First World Bargains: Thrift Store Finds April 2015

There is a lot to say about American culture. Our excess. Our over-confidence. Our relative perception of survival. I'm not going to dive deep here, I will repress the sociology major that never was. Let's just say: One man's trash is another man's treasure.

After a dry spell in March, which happens from time to time in the world of bargain hunting, April picked up and more than made up for the mundane March stretch. This is the April edition of thrift store finds.

Someone must have unloaded a whole bunch of ancient Minnesota Twins gear. This wasn't the only, but definitely favorite, pickup from that haul. An original 1991 crewneck sweatshirt celebrating the glory days of Kirby and Co.

Something very difficult to find: men's sneakers in good condition that may be something desirable, or a signature model.

Something  very easy to find: youth, grade school, or women's size sneakers in good condition. Between the Nike Air Max line and the various Jordan signature models, I have seen at least one variation of almost every early Air Jordan signature shoe. Mostly, not in good condition or in a size that no one I know wears. This was a great pick up for the wife.

This is a most excellent pick up. The Air Jordan 6 in an exclusive grade school "rainbow" colorway. This variation of the shoe was originally released in 2010, but we picked it up in April 2015 for $6.

This pair is in remarkable condition - these photos were taken pre-cleaning. The yellowing of the soul is a natural an unavoidable process that comes with the age of the shoe and does not indicate excessive wear. It may indicate that they were worn or left in damp or excessively warm areas frequently, but the shoes themselves are fantastic.

This shirt looks ordinary at first passing, possibly even undesirable. Seeing it triggered a memory from recently reading Roland Lazenby's "Michael Jordan: The Life." Something mentioned in the book was a venture by Michael Jordan and his late father, James Jordan. The venture was small chain of stores owned and operated by James Jordan that sold Michael Jordan-related merchandise. In the end, James did a very poor job of managing the stores and that ultimately led to seizure of control by Michael Jordan who carefully managed his personal brand after his father's failure. Eventually, it became Jordan Brand Flight 23, an extension of the now ginormous Jordan empire. This shirt is a relic from the early days of Michael Jordan, before the launch of the Jordan/Nike endeavors. I assume there is no value in this item, but as a huge Chicago Bulls and Michael Jordan fan, I was unreasonably happy to find this. Thanks to my friend, Kyle Flater, for letting my read his copy of Lazenby's book, which I have yet to return to him.

The last of the batch for April: a Woolrich button up. These are some of best, usually American-made goods you can get. I've found that the Woolrich I have owned is best as outerwear to protect against cold or the elements. This shirt is of the highest quality and in great condition. At just under $5, this comes in a literally a fraction of the retail cost.

Picking up some of the best clothing that money can buy for not much money is a huge win. Good luck hunting everyone, see you next month.

by Daniel Coughlin

First World Bargains: Thrift Store Finds February 2015

There is a lot to say about American culture. Our excess. Our over-confidence. Our relative perception of survival. I'm not going to dive deep here, I will repress the sociology major that never was. Let's just say: One man's trash is another man's treasure.

This is the February edition of our thrift store finds.

The world of sneakers can be a nasty, dark, selfish place. The marketplace of pure greed, one of the main reasons that I shy away from seeking out these types of things in bigger markets and keep it small town, thrift shop style.

Also, women's sneakers have lately seen a drastic reduction in production, manufacturers like Nike who used to crush the market with Nike Dunks, Nike Jordans, and other combinations of the two, have largely ignored the women's market except to produce a "faux-heeled" model of Dunks.

Women's sneakers are also in abundance in thrift shops, which is surprising. Not only are the fewer women's sneakers from the likes of New Balance, Reebok, Nike and adidas in circulation, but they also tend to be kept in better condition by their owners, compared to men's shoes.

Finding this pair of Nike Air Max in such great condition is a rare feat. And this, as you can see, is the shoe prior to cleaning. Once the shoes have been cleaned, it will be like a brand new pair of Air Max, or gently worn at worst. My favorite detail has to be the stitched hearts on either end of the Nike Swoosh at the tongue base. Great pick up for under $10.

Newflash: WE LOVE AMERICAN HERITAGE BRANDS. Made in the USA? Check. High quality? Check. Comfortable? Check. Do I feel like Bill Murray when I wear it? Check. Under $8? Absolutely. Impossible to go wrong with anything from Woolrich and this piece is no exception.

Some great detail, including the leather Woolrich tag on the breast pocket. Works exceptionally well as an overshirt, comedic in the fact that it is not only decorated with items particular to fishing and also a perfect shirt to wear when out at the water casting. I might have to pick up fishing as a hobby to really engage the meta aspects of this fine pick up.

