Okay, so when I talk about something being PYGAF I am referring to a product or establishment that clearly represents the same values as we do here at PYG. The Community Thrift Store, for example, has everything we love: grit, style, and a strong advocation for the hunt. At first glance this warehouse looks like a massive garage sale full of kitchen ware, old used clothes, and a bunch of junk really. But between the lines of this quarry there are tricklings of vintage duds, rare gear, deco furniture, and a constant influx of cool old shit. This is the kind of place you have to walk slowly through with your eyes peeled, you never know what you might stumble across. The vast variety of products seems to operate in a kind of organized chaos. I have never been there twice and seen the same things on a shelf. A large portion of the store is dedicated to furniture while the other areas focus on everything you can imagine from books, clothes, jewelry, home goods, etc. Honestly, they sell fucking everything. So if you have some time to kill next time you're on 18th and Valencia make sure to go in a have a look, they might just have that victorian armoire you've been looking for. And even better, you can probably afford it.
English Pewter Flask - $9
Hand Carved Dolphin Comb $1
Lomography Fisheye Camera $8
iSki Glasses Case $1
Vacation, located in San Francisco's Tenderloin district, is a neat little shop with a string of quirky vibes. There are bits and pieces of Bowie, sprinklings of Jackie, and a fundamental layer of 70's California. Bands like Vampire Weekend and The Sheepdogs would probably get a real kick out of this place. The tiny isles formed from racks suspended from the high ceilings are jammed with choice digs. Scouring around I was able to come across this Wes Anderson style red Woolrich Anorak. An engaging raincoat like this one should be in every poor young gentleman's repertoire. Find something oversized, something bright, and something with fun qualities like a half zipper and big kangaroo pouch.
A little whole in the wall in San Francisco's Tenderloin district is one of the best kept secrets in the City. Handsome Oxford is a small closet-like boutique located on the corner of Hyde and Post. Walking into this friendly shop is like taking a step through a worm hole, one side are the sordid streets and the other is a diorama of classic Americana. The shop is dripping with flags, denim, letterman jackets, and ivy league pennants. Rustic and well made brands like LL Bean, Woolwich, Pendleton, and all the vintage favorites fill the store from floor to ceiling (however low it may be). Like so, so, so many things, the ego of vintage shopping has been inherited by a new wave of entrepreneurs, but Handsome Oxford will restore your faith. There is nothing like a thrift shop that represents the joy of a good find.
For some time now Mixed Nuts, located in the Outer Richmond, has been my go-to thrift shop for just about anything unique. I make to trek for no specific purpose at all really, maybe an addition to my personal collection of folding knives or to just gawk at their horde of vintage chairs that fill the shop like rafters hanging from the ceiling. It's just another fun little pocket of San Francisco selling art and rust. Make sure to check out while getting some good Richmond Chinese or hitting the beach.
I’m a sucker for a beautiful pair of sunglasses and shopping for them is definitely one of my guilty pleasures. Whether brand new or vintage, sunglasses are one of those things that I firmly believe are worth spending a little extra on. I have yet to buy my first pair of $1200 optics, and doubt I ever will, but every once in a while a $100-$300 accessory that you adore is worth the splurge. Come on, you deserve it. The PYG philosophy is meant to encourage and inspire one’s ability to alleviate the limitations we sometimes feel from money. A true PYG understands that saving is important, but money is not God and it deserves no worship. If you have some money saved up and there is something you want but for some reason can't justify the cost, sometimes you've got to just say 'Fuck it, I want those goddamn sunglasses.’ Take these original Italian handmade sunglasses from SEE eyewear for example. SEE's moderately priced products ($99 and up) represent a strong Poor Young Gentleman value, balance, or as I like to say, Excess in Moderation. Living a humble lifestyle while maintaining a contemporary polish is all about splurging on yourself when you can. There's nothing like a couple luxe accessories to really enhance your swag. So go spend a little money on yourself, you deserve it, or maybe you don't, who gives a shit?
