Why I Thrift

Why do I spend time looking through thrift stores for hidden treasure? Why do I keep trying even when the thrift gods shoot me down fairly often?

There are at least two reasons I can think of, one is simple, one is more complicated. The simple one is this: we live in a world where whack-jobs shoot up schools and people kill each other for the stupidest fucking reasons (I can swear, it’s my blog). The news yesterday out of Connecticut hit me hard, and I could barely function at work. So I went thrifting. It’s a happy place of sorts that smells of old clothes and grime.

The second reason I thrift is for the occasional hauls like I walked out of Savers with this afternoon (Friday afternoon (December 12th, that is). Sure, I walked out of the store with a pair of Allen Edmonds shoes that would cost $350+ at retail, a pair of Salvatore Ferragamo shoes that would cost nearly $500 new, a Brooks Brothers Silk Tie (with Karate Rabbits!), and an Ermenegildo Zegna silk tie. But the biggest bundle of joy today came with a price tag of $3.99.

You know there has to be a backstory, right? I mentioned the other day that I love Pendleton shirts and I was hoping for a long-sleeve one that wasn’t moth-eaten and in good condition. The gods of thrift apparently read that post. Today, I found a pretty damned sweet one. A nice brown plaid Board Shirt. These were the style of shirt worn by The Beach Boys on their album covers (Surfin’ Safari and 20 Great Love Songs, at least). Pendleton still makes that style… Now imagine finding one that dates from the Beach Boys era. And imagine that the shirt is in what I think is technically referred to as “fucking awesome condition”, or “New Old Stock” (NOS) if you prefer. Yep, I found a wool Pendleton in essentially brand new condition with a date on the care label (I’m not sure when they stopped doing that, but they did do it once upon a time). Check out the pictures below. Can you believe that this shirt is 52 years old!!!

Total retail value on all of this approaches the $1200 mark if you use the retail for new Pendleton shirts. I’m trying to figure out if the Zegna tie is one of their nearly $300 models. If so, it’s going up on Ebay and will get a post of its own.

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