Money and Wardrobe

Thruth

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Maybe try Camera+? It allows you to adjust focus, white balance, and all that photography shit that I don't understand.

Procamera is pretty good too
 

stridentlyopposed

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Is your tailor in North Bergen



I do this all the time, and since provenance and price is kind of irrelevant once I've bought it, it's totally unintentional. I'd fare poorer if I deliberately tried to contrive a "something old, something new, something cheap, something uxurious" look.
My tailor, in a horribly traffic-ridden Spanish-speaking area, is quite open open the fact that his prices would more than double if he were across the river in NYC.
Trousers are not as complex and demanding as a coat, in terms of construction or fit. If I thought that Luxire could deal with my crooked hips as well as full custom (~$225-275), I'd consider it.
This. Don't seek better for some sense of entitlement or escalation. Do it to solve problems or get what is truly wanted. To do so for other reasons is frivolous dragon-chasing that will gain little.
 

Russell Street

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Is your tailor in North Bergen
Yes indeed, the embroidery capital of the world! I guess my description of "horribly traffic-ridden Spanish-speaking area...across the river[from] NYC" was exact enough to exclude, say, West New York of Guttenburg, NJ.
I really mean to get some darn fit pics up to see if my enthusiasm for his stuff is optimistic or not, not that it personally matters. But, in theme with the thread, I lack a camera that takes acceptable photos...
 

Thruth

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Yes indeed, the embroidery capital of the world! I guess my description of "horribly traffic-ridden Spanish-speaking area...across the river[from] NYC" was exact enough to exclude, say, West New York of Guttenburg, NJ.
I really mean to get some darn fit pics up to see if my enthusiasm for his stuff is optimistic or not, not that it personally matters. But, in theme with the thread, I lack a camera that takes acceptable photos...

time for an add-on for your mobile:

1.0x0.jpg
 

Russell Street

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What people view as necessities and luxuries is fun stuff. I read an article a while back that said people would skimp on much, but the cell phones and Starbucks were non-negotiable. I'm in the camp that cringes when someone steps from a luxury car dressed in ill-fitting cheap crap. My priorities are such that well-fitting, comfortable (oh, and attractive) clothing is way more luxury than a slightly larger or quieter car. Some people love eating out. I could largely do away with it altogether, even if it were free and healthy.
Seriously, things like not having long cuffs rubbing on my hand or the floor, wool socks that stay up, stay warm and dry, and a bloomin hat and scarf in winter are sublime things compared to, say, the DVR or other stuff that interests me not in the least. Needless to say, there is an opposing camp that thinks I'm insane and outdated and simultaneously extravagant and a tightwad.
 

Thruth

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Why buy stuff to make a mediocre camera on the iphone into a slightly less mediocre camera? For the price of all those addons I could just buy a decent camera that blows out a phone camera.

because like i can't be without my phone. my phone is like my freaking life. my phone can like do everything it is really cool to like buy some stuff and shit to make my phone even better so i don't need a lot of other stuff and shit 'cause like who needs a real camera. it is so fucking totally cool to put that telephoto lens on my phone so like when i take my daily fit pic in the shitter at work it can fucking zoom in on my surgeons cuffs like this and it looks so fucking totally cool.

surgeonscuffs1.png



What people view as necessities and luxuries is fun stuff. I read an article a while back that said people would skimp on much, but the cell phones and Starbucks were non-negotiable. I'm in the camp that cringes when someone steps from a luxury car dressed in ill-fitting cheap crap. My priorities are such that well-fitting, comfortable (oh, and attractive) clothing is way more luxury than a slightly larger or quieter car. Some people love eating out. I could largely do away with it altogether, even if it were free and healthy.
Seriously, things like not having long cuffs rubbing on my hand or the floor, wool socks that stay up, stay warm and dry, and a bloomin hat and scarf in winter are sublime things compared to, say, the DVR or other stuff that interests me not in the least. Needless to say, there is an opposing camp that thinks I'm insane and outdated and simultaneously extravagant and a tightwad.

^THIS of course excluding custom guitars, expensive douche watches, green leather goods
 

Russell Street

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I think disproportionate spending compared to the average is a defining attribute of the enthusiast, whereas unsustainable and uncontrollable spending is where we enter the unwholesome world of mania and addiction and other maladies.
 

Thruth

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I think disproportionate spending compared to the average is a defining attribute of the enthusiast, whereas unsustainable and uncontrollable spending is where we enter the unwholesome world of mania and addiction and other maladies.

i agree. have i shown you my new iPhone lens?

