Why a thrift store is the best place for last-minute Christmas shopping

Thrifting is a fun hobby to have.  Sure, I understand the allure of buying something from a store or getting it made, but you never know what you’re going to find when you walk into your local Goodwill, Savers, charity shop, or vintage store. It may seem daunting or even a hassle if you’re not used to it, but if you look at it instead as a fun, low-risk gamble and not just an opportunity for cheap clothes, I think you can have a good time.  And what better time to check them out than this holiday season!

First off, let me say that I’m a terrible gift giver. It’s not laziness or apathy, but it probably has to do with how specific I am; I just want the person to either love the gift or have some genuine enjoyment out of it.  As a result, I used to either give gift cards, cash, or exactly what the person wants. But lately, thanks to a plethora of fun white elephant exchanges with friends and family, I’ve tried to adopt a new view on gift giving. Something quirky or even funny.  It’s much better than simply giving them something that they would buy for themselves anyway. So the next time you’re out thrifting for menswear, try looking for out for these cool pieces, perfect for your close friends or that next joke white elephant swap at the office.

Thrifted Clothing

Obviously clothing is a no brainer, since you’re already there and chances are not everything is going to fit you.  I’ve written about how to thrift for clothing, but this time try to match the measurements to your friends, that way it feels more like a score even if you don’t get something for yourself.

There’s always a plethora of oxfords and other dress shirts that can be great stocking stuffers for friends who don’t necessarily dress too well; you could even throw in complimentary tailoring if you feel the need to be extra charitable.  Tweed jackets, corduroys, and shoes are also a good buy if you get lucky. And if all else fails, a good repp or foulard tie can usually be found on the way out. I can’t tell you how many times my friends always ask me to find things when I’m out thrifting!

One last thing to look out for (if you have streetwear-oriented friends), are cool 1980s-1990s T shirts.  You probably know the ones I’m talking about: stuff from old company parties, band (both rock and brass) festivals, or just ones with “totally radical” graphic design.  Perfect for lightwash 501s (which are also good to find while thrifting), tucked into chinos, or as a fun PJ shirt.

Glasses and Decanters

I’m not a big drinker, but I like the opportunity to make it look like I am. Instead of buying fancy glassware or china, I like looking at the aisles for interesting containers or decanters.  It was a big hit in my college days when I would put apple or grape juice in the decanter to have a non-wild night with my friends. As you get older, juice turns into the fermented versions and getting a unique one is usually the way to go until you’re in a position to get an expensive one.  Or you can get one for your own holiday parties; just don’t forget to clean thoroughly after bringing it home.

Books

While a majority of books found at thrift stores are cookbooks and outdated advice books (which can be hilarious in itself), you can definitely find some grails. Obviously I tend to look for older editions of classic books or general ones centered around history or culture that my friends will find interesting; the best ones are usually ex-library books, still “mint” in the wrapping.  

Coffee table books are common to find and can be given to friends who have interests in those topics. I’ve come across a few menswear books (like Dressing the Man, by Alan Flusser) but painting, photography, and architecture compendiums are the usual faire. Again, older ones tend to be more interesting, if you can find them that is.  

Unique Toys, Bric-a-brac, and Accoutrements

I used to think that bric-a-brac was something reserved specifically for grandparents, but I’ve come to love it! It’s something completely unique that you really can’t find anywhere else that makes for a fun story or at least a funny reaction.  One of the most common ones are 80s-90s toys that my friends and I can reminisce on about your youth. I tend to prefer menswear related ones, like a cool wooden statue of a dandy gent that brings to mind the old esquire mascot.

Depending on your thrift/vintage store or antique mall, you could also find things like vintage cufflinks/tie bars, cameras, and even watches.  Other than that, nice models of airplanes, bookends, or figurines can be equally as nice. It’s just always worth a look!

Records

Lastly, we have the music. More and more people are getting record players and  collecting vintage LPs. While you may not find that crazy-rare jazz record at a Goodwill, you can find some hidden gems; I personally have found the old 1960’s score to Mary Poppins and the first Pink Panther film! Usually, random jazz recordings, orchestra compilations, or obscure 1970’s groups are what populate the racks.  I’m not a huge physical music collecting guy, but it’s fun to find something with great album artwork and to listen to music that you can’t really find online.  Just be sure to inspect the record for any scratches before you buy them!


Memorial Day Sales Guide

Just in time for you to revamp your summer wardrobe, we’re happy to present our Memorial Day Sales Guide! We’ll be updating this list through the weekend, so stop back regularly to check for new deals.


Acrimony: Save 30% off Spring collections* PLUS an additional 10% if you shop in-store. Use code: MEMDAY30 today through Monday 5/29.

