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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Drycleaning Tags at the Thrift Store: A Small Town Story

It's that time of year. As a teacher, I am inundated with work to grade. At home, I receive zillions of catalogs from places I've never shopped. Oh yeah, and my email inbox is full of tempting offers. I'm only human. I AM tempted.

As always in such situations, I engage in prophylactic shopping. I go to the thrift store. Last week, I went to Goodwill for the first time in a long time. There I looked around and saw nothing, thereby confirming my recently adopted NO GOODWILL policy.

Then I wandered over to the men's section. Mr FS and Frugal Son keep telling me they have enough. Plus, men's clothing is usually in short supply, in bad shape, and of poor quality. Then I saw a little node. In the node were a bunch of Zegna linen shirts in the very size of the two men in my life. So I looked around the men's section and filled up my cart (or buggy, as it's called in these parts).

I sat down with my finds and only kept the very, very best: a few shirts, an unworn cashmere muted plaid blazer, and a few other things. With misgivings, I put the rest back, knowing that I would probably never see another $5.99 Armani suit in the very size of my beloved men. It was not in good shape, alas.

Then I saw a cleaning tag: B Colwell. B Colwell, B Colwell, I mused. Could BC be a doctor? I once purchased a Burberry shirt that had the tag of the oral surgeon where I've dropped so much money. I once saw--but did not purchase owing to bad karma--a men's cashmere sweater with the tag of the dentist who dismissed us from her practice earlier this year. And, of course, all the fancy Italian women's clothing I bought a while back  had the tags of a doctor specializing in breast augmentation and tummy tucks.

Then I remembered who B Colwell is! He is the husband/partner of the woman who founded a retail empire of elegant clothing and furniture in my little town and elsewhere. I think her elegant empire may be down to one furniture store in New Orleans now.

Coincidentally, the local paper ran a story about the elegant couple just the other day. You can scroll through the pics and see their all-white apartment in New Orleans. Their big house has been for sale for a few years. You can buy it!

Thanks Bryan for the donations. I am enough of a bad person to wonder if Vicki donated some of her wardrobe. I didn't see anything. A few years ago, Vicki and her equally beautiful mom Audrey and sister Tricia had a yard sale at the fancy house. It attracted hundreds of mostly women who were willing to pay almost full price for their used garments and furniture. She is a retail genius.

Watching things circulate through a little town....interesting. Peace on earth, GOODWILL TO MEN.


7 comments:

hostess of the humble bungalow said...

I love this post!
I can only imagine who donates clothes to ouR thrift shops as they do not come bearing cleaning tags.
Goodwill to all men is so perfect!

Atlantic said...

And now your clothes have provenance!

SewingLibrarian said...

I don't remember if I told you this story previously. I once bought a coat at a Goodwill in California. Its owner had bought it in a store in Dayton, Ohio back in the late 80's. I was living in Dayton at that time. Unlike you, I didn't recognize the name, however.

anexactinglife.com said...

How do your guys feel about wearing Bryan's clothes, LOL!

Gam Kau said...

Funny the way things wind their way to you. I love the happenstance way items find their way into my home. :)

Duchesse said...

This man now has has fewer clothes but also less privacy... in less than a minute I was able to pull up his photo. Hmmm, is that a good thing, not so good, or just an indication of what the world is like now?

SewingLibrarian said...

Duchesse, I think it's what the world is like now. When we sold our house this summer, I was able to find online our buyers' wedding pictures and their (totally outrageous) gift registry. People were invited to pay for parts of their honeymoon trip. Really??? I didn't mind selling them the house, but I didn't think I'd want them as friends.