Located on 15th and Valencia, NO Shop is an offbeat hipster thrift store with a refreshing attitude and great prices. The store is relatively small in size while still offering a great selection of men's clothing, which isn't always the case with young vintage retailers. It's one of those consignment shops that has already done most of the work for you, which can be nice when you're not in a digging for treasure kind of mood. They have new wave and preppy stuff with plenty of rustic rock n' roll gear. It has a little bit of everything and reminds me a lot of Vacation, located in SF's Tenderloin district. Shops like NO or Vacation are great for just a browse but are especially useful looking for something specific like a backpack ($20) or a Cladyknit fishermen's sweater like this one shown ($32). Prominent items like jackets, sweaters, and bags can be pricey, even when used, NO Shop is the perfect place to look for a notable piece that won't cost half your paycheck. Even if you don't find something overtime you visit, just looking around the place for a few minutes will be sure to make you look hip
Cladyknit Fisherman's Sweater $34
Seaway Backpack $20
Leather Jacket $30
It's Etsy bitch! I'm a huge fan of Etsy. I remember being a kid and when eBay was the big thing. It was an amazing idea, people were quitting their jobs and selling all their shit, it was cool. Ten years later, take away the bidding and competitive clock watching and you've got the online mega store, Etsy! eBay can still be useful but at this point it's about as exciting as a gift card for Bockbuster. Anything you want, someone is out there selling it. Clothes, accessories, electronics, and the best category of course, vintage. I'm a sucker for antiques and thrifting, and Etsy is my favorite outlet for when I'm searching for something specific. Sifting through piles of shit can be fun, but sometimes you just want to get it done. I needed a briefcase for work, and I wanted something classic but a little unique. One quick search in Etsy and I came across this beaut for 30 bucks from GentlyUsedGoods. Check Please!
Aunt Bill's Stuff has to be one of the coolest stores in San Francisco. It's really an amazing place. I'd say it's a blend between an art gallery and a museum with an estate sale thrown in. There are all sorts of things from art, kitchen ware, couches, all the way to taxidermy and vintage cowboy boots, the place really is a trip. Came across this glistening little piece of vintage Malboro advertising for 20 bucks. I couldn't leave without it. What can I say? I'm a sucker for shiny things.
It's important for a gentleman to have hobbies, they keep us busy and inspire expertise, which is impressive and classy as fuck. One of my personal infatuations are folding knives, pockets knives, and pen knives. I don't know what it is, I just like them. I like it when they're old and when they're unique, but when it boils down to it, I really don't need a reason. If it's cool it's cool. Everyone should have a thing, and this is one of my things.
Bernal Cutlery located on Guerrero Street is one of the coolest knife stores in San Francisco and they specialize in high end cutlery both new and old. My favorite part of the store is the revolving glass case in the corner packed with vintage pocket knives. Perhaps the most fun part of having a collection isn't the pile of crap that accumulates but it's the things you'll learn and find during the hunt. The real collection are the stories and the personal little pockets of your city to call your own.
The art of the thrift can be displayed and approached in many ways. There is a pair of Levi jeans out there that cost a fortune because of the thread used to stitch them together. The crux we hunters live with everyday is that we will never know whether those pants are buried somewhere in a Goodwill or on display in a proprietary denim boutique. No frontier will go unexplored! Crossroads Trading Co. falls into an area that isn't quite vintage and is well below high end. It doesn't have much of a niche at all really, other than a reliability for good brands at good prices. It's a cool spot to trade some old things you haven't worn in a year or browse around for something sort of new. I recommend visiting if you need a jacket, a new sweater, or some t-shirts.
Nothing like perusing around Cape Cod for a week to make you feel truly useless. Wake up, hit the beach, make a chicken salad sandwich, go back to the beach, take a nap, life really isn't unfair. Something I like to do when in a new location is seek out some of the local shit. A souvenir to me is whatever the natives are throwing away. Antique Center of Yarmouth is a treasure trove of New England knicknacks.