Alternative Apparel – 45% off the site with code FRIEND45

Atelier New York:  – SPRING SUMMER 2017 SALE STARTS ON FRIDAY MAY 26TH 30%-50% OFF SELECTED DESIGNERS AND STYLES

Baracuta: sale of 30% off.

Barneys: up to 50% off

Barney’s Warehouse: Up to 80% Savings in Our Memorial Day Sale!

Bodega: Memorial Day sale up to 60% off footwear take an additional 25% off with footlover25

Billy Reid: early access Memorial Day sale – reductions of up to 50% off.

Bloomingdale’s: 30-50% off mens designer shoes. Also. use code BIGBAG for 20% off nearly all sale items (but not combinable with the above).

Bluefly: up to 85% off, plus an additional 20% off on selected items.

Brooks Brothers: 2 summer suits for  $899, men’s sweaters and outerwear up to 40% off

Cali Roots: 30% Mid Season Sale.

Carmina Shoemaker: 15% off with the code 15OFF-CARMINA

CENTURY 21:  MEMORIAL DAY EVENT $30 OFF Your $150+ Or $40 OFF Your $200+ Purchase Online & In-Store!

Club Monaco: Summer’s finest: 25% off for him & her

Coggles: 30% off with discount code PREVIEW

Couverture & The Garbstore: 25% off with HOLIDAY25

Cruvoir: 20% off sale items with CROIX20.

Dope Factory: 30% off with code MIDSEASON

East Dane: spring sale is live!

eBay: $15 off 75 until 8pm PT with code PREMEMDAY15

Farfetch: sale of up to 50% off.

Forward: up to 50% off

Flannels: up to 80% off discount on outlet items.

Frances May: Memorial Day sale now on 30% off a selection.

Harvey Nichols: 30% off for members only – sign up

Haven shop: 20% off Outerwear with code OUTERWEAR20

HBX: End of Season Sale – Up To 50% OFF

Hotoveli: up to 50% off

Huckberry: sale up to 70% off.

Hunting Ensemble: 30% or more on Norse Projects, A.P.C, Our Legacy, Nanamica, Etudes, Han Kjobenhavn and more.

Idol Brooklyn: UP TO 40% OFF SELECT DESIGNER COLLECTIONS

Independence: 20% off

Indigo and Cotton: 20% off with GETAWAY.

J. Crew:  30% off your purchase with code SWEET

Jonathon + Olivia: up to 50% off

Lanieri: $200 off any suit with the code STYLEFORUM200 || 25% off blazers with the code BESTFRIENDS

Lanvin: Free delivery and up to 50% off

Last Call: an extra 40% off everything

Lawrence Covell : 25% off with code May17

Levis: Memorial Day sale ongoing – use code MEM30 for 30% off.

LOIT:  – Memorial Day Sale: 30% off on full priced items with code MDLOIT30 (Offer valid through 5/29/2017 11:59PM)

Luisa Via Roma: save 20-50% using code BIG || Memorial Day Sale now on up to 50% off.

MAAS & Stacks: 25% discount on select SPRING SUMMER 17 items
when you enter code MEMORIALDAY25 at checkout

Maison Margiela: up to 40% off

Matches: sale on now for up to 50% off

Need Supply:  Sale! New additions 30%, 15% order off through June 15th, LILSOMETHING

Neiman Marcus: 75% off today (5/25) only! Extra clearance savings

Nordstrom:  Save up to 40% during Half-Yearly Sale

Other Shop: The code SPRING25 is available to use on all products now, with the exception of Fanmail and Good News

Ralph Laurensale on now 40% off, including RRL and Ralph Lauren Purple Label.

The Real Real: men’s sale up to 40% off / summer preview sale up to 50% off

Rooney Shop: Memorial Day sale now ongoing up to 25% off.

Saks 5th Ave.: up to 40% off.

Sartoriale: Memorial Day Sale up to 90% off with code MEMORIAL20

Shoes.com: Memorial Day sale 30-75% off

SSense: sale up to 50% off

Standard and Strange: – 40% off clearance section with code NOTGOINGBACK

Steven Alan: Up To 50% Off | Memorial Day Sale Starts Now

StyleBop: Memorial day sale 10% off non-sale items with code SUMMMERISHERE243

Tessabit: 40% off sale

Unis: sale on Common Projects

Y-3: sale on now of up to 30% off of that SS17 collection

Yoox:  up to an extra 50% off.

ZFACTORIE: 50% off some styles

Women’s

 

Our Best End of Season Sales Picks

It’s your last chance to snag some great deals on winter collections before spring clothes make their way into your favorite shops. Here are some of our best end of season sales picks, great for any wardrobe.


