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October might well be the new September, but it is

still cold enough most mornings for a wool sweater.

I'm in heaven.

Pure Bliss... so long as one is dressed for the weather.

Danny's Table devotees might recall a pair of wool-related essays last year-- one piece on Harris Tweed, and another about the art, science, and pleasures of online Sweater Hunting.

There is good news to report on both.

While sitting in my truck waiting for my next assignment, I've recently begun to surf eBay for really cool stuff, like vintage tweed blazers and '40's-looking argyle sweater vests. I look for offerings with the "make an offer" button, and boy, do I make an offer-- generally around $15 for an item listed for $50. Then I sit back and watch what happens. Some come back with a counter-offer every bit as insulting as my offer; I interpret that as a "no." Others simply decline. But as of late I've found the market stunningly tilted toward us, the buyers. Indeed, a surprising number accept my low offers, and some wonderful threads have been arriving on my doorstep. My recent haul includes a pair of earth-tone merino wool turtlenecks, a fabulous argyle vest, Polo khaki slacks ($10!) and an especially nice surprise-- a Brooks Brothers tweed jacket that turned out to be a genuine Harris Tweed.

Preppy argyle, $15...

...and Brook Brothers Harris Tweed for $20!

Two decades ago I was between marriages and fairly active on an online dating site. In an early text conversation with one of my connections, she said, "Gee, you're profile is kind of thin." I replied, "That's 'cause I'm here to hunt, not to fish." This is a useful distinction on eBay-- if you really need a particular item, you hunt it down until you find it, and then you pay whatever it takes (within reason) to acquire it. But if you just want to have fun, you throw some low-ball offers into the watery depths and then see what kind of nibbles you elicit. (BTW, my quip about hunting vs. fishing didn't scare this woman away; she and I had a year-long romance, and we remain in cordial contact to this day.)

Whether it's the economy or simply people of means suddenly downsizing, the deals are out there, better than ever. Happy hunting... or fishing... to all!


For those who think that buying used clothing might be a little... creepy or something, consider that new new sweaters and blazers are often of greatly inferior quality compared to those produced decades ago. They've lasted until now because they are so well-made.

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