Broke and Bespoke

A site meant to inspire penurious sartorialists everywhere... Follow me on Twitter @brokeandbespoke


* Unless otherwise noted, all images and written content are my own. Please credit brokeandbespoke if you use any of said content and link back to brokeandbespoke.tumblr.com
Broke and Bespoke is 1 Year Old!
Today marks the one year anniversary of this blog’s existence. I started it on December 31st of last year, and uploaded a bunch of old pics straight onto the tumblr from my phone that day (it was my only camera at the time), one of which was of this tie. It’s from an estate sale, and from the first day I wanted to highlight how one could go about looking stylish and well put together on a budget. Well, I’m glad to say that one year in I feel like I’m still marching to the same tune. Here’s a pasted version of the story from that first-day posting frenzy (and above is a much better pic than you’ll find in the original post):
*     *     *     *     *     *
Sometime over the summer (2011) I visited an estate sale in a nearby neighborhood where a lot of the older residents are now retired faculty from the local premiere public research university. I assumed, correctly that day, that this might be a real trad ‘nouveau gramps-steez’ payday. The man whose estate sale I was guiltlessly plundering was a Yale grad, as evidenced by the many Yale themed wardrobe items (including fraternity neckties, and a capella group bow ties), and the massive quantities of J. Press neckwear, and the item shown in the pic above. Needless to say, I mercilessly rummaged through the accumulated archive of this dude’s long and bow tie collection.
Despite the much ballyhooed idea that real ‘trad’ style is somehow impervious to the slow sands of historical change, this guy’s collection proved that even the most stalwart trads succumbed to both bad taste and the siren wail of synthetic fibers in the 1970s. I picked out all the nice ‘timeless’ long ties and bow ties that were in wearable condition (including the rep tie pictured here). That totaled 18 items, maybe about 10 ties and 8 bow ties.
I asked the person running the estate sale how much she wanted for the lot (it was being run through an outside party) and she said $2 each. I thought, “shit, that’s an amazing deal!” I looked in my wallet, and found I only had $17, and the sale was cash only, and thought “shit, why am I so broke!?” I steeled myself for rejection, or at least for the prospect of having to choose only 7 out of these 18 pieces (which still would have been a come-up), and brazenly (but not dickishly—never dickishly) asked, “will you do $17 for the bunch? It’s all I have…” The kind woman must have sensed the ‘I’m just a broke-ass dude trying to look nice for my upcoming teaching job’ oozing out of my pores and said “OK, sure, you seem like a nice guy who will put these to good use…” 

Broke and Bespoke is 1 Year Old!

Today marks the one year anniversary of this blog’s existence. I started it on December 31st of last year, and uploaded a bunch of old pics straight onto the tumblr from my phone that day (it was my only camera at the time), one of which was of this tie. It’s from an estate sale, and from the first day I wanted to highlight how one could go about looking stylish and well put together on a budget. Well, I’m glad to say that one year in I feel like I’m still marching to the same tune. Here’s a pasted version of the story from that first-day posting frenzy (and above is a much better pic than you’ll find in the original post):

*     *     *     *     *     *

Sometime over the summer (2011) I visited an estate sale in a nearby neighborhood where a lot of the older residents are now retired faculty from the local premiere public research university. I assumed, correctly that day, that this might be a real trad ‘nouveau gramps-steez’ payday. The man whose estate sale I was guiltlessly plundering was a Yale grad, as evidenced by the many Yale themed wardrobe items (including fraternity neckties, and a capella group bow ties), and the massive quantities of J. Press neckwear, and the item shown in the pic above. Needless to say, I mercilessly rummaged through the accumulated archive of this dude’s long and bow tie collection.

Despite the much ballyhooed idea that real ‘trad’ style is somehow impervious to the slow sands of historical change, this guy’s collection proved that even the most stalwart trads succumbed to both bad taste and the siren wail of synthetic fibers in the 1970s. I picked out all the nice ‘timeless’ long ties and bow ties that were in wearable condition (including the rep tie pictured here). That totaled 18 items, maybe about 10 ties and 8 bow ties.