Outerwear

SW&D:

Best End of Season Sales styleforum stutterheim

 Stutterheim Car Coat – 95GBP at END.

 

CM:

Best End of Season Sales styleforum

CM: Camoshita Houndstooth Balmacaan – 711$ at No Man Walks Alone


Knitwear

SW&D:

Best End of Season Sales styleforum

North Sea Clothing Service Shawl Collar – 85GBP

CM:

Best End of Season Sales styleforum

John Laing Cashmere Rollneck – 275$ at Hanger Project


Shirts

SW&D:

Best End of Season Sales styleforum

Haversack long popover – 115$ at Gentry with code HALFOFF

 

Best End of Season Sales styleforum

Luciano Barbera Seafoam stripe – 197$ at Lawrence Covell


Denim and Trousers

SW&D:

Best End of Season Sales styleforum

Snow Peak Okayama OX Pants – 155$ at Standard and Strange

CM:

Best End of Season Sales styleforum

Hiltl for H.Stockton thin-wale corduroy pants in chocolate – 183$ at H.Stockton


Shoes

SW&D:

Best End of Season Sales styleforum

Nike Flyknit SE – 86$ at Oki-Ni

CM:

Best End of Season Sales styleforum

Carmina Tanker Boot in brown scotchgrain – 475$ at Gentlemen’s Footwear


Accessories

SW&D

Best End of Season Sales styleforum

Dries van Noten leather portfolio – 376$ at LOIT

CM:

Best End of Season Sales styleforum

Begg Kishorn cashmere scarf – 340$ at Unionmade


See something you like? If you’re on the hunt for more great end-of-season sales and deals, make sure you’re subscribed to the Styleforum Offical Sales Alert Thread, where we share all the sales, coupon codes, and deals from the best vendors in the world of menswear. You won’t find a better place to stay up-to-date on staying stylish. 

Denver’s Best Menswear Stores

Denver is an interesting city in a number of ways. While plenty of local writers are happy to talk up the city’s cultural scene, I’ll be the first to say that Colorado’s capital isn’t a menswear (or cultural) mecca in the way America’s coastal cities are. It’s been an “Up-and-coming” spot for as long as I can remember, and it’s my opinion that it still hasn’t quite arrived yet.

However, with tens of thousands of people moving to Colorado every year, there’s certainly a new interest in menswear that didn’t exist ten years ago. While most of the Denver metro area skews towards offering solid, utility-oriented outdoor clothing (The North Face, Mont Bell, and Salomon are what you’ll see most people wearing – along with a lot of yoga clothing), there are a handful of local stores that do offer garments for the discerning enthusiast. Denver’s options range from skater-focused streetwear to contemporary Italian design to high-end tailored clothing. Here are my picks for Denver’s best menswear stores, with an eye on finding something for everyone.


Andrisen Morton
High-end tailored clothing

denver's best menswear stores

Photo: Andrisen Morton

The first stop on our list, Andrisen Morton, is the store to visit if you’re interested in tailored clothing. They stock an impressive number of well-regarded tailored brands, such as Kiton, Caruso, Brioni, Canali, and Cucinelli, and they even range into accessories from Tom Ford and Shinola. If there’s one department in which they’re lacking it’s footwear, as Alden is, the last time I checked, the only quality shoe brand on the shelves.

The buys, while extensive, aren’t necessarily adventurous, instead focusing on a particular look that’s there to attract Denver’s growing middle class, fueled by the tech and finance industries. Denver remains a more conservative environment than California, but hidden in among the office-ready suits and separates are enough characterful brands and pieces to make a trip well worth your time.

If you’re looking for a dinner jacket in burgundy velvet, or an unlined casual blazer to wear out the door, Andrisen morton is your best stop. The store is impressively large, and in addition to what’s on the shelves they offer an array of fabric swatch books for you to peruse. There isn’t much in the way of casual or streetwear, but then again, that’s not why you came, is it?


Steadbrook
Minimal urban workwear

denver's best menswear stores

Photo: Steadbrook

Clean workwear is the bread-and-butter of Steadbrook’s offerings. This store, which is half coffee-space and half showroom, is a poster child of Denver’s post-hipster culture. Located near Washington Park in the Baker neighborhood, Steadbrook rubs shoulders with tattoo parlors and bars. The space itself is brightly lit and minimal, with a heavy does of content curation, but Steadbrook nonetheless stocks a respectable selection of Styleforum-approved streetwear brands.

