30 September 2010

Keezer's

Not much to look at but a lot to look for


I can spot a Black Watch tartan from 200 yards


A 46 Long for $40



Good news & bad news



Lambourne - 40R / $48-ish



Polo circa 1970s - $40-ish



40R (I think) Make Len an offer




Hunter Green Blazer $45



Savile Row Suit - 38R / $68



NOS 16- something $18.95


NOS 16 - 33 (maybe?) $16.95



NOS 16-33 $18.95



NOS 16-33 $18.95



No longer available



NOS $7.00


I can't remember



Genuine Alligator Belt 38" $45



Selection of Morning Trousers






Keezer's is minutes from the Andover Shop but light years in other ways. There's no advice here much less counsel but if you know what you're looking for it's a helluva lot of fun. Mostly men's clothing, this place is lit like a 7-11 and crammed full of mysterious shipping boxes.

Len Goldstein runs the place and he clued me into new David Chu sport coats made in Italy- Retail $1,200 Keezer's $145. Len also has about 100 new peak lapel tuxedos from a well known men's store on Madison Avenue that retail around $4,000. Len is asking $495.

If you're 'Clothes Mad' the real fun is digging through the second hand stuff. Even if it's not your size it's fun to look at the labels of long gone stores and makers. Feel the goods. Appreciate the heft. 'Not as good as it was. Better than it will be.' Never forget that blazer buttons on a beat to hell coat are the hidden gold. Try on everything because sizes can be and often are wrong. And this is the place to make a mistake. It's hard to cry over a $40 screw up.

This isn't a Harvard Square haberdasher (although it once was in Harvard Sq) but I love the contrast. Contrast in color. Fibers. Formality. Life's too short to play it safe. Grab yourself by the short hairs and wear those Lilly P pants, Souleiado shirts, white bucks...just not together... but if you do -- please send me a picture.

29 September 2010

Charlie Davidson and The Andover Shop




"Who wants to look like a fucking Polo window." Charlie Davidson




The heavy mother


The customer didn't return to Poole









Charlies new silk sport coat



"I'm not wearing it til next year...it needs some time to hang..." C.D.



The details



Shirting does not get any better




Charlie's B-24 and Bud Collin's goods




Davidson Law



2nd floor work room








More shirts


My steal - WWII style khakis



Friday Belt material


It fits




About a month ago I was talking to Alan Flusser about this idea I have. He asked me if I'd been to the Andover Shop in Boston. I told him no. He asked why not. I told him I was scared shitless of Charlie Davidson.

A long story short-- I met Charlie yesterday morning in his shop on 22 Holyoke Street in Cambridge. He asked that I spare him from talking about clothes. So we talked about jazz, the army (he served on a B-24 in WWII) and women. He told me Paul Desmond baby sat Chet Baker and that there was a story about Desmond and a woman who broke his heart.

We talked a lot about Anita O'Day. Charlie had known O'Day since he was 16. I ask about Billie Holliday not being able to stand O'Day. "Shit," Charlie says, "they all hated each other." We talk about Brubeck and Jamal. Charlie tells me Miles Davis would sit in the corner downstairs and critique Charlie measuring up a customer. "Those sleeves are too long, Charlie."

And out of nowhere Charlie points to an English hunting jacket hanging behind me. "Bring that over." I lift it off the rack and it's a heavy mother. Charlie shows me the Poole Savile Row tag in the pocket with the date, 1914 and tells me, "The customer had it made before leaving for WWI. He never came back."

This is not just another haberdasher. There's history here but there's a world of advice, wisdom and counsel. I tell Charlie the English have a phrase for what he and I are. "Clothes mad. We just love clothes. All kinds of clothes." Charlie nods and says it's a good phrase. He repeats it, 'Clothes mad..." like he was trying it on. He looks at me and we both laugh.

I asked Charlie if I could take his picture. He said, "Just for you. I'd prefer if you didn't..." I interrupt, "No, I understand. They'll be just for me." And so they are. And so was the day.

28 September 2010

In Boston



Lots more to come...

23 September 2010