Money and Wardrobe

fxh

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Both my parents grew up in large poor families without education and through the depression as well. 12 kids on my fathers side. So they didn't have much money at all and during their later life we didn't have any real money to speak of.

My father always said that even if you were homeless you should have at least one good outfit that made you look at good as anyone else in any room you walk into. No matter how much money they had. And this one outfit was of prime importance and worth sacrificing other things to have. It was a necessity. . He was actually pretty fussy about clothes and although a laborer and farmer always dressed well. My mother didn't care as much if no one was around but could dress up to the 9s. Together going out they always looked great.

I think I had my first suit at 14.

I still subscribe to the philosophy of having at least one good outfit and looking good. Although for myself I've moved on a bit to having more clothes than most. I do spend time in organisations to give clothes to homeless, ex prisoners, alcoholics/addicts and street people and long term unemployed. I've never had a person I've dressed who hasn't wanted to look good. I've sent homeless blokes out in suits and ties looking better than most forum people and they always love it. Always. We also give them decent warm smart fashionable casual clothes and a hard wheeled suitcase to carry stuff around. They always walk tall. I've had hardened blokes cry and say they never thought they'd own a suit and never know how to wear a tie. And I feel good knowing I've sent some homeless bloke out looking better than 90% of men with easier lives.They know it and I know it. Its our secret fuck you to idiots.
 

Journeyman

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I was sitting over the road from a homeless guy at lunchtime today. He was wearing a white business shirt with the sleeves rolled up, a pair of dark trousers and a pair of black Adidas trainers. He also had a neat haircut. Unfortunately, his decent presentation was ruined by the fact that he was off his nut on a combination of alcohol and drugs and he was reeling around all over the place.

It made me reflect on just how close some people are to homelessness. Lose your job, miss some home repayments, have the house re-possessed and be unable to get accommodation for some reason (no family nearby, no deposit for rental property, have drink or drug problems), and you could conceivably end up on the streets.
 

fxh

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yeah - I don't care if people drink or take drugs.

Nothing better than looking great and being off your head on drugs/alcohol AND dressed up.

Look at Prince Nez f'rinstance.
 

LKP

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My grandparents were rich and and university-educated
My parents are rich and university-educated
I just rule
 

fxh

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I would add though that if you aren't very intelligent its a good idea to get a university education - as most people can't tell the difference.
 

2muchtimeonmyhands

Active Member
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40
I think I read this thread just in the nick of time. Now if you'll excuse me, there is a large number of not-quite-desirable designer sport coats that I need to delete from my Ebay watchlist.
I call BS (if thats not already a well established sartorial acronym) on that millennial test - I am certainly too old and have taken entirely too many drugs to score 88
 

Thruth

Big Winter Daddy
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21,435
I think I read this thread just in the nick of time. Now if you'll excuse me, there is a large number of not-quite-desirable designer sport coats that I need to delete from my Ebay watchlist.
I call BS (if thats not already a well established sartorial acronym) on that millennial test - I am certainly too old and have taken entirely too many drugs to score 88

yes, unfortunately you cannot use BS as it refers to Borrelli Sucks.
Right Sartodinapoli?
 

Thruth

Big Winter Daddy
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21,435
I think I read this thread just in the nick of time. Now if you'll excuse me, there is a large number of not-quite-desirable designer sport coats that I need to delete from my Ebay watchlist.
I call BS (if thats not already a well established sartorial acronym) on that millennial test - I am certainly too old and have taken entirely too many drugs to score 88
image.jpg
 

2muchtimeonmyhands

Active Member
Messages
40
I got my Dad to do that test. He has a beard, buys vinyl, listens to the radio and makes his own bread. He got 100% millennial hipster
 

Pimpernel Smith

Tone Deaf Daddy
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10,809
I sure wish I read this thread before I had commissioned my suit and jacket...best thread on menswear by far
Think it get's harder to be into classical menswear on a budget, but not impossible. If you're a standard size, straight up and down, it's not that difficult. But you need to keep your eyes open and dare I say the archaic phrase, be a canny buyer.