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This was a big gamble. Do you really want to wear a hat that someone else wore? I have never purchased a "used" hat before. It's slightly less uncomfortable than buying used socks or underwear.

I pulled the trigger on it after all as it came with all of the original tags/stickers on it, was right at the max amount to pay of $10 and is a Mitchell and Ness snapback. I have many snapbacks from Mitchell and Ness, love them all, and they all cost me at least double what this went for. Another nice plus: Vancouver instead of Memphis. While Mitchell and Ness do specialize in "throwback" athletic apparel, still nice to see something that makes me think of Bryant Reeves.

Another win for the ladies! This is the "Cardinal" colorway of the Air Jordan 7. The Air Jordan 7 was originally released 23 years ago in 1992. The shoe is worn, but still retains all of the original condition of the shoe with no permanent stains or tears. And again, this is pre-clean condition.

The Jordan 7 has been the main focus of the 2015 Air Jordan Retro series. The Jordan brand has been making it a habit to release multiple colorways of each Jordan signature model in the year of the shoe's 23rd Anniversary. This is clearly pointed at celebrating Michael Jordan who immortalized the number 23 in sports, and made the Air Jordan line the most lucrative shoe in history, as the number that he wore on his jersey as a member of the Chicago Bulls while leading them to six NBA championships.

While the French Blue Retro was only mildly popular, the Barcelona Nights original colorway that release this past weekend sold out almost immediately which several more releases planned for the 2015 calendar. Instead of dropping $200 on "Marvin the Martian" release, we grabbed these for a cool $7.

In addition to this pair of the Air Jordan 7, we also picked up a pair of children's Air Jordan 7s, not pictured. A great year to celebrate the Air Jordan 7, you can do that at your local Footlocker or, like us, at your local Goodwill, Salvation Army or Savers.

Our last snag of the month is this Chicago Bulls sweater jacket. Not anything particularly flashy, but as a Bulls fan I had to jump to get this piece. It is thin and fairly well worn, but was under $6. Never heard of the brand, but that could be due to its age.

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The great continuity of this piece is that it was manufactured in the same year that the Air Jordan 7 was originally released, 1992. A 23-year-old jacket that has retained a great deal of its original condition with no visible wear or staining. 1992 was a good year.

Stick around for next month's pick ups, or get in touch with us and share your own.

First World Bargains: Thrift Store Finds January 2015

There is a lot to say about American culture. Our excess. Our over-confidence. Our relative perception of survival. I'm not going to dive deep here, I will repress the sociology major that never was. Let's just say: One man's trash is another man's treasure.

This is the January edition of our thrift store finds.

Curb Your Enthusiasm Seasons 1-4 on DVD.

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Some variation of a Timberwolves warmup jersey? Near perfect condition, not something you see every day.

I don't know that I have ever been more excited about a pair of sneakers in a thrift store. Mostly that is because hardly anyone ever donates any kind of good shoe. The best pair of sneakers I ever purchased in a thrift store was a girls only edition of the Air Jordan 5 for my wife that was in amazing condition considering they were over eight years old at the time. But this might just be the best thing ever. Picked up at a donation-driven thrift store in northwestern Wisconsin, here you have some very cool and very FAKE Nike Air Yeezy's. The shoe collaboration between Nike and Kanye West. Very well worn, I was extremely happy to pick them up for just $6. A lot of the detail is a spot on match for images of the the Nike Yeezy shoe, but there are also a few very obvious details that show it as a fake.

Not a lot of players for the Orlando Magic have ever really mattered in the greater scope of basketball in America. Of the very select few that did matter, two of them wore the No. 1 jersey. I already have the Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway Orlando Magic No. 1 jersey, now I can add the Tracy McGrady Orlando Magic No. 1 jersey to the mix.

It was a decent month. We made a total of over 25 trips to various thrift locations in January and these were the highlights of those trips. Stay tuned as we will bring you the best of February in another month's time.

Savers Finds: January 6, 2015

Once in a while, we go to Savers and look for our personal treasures among the trash of others. In the past we have found things like Seattle Supersonics jackets, Beavis and Butthead t-shirts, and Seinfeld DVDs.

Here is a roundup of the snags from our most recent trip to Savers:

What have we here? Well, it is a Latrell Sprewell jersey from his days with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Added this to Air Lainey's MASSIVE jersey collection as it was a size large youth jersey.

Air Jordan 11, size 1.5 youth. The Air Jordan 6 in the background is only in the picture to help "scale" just how small these little Jordan 11 shoes really are. I could fit both of them inside just one of my giant shoes. They will need a thorough cleaning, but then they will be in great shape and no one had to get shot or stabbed over them!

We check in at Savers every once in a while. Anytime that we come across something great, we will let you know! Good luck thrifting everyone!