During the daily trawling sessions of the internet, which I’m sure many of you are familiar with, I came across something quite special. Via Etsy I came across this suit a 1930s De Pinna 2-piece white linen suit. Within moments of setting my eyes on it I hastily searched for the price – to find a price tag not friendly to my current wallet.
Alas, this is no ordinary suit and with it comes a story, much like a dog-rare car found in a garage after decades of solitary confinement. As a collector of vintage clothing these memories and stories give the piece extreme esteem and in some cases can increase the value greatly. Along with the absolute mint condition of this piece (an 80+ year old white suit…), you’d expect it to have an almost buttery tone to it. The story goes like something this;
The man who gave me this suit told me that it belonged to his father. His father purchased it at the De Pinna department store on 5th Ave. in NYC. De Pinna is a now-defunct department store that was known for its high quality, conservative clothing and was owned (along with Brooks Brothers) by the parent company of Julius Garfinckel & Co. out of Washington D.C.
Here’s what the man recalls of the suit’s history;
“On Friday June 28, 1940 my Father dressed in this linen suit and his best friend – both newly minted physicians – steamed away from Pier 32 in NYC on the American Republics Line S.S. Argentina bound for a great adventure to South America. For two months they ventured by ocean liner, train, private car, donkey and dugout to ‘Rio, Sao Paulo (the Chicago of Brazil), Montevideo, Buenos Aires, the Great Lakes way to the south hidden amongst the Andes, Arequipa and the Quinta Bates, Cuzco and Macchu Picchu on the swift waters of the Urubamba, the myriads of flamingos resting on the shores of Lake Titicaca and Lima the ‘City of Kings.” These were the days where each accommodation was preceded by a letter of introduction, one dressed for dinner, and the world unfurled before you.”