You can save money straight away on socks: Uniqlo. The ribbed socks are good quality, €10 for 4.

Watches are tricky, as you get the Veblan effect and that instant I am the master flash of wrist with a conspicious show of luxury. But take comfort that most of the herd will only get a couple of watch references, most noticeably, Rolex. Then you have all the problems of wearing a luxury watch like getting them robbed in a long con or friendly taxi driver and his chums. A presentable and good quality watch can be sourced for less than 500 bucks: Seiko skydiver/original Cocktail time and the Orient Bambino.

Shoes, you're going to have to pay for quality. No work around there. But you can still do it without resorting to Edward Green or John Lobb, Paris.

Everything else is more problematic: suits, jackets, trousers, shirts and ties. And with the move towards more streetwear it will get harder. You're basically on your own there, running a gauntlet of what can be sourced locally to you and brave internet buying.
 

LeFoo1

Well-Known Member
Messages
75
Think it get's harder to be into classical menswear on a budget, but not impossible. If you're a standard size, straight up and down, it's not that difficult. But you need to keep your eyes open and dare I say the archaic phrase, be a canny buyer.

You can save money straight away on socks: Uniqlo. The ribbed socks are good quality, €10 for 4.

Watches are tricky, as you get the Veblan effect and that instant I am the master flash of wrist with a conspicious show of luxury. But take comfort that most of the herd will only get a couple of watch references, most noticeably, Rolex. Then you have all the problems of wearing a luxury watch like getting them robbed in a long con or friendly taxi driver and his chums. A presentable and good quality watch can be sourced for less than 500 bucks: Seiko skydiver/original Cocktail time and the Orient Bambino.

Shoes, you're going to have to pay for quality. No work around there. But you can still do it without resorting to Edward Green or John Lobb, Paris.

Everything else is more problematic: suits, jackets, trousers, shirts and ties. And with the move towards more streetwear it will get harder. You're basically on your own there, running a gauntlet of what can be sourced locally to you and brave internet buying.
Unfortunately I'm not a standard size - I'm very short, and have low torso:leg ratio, so almost nothing on the upper body fits, and usually the problems are not easily altered. I started trying to go bespoke mainly because of this.

Luckily, I live in a first world country and my family burden is not so big that I can't keep anything for myself. I'm by far not wealthy, but rarely anything I want is so prohibitively expensive that I can't afford. It's mainly a matter of buying quality items sparingly and I don't really have to cut corners. Quality watches and shoes can be very expensive, but I appreciate them more than I crave them so that doesn't affect me - I'm very happy with my Seiko and ~USD400-500 range shoes.

The main problem with me is that I get into things quickly - usually not for my own good. For example I usually place back to back orders from new tailors, instead of giving the first item a few wears first and improve upon it. This usually means I pay too much upfront, but the 2nd order doesn't improve as much as it should compared to the first, and then I'll be disappointed. I won't be broke because of this, but this leaves a bad taste in the mouth because I'm not rich enough to say the money is nothing, and the money could be better spent elsewhere.

I guess my mindset is that I very rarely want any "luxury". If I could get what I want cheap I wouldn't pay more for that, but at the same time I would throw unreasonable amount of money for something that fits me and my lifestyle perfectly. Maybe instead of "bespoke", I'm more looking for "unspoken perfection". Perhaps that goal is more luxurious than looking for luxuries - since no such thing exist.
 

Pimpernel Smith

Tone Deaf Daddy
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10,809
Quality watches and shoes can be very expensive, but I appreciate them more than I crave them so that doesn't affect me - I'm very happy with my Seiko and ~USD400-500 range shoes.
Shoes for USD 400-500 should be decent enough. Not the upper echelons of shoe wear, but more than acceptable.