1784_max.jpg
 

Thruth

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What's up with your odd buttonhole stitching Thruth? Getting ready for Pitti?

ain't mine. just tried to find a disagreeable internet pic.

see, all buttoned - sorry for the fuzzy pic.
IMG_0549.JPG
 

Russell Street

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I am with you Russel, I would rather spend amount X on a nice pair of trousers instead of going to a word class restaurant and pay an arm and a leg. Me and my significant other used to argue about this all the time
Yeah, that's the conflict I have too. To me decent and durable clothing is a necessity, and any food beyond subsistence is luxury. For others, it's an absolute necessity to eat outside the home a few times a week, but spending a couple hundred bucks on a good pair of shoes (as opposed to buying new $30 crap that hurts your feet every other month) is some poncy entitlement.
 

Thruth

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I don't know how to respond to this... Should I make a stupid joke about Gianna or the outrageous prices, or, do I compliment it even more?

really Dear, do both
 

Thruth

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I like to think that I don't need anything beyond some replacements and accessories from time to time. But one always can't control wonts and desires.

I do buy with the expectation that something should last a good long while. But one cannot always predict where their head may be at in terms of changes in taste. Say suits vs. odd jackets and trousers.

That said, when i took last year off I did not buy a single piece of MC.
 

doghouse

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I buy a few things a year. I have some things that are pretty much permanent, like my favorite navy suit, but I always have new ideas and I enjoy seeing them come to life.
 

Thruth

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I buy a few things a year. I have some things that are pretty much permanent, like my favorite navy suit, but I always have new ideas and I enjoy seeing them come to life.

I think this nails it. New ideas always abound.
 

Leitmotif

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I like the idea behind this thread, I think is fantastic to hear everybody's input and thoughts about a controversial topic such as this. Myself I can say that I was partially lucky, although I have never enjoyed 'wealth' as most americans see it I have been able to provide myself of an alright wardrobe. There are things that I have plenty of, like jeans, polos, and just regular casual wear. The area where I lack the most is dress shirts I only own a select couple because I had to buy them on full price. Shoes I was partially lucky because as many of you know I used to work in Nordstrom so I was able to afford some shoes for very low prices Neumok's for 100 dollars and the AE Strands for 180 dolllars or so. My recently added carminas I bought them through saving 50 dollars or so per paycheck and several of my other 'splurges' when it comes to I have done the same. Also because I used to work for Nordstrom Hugo Boss/Ted Baker pants and so on were pretty affordable although of not the highest quality I cannot complain when they were sold to us for $50 dollars a pop, who am i at the end? When I see people buying three or four pair of shoes at once I don't honestly think they will enjoy them as much as someone who gets one by one and goes slowly building a respectable wardrobe where everything has a function, rather than to buy just for the sake of it.

PS, You all suck dick.
 

Thruth

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I like the idea behind this thread, I think is fantastic to hear everybody's input and thoughts about a controversial topic such as this. Myself I can say that I was partially lucky, although I have never enjoyed 'wealth' as most americans see it I have been able to provide myself of an alright wardrobe. There are things that I have plenty of, like jeans, polos, and just regular casual wear. The area where I lack the most is dress shirts I only own a select couple because I had to buy them on full price. Shoes I was partially lucky because as many of you know I used to work in Nordstrom so I was able to afford some shoes for very low prices Neumok's for 100 dollars and the AE Strands for 180 dolllars or so. My recently added carminas I bought them through saving 50 dollars or so per paycheck and several of my other 'splurges' when it comes to I have done the same. Also because I used to work for Nordstrom Hugo Boss/Ted Baker pants and so on were pretty affordable although of not the highest quality I cannot complain when they were sold to us for $50 dollars a pop, who am i at the end? When I see people buying three or four pair of shoes at once I don't honestly think they will enjoy them as much as someone who gets one by one and goes slowly building a respectable wardrobe where everything has a function, rather than to buy just for the sake of it.

PS, You all suck dick.

Nice post. I grew up poor so I thought when I would have money I would go nuts and buy all kinds of shit. Never really happened. I still am a semi-cheap Bastard.

I was going to make you my honorary son-in-law but that "you all suck dick" line made me change my mind.
 

Leitmotif

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Nice post. I grew up poor so I thought when I would have money I would go nuts and buy all kinds of shit. Never really happened. I still am a semi-cheap Bastard.

I was going to make you my honorary son-in-law but that "you all suck dick" line made me change my mind.

