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Enough to make a grown FLer cry. Tell us your worst finds or ruined clothing stories

Discussion in 'Suits' started by reetpleat, Mar 28, 2012.

  1. reetpleat

    reetpleat Call Me a Cab

    Howdy gang. I have been AWOL for a while. Was cleaning out my photos and thought I would share a sad sad story. I am a real estate agent. Last year I sold a house that was an estate. the owner was an old man and a hoarder. Apparently, he was a regular guy, but his brother was quite a ladies man and a dandy. Apparently, he went down to San Francisco on a regular basis to buy suits from Macintosh. The labels showed they were custom tailored for him.

    If you don't know, they were one of the finest and flashiest makers in Hollywood. They did a lot of costumes for the movie houses, and also a lot of movie stars. They also opened a shop in San Francisco. They were known for flashy cuts, in classic fabrics, with an additional pleat in the jacket for a really nipped waist.

    Well, this would be a vintage fan's dream, except for the fact that the whole place was mildew and moth infested. I found about 40 macintosh suits, all ruined, plus other cool stuff. I almost cried.

    I wanted to get some just to pass on for patterns maybe, but it was not a situation in which I could. Oh well.

    What is your best worst find story? Or did you ruin something yourself?










  2. Gin&Tonics

    Gin&Tonics Practically Family

    Ugh, what a shame. Not a thing salvageable, huh? You must feel how I feel when I see antiques ruined.

    By the way, are you wearing brown leather Clarks with a sort of two-tone saddle thing going on near the laces? I think we have the same shoes.
  3. there's something tragic about seeing once beautiful things reduced to trash. what a sad story reetpleat.
    i don't have a story anywhere near as tear jerking. there was the time i put a wool 1940s suit jacket in the washing machine in a desperate attempt to get rid of the previous owners underarm odour... but that was stupid rather than sad. ;)
  4. I feel your pain. :( Looks like pigeons, rats, and spiders as well as moths had their way with those clothes. But is nothing salvageable?? Not even a tie or two?
  5. Flat Foot Floey

    Flat Foot Floey My Mail is Forwarded Here

    40 (!) suits... *faint*

    My black 30s suit from the fleamarket would have been perfect if there would be no moth holes in the trousers. But it's just an ordinary (an black) suit. The mackintosh suits seem to be in another league. And 40 of them...oh my.
  6. The blue three-piecer with the pinstriping is beautiful!

    What a pity that it isn't.

    Are there any accessories that were salvagable? Belts? Handkerchieves? Suspenders?
  7. Two Types

    Two Types I'll Lock Up

    Back in the early 1980s a friend of mine took his father's double-breasted 1940s suit and overcoat (both with fantastically wide lapels) and cut them down to a narrow lapel.

    My father told me how he had been given an Edwardian tweed overcoat that was so heavy he could never wear it. So, during the 1960s, he used to place it over the car engine at night during winter, to stop things from freezing up. (That car needed a lot of careful treatment - it was a late 1940s Rover that had been running for some 20 years).

    And a friend had a suit made for his brother's wedding, wore it twice, and then stored it badly resulting in all-but complete destruction by moths!
  8. reetpleat

    reetpleat Call Me a Cab

    I have hand washed a jacket. Cam out okay after pressing, but never quite the same. Saturate it with a baking soda water solution. Repeat a few times if necessery. Works like a charm.
  9. reetpleat

    reetpleat Call Me a Cab

    There were several pairs of shoes, and if I were cleaning it out, I would likely have found more, plus probably belts etc. But I was not in a position (due to business reasons) to ask to go through or have any of the stuff, even though it all went to the dump. I would have loved to salvage the suits, if for no other reason than to pass along to any tailors on the forum who might be interested.
  10. Gin&Tonics

    Gin&Tonics Practically Family

    I can certainly understand why it would be inappropriate for you to ask for any of the stuff. I'm sure a lot of less scrupulous agents would have just scooped them and nobody would have cared; having integrity can be very difficult at times.
  11. thunderw21

    thunderw21 My Mail is Forwarded Here

    All I can say is 'patterns'.
  12. Gene

    Gene Practically Family

    Had a similar situation with an old hoarder myself...received a call one day from a friend who was clearing out her great-uncle's house. The guy was a doctor from a very old money family, and there were lots of examples of trashed gems: stained and eaten gab shirts, wool fedoras nipped and stained, suits that had been in a damp basement for years, but the icing on the sad cake was a belt-back Palm Beach suit with holes the size of golf balls.

    I was able to get some ties and some other trinkets, but the bulk of the closet was trash. Kicking myself now for not grabbing the stuff for patterns (didn'te ven occur to me)
  13. Two Types

    Two Types I'll Lock Up

  14. Brevetti

    Brevetti New in Town

    I'd have to second what Thunder said above. In the long run, patterns are far more valuable than an original garment.
  15. The Wolf

    The Wolf Call Me a Cab

    I Hate MOTHS!!!

    The Wolf
  16. resortes805

    resortes805 Call Me a Cab

    I have a pair of baby blue 1950s gab slacks that I kept in a bin where I store clothing that need alterations. As I was moving stuff around, I laid a computer printer on top of the uncovered bin. I didn't notice the printer had shifted to it's side slightly, and black ink came dripping out; ruining my trousers!
  17. dakotanorth

    dakotanorth Practically Family

    Redye! Redye!
  18. The Gentleman

    The Gentleman New in Town

    I doubt anyone will disagree with you !
  19. I also hate moths. The damn things ate a hole in one of my waistcoats!

    Fortunately, it wasn't one that I prize, so its loss is no great issue...but still. It's frustrating.
  20. My worst experience was in a store that came to be known as Land 'o Moths in Crawfordsville, IN. The store was clearly the life's work and passion of the owner. She has racks and racks of menswear from the 30s and 40s. And literally thousands of ties. Absolutely amazing collection of stuff. But almost everything in the whole store is completely eaten away by moths. When you move a box, or a suitcase (typically full of ties), the cloud of moths is scary to behold.

    I went through every tie in the place - must be 10,000 of them, and only came away with 20 good ones. They were a buck a piece. She is very cheap, but her stuff is wrecked. she told me she has a whole warehouse full of other stuff. I can't imagine the damage and the fauna living in there.


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