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 over 25 years ago (the Calvin Klein name has since been used for diffusion, i.e. cheap suit manufacturing). 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 make it look its best. 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 Grey Poupon …