ckocher: (Default)
[personal profile] ckocher
Haute, I’m not. Never have been, never will be.

This is one aspect of the frugality my mother and grandmother taught me that has actually stuck. It’s so very hard to for me to pay a lot of money for something. Why pay hundreds of dollars for clothes? You’ll end up either never wearing them, or being too afraid to do anything in them while wearing them.

$40k for a car? No way. My car is a 1994 Sunbird, one that I bought brand new, and even though it’s definitely showing its age, it’s also paid for. Has been for over a decade. But even when I do get a new car? Something under $20. $15k if I can manage it. It’s just a car. It gets me from here to there and back again.

I flip through the pages of the shiny magazines at the store, and marvel over the $2,000 handbag or the $400 shoes. Apparently, I am of the peasant class – stocky, happy to grub in the dirt and grow my own food. I’m thrilled beyond belief with a $7 pair of fleece pants that keep my legs warm in the winter.

It’s not about comfort, or class. It’s about choosing to spend the money on the things that are important to me. A really good steak is worth the $30 price tag, because I savor it and know it’s a special treat. Spending a hundred bucks on a good pair of hiking boots? Totally worth it, because they need to last through the abuse I’m going to put them through.

It’s a problem though, in this day of the disposable everything. There’s a fine line between spending $1200 for button-up shirt, and spending $500 a year on clothes because they only last three months before falling apart. It’s really the mark of a spoiled society – that we have the means and time to ponder such things, when our grandmothers knew the value of a dollar far more intimately than we do today.

Haute? Not in my world. Comfortable? Happy? Absolutely.

*****Voting is now open for this week's round - if you liked my entry, please vote for me. I'm in tribe two!*****

Date: 2011-01-29 11:08 pm (UTC)
kjata: tales from the borderlands (Default)
From: [personal profile] kjata
This strikes very true to me-- the prices are absolutely outrageous for "fashionable" items, and really for no reason at all. I lust after them anyway, but only because they're pretty >_>

Date: 2011-01-30 12:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
This is fantastic. And like you, I'm more about function than fashion. Excellently written.

Interesting thoughts

Date: 2011-01-30 12:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I agree with much of your thought on this topic. I also learned from my mom to be thrifty. We would walk in the store and I would famously say "we can make that - can't we mom". But now having a fashion designer as a sister who produces very expensive couture pieces and occasionally gives me things I can really appreciate hand-crafted high quality materials and products. I also have pause when wearing some things worried that I may mess them up. I have also developed a fondness for eco and organic clothing - much more expensive but I do see the value in them. I wonder if it also comes down to how much value we see in ourselves - "do I deserve this - am I worth this?" I know I struggle with it. Hmmn - interesting - sorry to ramble.

Date: 2011-01-30 01:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I think you hit on it when you said disopibility - my parents taught frugality as well. However, I did buy my car new as well (something my parent would never do) but it has lasted me thus far, 10 years and 118,000 miles. I also will spend over $100 on sunglasses that allow me to be both outside in very bright weather without squinting, but I can also see in cloudy in "bright but cloudy/rainy" conditions. But they typically last me 7-10 years.

Date: 2011-01-30 02:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Excellently written. And I also flip through the fashion mags and wonder at the price of clothing. I can't imagine going out ther door in an outfit that cost over $1K.

Date: 2011-01-30 02:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
You are absolutely correct. I'm right down there with you. Working class with a garden in the back.

Well done.

Date: 2011-01-30 03:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Comfortable tends to get better mileage than fashionable anyway. :)

Date: 2011-01-30 07:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Sounds like you are a practical cat. Me too! Liked this entry.

Date: 2011-01-30 09:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm another one who values function over fashion!!

Date: 2011-01-31 01:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I liked this very much. Our society really doesn't see the value of money. Well, I guess some of it does, those of us who don't have enough. Other people seem to find it quite disposable.

Date: 2011-02-01 05:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Right there with you! I love my cheap and comfortable clothes.

Date: 2011-02-01 09:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm with you!

Date: 2011-02-01 09:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I really wish you could spend the money to get clothes that will last through years of serious punishment. It's kind of been an obsession of mine lately.

I mean, you buy $20 Wal-Mart jeans, you know what you're getting. Mediocre denim that will cover your ass for a few months until the belt loops pop off and the stress points rip.

But I don't get the impression that a $200 pair of jeans are much better. Nicer fitting probably, better material, maybe, but still not something that would survive five years of hiking through briars.

So I feel ya, definitely.
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