Your Bloviator, still reeling after reading somewhere a reference to "fifty-year-old men dressed like Justin Timberlake" (in a piece depicting the horrors seen at a failing Midwestern mall), finally decided a shake-up in the wardrobe department was no longer to be put off. Being of the cheap sort, however, I determined the best way to effect the sartorial upgrade was via the best kept secret among those whose familys' money is so old there isn't any left, the charity thrift shop, some of the best of them being, happily, either near work, on the Upper East Side, or in the region of my upbringing, where family still lives and a shopping expedition is thus justifiable on the pretext of a making a visit.
Things got off to an auspicious start early last week with a stop at the Spence Chapin Thrift Shop, where a good looking fine-checked shirt was to be had for five dollars (down from ten, owing to a one-day half-off sale). That triumph was quickly trumped at the next stop, the Memorial Sloan Kettering Thrift Shop, just a block away (Charles Kettering, by the way, gave the world, among many other splendid things, the electric self-starter for autos, thus making it possible for anyone to drive a car, and became hugely and deservedly rich for it). At this most elegant of charity thrifts, I came across a B2 (Brooks Brothers) blazer, whose previous owner must have gone to his reward within days of its delivery for it looked virtually unworn. Even more pleasing, that presumably late owner must have been my body double, to the point of even having similarly stubby arms; in short, the jacket felt tailor made. I thought the $40 price tag eminently reasonable but was further pleased to learn from one of the cheerful volunteers at the register her shop, no doubt in fierce competition with Spence Chapin, was also having a half-off sale.
I enjoyed some lesser success at other shops on the Upper East Side later in the week and today ended what I imagine to be just the first of several required sorties in the Bloviator campaign to look respectable. I landed at the Greenwich (CT) Hospital Thrift Shop, where another fine looking shirt was gotten on the cheap. Two thoughts came to mind while prowling the aisles out thar in Greenwich.
- It is perversely pleasurable to see that even mighty Brooks Brothers is capable of the occasional hideous mistake and
- I wonder if the committee at the reasonably exclusive Greenwich Country Club that thought it would be ducky to have a bunch of polo shirts with the club's moniker embroidered on them, for sale to the membership presumably, ever considered some of those shirts would find their way to a thrift shop, where one could observe a "day laborer" (to put it tactfully) seriously eyeing one of them for purchase (I should gladly have bought it for him were it possible to have done so without appearing the patronizing a-hole).