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October 2, 2012 10:21 PM   Subscribe

The last of my high school shirts are starting to go. What would be a good thrift store in Manhattan or Brooklyn where I could get well-sewn men's cotton shirts with a plain, subdued appearance? I am not a "fashion-forward" sort of person; think Goodwill, not Buffalo Exchange. I like deep solids or very subtle patterns, perhaps accomplished in the weave of the fabric rather than by dying. Removable collar stays would be great; they make laundry so much easier.

Interestingly enough, the Goodwill around 89th and 2nd Ave comes closest with their men's pants. There are just racks and racks of nice wool pants with half-linings and neat seams and even some suspender buttons. But somehow they have no good shirts.
posted by d. z. wang to Shopping (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Go look at the tag of your last high school shirt. It fits you perfect, right? What size is it? Hopefully the tag inside the collar says something like 16/36 or 14.5/32. Those are the neck and arm length measurements, respectively.

What's the material? That should be on a tag too, though perhaps not the same tag. If the tag doesn't say or you can't read it anymore, check out this page and match it to the weave. You can add that as a search term.

Click on the ebay link and narrow the results by choosing your size shirt. You can also narrow further by choosing a color or multiple colors. Then order by price or whatever and browse!
posted by carsonb at 10:56 PM on October 2, 2012 [2 favorites]

Oh, and specifically if you want the 'weave in the fabric' look check out cotton twill shirts.

If you wind up buying from a private or wardrobe seller rather than an online thrift shop, make sure to browse their other shirts to see if they have anything else you'd like to wear.

If you can't read the measurements off your shirt, or you think the old ones weren't fitting right any more, you can go to a department store and ask to have your measurements taken in the menswear section. The clerks are usually happy to do it, and don't necessarily expect you to purchase anything. Make sure to write them down, or otherwise make note. If they'll give you your full measurements, do it! Someday when you buy a suit it'll come in handy.
posted by carsonb at 11:00 PM on October 2, 2012

Plain and subdued; well made and cheap?

Sounds like you need Brooks Brothers on Ebay.
posted by doreur at 4:31 AM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

Shirts wear faster than pants (think pit stains); that's why you're having a harder time finding them at thrift stores. That said, try Housing Works on 77th between 2nd and 3rd (they have another branch downtown, too).
posted by Admiral Haddock at 5:16 AM on October 3, 2012

The Goodwill on 125th is where rich UES/UWS people drop off their clothes.
posted by griphus at 5:56 AM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]

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