Richard Biasi is a veteran thrift, auction and estate sale shopper who has one mission—finding vintage menswear to sell at his flourishing Chicago store! Richard has an eye for items that can stand the test of time, as well as fashion. Let’s find out more!
How did you start your business?
In 2013 I started selling at vintage markets in and around Chicago. I opened Richard's Fabulous Finds in 2014!
What is your favorite menswear era?
Definitely the 1930s. There was such amazing attention to detail, plus the neckwear (bowties & standard) were also brilliant from this era. (See more photos here: https://www.instagram.com/richardsfabulousfinds/)
Can you share some tips for a thrift shopper looking for vintage menswear?
The first thing you want to do is to study fabric. I can generally look at the cloth of a garment (flecked tweed, sharkskin, gabardine) and already know what era it is from. Also, the Garment Union tags that are found in most vintage pieces—usually found inside the inner pocket on the jacket. These labels changed over the years, and can really pinpoint its age. If you’re lucky you can sometimes find the original owner, store and date on the purchase tag—also found inside.
A great tool to understand vintage style is through high school and college yearbooks of different eras! They will show you what people were wearing and how they utilized accessories.
A tip for gentlemen on the hunt: Don’t be afraid to scan through the ladies section! I have found many wool jackets and heavy coats that end up in the wrong area of a store. Don't forget, men’s buttons go left over right, ladies buttons go right over left.
Great advice from a great guy! Now get out there and shop Goodwill!