Less loud and youthful than the Denver shops offering Billionaire Boys Club and walls of high-top sneakers, Steadbrook is the purveyor of the Denver uniform: clean, raw denim, sleek workwear, and un-fussy footwear. Japan Blue, Momotaro, and 3Sixteen denim sits alongside clothing from forum standbys such as Apolis, Reigning Champ, Norse Projects, and Our Legacy. Simple offerings from Vans and Adidas remind the visitor that this is a streetwear destination, while accessories from Miansai and a small selection of grooming supplies reinforce the coffee-shop/lifestyle aspect of the store. There are even a handful of skateboards for you to check out, assuming you didn’t ride your fixie.

 


SuitSupply
Affordable, trendy tailored clothing

denver's best menswear stores

Photo: SuitSupply

By now, SuitSupply is probably a familiar name to any forum member, but the Dutch brand’s decision to open an outpost in Cherry Creek suggests that the Denver market is there to support it. It certainly speaks to the area’s tastes at the moment: easy, affordable suiting that’s well-made enough to stand up to curiosity and criticism, and stylish enough to keep wearers from feeling like office drones. SuitSupply offers a rotating, seasonal selection of basic and less-basic suits and separates, and the fact that the products never go on sale (except for a twice-yearly seasonal inventory purge) hasn’t stopped #menswear aficionados from stocking up on blazers for every day of the week.

The Denver location is one of the fastest-growing Suit Supply stores in the country, which is surprising in a state whose “house style” tends to be “I found it at the REI garage sale.” The staff is friendly, the building is nice, and if you’re in search of something particular on a budget – or something fun – there’s a good chance SuitSupply will have you covered. It’s become a go-to shop for the city, and caters to young men starting out on their careers, hobbyists with an interest in clothing, and even Denver’s professional athletes, many of whom are devoted customers. Besides, it’s right next to the first and third stops on our list.


Lawrence Covell
Contemporary men’s and women’s design

denver's best menswear stores

Photo: Lawrence Covell

Lawrence Covell is my pick for the most interesting menswear store in the Denver area. First and foremost, the women’s selection is at least as nice as the men’s, so if you’re bringing a female friend along she’ll have something to do. It’s located essentially across the street from Andrisen Morton and around the corner for Suit Supply, but does cater to a slightly different customer – one that’s less conservative and perhaps more willing to browse and experiment.

Although Lawrence Covell has some real personality, the racks and shelves are still stocked with a mix of contemporary and classic brands that leans towards conservative.  If you can look past the required offerings (there’s many a chino to be found alongside the Citizens of Humanity denim), the buys offer a surprising amount of character. It helps that the store itself is comfortable, well-lit and airy. The women’s section in particular has some gems, showcasing both classic (and very luxurious) pieces from Brunello Cucinelli and Carven alongside Dries Van Noten and even more street-driven buys from Rag and Bone and Public School.

For the men, Caruso, Bontoni, and Luciano Barbera are stocked alongside Eidos Napoli and Eleventy, while offerings from Oliver Spencer, Barena Venezia, and Gitman Vintage round out the more casual pieces. A respectable selection of Alden and Common Projects shoes isn’t exactly groundbreaking, but it does mesh well with what’s shown on the shop floor. The look is clean and trim, but largely unfussy and not as rigid as what you might find at Andrisen Morton – an appealing blend.

 

 

 

Shopping Naples: Milord

Most of the good shopping in Naples is done in the seaside district of Chiaia. Here are your bespoke tailors, high-end tie makers, and ready-to-wear luxury brand shops. As you can imagine, most of this stuff is pretty expensive. There are a few affordable spots, however. One of them is Milord Naples, which has been in Naples since 1996 (and has no relation to the Milord in Florence). Some of the things you’ll find in Milord are things you can, it seems, buy almost anywhere—Lardini suits, LBM jackets, Borrelli ties.

Yes, Milord.

 

Some things, on the other hand, are a bit more difficult to come by. For example, there were Agho chambray shirts for $115 and Dallago shirts for $175. Agho was fairly standard, but Dallago featured hand stitching along the yoke and French placket, as well as handmade buttonholes. The thick mother-of-pearl buttons were also hand sewn with crowfoot stitching and a nicely wrapped shank, and the fabric came from Albini or Mason.

Then there was an Intelato camel colored coat for $700. The double-seam pick-stitching was a bit too prominent for my taste, but I could see it working well for a man in his 20s.

Perhaps most impressive of all were these house-brand suede shoes, which were Goodyear welted and made in either Italy or Romania (depending on the line). At full retail, they were $165, but at the end January, when Italian stores have their big sales, they were discounted to about $82.

Told you there are some affordable deals.


To see more of Derek Guy’s articles on shopping in Naples, visit his author page.