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    @Teej: I've been using a sweater shaver. I also tried a sweater stone, but that made things worse instead of better.

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      So those things work? I've considered getting one of them.

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        I'm sure it's somewhere in this thread, so forgive me if it's been covered. Can any of you Dallas guys share any good thrifting locations? I've looked at Buffalo Exchange, Salvation Army, the big one in Garland and a few others, but never had much luck.

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          Alan I actually really like that. Has a lot of character but isnt too out there. I was actually looking to get a burgundy sport coat, and was going to get the Frank and Oak cord one, but it sold out in my size The hunt goes on!

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            @robwellman: I don't know the Dallas area (though I am originally from there) but I can tell you that you can't go in expecting much. When I go thrifting, sometimes I get nothing, other times I luck out and get amazing things (for example black bruno magli wingtips).

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              Yeah, Teej, I definitely have low expectations when I head to those spots. Just curious if any of the more experienced thrifters in the area know any more spots I can try.

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                @robwellman: My avorite shop was a tiny little store in Richardson, but they're closed now. So here's what I've learned...


                1.) I've had my best success for nicer stuff at the St. Vincent de Paul Society Thrift Store on Northwest Highway. That's where I found my top-line Hickey Freeman blazer.


                2.) Salvation Army is a bust.


                3.) Goodwill is ok, but the only location that used to carry suits doesn't have them anymore.


                4.) Buffalo Exchange is pricey and picked over since it's so hip (but I guess you know that).


                5.) There's a brand new store in HP called Charity Link Foundation Consignment Boutique. It's a consignment store, not a thrift store, so items will be more expensive. However, I understand that they only deal is the good stuff (I mean REALLY good stuff) and their prices are still a fraction of original retail. Plus a portion or their earnings goes to charity. I haven't gone yet, but I keep meaning to. I've heard good things. BTW, I think they're closed Monday through Wednesday so look them up online first.


                And I have yet to find ANYONE that carries decent shoes. I found a single pair of AE's at my favorite shop that closed, but that's about it.

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                  Alan I have a thrifting question for you. The best place in my part of Houston is a consignment store - things are in great condition and they carry a lot of high end stuff. For example, they put out some nice wool and flannel Zegna and Oxxford suits for the fall, and prices are between 200 and 350 (usually the Zegna are at least 250). There's not a ton in my size (38R) but I got a BB Fitzgerald suit there for $100 recently and I'm happy with it. My question is, if you're thrifting and you know that the items are in great condition and high end, would you be willing to pay $250+ for used stuff?


                  Today in addition to the suits, she put out a new pair of C&J brown suede captoes for $250 and there was the usual selection of Zegna ties for $25 and higher-end ones for $45-60. Somebody recently dropped off a ton of Thomas Pink shirts and they're listed for $45, with Brioni, Zegna, Canali, high-end Polo shirts for about $60-90. Used, but in good condition. What sounds good from that spread? Bad? The goodwill around here is pretty awful/far away. I asked her to hold a grey cashmere pullover for me because I'm going to get y'alls opinion, I'll post a pic in a separate thread.

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                    $250 is a lot for a used Zegna suit. You could probably do better than that on ebay or on thrifting threads.


                    Those prices you listed are insanely high. You'd do better to make some buddies who thrift around the country to start looking out for you.


                    You're looking for 38 R? I just thrifted this vintage Brooks Brothers, in a 39 R, for $13. It has some repairable damage, but still:





                    And also the two BB suits on the last page, which are 39 Rs as well.


                    The point is, you can do better than those insane prices. Even at Marshalls.

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                      Thanks jon! I posted a cashmere sweater on the threads here. It's by Lords of London for Patrick James. Either of those names ring a bell?

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                        jonATL definitely has it right. The one caveat to his methods is that if you're going to be buying things from other people without trying them on, you better be intimately familiar with your dimensions and what will fit you since there are very few take-backs, especially if it's just because something doesn't fit as well as you had hoped.


                        That being said, there's nothing wrong with consignment IF THE PRICES ARE REASONABLE. On top of that, Zegna seems to carry a premium over almost all other brands because people fawn over the name. Truth is, while they are generally high quality, there are plenty of brands with equal quality that can be had for less, whether that's retail or aftermarket. Unless I sourced it myself from a thrift store or traded for it, I would probably feel embarrassed telling anyone I "bought" a Zegna because it probably means I paid too much for it.


                        And as jonATL said, the first time you see a Zegna suit at Marshalls for $600, you'll feel pretty bad about spending that much on a used one. The ONLY advantage I can see a consignment store having that would make it worth paying a bit more would be that you can visually inspect its condition and try it on for fit. That is actually worth something... Just probably not $250.

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                          One last thing... Consignment stores love to deal in name brands, but not all brands are created equal. For instance, Burberry is known for raincoats, but their suits (at least the ones I've seen) are actually kind of crappy. The couple Prada suits I've seen didn't impress me, either.


                          Learn the physical traits of a good suit and worry less about the name on the tag. If you can go in and find a solidly-constructed suit that fits well and is made from good fabric, I don't see why paying $120 or even $150 is such a bad deal, even if it's just a top tier Hickey Freeman or Samuelsohn or the like (emphasis on top tier). Often, a maker doesn't easily differentiate between their various lines so it becomes up to you to be able to identify them. For instance, Last Call sells mostly white-labeled Hickey Freeman suits (silver collection) which are just fine, but every once in a while, you'll find a red-labeled suit (mahogany collection) mixed in with them that will be a steal of a deal (at least if paying retail). It's that kind of knowledge that will help when walking into a consignment store. The pricing system in a consignment store will be arbitrary so there will probably be a handful of deals mixed in with the bad buys if you can find them.


                          Also, stores like Neiman Marcus and Saks 5th Avenue don't make their own suits so they contract the work out. They may have a handful of different makers, and they won't all be equal. Learn what makes a good suit and you may be able to find bargains this way. You can always pay extra for bragging rights like hand-finished button holes and pick stitching, but it's not going to give you a suit that will last any longer.


                          jonATL may disagree here since he's more fully immersed in the aftermarket scene and has a digital rolodex full of connections, but there's something to be said for the convenience (and security) involved with an in-store purchase, particularly for someone without any connections.


                          And as with ANY purchase, whether it's clothes, cars, or a new TV, you'll always have the upper hand if you walk into the conversation knowing more about the product than the salesperson.

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                            @Alan: I appreciate the advice. Yeah I don't have the time or desire to really get into thrifting as much as some of you experts, which is why I tend to go to this consignment store, which is nicely curated and maintained, as opposed to the mess of a Goodwill we have here. Dappered has really helped w/ my quality recognition (whereas before I would have bought anything w/ Zegna or Burberry on it, now I definitely look more for the signs of a well-made product over the label). Just curious that you mention being able to try things on - are you not able to at some of the places you visit? I've never encountered that.

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                              No, I mean when you buy something online you can't really try it on. You're basically buying it sight-unseen.


                              And while the dollar value may be different from person to person, you can absolutely put a dollar value on your time and effort for finding high-quality stuff. So if someone else can do it for you, then they can afford to up-charge you... So long as they're not ripping you off.


                              ... and for the record, jonATL is the real thrifter in here. I'm more of a hobbyist. :-)

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                                Seriously, you should check this out. http://thriftygent.com/how-to-thrift-details/


                                If you're looking for anything specific, let me know.

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