Sunday, August 29, 2010

Tie bonanza (part 2)!

It was just a couple months ago when I ran across one of my best tie scores ever. That day, I took home over 14 ties at $2 apiece and was beaming at how many new options I had.

In the midst of an insanely hot and busy summer (the main reason I haven't been posting too often), I recently ran across a huge score of ties that puts the aforementioned haul to shame.

Honestly, I have a hard time even knowing where to start, but I will just say right off the bat that in one fell swoop I purchased 42 ties. The insane part of it all was that they were a mere 10 cents each...

I guess I should start.

red white and blue from italy

First up is a beautiful red, white, and blue silk number from Italy. The bottom is a bit frayed, but I don't care. It's awesome.

bright red wool tartan

Bright red vintage 100% wool tartan. I needed one of these.

fat square silk

A huge, square-end linen tie in check pattern.

dark blue textured silk

Dark blue textured 100% silk tie. Still has the original $5 price tag on it.

A&F tie

Vintage Abercrombie & Fitch tie, back from when they were still awesome. Has VL&A initials on tag, which stands for Von Lengerke & Antoine. According to my resources, that should date it to approximately 1958-1962.

And really, the above ties are just the beginning. There were also a handful of Brooks Brothers, several Hermes, and a couple Gucci ties, all from the early to mid 80s or so. The rest were all from the late 50s - early 70s or so, and at this point my tie storage area is completely overflowing.

More and different posts to come soon, I promise.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

At least the heat is good for something

The past 8 or so days here have been between 90-95 degrees, and the next three days are supposed to be about 100 with heat indexes at around 110-115. It's days like these that I honestly have a hard time getting excited about much, and style points fade knowing that anything I'm going to wear is going to get sweaty during the day.

Lest I complain too much about the weather, though, I will say that this hot weather has been absolutely amazing for our large garden. Here is the tomato haul from the past week...

day 1

Day 1, the start of the binge (sorry for the camera phone picture).

day 4

Three days after that, a bigger haul.

day 7

Three more days and yet another huge batch.

It looks like an absolutely huge amount of tomatoes (and it is), but one of our major goals this summer was to pick and then can enough tomato sauce, paste, and other random assortments (including BBQ sauce, Bruschetta spread, etc) so that we didn't have to buy anything from the store for the next 12 months.

It's a rather ambitious goal, and to meet it, we planted 21 tomato plants. Within that 21 are 11 romas (which include several different variety) and 10 other tomato plants (with about 3 different varieties). As the pictures above show, we've got a really good start so far on our goal, and if we can just keep things watered (or get some timely rain), hopefully the production won't slow down too much.

When we got our house, one of our major buying points was getting a house with a yard large enough to do a garden, and we've dug up a little bit more of it each year to plant more things. We have a couple huge piles of compost, and I have to admit still feeling a bit giddy each year as the plants get larger and larger and finally bear fruit.

There's no easier way to know where your food comes from.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Odds and Ends and Two-Thirds of a Trifecta

About a month ago, I wrote a post about how I'd found a copy of The Preppy Handbook, but made mention of a couple other titles that I thought would actually be of more use in guiding me to some semblance of style (hey, this is a process for me).

Handbook of Style

As luck would have it, my wife (who is awesome, by the way) found me one of those two aforementioned titles at the thrift store for $2. The small (but jam-packed) The Esquire Handbook of Style: A Man's Guide to Looking Good makes a nice companion to the slim, but also helpful The Indispensable Guide to Classic Men's Clothing. I get a lot of ideas from reading various style sites and blogs, but these little books will definitely their place on my shelf as excellent reference material.

On another note, I ran across a beautiful, vintage Hart Schaffner & Marx suit for a dollar recently. Since it was so cheap, I bought it without trying it on, but as per usual with suits, the arms are far too short (see photo for illustration).

HS&M suit

I'm not sure what will happen with this suit. Any readers a 42L and and want to trade or something?

Lastly, three nice ties ($2 each), including a great khaki/blue/white Land's End number that's going to get a lot of use before this summer burns out and leaves us with falling leaves.

Lands End silk

Land's End tie in 100% silk.

Eddie Bauer

Surprisingly interesting Eddie Bauer tie, perfect for fall.

Robert Stock

Robert Talbott in brown, green, and navy.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Swing Your Partner, Do Si Do

Last week sometime, my wife and I saw a listing for an estate sale that looked absolutely fascinating, largely for its kitsch value. In a rather ritzy part of town, there was a late 80s house absolutely packed full of stuff, including 6 walk-in closets full of mens and womens clothes, over 400 pairs of swing-dance outfits, and all the crazy out-dated artwork and home furnishings that a person could shake a stick at.

Teal and pink and white
The entire house interior seemed to be either teal, pink, or cream, with gold accents everywhere. It was like being stuck in a time capsule of a particular era, and while it definitely wasn't anything even close to the styles that I like, it was certainly a site to behold. My wife's friend described it best when she said, "It's like Golden Girls on steroids."

The main thing that got me out of bed on a Saturday and to the sale, though, was that I saw that the ad listed size 13 shoes for men. Because I have a heck of a time finding interesting shoes, I figured it would be worth a trip to check things out, and fortunately I was right.

First up was a pair of nearly unworn Sebago docksides. Burgundy colored and very comfy. I'd been looking for a pair of boat shoes, and here they be.

Next up is a pair of chocolate brown vintage Florsheim Imperial loafers. The leather is a bit dry, but I'm going to hit them up with some conditioner and cream polish and I think they'll be ready to rock.

Florsheim Imperial loafers
Another pair of vintage Florsheim Imperial loafers, this time in light gray! This is another pair that's going to need a bit of love (mainly looks like the wrong color polish was used in a couple spots at one point) to get back to absolutely sharp level, but for what I paid (see below), it was worth the chance.

Gray Florsheim loafers
Last up is yet another pair of vintage Florsheim Imperials. Light brown ankle-boots with a thin strap to close. I'm honestly not sure if it's thick enough to be considered a monk strap, but they're pretty neat regardless. Like the other pair of brown loafers above, the leather is going to need just a bit of conditioning and polish to really get to a sharp level, but it'll be a fun project.

Florsheim ankle boots
Luckily for me, the total cost of all four pairs was only $8 ($2 a pair)! Despite some of them needing a bit of TLC, it has to qualify as one of my best scores of the summer.

The actual clothing that the gentlemen owned was either too big in girth or two short in length for me, and much of it was poly blends or off-the-charts in cheese factors that I couldn't bring myself to buy it. I didn't walk out with just the shoes, though.

I also found this record:

Satans polka band
Amongst all the Lawrence Welk and loads of polka records was this absolutely crazy, "rated X" LP by Kapela S Pelka (aka "Band From Hell"). It's raucous, don't-give-a-shit sleazy orchestral polka from Czechoslovakia that's actually pretty fun.

Not a bad haul for less than $10 including tax.