richMANd

A New Old Trench

                                           

I recently picked up a vintage made in the USA version of the Brooks Brothers single-breasted trench coat shown. I can’t get over how perfectly it fits and how great a condition it’s in. I have a nearly identical BB trench that I inherited from my grandfather, but it’s two sizes too big. I was going to see if it could be tailored, but thankfully I won’t have to do that.

The current made in China version retails for $600, but I picked this up for a little over $30. It’s more than I feel comfortable spending on one item at a thrift, but seeing as it’s in perfect shape, so well made, and needs no alterations, I got over my discomfort quickly.

Lastly, I said I wouldn’t buy anymore ties until I addressed my outerwear and shoe needs, but these were too hard to resist: BB pointed end knit tie, 2 Ben Silver ties, a Holland & Sherry, and the cherry on top of the sundae, two Hermes. My first Hermes! I was concerned about their authenticity because Hermes are often faked, but after consulting some online resources on my phone I was sure at least one was real. The other didn’t have the same tell-tale sign as the first, but it had the same folding, texture, and other various hallmarks, so I’m 99% sure it is real. In the end, I picked up six ties that have a combined retail value of $700 for $20. Don’t ask where I got these. It wasn’t in Richmond.

A quick note on Hermes: I read How Luxury Lost It’s Luster this past fall. It documents the rise of the luxury good business, it’s consolidation, and how much of the production is shipped overseas to east Asian factories. Basically, your girlfriend wants a Louis Vuitton purse simply for the name and status. Often, it is of the same quality and construction as much less expensive brands. The one brand that gets major praise for still being family run and still using the finest construction, materials, and skilled laborers is Hermes. The brand’s prices are reflected in the quality of its merchandise. After reading the book I got even more curious about understanding materials used and construction methods. I don’t mind paying more for a nice piece, but I want to know that I’m going to get my money out of it. Also, check out this piece from A Continuous Lean.

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