Seiko particularly if you're in the USA, you'll get excellent bang for your buck. Very presentable watches, no nonsense and no pretense without being a G-Shock.
I guess my mindset is that I very rarely want any "luxury". If I could get what I want cheap I wouldn't pay more for that, but at the same time I would throw unreasonable amount of money for something that fits me and my lifestyle perfectly. Maybe instead of "bespoke", I'm more looking for "unspoken perfection". Perhaps that goal is more luxurious than looking for luxuries - since no such thing exist.
Think one of the issues with the forums is conflating quality with luxury. They're most definitely not the same.

Quality is good enough, luxury is superfluous and in many situations highly embarrassing, like driving a Ferrari when you've got speed pumps, speed cameras, limited car parking space and bad neighborhoods nearby.
 

midnightblues

Member
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5
Great topic, there have been many true observations so far. It is a fact that constant consumption and the hoarding of clothes is highly regarded in menswear-circles.

I don't think that consumption per se is bad and have to admit, that there's some joy in it. Part of the problem though is that people who are new to this hobby lack most items at the beginning. Many have a great urge to amass a lot of stuff in a short while in order to have a "complete" wardrobe.
The problems of this behaviour are manifold: At the beginning you don't know what works, you don't exactly know what you will like, you don't know how to judge quality, you are not ready to spend the necessary amount to get something decent (but instead you buy many subpar versions of this item) etc.

It pays to have patience and resist the urge, for example, to buy all "necessary" types of shoes in black and brown from brand X. Maybe you'll soon notice that brand Y gives you more value for (a bit?) more money. And later on you probably find brand Z to even have the better lasts/construction etc.
Same with suits, in the beginning you might really like SuSu/SM-RTW. With a bit of experience you realise that the fit isn't "perfect", so you go for their MTM. If your "hooked" enough then you'll probably end up going bespoke.

If you don't limit yourself in the beginning - and also later on, by only getting some items at a time, you'll lose a lot of money.

Curiously that knowledge isn't really part of most of those guides for beginners.
 

belinmad

Damn Tacky
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If you don't limit yourself in the beginning - and also later on, by only getting some items at a time, you'll lose a lot of money.

I don’t think of that money spent as lost - instead, it was the cost of my menswear/style education. I think instead it was money well spent.
 

Pimpernel Smith

Tone Deaf Daddy
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10,809
Curiously that knowledge isn't really part of most of those guides for beginners.
Because the mission is to get you to buy more.

Are you buying luxury or good enough quality? Same with watches.

These are important questions. If good enough - is good for you - you don't need perfection. Especially if you're not a freaky build.
 

midnightblues

Member
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5
I think instead it was money well spent.
Well, I think it depends. If someone feels the urge to buy a whole wardrobe at the entry-level, only to "step up" later on and learn that this wardrobe doesn't fit well, there'll be a lot of money lost. Most likely this person won't wear those clothes again.
Maybe he'll do this mistake again, by buying a lot of the "next level", which still isn't of a very good quality/fit.

I have "burnt" some money too and don't think it was completely lost, as I have learnt something, as you point out. But I'm glad I didn't get lost in a rabbit hole from the beginning but mostly made small(er) steps. But there are quite some items that have gone to goodwill.

If good enough - is good for you - you don't need perfection.
I think perfection as a goal is a bit absurd anyway. But of course, what is good enough for you, how close to perfection do you want to go? How much are you willing to pay?
Not only quality is a thing, also quantity: How much choice do you need to have in your wardrobe?

These of course are personal questions, but overspending seems to be common in the menswear world.
 

Sauce

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619
Are you buying luxury or good enough quality? Same with watches.

