Here’s the thing about a thrifted grey flannel suit… It does not look impressive coming out of a shipping box or hanging in a closet. After all, its grey… and its flannel… However, I’m glad that I did not act on my first impulse to just stick this suit in the back of my closet and forget about it. It is a gem!
I purchased this well-cared-for second-hand Calvin Klein Collection suit on eBay for only $25.00 (including shipping), after doing a bit of research on the label. The Calvin Klein Collection is a premium line of men’s suits that retailed for over $1,500.00 (US) when new. The suits have fully canvassed construction and top quality fabrics and tailoring. That alone convinced me to buy this suit even though I was not really impressed by the photos put up by the eBay seller.
But like I said, grey flannel does not make much of an impression at first glance. Plus, this suit needed a bit of tailoring to fit properly. So, I decided to use it to practice my developing self-taught tailoring skills. I pulled it out one evening to make the minor adjustments needed to the fit of the suit. It was only then that I fully appreciated what I had.
The lapels and silhouette of the suit are straight out of the 1930’s. The lapels have a wider stance, the pants are high waisted and full cut, and the jacket has a gently nipped waist. It is elegant and timeless. In fact, I was prompted to buy a set of suspenders to complement the lines of this suit. This suit drapes beautifully and is very comfortable to wear.
This is now my favorite suit because it has a sense of old-world elegance missing from the ultra-slim silhouette of modern suits. All it needed was a few minor alterations for proper fit to transform into a stylish blockbuster. Add a classic 100% cotton dress shirt (thrifted, $3.00 Goodwill), yellow silk regimental stripe tie (thrifted $1.00 Goodwill) and a white hankie for the pocket. Now, please pass the Gray Poupon…