I thought the same way, I thought once I was making money I would be spending it all at once, but I guess the 'being poor' for an important part of your life takes a significant toll on the way we both think and makes us appreciate and value what we have more than others. I rather go to bed thinking that if any situation arises I will be more than stable for a large par of the year without worrying too much about it and still be able to have a somewhat comfortable life. Some people rely on credit cards too much, I rely on hard earned cash, it makes the difference at the end of the day. I'm semi-cheap on certain things in life. I honestly think is a waste of money to get a new tv every 6 months, or spent a ludicrous amount of money on things that will not make live your life any better, IE art. Although quite pleasant to see, it makes no difference when you are working for the most part and never ever get to have a look at it and actually enjoy, at leas that's how I feel as young professional. Cars, although I enjoy them quite a lot, I don't see a necessity to have certain things, then again some people 'live' of what others think about them specially Hispanics. The car I have I bought because it was rather affordable and I got it for a relatively low price. 35K car with 20 thousand miles for $10,000. I like to think that race/cultural background has a lot to do with this, not to a great extent, but it does influences a lot imo.
 

Journeyman

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This discussion about poverty and the way that it can influence people is interesting.

My father was born into a very poor, working class family in London in the 1920s. He had to share a bed - not a bedroom, but a bed - which his brother and their pyjamas were made out of old flour sacks. Were it not for the fact that my grandfather worked on the docks in London, loading and unloading cargo ships (as such things were done manually in the days before "containerisation") and could get fruit and vegetables very cheaply as a consequence, they would often have gone hungry.

While still living in London, before he emigrated to Australia in the 1950s, my dad had a couple of suits made by an off-the-Row tailor. He also bought a couple of nice pairs of shoes - a pair of plain, black cap-toes and a pair of brown wingtips.

He wore those suits and shoes for the rest of his life - more than forty years. Of course, he bought further pairs of shoes, trousers and jackets in that time, but he still kept those tailor-made suits and the English-made shoes.

My dad never bought a new car - he always bought second-hand - and he always paid cash. The only time he ever borrowed money was to purchase a house with my mother and he hated being in debt so much that he and my mother (who also worked) lived off one income and used the entirety of the second income to pay off the housing loan. My father said that they paid it off in less than four years. He never borrowed money again and, when he got a credit card, he always paid the balance in full at the end of every month.

Poverty can cause some people to be very, very aware of the value of money and, as a consequence, to be very conservative - some may say stingy - with their money, but poverty can also cause other people to spend money recklessly once they escape poverty and manage to earn a decent amount.

Unfortunately, I'm not as financially disciplined as my father, but luckily my wife is, so I just hand over most of my salary and she banks it, along with her own earnings.
 

Thruth

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We learn lessons of both what to do and what not to do from our parents and families. Both of my grandmothers were illiterate. I only knew one of my grandfathers and he could barely read having left school in grade 2. Peasant stock: farmers and labourers. My paternal grandmother barely spoke English despite having come to Canada in 1910 as a 14 year old and living to 101.

My maternal grandparents were degenerate misers who shared bath water despite having money as well as shoplifted and picked garbage for food. They never overcame their poor peasant upbringing and money was to be saved and never shared with their children until death so they could fight over the meagre spoils like buzzards.

My father was cheap, my mother was crazier than Sarto. The only good lesson my father taught me was to get an education and be better than him. Otherwise he was a miserable fuck who was old and crotchety at birth. I was the first member of the extended family to graduate high school and go to University.

The austerity of my upbringing tempered me with respect to money but also drove me to be generous with what I had and what I could give so I would not be as soulless as him.

Sartorially, he taught me the value of a good pair of shoes.

We both nurture and damage our children. In the end all we can hope for is that the former outweighs the latter
 

Journeyman

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We both nurture and damage our children. In the end all we can hope for is that the former outweighs the latter

This is certainly true of my mother.

Whilst my father taught me about suits and shoes, my mother taught me about cloth, about colours and patterns and combining colours, textures and patterns.

However, she left a dreadful, dreadful mess when she died last year and I will be dealing with the ramifications for a very long time to come.
 

Thruth

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This is certainly true of my mother.

Whilst my father taught me about suits and shoes, my mother taught me about cloth, about colours and patterns and combining colours, textures and patterns.

However, she left a dreadful, dreadful mess when she died last year and I will be dealing with the ramifications for a very long time to come.

Sorry to hear about that last bit.
 

Journeyman

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Sorry to hear about that last bit.

Thanks, Thruth and Rambo.

My mother was less financially responsible than my father and, unfortunately, I've inherited a lot more of my mother than my father.

