Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Mister Midwester and the case of the counterfeit cravats

A couple weeks ago, I was sifting through a stack of cravats at a local second-hand clothing store when my hand touched what seemed to be some very quality goods. The silk was thick and the weave was tight and if I had any doubts, the labels themselves calmed my pangs of mistrust. I purchased the four cravats, with names such as Boss (both of which still had their original store tags), Gucci and Versace, and went home, feeling rather full of myself.

high end fakes
As I sometimes do when stumbling upon such a treasure, I took a few photographs of the cravats and posted them to an online gathering place, to brag a bit with some fellow second-hand shoppers. The ties weren't exactly in my particular wheelhouse in terms of color and design, but I hoped that another fellow might fancy them and reward me kindly, thus paving my way for more second-hand adventures.

The first response was by a dear chap who stated, "Good sir, I do believe you have been hoodwinked." I simply could not believe it! Who would dare try to pull such a fast one upon me? Not only that, but in a locale known for such straightforward peoples and, dare I say, "authenticity?"

With such a seed planted in my head, I put on my sleuthing cap and went looking for clues. In only a few minutes, I had found my answer. The fine chap had not lied; I had indeed gotten the wool, or should I say, "silk," pulled over mine eyes.

fake tie label
The photographic accompaniment on the previously-mentioned guide is not so good, but the details matched my counterfeit cravats perfectly. Here, one can see the "dimples" of the stitching in the logo of the tie.

fake tie content tag detail
In addition to those finer points (including the much wider size), the blatantly obvious tag listing content of fibers should have been enough of a warning sign, but it was too late for me.

I had lost eight dollars, but gained valuable knowledge, and in the end had a good tale to tell. In the future, I must remember that when in doubt, I need only buy things that I would wear in the first place.


  1. It would only have be a tragedy if you were paying retail for those ties, in which case you would have been paying about $100...a tie. For $8.00 you have some reasonably good looking silk ties, if you dig the continental look!

  2. Joe´s right, might have come worse. 8 dollars are worth the experience.