These are important questions. If good enough - is good for you - you don't need perfection. Especially if you're not a freaky build.
You have to be tactful with people about that. I was out the other week with a Skinhead mate and he had a fused 3 button front suit on that he was trying to tell me was from the 60s. He doesn't normally wear suits, more of a casual dresser in that style, and was quite taken with the suit. He was convinced he was made for a mod or skin back in the day. Even though we wear completely different clothing styles I've noticed over the years he kinda seeks reasurance/advice from time to time from me. I pointed out that it was most likely made in the 80s and that fused wasn't really a thing in the 60s. Then I had to explain what fused was and a floating canvas was. I could tell he was a bit disappointed, asking me how I could tell. When I pointed out the bubbling on the front where the glue had came away he was a bit more disappointed I think. Not that it looked so bad if he hadn't of started a convo round the suit. I've found that a lot of retro dressers are happy with poor cloths or even fit as long as its a proper vintage item from back in the day. More power to them but if their gonna talk clothes...
I don’t think of that money spent as lost - instead, it was the cost of my menswear/style education. I think instead it was money well spent.
I can't believe how much its cost me to get where I am. I've wasted far to much money trying to reach a place I'm happy at with clothing. My loft is testament to that, never mind the stuff in my drawers and wardrobes I haven't worn in years. But I've enjoyed it I guess and if I hadn't wasted money on that I'd have spunked on some other shit I didn't need. Most of it through a rolled up note most likely.
Well, I think it depends. If someone feels the urge to buy a whole wardrobe at the entry-level, only to "step up" later on and learn that this wardrobe doesn't fit well, there'll be a lot of money lost. Most likely this person won't wear those clothes again.
Maybe he'll do this mistake again, by buying a lot of the "next level", which still isn't of a very good quality/fit.

I have "burnt" some money too and don't think it was completely lost, as I have learnt something, as you point out. But I'm glad I didn't get lost in a rabbit hole from the beginning but mostly made small(er) steps. But there are quite some items that have gone to goodwill.


I think perfection as a goal is a bit absurd anyway. But of course, what is good enough for you, how close to perfection do you want to go? How much are you willing to pay?
Not only quality is a thing, also quantity: How much choice do you need to have in your wardrobe?

These of course are personal questions, but overspending seems to be common in the menswear world.
I've stepped it up in price range for sure. But I'm pretty happy with where I am quailty wise. I never feel like I have enough choice though. Things I wouldn't do again are getting a MTM Attolini coat or MTO Edward Green shoes, while their great items I just can't convince myself grafting for a month (give or take) is worth a sportscoat or pair of shoes. Unless the trunk shows fall at the same time as a bonus at work of course.
 

güero

Talk to me like a 5 year old daddy
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But I've enjoyed it I guess and if I hadn't wasted money on that I'd have spunked on some other shit I didn't need. Most of it through a rolled up note most likely.
That’s what people keep telling me, that the total number of vices always stays the same.
 

belinmad

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Well, I think it depends. If someone feels the urge to buy a whole wardrobe at the entry-level, only to "step up" later on and learn that this wardrobe doesn't fit well, there'll be a lot of money lost. Most likely this person won't wear those clothes again.
Maybe he'll do this mistake again, by buying a lot of the "next level", which still isn't of a very good quality/fit.

I have "burnt" some money too and don't think it was completely lost, as I have learnt something, as you point out. But I'm glad I didn't get lost in a rabbit hole from the beginning but mostly made small(er) steps. But there are quite some items that have gone to goodwill.

Again - I think it vastly depends on what you consider money burnt or lost - I have plenty of stuff I bought, used once or twice, and which I’ll probably never wear again… OTR, RTW, MTO, even bespoke. It was part of a journey to understand what works for me, what doesn’t, what I like and what I don’t. And I’ve probably made far more mistakes than I had hits, but it’s how I learnt about clothing.


I can't believe how much its cost me to get where I am. I've wasted far to much money trying to reach a place I'm happy at with clothing. My loft is testament to that, never mind the stuff in my drawers and wardrobes I haven't worn in years. But I've enjoyed it I guess and if I hadn't wasted money on that I'd have spunked on some other shit I didn't need.
Exactly this. I’ve bought stuff I knew I wasn’t going to wear for long. I would have spent the money on some other random crap otherwise anyway.
 

