A Vintage Win: YSL Three-Piece

I know there are some people who swear by thrifting and vintage shopping. I’m not one of them. It’s not that I don’t like doing the vintage thing, it’s just that I’ve never really had much luck. Part of the reason is that I’ve got a relatively smaller build. At 5’9″, 140lbs, and a 36″ chest, it’s rare that I’ll find a garment that fits. And when you’re talking about suits, there’s nothing you can really do if the shoulders and chest don’t fit other than look like you’re wearing a suit that’s too big, which is worth several thumbs down emoticons. However, when I was in LA this summer, I got extremely lucky.

Vintage YSL Suit - He Spoke Style

| WEARING | Vintage Yves Saint Laurent suit, Michael Andrews Bespoke shirt, Brooks Brothers tie, QG Custom pocket round, Ray-Ban sunglasses, Citizen watch, To Boot New York suede boots | PHOTOGRAPHY | by Rob McIver Photo

After checking out of my Airbnb apartment, I had about six hours to kill before I needed to head to the airport. So I decided that in addition to hitting up Cecconi’s one last time for lunch, that I’d spend the afternoon walking Melrose Avenue to check out some of the shops I’d missed previously. One of those was ConsignMEN, a luxury consignment shop filled with tons of designer items.

The majority of my browsing went as it usually does in any vintage store, meaning everything was too big for me. Then I happened upon a brown suit on a YSL hanger. It was a size 38, but I decided to try it on just for kicks. The jacket fit perfectly, as did the waistcoat. And much to my surprise, aside from the almost bell bottom-like leg opening, so did the pants.

Vintage YSL Suit - He Spoke Style

I went back and forth a bit on whether or not to buy it, but decided that the $250 price tag was worth it. And since I never have much luck at vintage shops, I didn’t want to let this one get away. $150 in alterations later—I had Earle hem and taper the pants, as well as do some more in depth surgery on the jacket’s sleeves to narrow them slightly—and I’ve got a great fitting and versatile designer suit that’s perfect for fall.

Vintage YSL Suit - He Spoke Style

What was your best-ever vintage score?

Thanks for reading.

Stylishly Yours,

Brian
He Spoke Style

Chime In

  • Kris

    Not so much a vintage fine, but I was on vacation in San Francisco a few days ago and was exploring Hayes Valley, an area I had never been before. That morning I had mentioned to a friend a backpack that I had been stalking online for the last year, but was wary to purchase without ever trying it on or seen it in person. The bag was the Isar Rucksack (http://www.coteetciel.com/en-US/isar-rucksack) from Cote et Ciel, a French company. They design a lot of Apple products and are popular in Asian and European countries, especially Hong Kong, Japan, and Denmark. They have yet to gain a large following in America (especially in Seattle, where I live).

    When we went to Hayes Valley later that afternoon, as we enter a store, I see someone exit the store wearing this exact backpack. A little while later and a few blocks away, we happen into a contemporary clothing store and see Cote et Ciel Mac Sleeves. I look up and see the entire collection of Isar Rucksacks. I had just happened to walk into the only West Coast retailer to carry these backpacks! After trying it on, I purchased it on the spot.

    A few months ago, in your post about messenger bags I asked what you thought about grown up backpacks and lamented how messenger bags hurt my shoulders but are perhaps more grown up than backpacks (I am getting my Master’s Degree in Architecture). While I still love your response (that sweet leather Coach tote), this new backpack just might be the perfect transition piece – not too grown up yet, but definitely not juvenile either.

    Sometimes when things like this occur – happening upon that perfect find – you’ve just got to go with it.

    Best,
    Kris

    • http://hespokestyle.com Brian Sacawa

      Great story! Yes, it seems like it was meant to be.

      Coach also has this great leather backpack. Pretty serious bag and definitely more grown up: http://bit.ly/1khtjZV

  • Joshua

    Picture perfect! And, I suppose, real-life perfect, too.

    I don’t thrift; my size is 34.

    • http://hespokestyle.com Brian Sacawa

      Yeah, like I said, that’s the same reason I really don’t dive into vintage stuff more often. Thanks for the support, Joshua!

