So yesterday I promised I’d write a little more about this jacket that I recently thrifted for $10. It’s a beautiful vintage Haspel seersucker double breasted jacket originally made for Lord & Taylor’s men’s shop. When, I’m not sure, but the label makes me suspect it was some time in the 1960s. Others will know better than I, I’m sure.
Haspel is still around today, and they continue to specialize in seersucker. But this particular jacket struck me as an extraordinary piece because, despite its apparent age, its styling has clearly proven timeless—or at least timely twice in half a century. It has very light shoulder padding, is 3/4 lined, has no canvassing, and has dual vents—which is pretty rare in my experience for older American-made garments. The American style has long been dominated by the center vent (though the current menswear trend seems to be changing this tendency, and pushing it more towards the dual vents), and the center hook vent if you desire that most rarefied of American styles: the Ivy League look.
I was so taken by the quality and detailing on the jacket (if you look closely at the last picture, and the picture of the Haspel label, you can see that rather than having taped seams throughout the interior of the jacket, the cut fabric edges are handsewn to prevent fraying), that I violated one my cardinal thrifting principles to buy it.
There were some stains on the jacket, nothing disgusting, but stains nonetheless—mostly some yellowing from age and long-term storage in non-ideal conditions I think. But usually, if an item has a stain on it, I leave it for someone else without a second thought. But I agonized over this jacket, and finally decided to go ahead and bite the bullet on it and hope the dry cleaner could remove the staining. I figured that if the stains remained, I’d try to dip-dye the jacket, which could have been pretty cool.
In any case, the stains came out for the most part, and the barely perceptible ones that remain are so minor that even someone as anal as myself can live with them for now. I guess the moral of the story, if one is required, is that some rules are made to be broken.