Otto

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175
I don't have the budget of most of you, but I've still had sunk costs as I've figured out what fits, both my body/feet and my tastes. I do kick myself a little for it, but I also don't think I could have done it any other way. It's part of one's sartorial education, as belin said. And it will feel good giving things away to Goodwill soon.
 

Pimpernel Smith

Tone Deaf Daddy
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10,809
Well, I think it depends. If someone feels the urge to buy a whole wardrobe at the entry-level, only to "step up" later on and learn that this wardrobe doesn't fit well, there'll be a lot of money lost. Most likely this person won't wear those clothes again.
Maybe he'll do this mistake again, by buying a lot of the "next level", which still isn't of a very good quality/fit.

I have "burnt" some money too and don't think it was completely lost, as I have learnt something, as you point out. But I'm glad I didn't get lost in a rabbit hole from the beginning but mostly made small(er) steps. But there are quite some items that have gone to goodwill.


I think perfection as a goal is a bit absurd anyway. But of course, what is good enough for you, how close to perfection do you want to go? How much are you willing to pay?
Not only quality is a thing, also quantity: How much choice do you need to have in your wardrobe?

These of course are personal questions, but overspending seems to be common in the menswear world.
You have to be disciplined, I could easily overspend on clothes, shoes and watches every month. There's always something I want.

It's an evolution too: back in the late 80s I coveted Ralph Lauren and back then it was seriously expensive in the UK, not only that, quite rare too. In the early 90s I got into that American look, by the late 90s it was too ubiquitous and I moved to an English look from Gieves & Hawkes which I could afford. Then the early 2000's it was Lacoste in the tropics then it was Italian suits 2004-2007, then back to the English look, then Ivy League style 2010-2015. August/September 2015 I decided it was time to get back into an English sensibility where I've been ever since. I ditch stuff when the time comes to move on.
I can't believe how much its cost me to get where I am. I've wasted far to much money trying to reach a place I'm happy at with clothing. My loft is testament to that, never mind the stuff in my drawers and wardrobes I haven't worn in years. But I've enjoyed it I guess and if I hadn't wasted money on that I'd have spunked on some other shit I didn't need. Most of it through a rolled up note most likely.
I try and keep a rotation going, especially with shirts and jackets, but for sure there's ties I've never worn and a pair of Alden chukka boots I wear seldom if ever.
 

doghouse

King Of The Elite Idiots
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12,158
I don’t think of that money spent as lost - instead, it was the cost of my menswear/style education. I think instead it was money well spent.

Well, I think it depends. If someone feels the urge to buy a whole wardrobe at the entry-level, only to "step up" later on and learn that this wardrobe doesn't fit well, there'll be a lot of money lost. Most likely this person won't wear those clothes again.
Maybe he'll do this mistake again, by buying a lot of the "next level", which still isn't of a very good quality/fit.

I have "burnt" some money too and don't think it was completely lost, as I have learnt something, as you point out. But I'm glad I didn't get lost in a rabbit hole from the beginning but mostly made small(er) steps. But there are quite some items that have gone to goodwill.


I think perfection as a goal is a bit absurd anyway. But of course, what is good enough for you, how close to perfection do you want to go? How much are you willing to pay?
Not only quality is a thing, also quantity: How much choice do you need to have in your wardrobe?

These of course are personal questions, but overspending seems to be common in the menswear world.


The truth is somewhere in the middle. Yes, you do need to have some swings and misses, but pulling a Foo and buying 11 identical pairs of trousers or shoes is completely inane.
 

QuandoDio

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1,272
Foo is/was simply a bam.

Money and wardrobe is akin to anal sex. Can be a lot of fun ( a few things considered), but the threat of hitting poop is a reality.

