Tom Nardone, The Goodwill Sharp Dressed Man

tomomI was going into a local sporting goods store recently to buy some ammo for my pellet rifle. As I was walking through the store I noticed a button up shirt hanging on the rack. I noticed it because I was wearing the exact same shirt complete with a small tag under the pocket that read “Columbia”. I could not figure out what my shirt was doing in the asshole section of a retail sporting goods store. Mine came from Goodwill.

I just could not get past it. A shirt I was wearing was actually coveted by people who didn’t shop for their clothes at Goodwill. I knew the shirt I was wearing came from Goodwill because Goodwill is the only place my wife is allowed to buy my clothes. I have told my wife, (nicely) “OK if you must by clothes for me, then fine. I don’t want you to shop anywhere but goodwill.” (underwear she gets retail)

I love Goodwill

I love the shit at Goodwill. If you know me then you must also know how importantly I value my personal appearance. I always strive to look neat and sharp at all times. Wow, I almost wrote that without laughing. Honestly, I don’t even stop to look in the mirror before I leave the house.

I was shocked to discover the shirt I was wearing that cost me only $3.00, was hanging on the rack waiting for an asshole who could not think of a better way to spend $69.00 to come along and decide he could not live without it. I looked around some more and found that shirts bearing this name and others were going for anywhere from $20 to $131.00.

While I think it is wrong for retailers to take advantage of stupid people, I have to say I found this impressive. I saw jackets for two and three hundred dollars, shoes for two hundred, and visors? Why in the shit do people wear visors? I think it is because visors are easier to find than T-shirts that say, “Hi I am an asshole!” I believe men who wear visors also are the same ones who wear scarfs in the winter.

It is no secret why this shit costs so much; it is the name and/or logo prominently featured on the item. I guess the thinking among these people is there is no point in paying two hundred dollars for a shirt if the rest of the world cannot see that you have paid two hundred dollars for a shirt. If you are that person, then yes, I am referring to you when I say asshole.

I realize, I too, wear a few shirts bearing the names of fashionable clothing manufactures, and I will continue to do so, if the price stays at three dollars a shirt. I won’t go out of my way to avoid these items simply on principal. My wife buys the shit, I wear the shit.

I have never complained about one thing my wife has brought home from Goodwill for two reasons. One is of course I just don’t care what I wear, and the other is if I complained, then she could make a pretty good case for getting me to leave the house and go clothes shopping with her. Fuck that noise.

I imagine if nothing has changed then it is still the case in middle schools and high schools across the country. Many kids would only hang around other kids on the basis of the clothes they wore. You had to have this kind of jeans or this kind of jacket to be accepted. I do understand the pressure of our peers in school, but I also understand the biggest assholes in our country can be found in our high schools.

There are names I will proudly wear. I love my Iron Maiden shirts. I love all the shirts I have from rock shows I have attended. I have a shirt displaying a truck with a donkey in the back, that reads, “Haulin Ass”, and as many of you know I love my onesie pajamas. These things identify me as an individual.

One of my favorite people on the internet is the Extreme Mom. She has a massive following. I have been reading her for a long time, and we have become good friends. She has recently opened an online store and has made available to her fans, T-shirts, aprons, and some other things. I plan to buy a coffee cup from her, and yes I am going to pay more for that coffee cup than I normally would. I am going to buy this cup only because it bears the name “Extreme Mom” I think she is funny, interesting, and have grown to love her site and her group. I don’t know who manufactured her coffee cups and I don’t give a shit.

I know many of my good friends whom I love, own clothes that say, Nike, Adidas, Levi, Columbia, or The North Face. I do too. This does not make you, or I, an asshole. All I am saying is if you are going to pay insane prices for something just because of the name it bears, perhaps you would be better off picking a name for something you give a shit about. Pick a name for something you love. Pick a name for something for which you are passionate. It just beats the Hell out of a name other people pretend to give a shit about too.

I am Tom Nardone and You are welcome

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27 Responses to Tom Nardone, The Goodwill Sharp Dressed Man

  1. I too buy 90% of my clothes at goodwill…you have to be a little pickier, but it will be a cold day in hell before I buy a 69.00 shirt…

  2. I am a no-logos kind of girl. I prefer my personality to shine, not my billboard chest. If I have anything of value, it was most likely a gift. While I cannot stand Goodwill due to the overstimulation I get there (too much digging to find anything), I do love Walmart clothes. Not so much digging required. I’m “get in, grab it (pay for it), and get out!” p}!{k

  3. I’m with you on this, considering that ninety-nine percent of my shirts are yard-sale fodder. My only requirements are that it looks good and feels good. I’m willing to pay a little more for pants, particularly blue jeans, because the cheaper stuff doesn’t tend to last as long, but about 15-20 bucks a pair is pretty much my limit, and they better last me at least a couple years.