My dad ate sparingly, didn't like sweet food, and exercised every morning, even into his seventies, and so he was still able to fit into suits that he'd had made for him in his thirties. He never prevaricated about anything and just got in and did things. Also, as I mentioned, he hated spending money when he didn't have to do so.

My mother, on the other hand, despite coming from quite a poor background, loved sweet things, liked to spend money, and often prevaricated and procrastinated about things. I've inherited all of those qualities, unfortunately!
 

Russell Street

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Did we already cover the conspicuous consumption aspect? There are studies that prove that the poorer one is, the higher percentage of their wealth is spent on social markers and other status symbols to prove that that one is ... not poor.

I am frequently a bit embarrassed at how readily clothing was deemed unwearable in my past (see wear and tear thread). I think my frugal stretching of clothing's lifespan nowadays is a combination of
  • Paying for stuff with my own money, when discretionary income is insubstantial
  • Actually enjoying and appreciating clothing, and all the more after several years
  • Not really caring what others think. I'm secure enough to look a little ratty in the right context.
Paul Fussell made the point about ostentation, that the true elite don't feel any need to impress. They know who they are. In fact, complimenting them on their possessions is almost a slight. It is just expected that they have the best.
 

doghouse

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Poverty can cause some people to be very, very aware of the value of money and, as a consequence, to be very conservative - some may say stingy - with their money, but poverty can also cause other people to spend money recklessly once they escape poverty and manage to earn a decent amount.

I'm somewhat late to this conversation, but there were a lot of very interesting points made. I think this by J -man is probably the key one. I would posit that most people are predisposed to be a certain way financially. We in the states here the whole "I grew up in the depression" spiel plenty, which is just code for being cheap. And people who are profligate because they had all they wanted growing up. I don't think either of these are true. Want can teach you value, but it can also shield you from responsibility. Discipline and value are innate and can be taught as well, but it's to simplistic to boil them down.

My family runs the gamut on both income and spending. My fathers side was always very educated, but without many means. I have my paternal grandmothers Ethan Allen dining room table which was her prize possession and was literally bought on a mortgage in the 40's. My father's generation was the first to really reach the next income bracket with one uncle going to Bell Labs and another a naval architect (before becoming a priest, but that's a whole different story). My Dad took a little longer, being a professional musician for awhile until going back to school when I was about 2 and my folks had split. They are all very comfortable now. Mom's side was dirt poor and no education. Grandpa left school at 12 to do construction, only one of his siblings graduated. My mom and aunt were the next in the family to graduate. And the results are completely varied. My aunt and maternal grandmother spend money like it's their job, and they don't have much. My Mom is almost totally opposite, she will spend money on nice things, with a bias towards experiences over possessions, a trait I learned/inherited that I am forever thankful for. I think part of her way is because after she split with my Dad, she pretty much had to fend for us herself (though my grandma and aunt did a lot for me), and that shaped her values quite a bit. The time and experiences we had together were the most valuable thing we had. We moved a lot, did a stint living with a cousin, but she steadily worked up to where she bought our first house in '84. Then she married my stepfather and the rest is history. He also came from the educated but had no money sort of family, and is intrinsically cheap in many areas. When he heard how Jim Harbaugh bought the cheap ass WalMart khakis he instantly became his hero.


Thirded.

There are studies that prove that the poorer one is, the higher percentage of their wealth is spent on social markers and other status symbols to prove that that one is ... not poor.

I've never really been confident whether this is causation or correlation. A bit of both I think.
 

Leitmotif

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Interesting the background that Journeyman and Thurth have. Mine is very different. Here is why:

My mom side come from a very poor background, 16 kids (I kid you not) and they lived in a farm where they ate what they had and had to share it amongst such a ridiculous amount of people. My grand dad was in the army, but he was never anymore than a grunt. My grandma although from Sicily, she had no education whatsoever and they thought and still think the lord will provide all of their needs. My mom has always been very stingy with certain things on what to spend money on, but others she would splurge because as time went on and hard work and dedication paid off little by little. I mean by the time I was 9 I had no idea what a bed or for the fact of the matter a mattress was, the bed that I had to share with my mom was literally made of tomato cages then eventually my step dad married my mom and from there everything changed for good. Although they amassed a great amount of wealth all they did was re invest the money on real state property, we always had the cheapest car in the neighborhood, but on the other hand we had properties all over Venezuela and we were able to afford later on traveling all over the county and I could come to the US 4-5 times a year.

