My post about finding high-quality men’s designer resale clothes in Paris is one of my most viewed sites on my blog. So, I thought I’d do a similar one for Rome, but only being there for a few days (in July 2018), I didn’t get a big sense of what was possible. But what I sense, is that their vintage shops are somewhat different than the ones in Paris and Amsterdam and while they will have the same selection of Hawaiian shirts, flannel shirts with cut-off sleeves, Levis 501s, and army gear, they also might have some high-quality cast-off designer clothes, perhaps because Romans dress so well.
So, I’d give it a go at checking out the vintage shops. A good list is here from the website Romeing (har har). So shops like Kingsize in Monti have a huge amount of clothes (I mean, huge: there is so much stuff here), but they also had a small selection of designer menswear, too expensive for me, and nothing that caught my eye, but I thought it looked fine.
If you’re inclined, I think it IS worth it to do a little treasure hunting yourself. I went to two major outlet malls while in Italy, and boy were clothes expensive! Discounting from full prices by 20% or 30% still doesn’t make something cheap when they’re expensive to start with.
My major recommendation would be try the Humana Stores. These charity stores are located in other places in Europe (I noticed them in Spain too) and they’re pretty fun. Sadly, the one near the Tiburtina train station closed only recently before my trip: so recently that there was no information that it had closed, and I went there (no small journey) to find it closed, but without any signs or explanations. They have a vintage store on Via Cavour near Termini: this is good quality but definitely vintage. So swinging sixties and seventies polo shirts, stuff like that. Nothing contemporary or fashionable.
Happily, I got my used menswear fix from their store near Numidio Quadratato metro station. I ended up with a pretty good haul, considering I had no expectations. The funny thing that happened (was it a sign?) was that when I bent down to look at a lower shelf of clothes, my Alexander McQueen jeans, bought at the winter sales in January 2015 in Paris at the Printemps department store, bought because I liked them but mostly because I wanted something from Alexander McQueen in my wardrobe, split in the back. Not pretty to have my butt hanging out and definitely not salvageable. In any case, the leather details on the pockets sure looked cool, but were too heavy for the fabric so the stitching wouldn’t hold. Goodbye pants! Is 3.5 years of occasional use an acceptable life-span?
As I really needed something to wear on the bottom half of my body, so I wouldn’t get arrested, I was happy to find a casual pair of shorts that fit. There were some jeans I might have considered, but I’ve got too many jeans as it is. So, an Italian brand, Piazza Italian, a bargain brand, I think: these shorts would have been about 15 euros new, and I got them for 3 euros. But better, I got to pair them with this fun fabric belt from Dirk Bikkembergs, a Belgian designer I’ve always been obsessed with, and who manufactures his clothes in Italy. 5 euros, and that makes me happy. And I donated the ripped pants to the slightly-confused-looking cashier, who indicated that they probably do do repairs and could sell it.
And then I got a casual black t-shirt, of cotton but slightly shiny and an interesting detail on the sleeves… from Kenzo, a Paris brand that I also love. 9 euros. A steal (photos above). All up, 17 euros for a casual summer tourist outfit. Hurrah.
So, please, please shoppers. If you have any hints here, or shopping tales of adventures, leave them in the comments!
In the meantime, see my blog posts on used menswear in Paris and New York City.