  • http://norulejuststyle.wordpress.com/ Abrielle

    Om my goodness! This is just pure perfection!
    http://norulejuststyle.wordpress.com/

    • http://hespokestyle.com Brian Sacawa

      Thanks for the support, Abrielle. Have a great weekend.

  • http://norulejuststyle.wordpress.com/ Abrielle

    Correction: “Oh”, not “om”.

    • http://hespokestyle.com Brian Sacawa

      Gotcha!

  • MaxMax

    Yep…. that suit definitely rocks! The shirt, tie and round perfect the whole ensemble.

    Ive done pretty good with a couple of Brooks Brothers blazers and some nice ties at my local Goodwill. I think the trick is to find a thrift store in a quiet upscale city. There are usually a ton of ties, 99% of them horrible in design, style, width, etc but if you spend the extra time to sort through them, there could be a hidden gem in there.

    • http://hespokestyle.com Brian Sacawa

      Right and I think that’s why there was so much good stuff in that store in LA, though I’d hesitate to call LA a quiet city. Talking with a few of the guys who do the custom clothing program at the barbershop I go to, it seems like hunting for vintage Brooks Brothers stuff is quite the thing. Maybe like the menswear version of classic car collecting?

  • Bill

    Without a doubt, my Burberry trench. Found it in an estate sale (via eBay) a couple of years ago, for less than $100. I know there are a lot of fakes out there, so I had this one checked out and it is the real thing. I look for rainy days and opportunities to wear it!

    • http://hespokestyle.com Brian Sacawa

      You can say that again! That’s an amazing find. That’s one of my bucket list pieces.

  • http://www.awedathecomplexman.blogspot.com Aweda

    I’m a huge fan of brown ! and three piece suits also. You nailed this and imglad u finally got some vintage stuff that suits you! – im a sucker for vintage stuff-.

    I’ve had alot of vintage scores. particularly because most of my stuff belonged to my dad who loves italian suits and shoes and has a truck load of them and i happen to be a little taller than he is so the fit is always amazing when touched up here and there !. The best moment i had was one with a grey plaid suit with coloured lines that was custom made for him by Ben And Dyke in the 80’s – i guess- that i happened to wear to my faculty dinner and i added a dark waistcoat to get my three piece on. I did a few alterations with the sleeves and the general fit of both the trouser and blazer.Most people felt i got it OTR and i just nodded like i actually did. The Power Of Vintage Stuff And A Good Tailor .

    Cheers !
    AWEDA.

    • http://hespokestyle.com Brian Sacawa

      Gives new meaning to hand me downs! Thanks, as always, for sharing, Aweda. Have a great rest of the weekend.

  • http://thepocketstyle.blogspot.com/ Andres Poiche
    • http://hespokestyle.com Brian Sacawa

      CHEERS, ANDRES!

  • http://www.aridethroughfashion.com Alberto Monteagudo

    It really suits you!
    You look very handsome :)

    • http://hespokestyle.com Brian Sacawa

      Thanks so much, Alberto. Appreciate the compliments.

  • Gordon Miskin

    I found a YSL pure wool blazer in a Goodwill store in Grand Rapids MI. Made in France, light brown/greyish and $6. Don’t think it gets luckier than that.

  • Seth Nelson

    I absolutely love the suit (and the whole outfit here)! Congratulations on the find. Here in San Antonio, the closest thing we have is Second Looks, which is a men’s luxury consignment store. I’m a regular. Recently I found a beautiful sport coat made by Zegna. I’m a 40 long, and it fit me well enough to buy it for $110. The left sleeve was about 3/4 an inch shorter than the right. My tailor at Penner’s was able to fix it to perfection, and it is one of my favorite coats.

    Speaking of Penner’s, I just recently ordered an early birthday present for myself: my first made to measure suit. It will be three-piece, like yours here. I am very excited.

    • http://hespokestyle.com Brian Sacawa

      Well done! I wish I’d known about Second Looks when I was down there. I’m sorry we didn’t have a chance to catch up. I was pretty busy!

      • Seth Nelson

        I definitely understand about being busy. I’ve had lots of good luck at Second Looks, and they change their inventory pretty consistently. Definitely worth a visit next time you are in the area.