. There is no need to worry. There is still plenty of time to get out there and enjoy summer before it becomes a blip in the past. Take a cue from the pictures below of young Manhattanites enjoying the Hamptons in the 1960s courtesy of the NY Daily News. Also, enjoy all shots of the madras, loafers, surcingle belts, and popovers!
Hampton VacaIona College SweatshirtMadras
Girls in CarsDancingKissing in CarsMore DancingOn the porch

Bills’ Two Button Sack in Harris Tweed

Brown Check

Bills Khakis’ latest offerings include the rare triple patch pocket sack sport coat in Harris Tweed. What makes this jacket even more unique than all the other 3 patch pocket sposrt coats our there is that this is a 2-button sack. This is not an unheard configuration (It is actually a feature that is synonymous with the Andover Shop), but is less common that the 3/2 sack if that tells you anything.

This jacket comes in at just under $1,000 and is offered in two different Harris Tweeds. While not cheap the price is in line with competitors offering Harris Tweed (these are probably from Southwick) in a sack cut. I was encouraged when I saw these jackets. It gives me hope that the sack jacket will be around as long as I am. Take a closer look here: http://www.billskhakis.com/harris-tweed
Bills Brown Check 2 button sackBills Herringbone 2 button tweed sack