Questionable Fashion: Thrift Store Adventures, Shark Hoodies, And Outrageous Prices (A True Story)
It’s been a minute since we’ve had a reason to gab about fashion ‘round these parts, and if you’re looking for some “WTF IS THIS SHIT”-ery, then I’m sorry. I’m not here to point you toward some ugly and/or bizarre piece of clothing that’s actually intended to be draped on a human body. I’m here to tell you about a hoodie I just bought. A hoodie with motherfuckin’ sharks on it.
I picked that hoodie up a few days ago at a thrift store in Vermont. I feel like the “in Vermont” thing is an essential detail, for reasons that may become apparent shortly. Now granted, this is one of those higher-end thrift stores, where they sell used designer jeans and fancy handbags and actual name-brand shit, and you pay like… I dunno, Target prices for it? And what I love about these kinds of thrift-stores-with-pretensions is that sometimes you find real hidden gems. Stuff the staff may not have even realized the worth of when they stuck it on the rack. I’ve gotten fancy $700 coats for $40 that way!
This isn’t quite that kind of situation.
What I realized, as I contemplated this hoodie, is that sometimes thrift stores in unlikely places will come across shit that is so STUPIDLY, OUTRAGEOUSLY expensive that there isn’t any sort of formula they can apply to work out what they should charge for it. The chasm between what it’s rationally worth and what it costs is so wide that I can only imagine some poor sales manager Googling the item, seeing what it retails for, and then being like “Fuck it — 50 bucks or whatever, I dunno” because they know that, really, there’s a limit to what they can ask for a goddamn novelty sweatshirt.
So, yes, I paid $50 for a sweatshirt. Which is too much! It’s not like I don’t realize that it was too much! This hoodie may have been like-new but it’s not particularly thick or warm in any sense. It’s embroidered with sharks, and little surfboards with bite-chomps taken out of them, which does appeal to my sick sense of humor. And it fits me well? You know, for a zip-up hoodie? But realistically, I wouldn’t have paid more than maybe $30 for it in a normal not-used clothing store.
And yet… here’s what happened:
So I see this thing on the rack, and I’m like “OOOH SHARKS” because duh — sharks. And I look at it and immediately check the price tag. Which says $50. Which sets off some alarms in my head because, really (see the reasons stated above). But it’s got this fancy-looking branded patch on the kangaroo pocket, which looks legit, and it has those subtle designer-y touches like the random fucking full back zipper that goes all the way up the hood. And these super-long zipper tabs that are apparently “Signature tricolor grosgrain zip pulls” (as I realized later). So I figure this must be some SPECIAL novelty hoodie, and decide to Google it to see if I’m right.
“Thom Browne Shark Hoodie” — first hit is a Barneys page.
So I click on it. That’s the sweatshirt in question all right, only it’s out of stock. They were selling it for $379.
BUT WAIT. That was their SALE price. It originally sold for…
OK, so apparently Thom Browne is a big-shot designer? According to his bio: “Thom Browne has been honored the CFDA Menswear Designer of the Year Award in 2016, 2013 and 2006, the GQ Designer of the Year in 2008 and the Cooper Hewitt National Design Award in 2012.” I’d never heard of him, but he sells at Barneys which sorta seems like explanation enough. And, to be fair, it looks like he makes some great stuff! Stuff I’ll never ever ever be able to afford. Stuff like whatever this $15,500 bedazzled skeleton thing is (under the women’s “Black Tie” section of his website):
So look, I can’t afford his casual wear, or his fancy-dress wear, and I can’t be too mad about it since I’ve only even been aware that this brand is a thing for less than a week. And I sure as shit don’t know how that hoodie wound up in Vermont, of all places (fucking flatlanders, probably). But yes — I’m not proud of the fact that I decided to suck it up and pay $50 for a fucking novelty shark hoodie, just because it’s probably the only time in my life I’ll ever be able to pull a total Gob Bluth and be like
Which isn’t to say that as I was paying, there wasn’t a little voice in the back of my mind being like
Anybody got any fun thrift store stories to share? Feel free to share them in the comments! I promise, I won’t bite…
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