Anonymous asked: How does one go about copping so much goodness when on a budget? The thing that still amazes me about alot of menswear bloggers is how you guys want for nothing and most of your wardrobe wishlist actually get's purchased. I'm struggling to even cop my first Isaia or Alden's!
Let me tell you a little story, as I presume you are not from New York. As you travel south down a fairly desolate little roadway named Collister street, behind the Holland Tunnel, you will experience a transformative migration to a small piece of the city’s past. Nestled between expansive, low red brick structures is a classic cobblestone street, the kind that is annoying to drive, but nostalgic to tread on. Some of the windows have been carelessly boarded and there is poorly tagged graffiti lining the lower portions of the walls. There are few people here, as even the vagrants find it lonely, and yet it is on this featureless, diminutive street where you will find a small uninviting metal sidewalk cellar door, oddly placed in front of a location that is seemingly uninhabited. Herein is where the secret to our menswear procurement lies. Using a flush metal toe tap – no, plastic will not do – you must give this cellar door 6 knocks of various length and subtlety and then, and only then, will you find your way down. Follow the dark passage and make sure you do not lose your footing, as the walls are coated in grime, and the floor is dusty. And then, as you approach the bright light filtering through the doorway at the end of this hall, you will be at your destination. Another series of knocks is necessary – 7 this time – to gain entry to the threshold, but here you must use the handle of an oak umbrella – no no, ash will not suffice, so do not even try. If you are lucky enough to gain successful admittance then you shall behold the reason that we are, as you say, want for nothing.
Turning the door handle, oddly constructed of snuff suede and full grain leather, the dank passage will fill with light and you shall enter an antechamber that marks the foyer to an underground grey market that few know of, and where all New York menswear bloggers procure their niceties. Through one doorway labeled “Sartorialism” you will be greeted by a man who you will later learn to be Agyesh’s cousin, a man of shadier past, but who possesses no less knowledge and intimacy of the peculiarities surrounding the Neapolitan coast and the art of a fine grinze shoulder. Here you can purchase goods from the land of the red coral for a pittance – it is truly a sight to behold. Attolini and Lardini! Boglioli and Kiton! For as far as the eye can see – racks upon racks in all shapes and sizes. There is even a small allotment of jackets with shoulder padding, to appease the few Brits who meander in; this section is sad and unused, mostly kept for appearances. If only Bergdorfs knew of this cavern of menswear holiness – the collective sighs could be heard citywide as they sit on their Base Ts and Base Ss, unloved and unbought. Passing through another doorway upon re-emerging to the foyer, labeled, a bit pretentiously I might add, “Atelier”, you shall find a younger gentleman adorned in a paste-covered smock who shall introduce himself as Mssr. Girling, the progeny of the famed Edward Green man. He himself will bring you through the stores and stores of beveled waists and fine edge dressing. From the stocks of Guyot to the finest works of Koji Suzuki you will be able to outfit your feet with all the amazing half price hides the world has to offer. Mentioning the words Allen Edmonds in the Atelier is akin to sacrilege and you will immediately be ushered to the doorway where your future admittance will be found questionable at best. Alden occupies a space in the corner nearest to the exit; a passing curiosity on the way to the Lobbs perhaps.
Finally, there is a doorway labeled “To Barter” and this is the most precious ingress of all. To gain entry here, you must show yourself to be of worthy sprit and hearty character. For when you enter this room you will be greeted not with wares stacked to the ceiling, but instead a room full of like-minded chaps, each sporting goods for sale and trade. The natural alignment is by size, and from there pieces are strewn about and men are in a state of half-undress, as tailors of all sizes scurry about with measuring tapes strewn across their shoulders and thimbles bobbing from their breast pockets. It is here that you may take your goods, procured so lovingly all over the globe from vast Armouries and dandy Degands, and make them available to your compatriots, all of which takes place under a large bust of Mr. Agnelli himself. So you see, there is no secret to “copping the goodness”, there is only the secret, which is the key to our credibility, and the source of our various assemblages.