I should probably tread lightly with this post, because I know literally nothing about whether fashion is an investment. I am dependent on the advice of women when I buy clothes. I used to go find the hottest salesgirl I could and go ask her for advice, but then I’d end up with a pile of crap to try on when I went in looking for a pair of jeans. So instead I take a certain somebody who writes Thursday’s posts. She’s cheap. It works out well.
Like every straight guy, I own exactly one suit. I own quite a few dress shirts from a previous career when I tried to be taken seriously and a whole bunch of casual clothes (I have a particular affinity for sports jerseys, much to the chagrin of a certain someone). For me, clothes don’t mean a whole lot. They’re just something I need so I’m not naked. Yes, I like sports jerseys, but I’ve only bought a handful in my life. The rest were gifts. I don’t care enough to buy brand names. Basically, I want women to not shun me for my fashion choices. I have my priorities straight.
I suspect my attitude is pretty similar to most straight males. And this attitude couldn’t be further from the opinion of most females.
I’m not going to crap on the amount of clothing most women have, or the attitude of shopping as a leisure activity, or even the amount of money spent on clothes. If you’re still saving a decent amount of cash, I don’t really care if you buy too many clothes. What I am going to take issue with is calling clothes “investments.”
First, what’s an investment? We all know the answer to that. It’s money that you put into something which is expected to increase in value. How could this happen with clothing? You could argue that:
1. Nicer clothes at work equal a better impression, which means mucho raises for you.
2. Nicer clothes mean the ladies/fellas will find you sexier, which means mucho humpage for you.
3. Nicer threads will make you more appealing in general, which will lead to better things overall.
How many times have you heard the ladies say that? Sure, sometimes dudes say stuff like that, but it’s mostly the fairer sex who have this attitude. And ladies, please, you need to stop it.
You need food. Is your trip to Subway for lunch an investment?
You need a place to live. Is your rent or mortgage payment an investment?
You “need” a car (I use the quotes because many of us don’t actually need one, myself included) yet I would hope that none of you consider your car an investment.
Why would clothes be any different? Yeah, I realize you need a purse to carry around your surprising amount of crap, but do you really need a Coach purse? Or do you want that fancy purse so all your girlfriends will be jealous, even if it’s just for a little while? There’s a huge difference between functional and luxury. How often do you cross that line?
Everybody needs a suit for interviews, weddings or for when Grandma bites it. Mine gets cracked out about once a year, where I promptly forget how to tie my tie. Like riding a bike my ass. But just because I need a certain piece of clothing doesn’t make it an investment.
Some of you may work in jobs where you’ll be ostracized if you don’t wear designer items. Maybe you’re a high end Realtor. Finance is filled with $1000 suits too, especially on Wall Street. Typically though, those jobs pay more than enough over the average salary that employees can easily make up the expensive wardrobe with their bonuses. This situation is the closest clothing becomes to an investment, but it’s still a pretty loose definition of the term.
There are ways to dress well on a budget. I won’t get into them because I don’t care about any of them. Doing it is pretty easy, especially as a dude. Why don’t more white collar workers focus on that? As long as you don’t look like a putz, your work can stand out. That’s ultimately much more important.
So ladies, I think we’re onto your game. Necessities are not investments. Your shoe collection may look pretty and it may make your girl parts wet, but it’s a liability. We want to avoid those, right?