Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Brooks Buttondown & Bally Boots

Lately, certain bloggers have taken shots at their breathren for buying their clothes at thrift stores. I buy used, vintage clothes for the same reason I buy used, vintage furnishings. I can find stuff with character, history and quality construction that is unavailable from any store at the mall at any price. Here are two recent good examples. I spend less and less time at thrift stores because they seem to be filled more and more with cheap, disposable clothes of the kind bought by guys who only buy new and don't understand quality. But I did find this terrific B-squared buttondown. Another advantage with buying vintage is items have already been laundered and have shrunk down to their real size. This yellow shirt is size 17 which would be too big new but is about right in its current state. I call these 'postage stamp' buttondowns and they are what everyone remembers when you talk about the greatness of Brooks Brothers buttondowns. Their label is small and simply states where it was made and not to bleach it.
The reason why the shirt was donated in the first place was that it had a two inch long blue ink pen stain between the collar and the chest. Ouch. I actually didn't notice it until I got it home but I decided to try to get it out. This is a good tip. With a BLUE ink stain, take a cotton ball and soak it with denatured alcohol (I used some Superior 70 Bayrum) and dab the stain, preferably with some tissue or cloth on the other side of the stained fabric. The alcohol desolves the ink and it should be absorbed into the tissue on the other side. Then, launder as usual. It took me two times, but it worked great.

Where at the mall do you find real, Swiss-made Bally mountaineering boots? REI and Sports Authority are all out. In my travels, I came across these vintage boots in my size. After a little polish, they cleaned up nicely and should be ready for hiking this fall or for wearing around town with a ski sweater this winter.

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