Thursday, March 25, 2010

Piece Precision

This is a reminder that thrifting is a practice of precision and patience. Be thorough in browsing the racks. When you find something you'd even think about buying, be sure to look over the garment for any holes and stains. Upon closer inspection, what seem like quality pieces usually aren't in such great condition. Chances are, that great cashmere sweater will be moth-pilfered or that button-front shirt will have a ripped seam. Though remember, if you (or your tailor) have the sewing skills, you may still have a diamond in the rough. Every wool or cashmere sweater I've thrifted has contained at least one hole yet still been worthy of purchase and quick repair. And while a tailor might be necessary for larger fixes, sewing is easier than most men realize and nothing of which to be ashamed.

Coming from a traditional Lebanese family, I grew up with distinct lines between the roles of men and women. However, like Italians, Lebanese men learn from early on about the value of clothing and how to build and care for a wardrobe. I've known how to sew since childhood, but here's my advice for those yet to take on the challenge.

Go to a place like Walmart and get a basic sewing kit for no more than $10 - a few needles and a rainbow of threads included. Don't worry about buying an overpriced booklet when a Google search is far more efficient. Before taking on your target piece, practice with an old tee or jeans. Get the hang of a few stitches and you're ready to go and salvage a great garment somebody else foolishly surrendered.

Save a cent. Self-sew.


  1. Christian Lebanese, rather than Muslim Lebanese, I would guess.

  2. Yes, I'm Antiochian Orthodox Christian.

  3. "And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch."

    Acts 11:26

  4. I've always liked that passage, but please stick to relative comments.