My dad side is very different. Coming from the Colombian Elite they have a name and all that stuff my great great grandad father in law was the president of Colombia and my great grand dad was the president of Colombia too, his cousin was the archbishop of Colombia and his nephew was the head of the war minister. My family fought hand on hand next to Simon Bolivar, my grandma's grandma danced with Bolivar, had an affair and all that stuff. So for me I have always respected more where my mom side comes from than my dad for they know how to valuate everything they have, while my dad's side they don't since they have always have had it and well Colombians in general are pretty classicist and that is something that I don't enjoy because has nothing to do with what I learned through early life.

I kind of respect someone who has fought and work hard for what they have, instead of someone who has been handed over everything they have. I might be wrong, but I have yet to meet someone who has been handed over everything and still values everything they have.
 

Zé Ferreira

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I kind of respect someone who has fought and work hard for what they have, instead of someone who has been handed over everything they have. I might be wrong, but I have yet to meet someone who has been handed over everything and still values everything they have.

This is the one of the best comments in the thread.

Also, sympathies to Journeyman Journeyman for your mother.

Spending patterns are absolutely learned behavior. While we're sharing, a brief history -

My Father's family was fairly broken. The night he was born, my grandpa was in bed with another woman and didn't even show up at the hospital. He was an actor, and my grandma was a school teacher. My dad grew up basically fatherless, which was finalized by divorce when he was maybe 5. Grandma worked as a school teacher all her life, but has always been in debt and loved her share of "finer" things - Marshall Fields was her playplace. I can't remember my father ever stating that they went without food or anything like that, but his childhood is never painted as a picnic either.

My Mother's family were both immigrant stock fresh to the USA in light of WWII. Grandma escaped Nazi occupation by smuggling herself out on a boat bound for Norway and then to the US. Grandpa had made it out of Belorussia a few years earlier as tensions were getting hot and worked as a coal miner in Pennsylvania. Both of them eventually made their way to Chicago where they met, got pregnant, and eventually married. He worked real estate and she stayed at home. Both of their "wartime" upbringing, in combination with Grandpa's work (Farming > Mining > New "middle class") resulted in a very frugal household. Again - I can't say they ever wanted for food, but they were judicious in their spending. My grandmother still lives in the first house they bought together on the South Side of Chicago, now almost 11 years after Grandpa passed.

Both my parents growing up had things - I don't think many vacations happened, but they were what I envision as semi-comfortable upbringings. Didn't go hungry, had toys at Christmas. My Dad's family was 3 children and my Mom's was 4. They enjoyed good relationships within the family. They were early-1960's Ken Burns material.

My dad was the first in his family to go to college. Got a masters, worked as an accountant, now on his third self-made business. My mom was able to stay at home with us kids growing up. We always "had." Both of my parents were judicious in the niceties they bought themselves and us kids, but we weren't ever really stretched. Vacations, suburbia, probably too many little action figures, etc. As I reached teenagedom, my parents weren't one to coddle me though; lots of after-school jobs, chores at home, etc. If I wanted soemthing, it was my job to go get it. I was definitely not of the sort of many of my friends in a similar socioeconomic circle who just seemed to have anything they wanted - one of my good friends got a pair of dirtbikes for chirstmas once, another received a $1500 guitar and $2k amp consecutive christmases. We didn't live in the gated communities around here. I thought myself hard-done in early teenagehood, but now appreciate it.

After highschool, I went to live in Argentina for a few years. I lived in 1-room sheds made of chapa, lived in spare garages, experienced houses without bathrooms, etc. It was fantastic because I learned that I didn't need material things either. Almost everything became a "luxury." I returned to the United States and was awestruck by how people live here. I put myself through undergrad, and currently am doing the same for law school (albeit on the back of government loans in this case). In my time on interweb fashun forums, I've pretty much established a line for myself between what I view as acceptable spending and "waste-o-$". My interests thouygh dictate a very different spending pattern from my parents. While they enjoy having a comfortable pleasant home, I could really live anywhere and feel alright (Argentina holdover). My dad wears white shirts to work from Walmart or Target because "there's no need to spend that much on a work shirt" - to a degree he's right. I can't imagine for myself dropping $150+ on a white shirt - well, not anymore, after overcoming the initial gleam in my eye of keeping up with the Joneses prompted by joining SF and the like. I will though end up paying for good suits and shoes, inasmuch as I know my future profession will have much more of that conspicuous nature to it than being an accountant.

The biggest challenge has been rectifying my own acquired, developed spending habits with those of my wife, who comes from a completely different background and thus has an inherent moral outlook on money different from my own.
 

Pauly Chase

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I recently told my mother about one of my purchases, and she yelled at me for 2 hours about my spending habits and inability to save money.
 
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