I asked the person running the estate sale how much she wanted for the lot (it was being run through an outside party) and she said $2 each. I thought, “shit, that’s an amazing deal!” I looked in my wallet, and found I only had $17, and the sale was cash only, and thought “shit, why am I so broke!?” I steeled myself for rejection, or at least for the prospect of having to choose only 7 out of these 18 pieces (which still would have been a come-up), and brazenly (but not dickishly—never dickishly) asked, “will you do $17 for the bunch? It’s all I have…” The kind woman must have sensed the ‘I’m just a broke-ass dude trying to look nice for my upcoming teaching job’ oozing out of my pores and said “OK, sure, you seem like a nice guy who will put these to good use…” 

Plaid Out.

Plaid Out.

Knotted.

Knotted.

Wool Tartan Ties:
All thrifted. None more than $2.50.

Wool Tartan Ties:

All thrifted. None more than $2.50.

Sometimes combos become classic with good reason. Seersucker university striped shirt, BB#1 Repp Tie, and navy hopsack blazer.
Jacket: Southwick for The Andover Shop, thrifted $17
Shirt: Lands’ End, thrifted $5
Tie: Brooks Brothers, thrifted .50
Pocket Square: Nordstrom Rack, $8

Sometimes combos become classic with good reason. Seersucker university striped shirt, BB#1 Repp Tie, and navy hopsack blazer.

Jacket: Southwick for The Andover Shop, thrifted $17

Shirt: Lands’ End, thrifted $5

Tie: Brooks Brothers, thrifted .50

Pocket Square: Nordstrom Rack, $8

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.

WIWT.
Watch: 1967 Seiko Presmatic, thrifted $15
Jacket: Vintage Haspel double breasted seersucker jacket (more on this later), thrifted $10
Shirt: Lands’ End tailored fit, $12
Pants: Dockers Alpha Khaki, $30
Shoes: Rockport Penny Loafers, ebay $25

WIWT.

Watch: 1967 Seiko Presmatic, thrifted $15

Jacket: Vintage Haspel double breasted seersucker jacket (more on this later), thrifted $10

Shirt: Lands’ End tailored fit, $12

Pants: Dockers Alpha Khaki, $30

Shoes: Rockport Penny Loafers, ebay $25

WIWT.
Belt: J. Crew, thrifted $2.50

WIWT.

Belt: J. Crew, thrifted $2.50

Sheep in a ribbon.

Sheep in a ribbon.

One of my more expensive fits…
Shoes: Sperry AO, thrifted NWOT $15.50
Jeans: Earnest Sewn Kyrre, ebay ~$25 (IIRC)
Shirt: Brooks Brothers, thrifted $3.60
Tie: Striped silk knit, The Tie Bar $15 
Jacket: Club Room cotton/linen, ebay NWT $39 (Ouch! I don’t have faith that I’ll come across a nice baby blue cotton, linen, or cotton/linen jacket while thrifting before summer’s over…)

One of my more expensive fits…

Shoes: Sperry AO, thrifted NWOT $15.50

Jeans: Earnest Sewn Kyrre, ebay ~$25 (IIRC)

Shirt: Brooks Brothers, thrifted $3.60

Tie: Striped silk knit, The Tie Bar $15 

Jacket: Club Room cotton/linen, ebay NWT $39 (Ouch! I don’t have faith that I’ll come across a nice baby blue cotton, linen, or cotton/linen jacket while thrifting before summer’s over…)

Jacket: Beijing Bespoke, a lighter weight version in navy of yesterday’s unlined and unconstructed linen jacket, $40

Jacket: Beijing Bespoke, a lighter weight version in navy of yesterday’s unlined and unconstructed linen jacket, $40

Shoes: Sperry Top-Sider Authentic Original, thrifted NWT $15.50
Pants: Dockers Alpha Khakis, $30
Belt: Lands’ End, clearance $5
Shirt: Uniqlo pink OCBD, $15
Tie: Vintage Rooster cotton floral, thrifted $1.99

Shoes: Sperry Top-Sider Authentic Original, thrifted NWT $15.50

Pants: Dockers Alpha Khakis, $30

Belt: Lands’ End, clearance $5

Shirt: Uniqlo pink OCBD, $15

Tie: Vintage Rooster cotton floral, thrifted $1.99

Brooks knot.

Brooks knot.

Seven Deuce Deuce.

Seven Deuce Deuce.