More than money though is weight/ health. I remember when I first started getting some things made. I ballooned in weight and waist and my then two suits, five trousers and three jackets, which I saved a ton for, was proud of was suddenly unwearable over the stretch of six months. That was an expensive education.
 

formby002

Identifies as a Barn Owl
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2,432
Foo is/was simply a bam.

Money and wardrobe is akin to anal sex. Can be a lot of fun ( a few things considered), but the threat of hitting poop is a reality.

More than money though is weight/ health. I remember when I first started getting some things made. I ballooned in weight and waist and my then two suits, five trousers and three jackets, which I saved a ton for, was proud of was suddenly unwearable over the stretch of six months. That was an expensive education.
Analogies can be useful, but this is a bit of a stretch...
 
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Otto

Well-Known Member
Messages
175
Foo is/was simply a bam.

Money and wardrobe is akin to anal sex. Can be a lot of fun ( a few things considered), but the threat of hitting poop is a reality.

More than money though is weight/ health. I remember when I first started getting some things made. I ballooned in weight and waist and my then two suits, five trousers and three jackets, which I saved a ton for, was proud of was suddenly unwearable over the stretch of six months. That was an expensive education.
A similar thing happened to me this past year. I gained and then lost some weight during the pandemic, which caused me to change some clothes, mostly pants. But this made me better understand my actual waist size and how pants fit.
 

Otto

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175
The truth is somewhere in the middle. Yes, you do need to have some swings and misses, but pulling a Foo and buying 11 identical pairs of trousers or shoes is completely inane.
Hmm, I can see how that number might be excessive, but I find multiples of the same item to be useful for things like trousers and shoes.
 

Sauce

Well-Known Member
Messages
619
The truth is somewhere in the middle. Yes, you do need to have some swings and misses, but pulling a Foo and buying 11 identical pairs of trousers or shoes is completely inane.
When you say identical you don't mean in the colour as well do you? I'd be happy to own a couple of pairs of EG Dovers, not in the same colour of course. Not sure about more than that.
 

belinmad

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When you say identical you don't mean in the colour as well do you? I'd be happy to own a couple of pairs of EG Dovers, not in the same colour of course. Not sure about more than that.
He bought 8 pairs of black Aldens, apparently. Identical.

1634134202654.png

He just did the same with a bunch of Westerner shirts
 

Sammy Ambrose

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1,291
He bought 8 pairs of black Aldens, apparently. Identical.

View attachment 41694
He just did the same with a bunch of Westerner shirts
Foo was an advocate of 'the one shoe', which conveniently rhymed with Matthew.

The conceit was that once a clothing fancier had bought and bought and tried and tested, and had thereby arrived at the most suitable, he ought to get well-stocked and move on. Not that silly really.
 

doghouse

King Of The Elite Idiots
Messages
12,158
Foo was an advocate of 'the one shoe', which conveniently rhymed with Matthew.

The conceit was that once a clothing fancier had bought and bought and tried and tested, and had thereby arrived at the most suitable, he ought to get well-stocked and move on. Not that silly really.
Pretty fucking silly actually
 

LeFoo1

Well-Known Member
Messages
75
Foo was an advocate of 'the one shoe', which conveniently rhymed with Matthew.

The conceit was that once a clothing fancier had bought and bought and tried and tested, and had thereby arrived at the most suitable, he ought to get well-stocked and move on. Not that silly really.
Does that mean just repeatedly buy the “perfect” item? If yes then it sounds very bizarre to me.
 

Sauce

Well-Known Member
Messages
619
Foo was an advocate of 'the one shoe', which conveniently rhymed with Matthew.

The conceit was that once a clothing fancier had bought and bought and tried and tested, and had thereby arrived at the most suitable, he ought to get well-stocked and move on. Not that silly really.
8 pairs of the same shoe in black, not that silly? Dum as hell that sounds to me.
 
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