  4. Jade Reyner says:

    Okay… much of the technicalities of this post was lost on me as I have no idea what Goodwill is… however, I am presuming that it is your average run of the mill chain store? But… the message is excellent as ever Tom and you will be pleased to know that I am proud to own not one single ‘designer’ item of clothing. I do however have to admit to looking in the mirror before I leave the house.. more for the sanity of the people that I am likely to come into contact with than anything else though 😀

    Oh.. and thanks for the tip about Extreme Mom’s shop. I shall have to check it out. 🙂

  5. Gina Fenton says:

    I can totally relate to this as I believe I’m one of the very few women on the planet who truly doesn’t give a rats ass about designer purses. Coach who?? You paid HOW much?? Gasp!!

    I’m right there with you Tom.

    Funny thing is when it comes to my four kids, the older two are devout thrift store shoppers. In fact neither will wear anything with a pretentious label. True story. My 20 y/o son has even been known to take things right out of other peoples garbage. He scored a nice pair of boots like this recently. No complaints here.
    Then there’s my younger two ages 14 & 17 who hang with the IN crowd and unfortunately obsess over brand names. Go ahead and just light my pay check on fire. I’m not exactly sure what my point is here, only that choices aren’t necessarily the result of parental influence. Theory blown.

    I happen to love consignment store shopping.

    Also, much thanks for promoting my new Extreme Mom shop. I hereby attest that the merchandise offered in this CafePress store is absolutely marked up in accordance to current retail standards. You’re definitely not getting a deal of any sort. What you are getting is the name… which for some, may be a mind trip to a happier place that’s not necessarily reality. That said, I’d definitely buy a Tom Nardone coffee cup so that when I drank from it at work (when I’m in professional mode) I could smirk and giggle a little bit. I’d like that. 🙂

  6. ksbeth says:

    i love the donkey in the pickup t-shirt so much. i once designed a logo for my daughter’s landscaping business that i wanted to name, ‘jacka’s’. thought if we dropped the extra ‘s’ we could pull it off. the logo was a donkey kicking up his back heels and clicking them together. great post tomnardone and you are pretty in pink.

  7. Ned's Blog says:

    I only EVER where designer clothes. The difference is, I design them myself. Usually by not checking the pockets of my kids’ pants before throwing a load of whites in. And like you, Tom, I covet my Rock t-shirts.

  8. I laughed SO HARD on this. I retweeted this crap all over my twit last nite.

    Me and ned.

    This blog is my forever favorite!

    Of course it’s alllll over my tweet feed. And Ned’s. LOLOLOL
    You were nowhere to be found. So we kept going….without you. But you can revive it….I’ll gladly tune back in!?

    FAVE. POST. EVA!!!

  9. TIA says:

    Tom,
    Like you, I love the goodwill. However, I still like to look in the mirror 6-10 times to make sure I look presentable in my goodwill finds. I used to frequent this place called Platos closet, which was a thrift store that only sold these fancy name brands. I loved that store….until I realized I probably shouldnt be wearing teenage clothing anymore….then I moved back to the goodwill. ONE day, you should try to make it in there and see what trinkets you can find…..but dont do it on the half priced Saturday on the month….YOU MAY NEVER GET OUT! 🙂

  10. Tierra says:

    Now I will put on my agenda for this upcoming week to go check out the Goodwill that just opened by my house! The other ones were like an hour away so this is much better its only 5 minutes away. I used to go to a thrift store back home for their half off Wednesday sales! I always found alot in my size!

  11. You had me laughing my behind off. Sorry for my delay in reading but you know why. I am a clothes and shoe whore, I admit it and am not ashamed, it is my weakness and I make no apologies for it. I do know how to shop though and am not afraid to bargain, even in retail. I don’t buy for the name, I buy for what I love. Maybe that is the difference.

  12. bossymoksie says:

    Ha! I do get things like tank tops and workout clothes at thrift stores. I just don’t think I should have to pay $15 for something hardly anyone ever sees or that I’m gonna purposefully sweat in.
    I like certain brands, but it’s because I identity with their style or ‘attitude’. I do think a lot of high end designer stuff is ugly though, so I pass. And brand snobs are annoying.
    You look good in pink!

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